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[Archive] - Press Articles 1999

Harrogate Advertiser, 24th September 1999

Gala concert for champion band

A leading cornet soloist joins Harrogate Band for their Gala Concert in Ripon Cathedral this evening. Alan Morrison, formerly of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, is now principal cornet of the JJB Leyland Band. He has just returned from a tour of the USA and released a new CD recording.

Concert-goers can expect virtuoso showpieces and more lyrical pieces, as well as some of the big band classics made famous by jazz star Kenny Baker.

The Gala occasion has been organised to raise funds for the band's new uniform. The Harrogate Band are currently Yorkshire and Humberside Champions and are aiming to be the smartest looking musicians in the region for the forthcoming season.

The programme of brass music includes items from the hit show Lord of the Dance, as well as Tchaikovsky's majestic 1812 Overture. The evening starts at 7.30pm.


News Harrogate Advertiser, 17th September 1999

Cornet solo will crown Gala Concert at Ripon Cathedral

The talented Harrogate Band will be joined by a leading cornet soloist during their Gala Concert in Ripon Cathedral next Friday. The concert starts at 7.30pm and features the soloist Alan Morrison. Formerly of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Alan is now principal cornet of the JJB Leyland Band and has just returned from a tour of the USA and released a new CD recording.

Accompanied by the musicians of the Harrogate Band he will play virtuoso showpieces and more lyrical pieces, as well as some of the big band classics made famous by jazz star Kenny Baker.

The Gala occasion has been organised to raise funds for the band's new uniform. The Harrogate Band are currently Yorkshire and Humberside Champions and are aiming to be the smartest looking musicians in the region for the forthcoming season.

A complete new get-up will cost around £6,000 but the musicians have worked tirelessly during the past six months to achieve this sum and an announcement of the total will be made during the concert.

The programme of brass music includes items from the hit show Lord of the Dance, as well as Tchaikovsky's majestic 1812 Overture. The band plan to make the night an exciting and memorable musical occasion for all tastes.


News British Bandsman, 7th August 1999

Jason's ride to riches

Intrepid flugel player Jason Harper is in the final stages of preparation for the gruelling sponsored cycle ride from Land's End to John O'Groats which he is attempting in order to raise money for the Harrogate Band's new uniform appeal.

Jason has been busy training for several months in addition to his playing duties with the band and hopes to raise at least £1,000 towards the target of £6,000 which the band aims to achieve before the end of the year.

Jason, pictured (right) with the band president Michael Hymas, started his epic event last Monday and intends to complete the journey in less than two weeks. Cornet player and bandmaster David Cole will assist him in his endeavour. David will be driving the support vehicle. Anyone wishing to sponsor Jason should contact David.

Other planned fund-raising events include a cheese and wine party on 22 August and a gala concert in Ripon Cathedral in September.


News Harrogate Advertiser, ?? June 1999 - Ruth Badley

Dome date for band

Life-size images of local brass band musicians are to be featured in one of the Millennium Dome exhibition zones. Excited members of the Harrogate Band learned photographs of their ensemble will represent the "epitome of Englishness" in the National Identity Zone. Musical director David Lancaster was given less than 24 hours notice by Dome organisers to prepare for the official photo session.

The newly restored Sun Pavilion in Valley Gardens provides the backdrop to the pictures which are part of a massive collage depicting the best of British culture. Most of the details remain under wraps, but the band understand the photographs will be enlarged and used in a multi-dimensional way, to allow visitors to the Dome to walk around them.

"It was a logistical nightmare trying to organise a venue and get all the band members together with such short notice, but luckily it all came together and it is such an honour for us," said Mr Lancaster.

Committee member Chris Horton was especially proud, as he had initiated the whole idea. Chris works for Sam Smith's Brewery in Tadcaster, one of dozens of companies invited to put forward suggestions summing up the essence of English culture. When Chris nominated brass bands, he never dreamed his own colleagues would be in demand. "For the Harrogate Band to be selected from the thousands of bands in the country makes us feel very special," he said.


News ??, ?? June 1999

Band to be "epitome of Englishness" at Dome

Life-size images of Harrogate Band are to be featured in one of the Millennium Dome exhibition zones. Photographs of the ensemble will represent the "epitome of Englishness" in the National Identity Zone. A two-hour photo session in the newly restored Sun Pavilion provides the backdrop to the pictures, which is part of a massive collage depicting the best of British culture. Most of the details remain under wraps, but the band understand the photographs will be enlarged and used in a multi-dimensional way, to allow visitors to the Dome to walk around them.

