Guiseley Brass Band


Your story

Guiseley Brass Band is a friendly, community-focussed band that provides entertainment for audiences young and old.

Group introduction

Guiseley Brass Band was formed in the 1870s and has been in existence ever since. Originally a brass and reed band, it became all brass around 1900. After the 1st World War, numbers were depleted but in 1929 Whybert Stevenson was appointed Bandmaster/Conductor and the band began to make real progress. When Whybert Stevenson died in 1960, his son, Roy W Stevenson, became bandmaster/conductor and remains in that position today (57 years unpaid!). The band consists of 27 members - 10 women and 17 men. There is no committee - everything is decided by the band members at the practices. Over the years, the band has developed a real "family" atmosphere with anniversaries and special birthdays celebrated together with cards and small parties.

The band's busiest time is around Christmas, playing at light switch-ons in Bramley, Ilkley and Guiseley, for the Christmas tree festival at Otley Parish Church and long-standing carol concerts at Lower Wortley Methodist Church (30 years) and Guiseley Parish Church (10 years). The band plays carols for the Guiseley community at the Cross and at the Lantern Parade. The band also plays carols for the residents of local nursing homes, including Burley Hall, The Borrins, The Beeches and Primrose Court. On the Saturday before Christmas, the band plays round the shops in Guiseley, and also plays round Guiseley on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, which is quite unique these days.

The band plays for the Palm Sunday service at the Cross and at Esholt for Rogation Sunday. The band has a close relationship with the British Legion members, having played the Last Post since the 1930s (Roy W Stevenson has played the Last Post for the last 61 years!). The British Legion often calls upon the band when they require military band music for their members' funerals.
The summer programme involves playing for Cheshire Homes at Champion House (for the last 30 years), at Ilkley Bandstand, Horsforth Hall Park, Rawdon Library, Burley Hall, Weeton Show and a concert in Town Gate, Guiseley for the local community.
The band provides entertaining music for young and old, which tends to lift the spirits of those listening and helps bring communities together. People tend to feel less inhibited with the sound of a brass band, and will happily sing along. It makes people feel better, especially those in nursing homes who are not in the best of health.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

The band would spend the money on a gazebo and new music stands.
The purchase of a gazebo large enough to allow all of the band members to be under cover would be very useful when the weather is wet or very hot. The band often has to play in a field or garden with no cover, and with a gazebo, we would still be able to play, whatever the weather. It would be particularly useful for shows and at various nursing homes in Guiseley and the surrounding area.
The current music stands are quite old, rusty and are becoming difficult to set up, and in some cases cause minor injuries. It is a health and safety problem, so the band would like to purchase 25 new stands for use at all of our engagements.
The approximate costs of a gazebo would be £200 and for the stands £300.

The benefits for the communities that we play for are clear - with the gazebo it means that no engagement needs to be cancelled because of the weather. The stands would enable us to perform safely and will make the band look smarter.

""Guiseley Brass Band is a very good band, always entertaining and always available to help the local community."

Elsie Turner, Standard Bearer and Secretary of the Guiseley Branch of the Royal British Legion."

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