The 4BR Spotify Playlist No. 1
Classic Black Dyke Mills

4BR launches a new feature to enjoy — starting with classic tracks from the era of Black Dyke Mills Band.


4BR is launching an exciting new addition to our regular features with our very own ‘Spotify Playlist’ of bands and artists in performance for you to enjoy.

We will be featuring selections of our own, as well as from guests, and explaining why the tracks have been chosen.

To kick things off, classic tracks from those on Spotify from the most famous brass band in the world – and from a time when they were still called Black Dyke Mills. 

Note: You will need a Spotify account to listen to the full tracks. Not a Spotify user? Sign up for a FREE account.

Playlist link: Classic Black Dyke Mills

Our choices

Some will be familiar - some not – depending on your age and your LP or CD collection. ‘Queensbury’ might well be the most famous signature march in the banding world, but it is still surprising to hear the way in which it has been interpreted by the band’s MDs and players over the eras. 

Then there is a chance to hear how test-pieces and ‘selections’ used to be played; with Frank Wright’s famous arrangement of ‘Benvenuto Cellini’, on which the band won the World Championship title with in 1970, and ‘Nabucodonosor’ - a standard of many a bandstand concert programme of the 1960s and 70s. 

With the debate about the quality of test-piece selections currently raging, we also get a timely reminder of the beauty (and inherent difficulties) of ‘Variations for Brass Band’ by Vaughan Williams, the much under-rated ‘Sinfonietta for Brass Band’ by Gordon Langford, and the almost criminally ignored ‘Symphonic Music’ by Paul Huber.

Black Dyke Mills has had its fair share of iconic soloists over the years - none more so than James Shepherd and Philip McCann. Both can be enjoyed in their pomp with ‘Napoli’ and ‘The Maids of Cadiz’ respectively, whilst the stylistic mark Don Lusher made on the modern generation of trombonists can be heard with a sublime performance of Langford’s ‘Rhapsody for Trombone’.

And to add just a tasty bit of ubiquitous contrast - ‘Cornet Carillon’ and Faure’s ‘Pavane’: Reminders of an age when not everything had to be crash, bang, wallop to make a musical impression on the mind...

Contest: 100thSpring Festival

Saturday 8 May • 97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL

Contest: 168th British Open

Saturday 11 September • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA

Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Saturday 18 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Race Course, Prestbury, Cheltenham GL40 4SH

Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Sunday 19 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse, Prestbury, Cheltenham, GL40 4SH

Contest: National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain

Saturday 2 October • Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP

Watford Band

April 22 • Come and join the Watford band!. We are a friendly, welcoming band. . Currently in Fourth Section but hungry for promotion. . We are looking for Bb Bass, 2nd Trombone, . 1st, 2nd Horn Players, and Percussionists.

Chinnor Silver

April 19 • With rehearsals starting soon in line with government guidelines we are looking to strengthen BACKROW CORNETS &PERCUSSION TEAM concerts and contests planned.we rehearse on wednesdays in our own bandroom check out our lockdown performances and come join us

Chadderton Band

April 17 • Chadderton Band is a friendly non-contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are looking for players of all ages and abilities on all sections of the band particularly on Euph Drums and Horn. Come along for a blow most welcome.

Ian Holmes

BA (hons), PGDip (RCM), ARCM, ALCM
Conductor, piano accompanist and educator


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