Tuesday 7th May
NEXT EVENT: Sunday 26th May from 1:30pm
Centenary in Northwich: A split venue concert celebrating the centenary of a piece of Northwich Social History. More details soon.
Wednesday 1st May
CHARITY CONCERT 2:30pm NEXT SUNDAY AFTERNOON 5th May - at ST HUGH’s RC CHURCH HALL, W. TIMPERLEY
Tickets on the door
Wednesday 27th March
CHARITY CONCERT - at ST HUGH’s CHURCH HALL, W. TIMPERLEY
Arrangements are almost complete for a charity concert in the afternoon of Sunday 5th May.
Sunday 17th March
ALL SAINTS CONCERT - TICKETS AVAILABLE
Tickets are now on sale for the forthcoming concert at All Saints Church, Barton Rd, Stretford on Sunday 13th April
Call Gerry on 07970 207941 or pop in to a band rehearsal (8:00pm to 10:00pm Tuesdays & Thursdays at Sale Sports Club)
Tuesday 6th March
ANOTHER EVENT FIXED
We can now confirm another “Brass in the Park” event at 2:00pm on Sunday 9th June in Ashton Park, Sale - another of our regular local venues!
Wednesday 13 February
3 CONCERTS CONFIRMED
Today, we announce three new concerts as the first events in our 2013 Spring / Summer Programme:
More details on these events nearer the time - watch this space!
Friday 31 January
NEW KIT & MORE
Last week, our new drum kit arrived and this week, it got well and truly christened! We are hoping to see some job-sharing on drums, more of which very soon.
Since Christmas, Emmanuel Pinteaux has moved onto the front row so we now have a full team there.
Sadly, veteran John Hook has decided to retire from the band - but we would like to put on record our thanks for his support on tenor horn and, previously, on Eb Bass. Best wishes to him and his wife, Pat.
Friday 28 December
BACK TO NORMAL
Thanks to all our venues over Christmas - and especially to the shoppers who supported the band so generously as we serenaded them!
Back to work now - first rehearsal of 2013 is on Thursday 3rd January when we will all be refreshed and raring to go!
Friday 23 November
Our Christmas programme is now pretty well fixed - although there were some last minute changes announced at last night’s rehearsal that will be posted very shortly. Pop over to our
page for details.
Wednesday 3rd October
Mike McKeigue’s Funeral
Members of Stretford Band joined colleagues from Elmfield Band to play under the direction of Jack Bennett at Mike’s Requiem Mass at St Chad’s church in Cheadle. The church was filled with Mike’s family and his many friends from the worlds of teaching, rugby, cricket and, of course, music. After the funeral, all who were able to do so moved a few doors down the road to Mike’s favourite watering hole, the Red Lion. Mike, we will remember you.
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Saturday 22 September
WITH GREAT SADNESS:
We heard today that our long-serving Solo Euphonium, Mike McKeigue, passed away at his home last night, after an evening out with his wife.
Mike had been on sick leave from the band, somehow complying with medical instructions to do absolutely nothing following a suspected mini-stroke. He appeared to be on the mend, having been allowed last week to start driving again and was planning to sit in on next Tuesday’s rehearsal. Sadly, this was not to be.
Stretford Band would like to offer its deepest condolences to Mike’s family and friends and to put on record our appreciation of all the many things that Mike did for this - and for other - bands, both on and off the concert platform. We’ll miss the music, the unstinting support and the wicked sense of humour.
Mike, may you rest in peace.
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Wednesday 12 September
MORE GOOD NEWS
Welcome also to our new back row cornet, Kay Schofield. We’re within sight of a full line-up - but still room for a trom or two . . .
Late news: seems there may be another cornet on the way - watch this space!
Friday 7 September 2012
GOOD MORNING SAINSBURY’S!
“Wednesday morning at five o’clock . . .” - Well, it felt like it, as the band hit the early morning road to playat Sainsbury’s, Cheadle Royal. See the Event Report for details.
PLEASE NOTE: NO REHEARSAL TUESDAY 11 September - to many absent. See you all on Thursday Night.
Friday 31 august 2012
ANOTHER GOOD NIGHT
Last night saw the band working through another challenging rehearsal under Craig, who took us through two more pieces from the new concert programme. And we were delighted to welcome another new face: Julia Hathaway has moved into the Eb bass seat vacated by John Hook’s move to 2nd horn. This band is improving by the day!
Friday 24 august 2012
WELCOMES AND RE-WELCOMES
We’re delighted that Charlotte Garbett and Zoe Spencer (who have often helped us as deps) have agreed to become part of the Stretford establishment! And we are equally happy to see the return, after a short absence, of John Hook, this time taking the 2nd Horn seat.
