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19 May 2021

We're Back!

After a crazy 14 months off, the band met for the first time last night since March 2020!

It was great to be back making music as a band, even if we were sat a little further away from each other than normal.

Thanks to long time band friend Craig Ratcliffe for leading us in our first rehearsal back.


May 2020

Shepherds' Farewell

In May this year we said farewell to our Chairman, James Shepherd, and our Librarian, his wife Jennifer. They were the latest in a series of American players to have joined the band over the years, usually arriving courtesy of their placement at RAF Menwith Hill. James held the band's Repiano Cornet position during his stay with us, from 2015. Jennifer, who is an accomplished flautist, and tuned percussionist, joined the band in 2016 and became a valuable member of our percussion section. Both have contributed a huge amount to the running of the Band over the last five years and their departure, back to the USA, was a sad occasion, especially as the band could not get together to celebrate their time with us and wish them farewell in person. They are in our thoughts, however, and they take with them our grateful thanks for all they achieved on behalf of the Band.

15 March 2020

North of England Championships

After two months of preparation for this event, with many rehearsals and a good contest performance at Warrington in January, the band were eager to compete with the other North of England Championship Section bands at the Gala Theatre, Durham. Just as we were making our final preparations, the Covid pandemic took hold and the lockdown across Britain began.

Late and conflicting advice from various bodies from the government downwards, made our decision to withdraw, at the last minute, very difficult. However, we felt that the safety of our band members and their families, particularly the older ones, was more important, despite the valiant efforts of the organisers to adjust to a more Covid-secure event. Harrogate Band were not the only group to withdraw from the contest, and the subsequent London & South East contest was totally abandoned.

We have since heard, that despite attracting maximum points as a penalty for our withdrawal, we will still be able to compete in the Championship Section in 2021, albeit at the bottom of the grading table.

8 February 2020

Concert - Starbeck Methodist Church

Our annual concert at Starbeck Methodist Church, as part of their concert series, was an opportunity for the Band to play the Area test piece, "A Tale As Yet Untold" in a concert setting. The audience, as always, thoroughly enjoyed the Band's programme:
Come Follow the Band, First Light, Nordic Polska, Demelza, A Tale As Yet Untold, March Lorraine, My Little Eye, Body and Soul, In Memoriam (Royal Parks), Blue Rondo a la Turk, Softly As I Leave You, Polotsvian Dances.
It also was a sad occasion - the last concert that Spencer Newland played with the Band. He had been a stalwart member of the cornet section for over five years and had been a great help in the band in addition to his musical talents.


18 March 2018

North of England Champions!
Competing in the North of England Championships, on Saturday 17th March, Harrogate Band won first place in the First Section, beating stiff competition from other bands in the region. Musical Director Dean Jones was delighted with the Band's result, which came with an invitation to the National Brass Band Championship Finals, in Cheltenham, in September 2018. The Band also won the trophies for the best bass section, trombone and conductor.


25 February 2017

Ruth Takes up the Baton
"Excellent music, brilliant conducting, what a talent!" - Lynne Roberts.

Ruth Mellor launched our Women Make Music campaign in a concert last Saturday where she conducted her arrangement of Vienna Teng's song Hymn of Acxiom. We were performing as guests of the Knaresborough Silver Band in a joint concert.

Ruth, 18, is our principal euphonium player and is a talented musician and aspiring conductor. In September she'll be starting studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she'll be taking lessons in conducting from top professionals. Her composition was very well received by the audience and we loved performing it.

If you'd like to write for brass band and would like to hear your composition performed please get in touch with Nick Garrett secretary@harrogateband.org

If you want to find which composers we'll be featuring in the campaign follow us on Facebook here.

18 February 2017

UniBrass Harrogate
"Brilliant thanks a lot! Thank you so much for all your support" - Andy Straiton

UniBrass is a fantastic festival of brass band music performed by the UK's best University brass bands. Nineteen bands came to the Harrogate International Centre to compete against each other for a plethora of prizes and they all had a brilliant time.

We were only too pleased to help out Andy Straiton and the UniBrass student team who did a great job organising the competition. University Bands are usually innovative and highly creative in their programmes, something we like to think we are so it was only natural for us to lend support.

Our bandroom was used to store equipment, our banners and music stands were used and we lent our percussion instruments for the percussion masterclass. UniBrass were hugely generous in giving us a space in their programme and gave us a shout out on the day.

If you're at University, have just left or are on a gap year and want to play in a fun, creative Band then you'll be more than welcome to come along irrespective of whether we have a vacancy.
Contact Catherine at chairman@harrogateband.org if you thinking of popping down.

13 February 2017

Women Make Music Campaign Starts
We're delighted that the first music of our campaign to perform more music by women has been arranged by our Euphonium player Ruth Mellor. Ruth is a young talented aspiring conductor and is shortly due to start studies in Cardiff.

Ruth's arrangement will be performed at our joint concert with Knaresborough Silver Band on February 25th at Gracious Street Methodist Church, Knaresborough, 7:30pm. Tickets are available on the door.

Ruth commented: "I was delighted when the Band said they wanted to perform my piece and asked me to conduct it. I've enjoyed working on the piece with the players and am looking forward to the concert."

Ruth will be developing her conducting experience with the Band before she starts her studies.


1 February 2017

New Band Room
We're delighted to announce that our new rehearsal space is at Victoria Avenue, Harrogate right in the heart of the town.

Following 30 wonderful years at Harcourt Road thanks to the generosity of The Hymas family we have been fortunate to have the amazing support of Hornbeam Park Developments owned by Chris Bentley.

The new bandroom will be temporary until we can find a permanent residence. The building will be redeveloped for commercial property use. Having us use the building means it will be looked after and kept secure until redevelopment.

The first rehearsal will be Wednesday 8th February 2017, 8pm.

The new space features:
  • Ample private car parking
  • Rehearsal room exclusively for ourselves
  • Extra rehearsal space for small groups and tuition
  • Toilets and kitchen facilities and social area
  • Noise dampening to eliminate sound going outside
We'd love to see you if you fancy playing with the Band, our rehearsals are:

Wednesday 20:00 - 22:00, Sunday 19:00 - 21:00 - Victoria Park House, 18 Victoria Avenue, Harrogate, HG1 5QY

Please get in touch with our Chairman Catherine Morland if you'd like to come along: chairman@harrogateband.org, or on 07779 320606

29 January 2017

Brass at the Guild
We were delighted with coming fourth in our latest competition at the Preston Guildhall.

Playing Philip Sparke's exciting piece The Land of the Long White Cloud was everything we love about competing; a contemporary piece originally written for brass, plenty for our percussion team to do and a great piece to listen to!

The judge commented on the quality of our sound and the level of detail we brought out of the piece.

We'll be competing again in March in Durham playing The Land of the Long White Cloud again so we'll be practising hard again!