The Bi-Centenial Celebations  2015
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200 Years ago on the 10th of July 1815, 22 days after the battle of Waterloo, the town of Kirkbymoorside purchased 5 instruments, a Serpent, two Bassoons, and two Horns for their band, to be the property of the inhabitants at large of the town of Kirkbymoorside, and so, for the next 200 years, the band, in all its forms and the town and people of Kirkbymoorside have been intrinsically linked. The town provides essential support for the band which in turn represents the town across the country and internationally. The band provides musical tuition to local residents in due turn so that community music can be provided at civic events, town concerts, Armistice, weddings and other functions. To celebrate this bi-centenary the band has commissioned an original piece of music for the town - Chirchebi Tales. The band was keen that the piece would not only celebrate the bi-centenary, but also explore the town itself, its myths and legends and also provide musofoutstanding quality within the brass band movement. Thus In order to meet this challenge and create a work of the highest quality the band approached Dr. Rodney Newton a world renowned composer, arranger, conductor, adjudicator and music journalist. Dr. Newton was captivated by the Band and Town, and couldn't believe that the band is still fully funded by the Town whose name it bears, has over 100 players across 5 bands and a Senior Band that competes at the highest level, normal to Kirkbymoorside, but in truth quite extraordinary given the size of the community that it represents. The resulting piece, "Chirchebi Tales" is outstanding; a suite in five movements, Dr Newton has captured the essence and beauty of Kirkbymoorside, whilst producing a piece of true note and hopefully great significance for the enjoyment of the wider brass band world.

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The Saturday and Sunday Events

The original members of the Kirkbymoorside Band could never have probably imagined that 200 years after they met together to play, that the town would be celebrating their bi-centenary with a weekend full of music, fun, celebrations and over 100 musicians.
The celebrations started with a grand parade from Kirkbymoorside Town Centre at 1pm on Saturday Afternoon. The Senior Band formed up and along with friends from the fire brigade and members of all the other Kirkbmoorside bands, five in total, marched with supporters and family to the British Legion Club. The Band were touched to see shopkeepers and residents come out to cheer them on.
An afternoon of music, tea and cake followed with concerts by the Beginner, Learner, Community and Training Bands, interspersed with contributions from quartets by players from senior band (of course the basses proved they can never count by playing a quartet with five players!). All players of the combined Kirkbymoorside Band took to the stage together at the end to play a Brass En Masse with over 100 musicians filling the town with music.
After a break for tea we all went back to the Legion Club for a bash to the strains of KIRKBY SOUL.  The place was full and everybody had a great time trying to out dance everybody else. The soul band were excellent and we all went home happy including Dr Newton who danced all night and needed several dance partners to keep up with him.
Sunday morning saw a small group of players joining the congregation at All Saints Church. We were honoured that a prayer was said in thanks and for the Band and were delighted to see the beautiful Band “Princess and the Pea” Flower Arrangement, by Julie and Sheila Cass, taking pride of place in the All Saints Church Flower Festival.
Sunday evening was the night of the Centenary Concert at The Helmsley Arts Centre where the premier of 'Chirchebi Tales' was played to an expectant audience. We were pleased to see Alan Hope from the contesting world and one or two members of the banding press who were also in attendance. 'Chirchebi Tales' was played after a wonderful rendition of 'Napoli' played by John Sails, the principle Cornetist once again helping to steady the nerves of the band.
 So to Chirchebi and the culmination of months of hard work by both band, conductor and composer. By all accounts, the premier of “Chirchebi Tales” was as enjoyable to hear as it was to play with many of the audience noting how Dr Newton had truly evoked the spirit and beauty of the town and surrounding area.  We have found the piece an extremely enjoyable test, a wonderful composition with reference to all the memorable and interesting events and places from around Kirkby throughout history. We hope it could be used as a test piece for future contests.
With the nerves of the premier of “Chirchebi Tales” abated, the concert continued to great applause, no least for the other soloists, Hannah Wilson, Ben Smailes and John Barrett.
Planning for the weekend of course started several months before the weekend with organisers busy organising, committees deciding, and composers composing commissioned pieces for the celebrations and thanks must go to all involved. We are so proud to be the Kirkbymoorside Town Brass Band and look forward to the band and town in 2215 reading about the fantastic bi-centenary weekend in readiness for the 400 year celebrations!

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