Gala concert for historic Northampton band's centenary

Northampton Concert Band
Northampton Concert Band

The Northampton Concert Band is celebrating its centenary with a gala concert this weekend.

Formed in 1919 by a group of ex-servicemen who wanted to continue their musical interests in civilian life, they were originally called the Northamptonshire Comrades of the Great War and also known as the Merry Comrades Band.

In 1976, the name was changed to the Northampton Concert Band to reflect the increase in membership of younger musicians and the wider repertoire of music played.

Today, the band is stronger than ever with more than 50 members under the baton of local maestro Graham Tear.

Mr Tear said: “The band has so much music in its library it was difficult to decide which items to include.

“We've all had a say in what we should play. Some choices reflect the eras of the band under different conductors and their favourite pieces.

“My personal choice is Thames Journey by Nigel Hess, which was one of the first items I purchased for the band when I took over the baton in 2015.”

As well as performing famous band pieces, like the Dam Busters March, the band has also commissioned composer Daniel Basford to write a new piece entitled A Northampton Prelude which will preview at the performance.

The evening will be compered by BBC Radio Northampton's Anna Murby at the Abington Avenue United Reformed Church at 7.30 pm on Saturday, March 23.

Tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for children and students.

They are available online at www.northamptonconcertband.org.uk or by calling the box-office on 07561 390099.