Thank you to everyone who supported the band in 2017, especially all of our generous corporate, business and personal patrons. It was another successful year for the band, and we are already looking forward to upcoming events this year. 

At our Christmas concert, two important awards were presented:

The Bill Bigley award is presented every year at this concert, and is voted for by the members of the band. For the second year running this was deservedly awarded to Janet Clegg. Janet is a member of the committee and also works hard with the junior band, as well as organising the music library!

A special award was presented to Andrew Fordham by the Longridge Council. Andrew has completed 40 years’ service with the band, and has marched on every Remembrance parade, not missing a single one in 40 years. A fantastic achievement, and commitment.  



On Saturday 15th July the band staged its popular proms concert at the Longridge Civic Hall. The concert was once again a sell out, and featured many soloists, presentations, and our fantastic Junior band who performed in the first half. Soprano soloist Louise Coupe expertly led our finale pieces and the programme included the traditional pieces Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia.

The first presentation was the Mike Cotter award, which is presented annually by the MD. This year Mark Peacock presented the award to our solo horn player John Dickinson. John switched from cornet to tenor horn over twelve months ago, and has impressed everyone with his playing in concerts and contests this year.

Sadly this was the last concert for two popular members. James Kenny, our Eb bass player. James has a new job in Plymouth starting in September. Our percussionist Matthew Littlehales, is also leaving the band to study at University.

We welcomed three new players to the band at this concert. Holly Clark joins us on principal cornet from the Horwich RMI Band. Holly wowed the audience with her performance of Carlos Cardel’s Tango, performed without any sheet music. The band also welcomed Peter MacGlashan who joins on third cornet from Old Hall Brass, and Rob Thomson on Eb Bass. The band are now taking a short break for Summer, but will resume rehearsals soon to prepare our programme for the Bolsover Entertainment competition on the 1st of October.

The band once again competed at the Whit Friday March contests on Friday 9th June. This year we chose to play the march Ravenswood, and we visited seven villages in the Saddleworth area. To our surprise, our cornet player Peter Littlehales also featured on the front cover of Denshaw’s programme. See below for results and a few pictures from the evening.

Delph 24/ 81
Denshaw 17/ 59
Greenfield 9/ 69
Lees 10/ 42
Lydgate 17/ 74
Scouthead 13/ 69
Uppermill 10/ 51

The band competed in the North West Area Contest held at the Blackpool Winter Gardens on Sunday 26th February. This was our first time in the Championship section at this contest for a number of years. This is arguably one of the toughest contests, against some of the finest bands in the North West. When it came to the results, we were placed 9th. Our congratulations go to Foden's, Milnrow and the Fairey band who will represent the North West at the National Finals in London later in the year.  Full results below:

Test Piece: Pageantry (Herbert Howells)
Adjudicators: David Lancaster and Dr Roger Webster

1. Foden's (Prof Nicholas Childs)*
2. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)*
3. Fairey (Garry Cutt)**
4. Co-operative Funeralcare North West (Jeff Sparkes)
5. Ashton-Under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)
6. Wingates (Paul Andrews)
7. Leyland (Thomas Wyss) 
8. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Stig Maersk)
9. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
10. Diggle (Steven Walsh)
11. Roberts Bakery (Simon Stonehouse)
12. Blackburn & Darwen (Neil Samuel)

*Foden's and Milnrow qualify for National Finals
**Fairey pre-qualified

We are now busy preparing music for our Patrons' request concert which is held at the Longridge Civic Hall on Saturday 18th March. Tickets are £9, available on the door. There is also free entry to all of our current Patrons. Mark has now finalised the programme, and we are looking forward to what promises to be a great evening. 

On Sunday 29th January, we competed at the Brass at the Guild Contest, which is held in the Preston Guild Hall. This was not only our first contest of the year, but our first contest after our promotion into the Championship section. We were awarded fourth place overall by adjudicator Michael Fowles,  against a strong field of bands from the North West and Yorkshire. Full results below.

Test Pieces: Pageantry (Howells) or Butlins own-choice
Adjudicator: Michael Fowles
1. Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt)
2. Milnrow (Matthew Brown)
3. Wingates (Paul Andrews)
4. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
5. City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)
6. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)
7. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
8. Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)
9. Easington Colliery (Ian Robinson)

Best Soloist: Iain Culross (cornet) — Milnrow
Best Euphonium: Simon Willis (Hatfield)
Best Basses: Hatfield 
Winning Conductor: Stan Lippeatt

The Longridge Band have recently made a number of significant signings in readiness for its promotion to the Championship Section in January 2017. These signings mean the band can now boast no vacancies, and end the year on a high after our recent contest success.