"It was a logistical nightmare trying to organise a venue and get all the band members together with such short notice, but luckily it all came together and it is such an honour for us," said musical director Mr Lancaster.

This prestigious opportunity came just after the musicians scooped all four top awards in the Yorkshire and Humberside annual contest in Scarborough. Prizes for best march, hymn and test piece all came home, in addition to the accolade for the most consistent band of the contest.

Band chairman, Peter Andrews is hoping this success will earn the band timely promotion to Yorkshire and Humberside's Championship Section in the year 2000.


News ??, ?? June 1999 - Brian Dooks

Dome place of honour for winning brass band

Visitors to the Millennium Dome will see life-size images of the Harrogate Band in the National Identity Zone representing the important role that brass bands play in Britain's culture.

They were chosen after organisers of the Dome's exhibits wrote to companies throughout the UK asking for suggestions on what features they regarded as traditionally British. Chris Horton, who works for Sam Smith's Brewery in Tadcaster and plays baritone with the Harrogate Band, told them that a brass band should be included - and they liked the idea. Musical Director David Lancaster said: "When he said he played with the Harrogate Band we got the job. It was a question of being in the right place at the right time."

As a result the Harrogate Band spent two hours at a photo shoot in the newly restored Sun Pavilion in the Valley Gardens. Mr Lancaster said: "We aren't allowed to give away too many secrets, but the photographs of the band are to be blown up to almost life size and used in a multi-dimensional way, so that the visitors to the Dome can walk around them.

Mr Horton, a committee member of the band said: "The experience made the band feel very special. For the Harrogate Band to be selected from the thousands of bands in the country is a real honour for us."

The Harrogate Band, which was formed in 1970 and has 34 regular players ranging in age from 14 to the mid-70s, has just won the four top awards in the Yorkshire and Humberside annual contest in Scarborough. It claimed the prizes for best march, hymn and test piece - Philip Sparke's Land of the Long White Cloud, and also won the conductor's award for the most consistent band in the contest.

Its chairman, Peter Andrews said the success in the competition should earn the band promotion to Yorkshire and Humberside's Championship Section in the year 2000 - "a challenge which we will clearly relish."

Now the band is hoping that its contribution will not end with the photographs. Mr Lancaster said their photographs represented all bands throughout Britain. "But we are very much hoping that we will be invited down to play in the Dome," added Mr Lancaster.


News British Bandsman, 8th May 1999

Harrogate makes history

The Harrogate Band may well have made history on 10 April by playing to an audience composed entirely of music librarians. The UK branch of the International Association of Music Libraries holds an Annual Study Weekend at which music relevant to the locality of the conference is featured. This year's conference took place at the College of Ripon and York St John (Ripon Campus). Explaining the conference, IAML (UK) President Ruth Heller said: "We could hardly visit Yorkshire without hearing a brass band, so we asked the Harrogate Band, with their conductor David Lancaster, to present an illustrated history of the development of band music."

The information provided by David Lancaster, helped by members of the band reading from articles and books, put the music into context. The music itself was a revelation to many who had previously only encountered the lighter side of band music and the band seemed to enjoy playing an unusually large number of "serious" pieces.

The programme included Labour and Love, excerpts from A Downland Suite, works by Eric Ball, Gilbert Vinter, Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen, some swing and an Alan Fernie arrangement. Land of the Long White Cloud was the impressive finale of an extremely well-played programme.

An unexpected side effect of the concert was the discovery of a surprising number of brass players (current and lapsed) amongst the IAML membership. But the most satisfying outcome, apart from enjoyment of the concert itself, was that more people now take brass band music more seriously.


News Harrogate Advertiser, 5th March 1999

Brass ensemble's in full flight at church

A successful local brass ensemble can be heard in full flight at Harrogate's St Peter's Church next Friday evening from 8pm. The Harrogate Band with their conductor, David Lancaster, have agreed to play to raise cash for the church's organ restoration fund.

The occasion promises a real treat for brass fans - currently the musicians wear the Yorkshire and Humberside Champions crown and were also victors at the Camerons Contest in Hartlepool. A capacity audience at the Royal Hall heard them in action for the Fire Services Benevolent Fund at Christmas - an occasion which raised over £4,000.

For the concert at St Peter's, the band have chosen a mixed selection of music to please most tastes. Well known classics from Mozart and Vivaldi, swing band melodies from Harry James and arrangements of Scottish and Norwegian folk songs are included, in addition to the traditional solos and marches in the band repertoire.

Following this public performance the band will be looking for further success at the North of England Championships the following weekend.