As far as we know, the first mention of Stannington Brass Band was in 1881. Later it became the Stannington Church Brass Band and after a six year break was reformed in 1968 as Stannington Brass Band with its first performance in February 1969 – making this our Golden Anniversary year! Watch out for some exciting special events to celebrate this landmark in our history.
The Band retains close links with the local community and many players reside in, or close to, Stannington. However, with true Yorkshire hospitality the Band actively welcomes students attending the local Universities and other visitors to the area.
Proud of its roots, the band plays at local events, parades and concerts and at Christmas time has a strong following of singers and supporters at carol events in pubs and churches. The carols, many of which are unique to the area, are also still played on Christmas Day and Boxing Day around Stannington village.
Whilst maintaining a high playing standard, the Band is proud of its commitment to young and developing players and some of its longest serving players originally joined as youngsters. As part of this commitment a Training Band was formed in 1997. To ensure that no-one, through personal financial circumstances, is denied the opportunity to fully participate, the Band provides instruments, uniforms, music etc. for all players from its own funds.
The band has no major sponsor and receives no direct financial support. All funds are raised by the Band's own efforts – player subscriptions, grants, performances, donations - as well as a patronage scheme, which entitles patrons to certain benefits.
Keen to develop new audiences, Stannington Brass regularly teams up with local musician, John Reilly (best known for his bands Boy on a Dolphin and Acoustic Angels) and Canadian pianist and songwriter, Lewis Nitikman, to perform concerts at Sheffield City Hall and Sheffield Cathedral for local cancer charities. The band has also been involved in three professional stage productions of Brassed Off at Sheffield's Crucible and Lyceum Theatres, as well as the high profile “A Symphony for Yorkshire” commissioned by the BBC.
In 2016, under the direction of MD, Derek Renshaw, the band enjoyed a succession of contest victories starting in March, scooping the top prize in the Second Section at the Yorkshire Area Championships. In July, at the Whiston Festival of Brass, they came first in their section and were awarded the prize for most entertaining second section band with the bonus of Edward Knowles winning the best instrumentalist prize.
September saw them competing against 15 of the best Second Section bands in the country and they proudly came back to Sheffield as National Second Section Champions – achieving an historical Area and National double in the same year.
In October at the Bolsover Festival of Brass, the band was judged to have performed the best entertainment programme in their section and Principal Cornet, Richard Dowling, won the best soloist prize. And in November they topped off their most successful contesting year to date with a win at the Yorkshire and Humberside Brass Band Association Annual Contest in Holmfirth where they were judged best Second Section band, beating several First Section bands in a mixed group.
The band’s highest ranking was in 2008 when, also under the baton of Derek Renshaw, it was promoted to the prestigious Yorkshire Area Championship section where it competed against some of the best bands in the world.