This Gig is in the past, if you were there leave a review below
St Johns is a friendly community band based in Mossley.
We rehearse once a week on a Thursday evening, our beginner band rehearse at St John's Church (Mossley) from 6.15pm to 7pm and our training band and main band rehearse at The Yorkshire Ward Conservative Club, Carrhill Road, Mossley. Our training band runs from 7.15pm to 8pm and our main band rehearsal is from 8.15pm to 9.45pm. All playing standards are welcome as training can be given to inexperienced players.
We are available for all types of brass band concert performances to cover all tastes and occasions. If you would like to arrange for the band to play at your event, please get in touch.
History of the Band
The Rev.W. Leeming was the man responsible for the formation of St Johns Band Mossley in 1933. He was a great Brass Band enthusiast and had formed Brass Bands at all of his previous churches as way of extending the social and cultural activities of the church. At the formation prospective players, who had to be communicant members of the church, got together to form the nucleus of the band. By May 1934, after a lot of tuition and marching drills up and down Quickedge in all weathers, the band were ready for their first Whit Friday Walks. They wore uniforms purchased from Eagley Mills (Bolton).
During the war St John's became the band of the (Home Guard) 35th Cheshire Regiment. At the cessation of hostilities membership rules were relaxed so that players from outside the parish could join, gradually building the band up to full strength.
In 1983 the band reached one of its highest points by qualifying to play in the Fourth Section of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall. Unfortunately, the band was unplaced, but what an unforgettable experience for those involved.
This level of success was achieved with the help and guidance of some well known conductors, including Arthur Schofield (1970-1978), Harold Robinson (1979-1982) and Bert Howarth (1982-1983).
Nevertheless, with players leaving for various reasons over the years the band has been on the verge of closure on three occasions, twice in the early seventies when the band was lacking in numbers to lead the church in the whit Walks and once again in the late eighties when the band was struggling to hold rehearsals with regularity.
Then in 1990 a group of community minded people notably Ralph Towle, Rodney Oliver, Ian Marsh and Barry Hague formed a committee inviting first Max Wassal as Secretary, later Graham Hutchinson and Stephen Corbett to coach and train the band made up mostly of school children. This proved to be a huge success and Stephen stayed at the band as musical director until 2012.
In 1995 once again the band lost players when six of its leading members went to university, a body blow after three years of successful results at contests. In seventy-five years (three generations) the world, peoples lifestyles and interests have changed immensely and the band has had to change suit.
In 2012 the band were joined by Musical Director Paul Exton-McGuinness. Since then the band have gone from strength to strength, with a new training band to focus on eventually bringing fresh new players in to the main band. Rehearsals are one evening per week practicing for regular concerts and our first contest with Paul in May 2017, as well as the Whit Friday Contests.
On Whit Friday, the band endeavour to enter between eight and ten contests and in 2016 received excellent results being placed third in the Local championship.
Although the band is not directly linked with the church anymore, they do provide the music for the services throughout the year such as Christmas, Harvest and of course the Whit Friday Walks.
Brass Band Contests / Festival
Often described as 'the greatest free show on Earth', the Saddleworth & District Whit Friday Brass Band Contests take place every year on the afternoon and evening of Whit Friday.
From the earliest recorded contest in 1884, the event has grown in popularity. Last year well over a hundred brass bands participated in some twenty different contests at venues scattered around the moorland villages and towns on the western edge of the Pennines. All of the contests are open-air, many in delightful surroundings. The area has a very strong tradition of brass band music. In the weeks before Whit Friday, the sounds of rehearsals echo across the hillsides from the various band rooms and village halls. There are thriving bands in some of the tiniest villages. And the best bands are world class.
The contests are open to all-comers. So the local youth bands get to match their skills against the top bands of the country. For bandsmen, the dash from contest to contest makes for an exhilarating (though exhausting) evening. See the comments in the guest book. This is a major event in the brass band calendar and bands travel the length of the country to participate, some even turning up from overseas.
Contests typically start at about 4.30pm. Bands play two pieces (marches), one on the march and then their well-rehearsed show-piece on whatever passes for a rostrum. Each performance is scored 'blind' by an adjudicator, hidden in some adjacent darkened room or caravan.
Each contest offers prizes for the best band, best youth band, best soloists etc. At one of the busier venues, you could expect to hear over 50 bands, before the winners are announced shortly after close (10.30 pm or 11.30pm, though the most popular contests can go on well into the early hours).
It is possible to look in at several contests during the evening. But with over 100 bus-loads of bandsmen about, with many of the roads closed to traffic and the inevitable parking problems, it pays not to be over-ambitious.
Each contest is organised by local volunteers. All the running costs and prize money are raised by local donations and through fund-raising events. Most provide refreshments. Helpers are always needed on the night. If you can spare a couple of hours at any of the contests, please email.
Each contest sets its own rules. Bands are required to play a published march, an unmarked copy of which should be handed to the Contest Steward on arrival at the signing-on point. Normally, no more than 25 players may play the contest piece, plus the conductor.
On the morning of Whit Friday, the traditional Whit Walks take place. Dobcross contest have introduced a Henry Livings memorial prize, open to bands who have played on any of the morning's walks.
Whilst every effort goes into ensuring this gig listing is accurate and up to date, always check with the venue before you travel.