Whit Friday 2024

Jun 5, 2024

The Marple Band is celebrating this Whit Friday.

Hopes were high for all bands this weekend in the Tameside and Saddleworth competition in which thousands of people lined the streets and more than a hundred bands competed against each other. Joy filled the streets watching bands marching through villages, football fields or into social clubs and pubs at 21 venues across the two competitions.

The yearly competitions are a huge event in the brass band world, with bands travelling to compete from all over the United Kingdom, Europe and further afield with bands from America and Australia this year! Proud to be part of this tradition that dates back around 150 years, The Marple Band chose to play the march ‘Australasian’ in the Tameside competition.

Often described as the greatest free show of earth, many have watched the marches from childhood, and it is undeniable that there is definitely a feeling of taking part of ongoing history and it’s simply incredible entertainment.

Bands pile into coaches, rushing from venue to venue to be able to play in at least 6 venues in order to enter into the ranking to compete for cash prizes – with often more than £1000 for each contest venue. Most venues have a band every 6 minutes!

The Marple Band marched and played in 9 different venues, they met at 3pm in Marple and came home at 12.30am. The next day, though exhausted, an exhilaration began to show as the results came in. The Marple Band won best 2nd Section band at Carrbrook, and also at Heyrod, but it wasn’t to stop there for Marple.

It was great to see that other local bands had won prizes too. The Brass Band world depends on each other now, and we were really happy to see that Glossop and Hawk Green also had won prizes. But when The Marple Band found out that they had won Best Overall Band in the 2nd Section in Tameside, (after a rollercoaster weekend of confusion, 4 bars rest pronouncing us as 2nd Section winners, then the Tameside Whit Friday website contradicting this. However, in the end the Tameside judges posted this information after applying the addition rule)

This confirmed absolutely that we were overall 2nd Section winners in Tameside. The band were delighted.

This comes at a time when Marple really feels they are on the up, thanks to the appointment of Nick Birch as their new Musical Director. This was the first event that he has conducted the band in public – what a baptism!

The band’s spokesperson said, ‘We are extremely pleased with the results and it felt like we really began to develop and connect with Nick as our conductor. It’s a privilege to have such a fantastic conductor with so much experience. This is a great sign of things to come. The Marple Band is going places.’

Band Vacancies

Are you after a new challenge or a player who has recently relocated to the Stockport area? If so, please get in touch and come to one of our rehearsals.

We welcome keen and accomplished players to join a friendly band with a good, manageable balance of concerts and contests. We are interested in genuine, enthusiastic bandsmen and women who are dedicated to music and with a true passion for playing.

Rehearsals are held twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays, from 8:00 – 10:00 pm) at our own purpose-built band room in Marple. They are industrious, but lots of fun. We can provide an instrument or you can use your own.

Become part of a friendly, affable team with plenty of post-finale socialising opportunities!

If you are interested in joining a dynamic and fun band, you can see our current vacancies on our Band Members page or contact the Band Secretary for more details.