Drighlington Band - About Us

About The Band

Drighlington Band's roots began in 1976, formed by Ken & Wynn Crossland and the support of parents of local children to form the Drighlington Junior Band.

In May 1976, the band's first meeting took place in the committee rooms at the local community centre with six players and one learner. With some old music stands donated from another senior band, loaned instruments, a raffle raising £7 to make the organisation financially solvent, hand written music and the strains of the hymn tune "Deep Harmony", Drighlington Junior Band was born!

As more and more became interested in playing, the band had to source instruments from junk shops and anywhere they could be found cheap enough. The band needed a Euphonium, and with having very little funds, each band parent lent the band £10 in order to purchase one, all fully repaid later on.

Whilst the band grew bigger the community centre grew smaller. With this in mind, the headmaster of the local school in Drighlington offered the band the use of two classrooms for only £6 per year as the organisation was providing an education to children. The band gladly accepted and moved to the school where the growth and development continued.

As the children grew older and more experienced, they started wanting to play with the local senior band, Bradford Victoria Band. However, with insufficient transport to take the players to Bradford, a decision was made and in 1983 the Drighlington Senior Band was formed. With Bradford Victoria Band having only 8 remaining members at the time, the two bands merged, with Bradford Victoria bringing in their stands, instruments and music library, with Drighlington providing the up-and-coming players! At that time the band were able to purchase their own premises in the current location on Manor Works in Drighlington.

The band's first conductor was Colin Hardy, ex-Principal Baritone with Black Dyke Mills Band, who in just 7 years took the band from the Fourth Section to the Championship Section, with highlights including winning in 1986 the Yorkshire Area Fourth Section, Pontins Southport, Pontins Prestatyn and the National Championship Finals! Success was repeated in 1987 with the band placing 2nd at the Yorkshire Area Third Section and again winning Pontins Southport, Pontins Prestatyn and for the second consecutive year becoming National Champions of Great Britain in the Third Section!

Drighlington Junior Band at this time shared a number of successes under the late Eric Dews, including winning the Yorkshire Area Youth Section in 1986 and winning the Pontins Youth Championships in 1989 & 1990!

Colin left Drighlington Band in 1993 to concentrate on his business and freelance work, and since then the band has continued to grow and enjoy successes under conductors such as Tony Whitaker, Mark Bentham, Phil Shaw, Shane Foster, Kevin Belcher and current Musical Director Jim Davies.

Success and growth for Drighlington Band has continued, with the band being crowned the 2013 Butlins Mineworkers First Section Champions out of a field of 26 bands, National First Section Finalists, returning to the Yorkshire Championship Section in 2014 and most recently being placed 3rd at the British Open Spring Festival Senior Trophy, with the band being promoted to the Senior Cup in 2015! Aside from contesting, the band performs at a number of well attended concerts and engagements. The band has also featured on the radio, stage productions of "Brassed Off" and on an episode of TV soap Emmerdale on ITV!

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