NATIONAL LOTTERY AWARD - Earlier this year we received an National Lottery award from the Arts Council which has enabled the Band to purchase a full set of new instruments and a trailer to help in their transport. The new instruments, most of which are now in full use, make a terrific difference to the Band's performance and were sorely needed.
Since The Harrogate Band was formed in 1970 it has accumulated a motley selection of instruments as required when new players joined, but these have been mainly second-hand and it is a credit to the Band that they have achieved so much with such worn out and ill-matched equipment.
The award from the National Lottery was the result of eighteen months hard work for the three committee members who took charge of the application. It wasn't simply a matter of completing a form, the Arts Council of England needed all sorts of information about the Band, from bank statements and membership records - right down to the width of the bandroom's toilet door! Some alterations to the building were eventually necessary to comply with disable access requirements.
However the Band's bid for funding would certainly have been unsuccessful had it not been for the contribution of Band President Michael Hymas who stepped in at a crucial stage to ensure that partnership funding was secure.
The Band's old instruments will be used to help form The Harrogate Band of the 21st century - the Band is committed to training young players and this award, with the release of the older instruments, will mean that many more young players can benefit from the opportunity to learn an instrument and to play a part in the Band's future successes. A new Training Band is planned to be launched in the early Autumn, comprised of learners (of all ages), to ensure the future of quality brass playing in the Harrogate district.
HENRY MOORE - The Harrogate Band were offered a prestigious booking after the Director of the Henry Moore Foundation had visited its web site. The Henry Moore Foundation was planning the celebrations to mark the centenary of the sculptor's birth and wished to engage a Yorkshire Band.
We had a very successful and enjoyable trip to Perry Green in Hertfordshire in June to provide music for the Centenary Celebrations at the Henry Moore Foundation Open Day. A commemorative service was held at the local church where both Moore and his wife are buried, followed by a concert at the Foundation, which now occupies the house and grounds of Henry Moore's former home.
Surrounded by many examples of the sculptor's work - from massive architectural pieces to small and intimate studio works, drawings and fabrics - the band entertained several thousand people who had come to see the work of the Yorkshire-born sculptor. The Open Day, held in glorious sunshine, was an event thoroughly enjoyed by the public, the band and the Foundation themselves. Our thanks go to the Foundation for the invitation - we look forward to being invited back for Moore's 200th anniversary!
PLAYERS - More changes to announce in our members. We were sorry to lose Phil Smith, Claire and Jamie McVicar all of whom have moved away from Harrogate - to Germany in Jamie and Claire's case.
Angela Robson, Ema Hankin and Kerry Norman, all students at the University College of Ripon & York St John, have joined us on horn, cornet and percussion. We also are very glad to welcome Carillon Glew (cornet) who is the daughter of Ken, a former tenor horn player with the band. Finally, David Oakes - for a long time an occasional, but very valued player, has taken up full membership of band and occupies the euphonium seats together with David Gall.
And of course we can't forget Daniel Lancaster who made his first noisy appearance with the band in February, though he is a little young yet to wield a cornet. The announcement of his birth, on a Wednesday - which meant that neither his mother nor father were able to attend the band rehearsal that night (what an excuse!) - was eagerly awaited by the remainder of the band. Of course, having been exposed, so to speak, to the band for the previous nine months, he should end up being an excellent instrumentalist - but probably on clarinet! Congratulations to Liz and David on their first-born!
Another departure, this time from the Band's Committee, is that of the Chairman, Steve Morland. Pressure of work has forced him to resign from his duties on the Committee for the time being. Steve has made a major contribution to the Band over the last four years as Chairman, in addition to being its principal percussion player, and he has shaped its current success in partnership with our Musical Director David Lancaster. We thank him for all his hard work over the years and hope it won't be too long before he returns to help with the administration of the Band.
SCRAPBOOKS - The Band has some scrapbooks that cover the early years of the band's life, but these have not been kept up to date. A fair amount of material has been collected to complete the books, but we would like to obtain more. Please can I ask anyone who has any material they are willing to give to the Band for its scrapbooks (press clippings, photos, programmes or anything else - of any age) to contact Gavin Holman. Once the books have been updated we will put them on permanent view in the Bandroom.
GMK BAND VISIT - Plans for the visit of the Gerwens Muziekkorps (GMK) Band are firming up.
They arrive on Saturday 24th October. The trip is being organised on an exchange basis, with The Harrogate Band hoping to visiting GMK in 2000. Offers of help from for accommodation are still very welcome!
The current outline programme for the visit is:
Saturday: arrive 10:30 - lunch with hosts for lunch. Afternoon - rehearsal. Evening - concert at United Reform Church, Victoria Avenue.
Sunday: Day trip (for both groups) to Beamish? Evening - barn dance, Ripley
Monday: Leave hosts. Morning in Harrogate. Lunchtime concert at University College of Ripon & York St John, Ripon. Depart for the ferry.
BAND TRIVIA #3 - The band was recently entertained at one of its rehearsals by Charles Hindmarsh, a former member of the Band who still helps us out from time to time. An engaging rendition of O Sole Mio was played, to band accompaniment, on the musical saw. Tubist with the Yorkshire Evening Post band, Charles also plays a mean violin - allegedly!
