The Stowmarket Concert Band, a brass band, was founded in 1962 and we are now heading towards celebrating our 60th anniversary. There are three bands: the Main Band for more experienced players, and the Training Band intended for learners or some players returning to an instrument, and our Beginner Band helping players of any age to start learning. All bands have a mix of adults and children performing together.
Read below to find out how the band got started!
In 1962 the fledgling 'Stowmarket Modern School Brass Ensemble' gave its first public performance. Over the years that followed the band has stuck to the traditions of teaching young musicians and many hundreds have passed through the band. Some have gone on to be great musicians, others simply still play for pleasure, but all have been given their opportunity by a band started from a set of second-hand instruments found in a storage cupboard.
Following the discovery of the instruments, 16 pupils began tuition and within a year had been placed first in the Open Brass Band class of the Suffolk Music Festival. The band grew steadily and at one point contained over one hundred musicians split over four bands.
In 1971 changes in the education system brought a change of name - the 'Stowmarket Schools Concert Band' was born as the Modern School became the Middle School. The change opened the band to children from the age of 9. The band also undertook its first overseas tour to Holland this year. It went on to extensively tour Europe, along with tours to the Far East, United States and Canada.
The Band eventually opened up membership to anyone and became the 'Stowmarket Concert Band', though until recently has kept its connection with the same local middle school through its use as their rehearsal venue. The instrumentation, once including French horns and trumpets, has now reverted to the traditional brass band lineup of cornets and tenor-horns, although the 'concert band' name has remained.
We pride ourselves in being a fully registerered charity charged with promoting music in the community and with youngsters (and adults) learning the art of brass, and have historically played a very key part in musical education in the area. We have perpetually had groups of youngsters training with us, helping to provide a future for the Band and the brass movement in general.