Today’s programme focuses on brass instruments, with genres that range from Roman times to contemporary pieces, and features music by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. The Grimethorpe Colliery Band is based in Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire. It was formed in 1917, as
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Sounding Brass!

in Daily Programme, Radio Riel Main

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 8 October, 2014

Sounding Brass!

Today’s programme focuses on brass instruments, with genres that range from Roman times to contemporary pieces, and features music by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band.

The Grimethorpe Colliery Band is based in Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire. It was formed in 1917, as a leisure activity for the workers at the colliery. The year after the 28-member band’s formation saw it enter its first competition at Belle Vue in Manchester. Its first radio broadcast was in 1932 and from 1941 to 1951 was on UK national radio every month.

George Thompson was musical director from the early 1950s until 1972 during which time the band won the British Open Contest for the first time. Thompson was followed by Elgar Howarth as Professional Conductor and Musical Director. 1974 saw the band, along with Black Dyke Mills Band, become the first to perform at The Proms.

The band continued through the industrial troubles of the 1980s and the closure of Grimethorpe Colliery on 13 October 1992. However the Band gained first place with 99 out of 100 on 17 October 1992 in the National Brass Band Championship at the Royal Albert Hall.

International fame came with the film Brassed Off, the plot of which was based on Grimethorpe’s struggles against pit closures, and whose soundtrack was recorded by the band.

The rest of the music today ranges from ancient and early music, through Baroque and classical, to Victorian and military brass bands, to ragtime, trad jazz, a touch of big band, right up to modern works including a marvellous suite of pieces for wind band inspired by the works of Shakespeare.


Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin. If you are tuning in from Canada or the United States, please click here. Otherwise, click here to start your player, if your browser is configured to do so. 

You may also like to tune in to our High Quality HE-AAC stream at http://minor.slserver.com:9012/live

Image: Photographed by and copyright of © David Corby (User:Miskatonic, uploader) 2006, via Wikimedia Commons

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