Durham Brass Festival
Gala Theatre and Cinema
July 21st – 15:00
August 31st – 19:00
September 21st – 19:30
The Brighouse and Rastrick Band hails from the West Ridings of Yorkshire. Formed in 1881 as the Brighouse and Rastrick Temperance band, the band retained this title until the 1920’s when on the appointment of the World-Famous Fred Berry as musical director, ‘Temperance’ was dropped from its title. The one and only change of name in the Band’s history. These changes had immediate impact and in 1929, B&R broke into the highest level of brass banding winning both the July and September Brass Band Contests at Belle Vue, Manchester, a feat achieved only once before, and not equalled since.
Moving to the 1970’s, a more unusual and unique success came the band’s way. In 1977 the band caught the ears and imagination of the British public with their recording of Derek Broadbent’s “Floral Dance” holding the No.2 position in the British singles chart for nine weeks.
Doggedly held off the top spot by Paul McCartney, they still achieved sales of over a million, earning both Gold and Silver discs and attracting fame well beyond the UK. ‘The Floral Dance’ has now become a permanent feature of the band’s programs as the ‘unofficial’ encore.
In 2009 the band entered a new era with the appointment of Professor King as Professional Conductor. This had immediate impact with Brighouse & Rastrick Band winning the National Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 2010 & 2011 and more recently in 2017.
Over recent years the band has been engaged in very successful collaborations outside of the Brass Band Tradition. Recordings with Simon Callow, ‘The Unthanks’, Liza Pullman and appearances at Chris Evans’ ‘Car-Fest’ are just some of the ways that we are expanding our audiences.