Lancaster City Brass can trace its lineage to 1946 when bosses at the Lancaster plastics factory, Storeys, approached the renowned former conductor of Lancaster’s Standfast band, Arthur Brownbill, with £1,200 to buy sparkly new instruments from Boosey & Co and put together a junior and senior band for the firm.
Mr Brownbill had enjoyed great success for nearly 20 years at all levels of competition against other works and silver bands and the Storey brothers hoped that in the post war years, similar success would be good for morale. The band was named “Storey's of Lancaster” Band in 1946, (aka Storey's Works Band) and became “Storey's Decorative Products” Band in 1987.
With the demise of manufacturing industries, like so many other works sponsored bands, the struggle for funding and members became acute. Now named, “City of Lancaster (Storey's) Band” (1992), an amalgamation with Red Rose Youth Band was proposed after the turn of the century providing some fresh impetus and new members, but the venture did not secure sufficient backing and the return to form the band hoped for.
So in 2015 a few members reformed the present band, “Lancaster City Brass” with local composer, flautist and cornetist Laurie Johnston as the Musical Director. The band grew steadily and competed at Hardraw Scar and Kirkby Lonsdale with first position in our class gained in September 2012. Nicola Bell was appointed in 2015 and has blended our traditional brass banding with film tunes, musical medleys and pop songs to meet the tastes of a diverse audience. With our numbers once more returning to full strength and new and returning members reaching new levels of competence and skill the band is once again competing and hopes to improve our position at Kirkby Lonsdale contest in June.
Keeping banding alive
We also are privileged to have our in-house learning band where new and returning players of any age and ability receive group-based tuition, instrument loan and opportunities to perform. With pressure on school budgets to cut instrument tuition, this vital link with schools and our community helps to ensure that future generations enjoy the benefits of playing an instrument in ensemble, and protects the future of live music performance.