About

Basingstoke's Brass Band

 

We are a friendly and busy non-competing brass band that aims to promote brass band music across Hampshire and the surrounding areas.

 

We play a wide variety of events througout the year, including our regular Spring, Autumn and Christmas concerts as well as bandstands, shows , fetes and weddings throughout Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey.

 

We are a registered charity and work closely with both the United Reform Church in Basingstoke, performing at their "Carols by Candlelight" event each Christmas, as well as our good friends at St. Micheals Hospice, suporting their "Light Up A Life" concert.

 

The band meets for rehearsal every Friday at our wonderful bandroom at Elizabeth Hall in Hook, with the main band rehearsing from 8pm to 10pm .

 

History of BSB

 

Basingstoke Silver Band has been making music in the area for over 100 years! We celebrated our centenary year in 1998 and to mark the occasion, our former chairman, Sheila Houston researched and wrote the history of the band.

 

 

The first record of what was to become the Basingstoke Silver Band was in 1898. The Basingstoke Primitive Methodist Church formed part of a circuit of local town and village Methodist groups. They had a small group of men who regularly turned out to march and accompany the singing. The group was referred to as the Primitive Methodist Circuit Brass Band.

 

The men (no women until well into the 1950’s) were mainly drawn from the wage-earning class and therefore there tend to learn the rudiments from family or friends or leaned ‘on the job’. The music was, as would be expected, mainly marches or hymns often arranged or composed by the Salvation Army.

 

Between 1912 and 1914 the band took on more events, all still linked with the Methodist church such as processions and outdoor meetings. It is interesting to note that, in good Methodist tradition, the processions and meetings were always followed by ‘tea’.

 

The band also played for other linked charitable causes such as putting on a concert to raise money for the Mayor’s funds after the Titanic sinking. They also began to play other music. There were now more composers for Brass Band music.

 

In 1937 newspaper records show that the Methodist Circuit Band has become The Sarum Hill Methodist Silver Band (Sarum Hill is an area of Basingstoke). Although still very much linked to the Church, the Sarum Hill band was becoming more and more recognised as the town band and playing for processions such as the local celebrations for the coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

 

In 1941 the church and the band officially split. The band had always paid its own way but did not pay rent on the church practice room. The band was also taking in non-Methodist players. At this time the band took on the name of the Basingstoke Silver Band.

 

The band headed the procession in Basingstoke for the Queen’s coronation in 1953.

 

In the 1950’s there is the first record of a woman in the band. Women were still unusual when, in the 1960’s, the local paper ran an article about the women in the band. One of those was a young 14 year old girl who has now grown up to become the band's longest serving member.

 

In 1998 the band celebrated their centenary with a concert in the park in period costume!

 

Bringing the story up to date:

 

In 2000 to celebrate the Millennium, five local bands, including Basingstoke Silver Band, joined forces to give a massed bands concert in the Anvil in Basingstoke. This was enjoyed so much by the bands and the audience that it was repeated in 2002 and 2004.

 

We have moved our practice room a few times and are now settled in Hook, one of the villages on the outskirts of Basingstoke, where we have warmth and storage space. We have also got new uniforms – the first since 1973. The old uniforms were sent to Uganda to furnish a local band there – and very smart they looked.

 

From 2004 to 2009 the Band was under the baton of Mr. Steve Perrett as Musical Director. In 2009 the band came under the musical direction of Mr Claudio Nold, an experienced musical director from Switzerland, and the band has made excellent progress under his leadership.

 

Claudio has decide to leave us for pastures new this year and we've been delighted to welcome Simon George as our new MD.

 

Simon is an accomplished and experienced brass musician, currently also playing for Spinnaker Brass in Portsmouth and we are looking forward to a bright future!

 

We still have a training band and they too are increasing in numbers under the watchful eye and baton of Geoff Warmington – so our players are still ‘learning-on-the-job’ in the band tradition. We also still have strong links to the Methodist church in Basingstoke and the first concert of the Christmas season is always in the local Methodist Church.

Copyright © Basingstoke Silver Band Registered Charity Number 1059563