The vacant principal cornet seat has been filled by Bethany Moore, who has joined from Hepworth Band. Mark Peacock, Longridge’s Musical Director said:

“I have been aware of Beth’s talent and potential for many years, due to my family connections with Uppermill Band where Beth first played. Whilst with Hepworth she did a wonderful job at solo cornet and latterly on repiano. We are delighted now to welcome her as Principal Cornet with Longridge Band. She will lead the cornet section with style and energy.”

The key seat of Solo Euphonium has been taken by experienced player Tim Dines. Tim has played with many Championship bands, including Fairey, Yorkshire Imps, Carlton Main and Timperley. He joins Longridge fresh from a break from playing, and he is excited by the challenge and prospects that the Longridge Band offers.

James Kenny is an excellent addition to the band on EEb Bass. He brings huge potential, proven ability and not inconsiderable experience to the bass section. Finally, on the playing side, we welcome Grace Newby on First Horn. Grace’s recruitment brings to three the number of “Newbys” playing with Longridge Band; her mum and dad are already members.

On the commercial side of the band, we are delighted to announce that Chris Dawson has agreed to bring his proven financial and organisational abilities to Longridge. Chris joins us from Hepworth Band where his contribution in recent years has been more than significant.

Jim Rogerson, Chairman of the Band, said:

“The addition of these five quality people has given the band a massive boost as we prepare for the Christmas period and more importantly the challenge we face at the highest level in banding from January 2017. We have a full compliment of players; a healthy balance of concert and contest engagements, and a fabulously well run and organised band. We are all looking forward to 2017 with optimism and anticipation.”

On Saturday 10th December the band held their Christmas concert to a sell-out audience at the Longridge Civic Hall. Emergency chairs were pulled from backstage to ensure enough seating for all the audience!

Highlights of the concert included our three soloists; James Kenny, our Eb tuba player who performed Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, complete with Rudolph outfit. Tim Dines, our solo euphonium player was on fine form in the traditional Christmas song, O Holy Night and last but not least Bethany Moore, who gave a heartfelt rendition of Rocking Carol.

Our fantastic Junior Band closed the first half. Around two years ago the band started with two members, and this Christmas, twenty-six children performed on stage.  Expertly led by Matthew Balson, they performed a selection of Christmas carols and classical repertoire.

Two presentations were made on the evening. The first was the Bill Bigley award. The band members vote for a player who they feel has gone above and beyond to make the band a success over the past year. This year it was awarded to Janet Clegg. Janet is the librarian, committee member and also helps with the organisation of the Junior Band.

The second presentation was made to David Sewell who is sadly leaving the band. Dave has been a valuable and committed member and has played many instruments including euphonium, baritone and tuba!

The band now only has a few engagements remaining before Christmas (see the events page). The Mayor Rupert Swarbrick, reminded everyone that the band will be performing around the crib in Longridge at 7pm on Christmas Eve.

The band would like to thank all of our corporate, business and personal patrons.  Your support has helped to make 2016 one of our most successful years in recent times. We would also like to wish all of our friends and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

On Sunday 23rd October the band competed in the first section of the NWABBA Rochdale Festival of Brass, which is held in the stunning surroundings of the Town Hall. Drawn to play last in a field of seven strong bands, the band was awarded first place by adjudicator Alan Morrison. The band have been working hard over the last few weeks on a challenging piece, 'The Year of the Dragon' by Philip Sparke, which featured a fine trombone solo in the second movement played by Robert Conlon. 

This ends a highly successful year in competitions for the band, with only one result outside of the top three. Rochdale was also our last competition in this section, before promotion to the Championship section in January.

Full results:

1. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
2. Hade Edge (Jonathan Beatty)
3. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)
4. Llanrug (Paul Hughes)
5. Whitworth Vale & Healey (John Binns)
6. Silk Brass (Tony Wyatt)
7. Poulton-Le-Fylde (Matthew Ryan)

Highest Placed NWABBA member band: Longridge
Best Instrumentalist: Solo Cornet Pemberton Old Wigan DW

We are now looking forward to our next concert on Saturday 12th November where we will share the stage with the fantastic Houghton Weavers. Please see the events page for more details.