One of the truly historic names in brass band history — Besses o' th' Barn from Whitefield in Bury, celebrates an incredible 200 years of music making on Saturday 27th October with a gala reunion concert.
The current band will be joined by a 'second' band of former players stretching back to the periods when Frank Bryce, Ifor James and Roy Newsome wielded the baton with one of the most evocative names in the banding world.
The concert will be directed by the current MD, Trevor Halliwell, whose own connection with Besses goes back nearly 30 years.
With the possible exception of Black Dyke, no other band in the world has a history to match Besses; one that has included two Edwardian world tours, championship successes and remarkable artistic associations with the likes of Ifor James.
The concert programme will celebrate 200 years of achievement with arrangements by former conductors Alex Owen, Frank Bryce, Roy Newsome and Paul Hindmarsh, with the current band showcasing its talents with a performance of Kenneth Downie's 'Purcell Variations'.
It is remarkable landmark and the concert will celebrate it fully — opening with William Rimmer's transcription of Mozart's 'Magic Flute' overturePaul Hindmarsh
Paul Hindmarsh, who has his own association with the band that stretches back 60 years, will be proudly presenting the concert — and he told 4BR: "It is remarkable landmark and the concert will celebrate it fully — opening with William Rimmer's transcription of Mozart's 'Magic Flute' overture, which was composed only a generation after Mr. Clegg started his reed band in his cotton mill in Whitefield.
Of all the items in the programme, the one I'm looking forward to most is 'Labour and Love', the first 'original' National Final test-piece and historically one of the most important works of music in brass band history.