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The Poynton Royal British Legion Concert Band aims to provide exciting, energetic and flexible wind ensembles for musical events.
The band was formed in 1974 by John Kilshaw and a group of interested people. The initial group included John, Mr. H Thomas, Mrs. K Thomas and Mr. Burgess and they met for the first time on 19th June 1974. The inaugural meeting took place on Wednesday 18th September 19974 and invitations were sent out to interested people in the Poynton community with a view to forming a Military Band under the musical directorship of Mr. Ross Livie. Thirty-six people turned up with instruments and the band was on its way.
The band's first official concert was at the Poynton Social Centre on the 11th December 1974 and was conducted by Peter Toms, Bandmaster from the Royal Marines.
After a number of years rehearsing at the Poynton Centre, the band moved to the old Fire Station behind the centre. This was far from satisfactory as the space was small and the building was very cold in the winter. John Kilshaw made an approach to the Royal British Legion Club for possible use of the club facilities for rehearsal and storage of equipment and the band finally moved to the Poynton Royal British Legion Club in October 1986. Sadly, shortly after the move to the RBL Club, John Kilshaw died.
The band changed its name from the Centre Concert Band to The Poynton Royal British Legion Concert Band. Charles Oldfield had now taken over the musical directorship of the band. A junior band was formed by Frank MacDonald, which was very popular for 10 years.
In 1987, the band entered its first competition, the St. Helens Regional Competition, on the 3rd May 1987 and was awarded the Merit Award Shield. The following year the band won Best Brass Section and in 1989 was runner-up at the National Concert Band Festival in Southport.
Charles Oldfield conducted the band at the BASBWE Festival at the Royal Northern College of Music and the band was invited back to play twice more under Clark Rundell and Timothy Reynish.
In 1991, Peter Leary - principal trombone player with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra - was appointed musical director. Throughout the 90's the band grew stronger and the variety of music and the quality of playing went from strength to strength.
In October 2004, Neil Fraser-Standeven, a military musician from the age of 15, took up the challenge of conducting the band. Sadly Neil, who was ever popular with our concert audiences, lost his battle against cancer and passed away in August 2005.
Dave Caine took over as Musical Director in 2005. Dave is a very experienced musician, having spent 16 years in Army bands and following this with 30 years teaching with the Manchester Music Service. The Band benefited greatly from his experience and knowledge of Concert Band music
The band is presently conducted by Keith Hatton, who took over the baton in September 2009. A highly qualified musician, Keith brings to the role a wealth of experience gained from a distinguished musical military career.
We are continually seeking to build an expanding enthusiastic membership and audiences for a viable and sustainable future.
We aim to embrace diversity in musical taste, thereby appealing to the wider needs of the whole community.
The Band is not a marching band and welcomes musicians who are differently abled.
Hazel Grove Methodist Church
Wesley St, Hazel Grove.
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