Oct 22 2011

All About Grimsdyke Brass – Harrow’s Premier Brass Band

Grimsdyke Brass was formed in 1979; the name relates to a prehistoric or Saxon earthwork which runs across Harrow Weald Common. Echoes of the names of Grimethorpe Colliery and Black Dyke bands are purely coincidental!

Only two of the members are professional musicians – both brass teachers. The others include students, a journalist, a social worker, school teachers, a healthcare professional, a solicitor, a bank official, two accountants, a leisure centre manager, a civil servant and a physicist.
The band plays cornets (not trumpets), flugel horn, tenor and baritone horns, euphoniums, tenor trombones, bass trombone, two sizes of tuba (usually called ‘basses’ in the brass band world), drum kit and tuned percussion. The repertoire is very wide, from arrangements of Monteverdi and Vivaldi to film music and songs from the shows. It includes original music for brass band by Vaughan Williams, John Ireland, Gustav Holst, Malcolm Arnold and fine brass band composers of more recent times such as Eric Ball, Gilbert Vintner and Denis Wright. In the modern brass band repertoire is music by Philip Sparke, Goff Richards, Peter Graham and Paul Lovatt-Cooper.

A feature of the brass band world are the contests in which bands compete with each other, either all playing the same test piece or vying with each other to present the most entertaining and technically perfect short programme. For that purpose bands are organised much like the Football League in Sections: Championship and First to Fourth. After two years in the First Section Grimsdyke Brass has – hopefully temporarily! – rejoined the Second Section.

We give performances at a number of regular venues around Harrow, including the Harrow Arts Centre Elliott Hall, Grim’s Dyke Hotel and Pinner Memorial Park. Further afield we have given Sunday afternoon concerts on Parliament Hill bandstand (Hampstead Heath), Dunstable and Bournemouth. We also support local charitable and community groups.

Financial support for the band comes from (very reasonable!) fees charged for engagements, from ticket sales for the band’s own concerts and from members’ subscriptions. The band also raises money by carolling and has a generous group of Friends of Grimsdyke Brass.

If you are interested in joining the band, becoming a Friend or engaging us for a concert please email webmaster@grimsdykebrass.co.uk.

Source(s): Grimsdyke Brass

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