We also welcome, on 3rd Cornet, Colin Whitbread. Colin recently emigrated to the North West from Sandhurst and we hope he has a great time with us.
Friday 17 august 2012
CRAIG MANN RETURNS AS MD OF STRETFORD BAND
When the band heard that former MD, Craig Mann, was free to return to lead the band, the response was a unanimous YES! He didn’t stand a chance of getting away!
While Phil Dust has had only a short time at the front of the band, we would like to thank him very much for his input and, in particular, for so generously standing aside to enable Craig’s return.
We wish Phil well in whatever his next musical venture may be.
SUNDAY is now TUESDAY!
It’s official - Sunday has been moved to Tuesday.
After many years of Sunday Lunchtime rehearsals we have changed our rehearsal schedule.
We now get together on
from 8:00pm to 10:00pm
at the Sale Sports Club on the corner of Clarendon Crescent and Dane Road - just down the road from Dane Road Metrolink Station
We’re planning to add more photos to these reports very shortly - please come back for another look soon!
5th May 2013 -
St Hugh’s Church Hall, Manchester Rd
Although we were in direct competition with the sunshine and with a local football club, we had a good audience at St Hugh’s where £250 was raised in support of a young St Hugh’s parishioner’s campaign to raise funds for Marie Curie Nursing Care. We’re told that the concert, with cream teas at the interval, has pushed the campaign through the £10k barrier.
Several in the audience admitted to being won over to brass bands by Stretford’s playing - although the youngest concertgoer, the Webmaster’s grandson, reacted to the rousing finale and encore by going to sleep: one cool customer, obviously!
13th April 2013 -
All Saints Church, Barton Rd
From Manilow to Mahler, via Bond (James Bond), Malcolm Arnold, Beauty & the Beast and a host more: a broad-based program that had something for everyone. Stretford Band’s first set-piece concert within the borough boundaries for some years enthralled a full house, especially during solos from Prinicpal Cornet Duncan Shepherd, Flugelhorn Helen Sparkes, Tenor Horn Charlotte Garbett and Euphonium Steve Sparkes. The concert also featured the maiden voyage of our new drum kit, purchased earlier this year with a generous donation by Steve’s mum, in memory of his late father.
MD Craig Mann adds:
“As part of the concert, the band presented two brand new awards - Player of the
Year and Bandsman of the Year. The Player of the Year is given to the player who
has either made the most progress in the past twelve months, or else to the player
who has spent the last year playing consistently very well. The award was given to
long-time Principal Cornet player, Duncan Shepherd, for his continually outstanding
The Bandsman of the Year Award is called the "Mike McKeigue Award" and is presented to the person who has put in an extra special effort in their work for the band behind the scenes. The award is dedicated to former Solo Euphonium, Mike, for the outstanding contribution he himself gave to the band in the many years he was a member. The award went to Solo Baritone, website manager and PR Officer, Gerry Moylan, in recognition of his tireless work for the band, and was presented to him on the night by Mike's widow, Ann McKeigue.
Huge congratulations to both players!”
December 2012 -
From Ashton-on-Mersey Christmas Market to Sainsbury’s Cheadle Royal to the Trafford Centre to The Good Bag Co in Chorlton to Urmston Working Mens’ Club, Stretford Band was kept pretty busy over the Christmas Season. In fact, the last carol was just last night (27th December) at a company Christmas party in Chorlton!
Dual purpose carolling at Sainsbury’s Cheadle Royal
11th November 2012 - Davyhulme
Remembrance Sunday Parade
The band was honoured once again to take part in the Remembrance Sunday Parade at Davyhulme Circle. The morning started almost frosty but had warmed up by the time that the marchers and quite a large crowd fell silent at 11:00am.
30th September 2012 - Stretford
Return to Victoria Park
For the second time this year, Stretford Band were invited to play at Victoria Park and, despite the dreadful weather, the audience was enthusiastic throughout.
The band's repertoire included new music as well as some old favourites. The solo spots of the afternoon featured Helen Sparkes (Flugel) playing 'The Way We Were', James McFadyen (Soprano) playing his own arrangement of 'Forever Young', and Steve Sparkes (Euphonium), who made his solo debut with the band, performing the Manx traditional melody, 'Little Red Bird'. The band also played a number of well-known pieces of film music, ranging from the 'Great Escape' to 'The Conquest of Paradise', as well as the Frank Sinatra classic, 'My Way'.
