Band’s centenary celebration includes a special composition

Written by on March 11, 2019

A band created by former military musicians after The First World War is marking 100 years with a concert and the first performance of a piece of music composed to mark the anniversary.

Northampton Concert Band released the following statement:

This year, Northampton Concert Band is celebrating its centenary. It has been regularly entertaining the people of Northampton and beyond and is now preparing to host its Gala Concert.

Northampton Concert Band - 'Merry Comrades Band' original line up July-1919Northampton Concert Band was formed in 1919 by a group of ex-servicemen who wished to continue their musical interests in civilian life. The band was originally called the Northamptonshire Comrades of the Great War and was locally known as the ‘Merry Comrades Band’. In 1976 the name was changed to the Northampton Concert Band to reflect the increase in membership of younger musicians and the wider repertoire of music played.

Today the band is stronger than ever with over 50 members under the baton of local maestro Graham Tear, 64, who has been an educator of music in Northampton for all his adult life. 

To celebrate this milestone the band is performing a concert of music that reflects its musical history. 

Poster_1-2019Graham Tear said, “The band has so much music in its library it was difficult to decide which items to include. We’ve all had a say in what we should play. Some choices reflect the eras of the band under different conductors and their favourite pieces. My personal choice is ‘Thames Journey’ by Nigel Hess, which was one of the first items I purchased for the band when I took over the baton in 2015.”

As well as performing famous band pieces, like the ‘Dam Busters March’, the band has also commissioned composer Daniel Basford to write a new piece for the band. Entitled ‘A Northampton Prelude’, the piece will have its world premiere at the Gala Concert on the 23rd March.

The evening will be compered by BBC Radio Northampton’s Anna Murby at Abington Avenue United Reformed Church at 7:30pm on Saturday 23rd March. Tickets are £10 Adults, £5 Children/Students, available online at or by calling the box-office on 07561 390099.

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