Kirkbymoorside Town Brass Band Hold Sell out Concert for New Hall Project.
Emm's speech from the concert

On the 23rd of December the Kirkbymoorside Town Brass Band held their annual Christmas Concert. Unusually this year the retiring collection was in aide of the band themselves.

The Band is currently undergoing a large project with the Kirkbymoorside Scouts to build a bespoke Concert and Scout Hall in Manor Vale.

There has been a band in Kirkbymoorside for over 200 years. They have played to celebrate 7 coronations, that it itself is staggering. The band has played for weddings, funerals parades and celebrations throughout the town’s history. It is appropriate to note this year that a member of the band has played the last post every year since the end of the 1st World War. However perhaps more poignant is to think that players from the band played for those who went to fight in the Boer War and Battle of Waterloo. The band is intrinsically linked and woven through the very fabric of the town and it’s history and hopefully, with the new hall project its future.

As great as the bands history is as is its musical success and ability, indeed our competition success at all levels is well documented. But it is the bands ever present, commitment to its town, to Kirkbymoorside, the community, it’s residents and brass banding within it that is actually extra-ordinary.

As a band they have always, and will always provide free tuition and instruments to anyone who wishes to learn and have the joy of music in their life. There is no entrance exam, there is no grade that you have to be. If you can breath, you can play and we have a place for you to join them and make music.

But what does that matter, why does music matter.

Well for each of the 130 plus players who currently sit across their six bands, music has benefits that literally money cannot buy. Research is clear,

It develops language, and reasoning. It increases memory capacity and capability. Increases co-ordination, perseverance, engagement in school, social development, emotional development. It increases maths ability and delivers better test scores. It builds imagination and curiosity, it relaxes and promotes wellbeing. Develops Spatial awareness, teamwork, responsible risk taking, and self-confidence.

But as Emma Smailes, who plays Solo Horn in the Senior Band and Conducts the Community Band, as well as having children in the band explained on the night, “it is more so much more than that, having music in your life, having kirkbyband in your life gives you a sense of belonging and friendship and community that is in itself a definition, for me, of what it is to be human, and I am eternally grateful that I have that in my life and I am so delighted that Kirkby, our community, our children our families have that in Their lives.”Emma explained that the band has had their home in Manor Vale for 100 years this year. The first bandroom was moved by hand there by the bandsmen themselves and then their current home was built in 1977 where the band has rehearsed happily ever since and will continue to do so.

However Emma went on to explain; “one thing about being in a band is the need and desire to share the music we make with the community. As you may be aware the Kirkbymoorside Memorial Hall will soon be undergoing a fantastic, exciting development but we would have faced the prospect of no longer being able to play concerts to large audiences, concerts in and for the community whom we love and represent.”

This realisation came at the same time that our teaching bands were simply exploding in numbers. With over 100 young people attending the Sunday morning lessons in Manor Vale each week.

So the Band and their neighbours the Scouts decided to take on a project to secure their mutual future’s and the future of music in the town.

A hall that will provide a home for the scouts, a warm, safe place where they hope scouting will thrive in the town, a hall that will provide the band with the space they need to meet our world leading teaching demand, and a hall where they can play, where all 6 of their bands, and the individuals within them, can make music for the town, where their learners, of all ages can practice those vital skills and where the community, their audience can hopefully enjoy their music for generations to come.

Emma explained that they have enough money to build the shell and this will be watertight in March. But realistically to complete the project to make this dream a reality they need significantly more. Thus the this year, in an unprecedented move, the Christmas Concert Collection was made for the band.

The Band Christmas Concert followed the Training Bands Christmas Spectacular that was once again held at All Saints Chruch. Here audiences were treated to festive selections from all 5 of the Training Bands, Beginner Band, Learner Band, Community Band, Junior Band, and Shining Brass.

Both Concerts saw the annual awards being presented, congratulations to all the winners:

Edith Butler Award for Potential - Tom Robson

  • Robin Butler Award for Progress - Annie Foster
  • Speight Cup for most improved junior not in Senior Band - Cally Cussons and Conor Woodward
  • Fran Maw Shield for contribution to Training Sections - The Williamson Family
  • Community Bander of the Year - Anita Bartram
  • Rollinson Rosebowl for most improved player in Senior Band - George Larson and Annabel Kent
  • Geoffrey Marshall Cup for Musicianship - Jeanette Kendall
  • Annie Butler Cup for Contribution - Emma Smailes
  • Keith Maw Shield for contribution from non-player - Eric Clark
  • 25 years service to - Lindsey Flintoft and Andrew Woodward

Emma concluded the Christmas Concert thanking the town:

“This year has seen a special push by the town to support us, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our supporters and the collectors who make our fundraising possible. As generations before us were, and as generations after us will be with your help, we are so proud, honoured, and grateful to be your band”