There was a first for the band and an early start on Saturday, July 8, 2017, as we travelled north to take part in the famous annual Durham Miners’ Gala. The band was representing New Herrington Colliery near Houghton-le-Spring.
Following the tradition of the colliery bands, Hepworth marched though the village early in the morning and then made their way to Durham to join up with all the other bands for the “big meeting”, marching through the city in one of the world’s biggest celebrations of trade union and community spirit.
The Band competed at the annual Brighouse March & Hymn Tune Contest, organised by Brighouse & District Lions Club on Sunday, July 2, as 26 bands from youth to championship section marched down Bethel Street to the Town Hall Square to perform their Contest Hymn Tune and March.
Playing the hymn “The Lord is Gracious” and the contest march “The Wizard”, Hepworth came third overall, with Hammonds second and Milnrow first.
Congratulations to Mark Smedley for winning the best soprano cornet prize and to the trombone section for the award of best trombones on the street march.
The sun shone as the band led the traditional Hepworth Feast celebrations, a commemorative event which takes place on the last Monday in June giving thanks for the cessation of the Great Plague, with its origins in the 1665 outbreak which claimed many lives locally.
The band led the procession in the afternoon from Hepworth, through the villages of Scholes and Jackson Bridge with regular stops for hymn singing along the way before returning to Hepworth School for a feast tea.
In the evening the festivities continued with the service in the village, followed by races and entertainment for the children, live music, a pig roast and a few well-earned beers. The feast is a great local tradition that we’re proud to be part of.
The magic and excitement of 19th-century ballrooms descended upon the unlikely venue of Christ Church, New Mill on Sunday, January 22, 2017 as the band presented a New Year’s Viennese Matinée Concert featuring guest vocal soloist Sarah Ogden.
Hepworth, in full evening dress, performed a programme of waltzes, overtures and polkas to the delight of a packed church as the Band’s new-year curtain raiser reflected the ever innovative approach taken on the concert platform.
Musical Director Leigh Baker guided the audience through the programme, even encouraging couples to waltz in the aisles André Rieux style during Strauss’s Blue Danube waltz!
The concert was also featured by Brass Band World Magazine in its February edition with Hepworth as its centre band.
The Band competed at the Whit Friday marches on June 9, 2017. The weather was fine, and not too cold, making for an enjoyable evening.
Often described as “the greatest free show on Earth”, more than 100 bands took to the circuit around the villages of Saddleworth competing for individual contest prizes and for the overall award of Oldham and Saddleworth area champions.
However, it was something of a disappointing evening, with the Band never quite finding their form, playing the march “Ravenswood”.
After a slow start at Uppermill, the Band managed to play at Diggle, Dobcross, Delph, Denshaw, Scouthead and Lydgate.
Sadly, we were only in the prizes at Delph, where we were awarded second prize overall, best cornet, and best trombones.
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