The opening of the Black Dyke Heritage Centre was marked with a concert in the Holy Trinity Church in the Yorkshire village of Queensbury, where the history and achievements of its world famous band was celebrated in musical style.
The Centre, which is situated upstairs in the iconic bandroom building, was earlier opened by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford, with local dignitaries, guests, former conductors and players all enjoying their first look at the wide ranging collection of artifacts and memorabilia that will soon be made open to the general public.
The event marked the culmination of over a year of intensive work. It followed a successful Heritage Lottery Fund application, supported by the National Lottery, made for the band by Carole Hirst, which gained an award of £61,500 to help towards the total cost of the ambitious Heritage and Archive Project of £94,500.
Professionally curated by Andrew Tebbs and helped by the work of volunteers, two brand new CDs have also been produced celebrating the musical history of the band, whilst an ongoing digistising process is being undertaken to preserve and document the vast library.
Over 100 children from local schools have also gained awards as part of an innovative educational outreach programme.
History brought to life
"Everyone associated with Black Dyke is conscious that the name of the band has resonated around the musical world for over 160 years," Director of Music, Prof Nicholas Childs said.
"This project enables that history to be brought to life and celebrated for a further 160 years, and provides supporters, as well as brass band lovers a unique opportunity to explore and enjoy a musical heritage like no other."
Everyone associated with Black Dyke is conscious that the name of the band has resonated around the musical world for over 160 yearsDirector of Music, Prof Nicholas Childs
He added: "My thanks go to so many people who have worked so hard on this project — from Carole Hirst and the Board of Trustees and management team at the band, to Andrew Tebbs and the Tolson Museum for their expertise alongside the volunteers who gave of their time to bring this project to fruition.
We now hope to welcome 'Pondashers' from all over the world to enjoy the Black Dyke heritage experience and to help secure the next 160 years of our history."
Visit the Black Dyke Heritage site: