Past, Present and Future
There has been a band in Alford since the 1860s, when the town formed a Rifle Brigade Band in common with many other towns and cities throughout the country. This later became the Excelsior band until 1900, when it divided into two separate bands.
The outbreak of World War I and the loss of many players to the armed forces caused the suspension of both brass bands in Alford, and it was not until the 1920s that a band reformed. This was initially in the guise of the British Legion Band, but which then changed its name to become the Alford Town Band, the first to bear the town’s proud name. Sadly, the outbreak of World War II saw the demise of this band.
The modern Alford Silver Band reformed in the 1960s and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Today, this popular band has a large playing membership and a well-established training programme for both youngsters, and also for adults who have decided to learn a brass instrument in their more mature years.
And as funding for music in education continues to decline, we provide much-needed support to local schools through our Education Outreach Programme, taking live music into schools and providing the opportunity for young people to play a musical instrument.
Alford Silver Band does not compete in brass band contests; nor are we a ‘marching’ band. Alford Silver Band is a straightforward concert band that enjoys entertaining people with good music. The band has a wide ranging repertoire of music from the classics to pop, and everything in between. And more music is being added to the extensive library all the time.
The players are all unpaid and play just for fun, though always to a high, professional standard. Many of the players travel considerable distances to be a member of the Alford Silver Band.
And the Band enjoys an enthusiastic following. Alford Silver Band is one of the busiest bands in the area with a very full diary of events ranging from full concerts to garden fetes, carol concerts, carol services and church services. So we always need more players!
We are very fortunate in having a gifted Musical Director and an equally gifted Assistant Musical Director driving the band forward musically.
Musical Director JOSH WILKINSON grew up in Alford and first learned his music with the Band through its training programme, rising to become the Band’s Principal Cornet. Josh then went off to study music at York University, first gaining a Bachelor’s degree and then a Master’s degree before returning home to Alford. A gifted pianist as well as a brass musician, Josh teaches piano at the Skegness Piano Academy and is also developing a wonderful career as a concert pianist.
Josh has recently taken over the baton as the Band’s Musical Director and is rapidly developing the Band to achieve even greater musical prowess.
Assistant Musical Director ANDREW TAYLOR also grew up in Alford, learning his music through the Band’s training programme. Andrew then studied music at Huddersfield University, gaining a Bachelor’s degree in Music before returning home to take over as the Principal Cornet and Leader of the band. Andrew is employed as a peripatetic brass music teacher throughout North East Lincolnshire schools, but has also taken over responsibility for the Band’s training programme so that others can benefit from his knowledge and experience. He also performs the role of Assistant Musical Director, conducting and directing the Band on those occasions that Josh is not available to do so.
Josh and Andrew work well together and under their joint stewardship, the musical future of the Band looks very bright.
How the Band works
The organisation and day-to-day running of the Band is managed by a hard-working committee formed from within the membership.
The Band is a non-profit making organisation, financed largely from the very competitively-priced fees it generates from its engagements, supplemented by a small subscription paid by the playing members. The Band is also currently in receipt of a small annual grant from Alford Town Council in recognition of the valuable work that the Band does for the community, and we are fortunate to attract grants from time to time from other organisations for such purposes as the replacement of instruments and uniforms.
The Band provides all instruments and uniforms to its trainees and playing members at no cost to the individual (other than the subscription).
Fees for engagements and charges for the training scheme are listed elsewhere on this website.
Through the foresight of previous management committees, the Band is fortunate to have its own, purpose built and dedicated Rehearsal Centre. Located on the far side of the car park behind the Co-operative store (accessed from Millers Way), the brick built Rehearsal Centre enables the Band to perfect its performances.
Rehearsals of the main Band take place every Tuesday evening between 7.45 pm and 9. 30 pm.
The Rehearsal Centre is also at the heart of the Band’s Training programme.
How to get involved
To ensure the future of this talented Band, there is a constant need for new players to replace those who leave the area through work, or who go on to university, or who just get to the end of their playing careers. The Band has an enviable Training programme, details of which are given elsewhere on this website.
But existing players moving into the area are always given a warm welcome. We are a very friendly organisation and all players are assured of being welcomed to a rehearsal, irrespective of their standard or how long since they last picked up their instrument!
Who to contact
More details about the Band, including a list of current engagements, details of how to book the Band, details of the Training programme, or even how to join the Band as an established player can be obtained on this website or by contacting the Band Secretary, Jane Taylor via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01507 466330.