The organisers of the event were so pleased with our performance that they donated an extra £100 towards band funds.
A bright and early start, with the band playing from 9:00am in the new atrium at the freshly extended Sainsbury’s store at Cheadle Heath. Some of the early bird shoppers got a pleasant surprise as they came in - they are more used to hearing us playing carols there at Christmas! We’re delighted to say that we’ll be back on that duty later this year.
Longford Park has been the home venue for Stretford Band for longer that anyone around these days can remember and concerts here are always something we look forward to. But the standard English summer conditions that welcomed us today, with the rain dropping steadily and no apparent prospect of improvement were somewhat discouraging.
However, the band - and the audience - were clearly made of sterner stuff and before long, the umbrellas were doing sunshade duty as the music drove the clouds away. Summer holidays had made inroads into our ranks but, in true banding tradition, friends from Ellenbrook & Boothstown, Barnton and Sale Brass bands - and elsewhere - ensured that the show went on and we were very happy to see many regular Longford Parkers in the audience - as well as some new faces.
Stretford & Urmston MP, Kate Green celebrated her first anniversary as President of Stretford Band by bringing the sunshine to a fun-packed day of events, sports, strange talking animals and music.
The band secured the best slot in a day of very English weather, with the rain holding off until we had finished our programme. The band demonstrated to an appreciative audience its skills in the little-known Olympic spirt of synchronised music stand retrieval as the wind gusted across the park! Still, —which is what it’s all about!
Brooklands Sports Club celebrated the Jubilee by hoisting the Union Flag on their brand new flagpole and the Band had a celebration of its own—our first engagement under the baton of our new Musical Director, Philip Dust.
Once again, a patriotic programme included the Last Night of the Proms perennials, interspersed with what brass bands do so well: traditional marches. A job well done.
Well, it couldn’t last! The rains came and the picnic (music and all) came inside. But that didn’t dampen the enjoyment and the function room was filled with a very appreciated audience that was determined to make the most of the occasion.
Playing on its home turf, Stretford Band delivered an hour long non-stop programme with firm favourites such as Mack the Knife, Hey Jude and One Voice to get the fans warmed up before launching the eagerly anticipated Jubilee programme standards: including Rule Britannia and Jerusalem, finishing, of course, with the National Anthem. And we had a surprise flying visit from BBC Radio Manchester as we were setting up!
Another glorious day in the park! The jubilee celebrations are really getting under way now and the band played to an enthusiastic audience in the shade of a large tree.
The park was packed—as was the band’s programme. And there was a huge queue at the ice cream van (always a good measure of the enjoyment level!)
What can we say? The sun shone, the cakes were all home-made the band played and everything in the garden was rosy! The gardens of St Peter’s Church in Hale really couldn’t be bettered—although the band clearly came second to the donkeys in the popularity stakes!
This Thursday evening saw the first rehearsal with (and the formal appointment of) Stretford Band’s new Musical Director, Philip Dust. The Band is delighted to welcome him to the front desk and we are looking forward to a long and exciting association. Look out for the update to the Musical Director page, to appear here very shortly.
To give Phil time to get to know the team a little better, our Associate Conductor, Craig Mann will take the next few concert engagements as planned.
Saturday evening of this Bank Holiday weekend found the band playing in support of a charity evening at Urmston Working Mens Club, with a popular programme that had a distinct flavour of the Sinatra era to it. Flugel Horn soloist Helen Sparkes caught the mood with “For your eyes only” and the spot ended with a snappy arrangement of “New York, New York”.
Next Sunday afternoon, 13th May, Stretford Band is back on its home turf, taking park in the Longford Park Centenary Celebrations. We will be playing on the Centenary Stage—just a stone's throw from the site of the old bandstand where they often played when I were a lad! (That very bandstand is now in the Crich Tramway Museum in Derbyshire, where we’re hoping to arrange a concert later in the year.)
The band was sad to hear that Andrew Mallon has decided to take the next step in his career and to relinquish the post of Musical Director of Stretford Band with immediate effect.
We would like to offer Andy every good wish for what we are sure will be an outstanding musical career in the future and to thank him for everything he has done for the band over the last two years. While we conspicuously failed to moderate Andy's resilient brogue, he has continued to improve the band and we hope that we can maintain this progress in the future.
We are delighted that our Associate Conductor, Craig Mann, has agreed to step into the breech to ensure that the band has the leadership we need to carry out our forthcoming engagements. More news on this front very soon.
So far, it has been uneventful (yes, that does mean we haven't given any concerts yet this year!). But things are happening behind the scenes and we hope to have more news soon.