CONTESTING - Three First Prizes and Trophies were won in the Yorkshire and Humberside Brass Band Association's Annual Contest, First Section, at Scarborough in May. Wonderful! Marvellous! you might think - but the band, although being pleased at the awards, was also very disappointed. All the other bands in the first section had withdrawn and we had agreed with the organisers to compete in the Championship section and to be judged with them. However our status was communicated to the adjudicator and we were judged as the only first section band! Nevertheless, both the adjudicator and audience liked the performance, and we are sure that, had we been allowed to compete fairly in the contest, we would have surprised one or two of the other bands in that section!!
From the 1st January 1998 The Harrogate Band was promoted to the Second Section of the National Brass Band Championships - for the first time in its history. The Band's first contest in the Second Section was the Northern Region Championships at Darlington. We were very pleased to be awarded third place - particularly as the adjudicator admitted he could not really separate places two and three. This very strongly suggests that The Harrogate Band will be a force to be reckoned with in the future!
Unfortunately this also meant that we missed representing the home town in the National Brass Band Championship Finals being held in Harrogate in September - by one point! However - we shall be there, cheering on our brethren and friends in the contest - and will support the organisation in a number of ways, including letting our bandroom to competing bands. Brass bands from all around the British Isles will converge upon the Harrogate International Conference Centre. The National Finals is rotated around the country to different venues each year - in 1996 The Harrogate Band travelled to Cardiff to take part, and in 1997 Birmingham's magnificent Symphony Hall was selected. Around 65 bands (almost 1800 musicians) plus their supporters are expected: two bands qualifying in each of the four sections from the eight regions of the country. Anyone who would like to help with the Finals over the weekend of 19th/20th September (together with some of the band members) should contact Gavin Holman.
SPONSORSHIP - The cost of keeping a Band like Harrogate's going from one year to the next is constantly on the increase. The provision of instruments and uniforms for its players, and the demand for the latest music comes at a high cost. Travel costs - including coach hire - and rehearsal room rental charges add to the financial burden for bands, so many seek commercial sponsorship. The Harrogate Band undertakes some twenty five to thirty paid engagements each year but since many of these are in support of other organisations - many of them charities - these alone cannot guarantee the Band's financial security.
However in Michael Hymas and his Readydrive vehicle hire company the band have found valuable allies: Mr Hymas became the Band's President in 1993 and his generous support for the Band has been a major factor in its recent successes. The signing of a formal sponsorship deal this year for the Band's travel costs is a continuation of the help and support which Readydrive have given for a number of years and one which is very much appreciated by the Band's members.
CONCERTS - The charity concert for the Fire Brigade Service, in the Royal Hall last December was a great success. Over £3,000 was raised for the Fire Services Benevolent Fund, by the Band together with singers from St Andrew's Players, the York City Pipers and dancers from Studio Three Workshop who once again provided a wonderful visual dimension to Riverdance. We hope to repeat this event in 1998.
PRAIRIE BRASS BAND - A recent contact via the Internet has been the Prairie Brass Band who are based in the north-west of Chicago, USA. They were impressed by our publicity and music - from samples of our CD - on the web site, and have expressed an interest in forming a relationship with The Harrogate Band with the possibility of the two bands visiting each other. The Prairie Brass Band were only recently formed, and arose from the "discovery" of brass bands on the Internet by Roger Melling a trombonist. Advice and inspiration from the Illinois Brass Band, one of the USA's leading brass bands (in the traditional British style), were also instrumental (pun intended!) in the band's genesis. Their first contest appearance, in the North American Brass Band Association Championships gained them the first prize in the "Challenge Class".
FUTURE ENGAGEMENTS -
|30-Nov-97||Camerons Contest, Hartlepool|
|18-Jul-98||Ripon Races, 2.00 pm|
|19-Jul-98||Canal Gardens, Leeds, 2.30 pm|
|26-Jul-98||Birstwith Show Ground, 11.00 am|
|1-Aug-98||Mowbray House, Kirkby Malzeard, 7.30 pm|
|2-Aug-98||Valley Gardens, Harrogate, 3.00 pm|
|31-Aug-98||Sicklinghall Village Field Day, 1.45 pm|
|11-Sep-98||St John's Ambulance Conference, Harrogate, 8.30 pm|
|12-Sep-98||Boroughbridge Church, 8.00 pm|
|13-Sep-98||Service - St John's Ambulance Conference, Harrogate, 9.30 am|
|4-Oct-98||Joint Concert with Granby Concert Band|
|24-Oct-98||Visit by GMK Band|
|25-Oct-98||Visit by GMK Band|
|26-Oct-98||Visit by GMK Band|
|7-Nov-98||UCRSJ - Concert with College Band|
|6-Dec-98||Cameron's Contest, Hartlepool|
|12-Dec-98||Scout Carol Concert, Bilton, 7.00 pm|
|20-Dec-98||Fire Brigade Charity Concert, Royal Hall|
|24-Dec-98||Oakdale Golf Club|
Come Follow The Harrogate Band - The new recording was released at the beginning of December. Copies are available (£10 CD, £5 cassette) from the Band.
WEB SITE - Nearly 4,500 visitors have browsed The Harrogate Band's World Wide Web site on the Internet, which continues to develop with details and pictures of the band together with a wide range of other information and contacts for "Internet Bandsmen".
KEEPING IN TOUCH - If you have any news or information about the Band or bands in general that you would like to see in future issues, please let the Editor know. Also if you know of anyone who would like to be added to our mailing list, give their details to any Band member.
Editor - Gavin Holman - Email: gavin.holman@BL.UK