Band History


Skipton Mission Band

Skipton Brass started from humble beginnings in the 1870’s as Jack Guy’s Skipton Mission Band, as a temperance organisation, and is now thought to be Skipton’s oldest secular musical organisation.

Re-formed after World War I as Skipton Prize Band, the band enjoyed much contest success at Crystal Palace in the 1920’s and 1930’s under the direction of its most famous conductor, Fred Metcalfe.

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Skipton Band – 1970s

After difficulties in intervening years,  a resurgence of the Band in the 1970’s came about through a number of factors; the appointment of Ken Ellwood as President of the Band and the formation of a junior band were two of these, producing a vigorous and thriving Senior and Youth Band which laid the foundations for its rise from Fourth Section, to Champion Section status between 1977 and 1989.

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Skipton Band – 1977

Along the way, the band has been privileged to contest at many National Finals in such places as the Royal Albert Hall, the Cardiff International Arena and the Birmingham Symphony Hall and has also undertaken numerous broadcasts on television and radio.

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Skipton Brass 1997

Like many local groups Skipton Band became concerned about its future and this came to a head in 2001 when a number of experienced players decided it was time to retire from the band. At the time it was still a championship section band and the players who remained decided to continue as a ten piece group, while at the same time teaching beginners and setting up a beginners section.

Over the years these two joined together were formed Skipton Brass which has now blossomed into a band that is again at full strength. (See the section on Gateway Brass for our current training group.)

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Skipton Brass 2019

The band remains amateur despite its considerable success and playing members receive no remuneration. The band’s success has been due to the hard work and commitment of its players and supporters as well as the continuing support of Skiptonians and local businesses.

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Skipton Brass 2019 (December!)

Skipton Brass is always happiest playing locally, and Skiptonians, Craveners and visitors alike can always hear the band playing at the Remembrance Day Parade, at Skipton Sheep Day and carolling at Christmas. The band has always been, is now, and will always remain a town band with the name “Skipton”  prominent in its title.