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Band News

Band Play New Arrangement of 'Lloyd' by Paul Lovatt-Cooper: commisioned by Weyland and Yvonne Roberts

The band welcomed special guests Weyland and Yvonne Roberts to their rehearsal on Monday 3rd April 2017. We were honoured to play for them a new arrangement of "Lloyd " which Weyland and Yvonne had commissioned Paul Lovatt-Cooper to write in memory of Archibald Roberts. We thank them both for kindly giving us this beautiful new piece which we will be including in our programme this season.

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50 Years Recognition for Sevice to the Brass Band Movement awarded to our Solo Horn Player Neil Emson. Congratulations Neil. Well deserved.

Before there was t'internet there were Brass Bands


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Kids today probably get bored of hearing about how in the old days there was none of this Xbox or internet and you went out on your bike or kicked a football around for some entertainment. Fifty-three years ago home entertainment started and ended with a game of cards or listening to a play on the wireless and if you were lucky enough to have a TV there were only three channels and not much on. It was around this time that a bored 11 year-old Neil Emson, who has just been recognised for his fifty years of competing, started playing for his local brass band. Since then the father-of-four has gone on to play for brass and colliery bands all over Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, including Thoresby, Grimethorpe and his current Shirebook. During the last fifty years he has competed numerous times at the Royal Albert Hall in the national brass band competition and worked with some big names, including Pam Ayres, Jimmy Edwards and even astrologer Sir Patrick Moore. Sixty-four year-old horn player Neil said: “Being in a brass band is like nothing else - it’s another way of life and like having another family. And we have had such a lot of success at Shirebrook - I’ve known most of the players since they were kids. “Now their children and my children are getting involved.” And for Neil brass banding is something he likens to an addiction. “It’s the excitement of playing - whether that’s in a big competition or just rehearsing,” said Neil. “After playing at the Albert Hall I was high for a couple of days - it’s similar to the way a footballer feels after playing in front of a stadium.“You just cannot beat live music and that’s what people don’t understand until they see us play - we do everything from marching music to Queen.” But the veteran player, who has worked as a joiner, civil engineer and site manager, admits that the brass band scene has declined somewhat since his heyday. He added: “When I started playing there were probably about 100,000 bands across the country but with all the collieries and firms that have closed there are probably only 20,000 now. “Shirebrook Colliery Band has been gone for some years and you just don’t get the numbers of young people getting involved from the local area. “Now they’re all on Facebook and or watching TV.”Shirebrook Brass Band has been in the wilderness in recent times after their conductor retired following a shoulder injury but Neil believes the group is on their way back to form. He added: “We have re-built the band now and have a new conductor. It’s been hard-going but we’re getting there. “We still practice at the miner’s welfare and do lots of concerts - especially around Christmas.” Read more at: http://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/news/before-t-internet-there-was-brass-bands-1-8457905

Presentation to Musical Director Mark


Shirebrook Band President Barry, presented Mark and his wife Rachel with gifts of thanks from the band. Mark had been Shirebrook's Musical Director for many years and under his direction the band has gone from strength to strength with considerable success in major competitions in recent years, culminating in reaching the National Brass Band Finals of Great Britain in 2010 and 2012 and promotion to the First Section. Mark is also a great favourite with concert audiences. His programme choices, confident light hearted and audience participation approach making concerts a treat for audience and band alike. Sadly Mark had to step down from conducting the band (due to a shoulder injury)earlier this year. All band members will miss him greatly,we wish him a full and speedy recovery and the very best for the future. The presentation took place at the Forest Town Arena where Mark had been asked to compare for the annual Christmas concert with the Mansfield Male Voice Choir.

4th Time Champions and Clean Sweep of Prizes.

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Shirebrook Miners Welfare Band claimed the Champion band spot for the 4th consecutive year at the 58th Annual Brass Band Festival at Dronfield Sports Centre. It was organised by the North East Derbyshire District Council. The band took to the stage and gave an impressive, entertaining performance, in which adjudicator Martin Heartfield awarded the band 1st place, The T.H Hallworth Challenge Trophy and £400 for the fourth consecutive year. The band's programme of entertaining music, conducted by guest Musical Director David Dernley, consisted of the opening number Prismatic Light, A bass trombone solo 'Minnie the Moocher played by Nick Stokes, A flugel and Bass feature: Under the Boardwalk, A choral piece entitled Os Justi with the finale piece, Call to the colliery. Adding to the success of the evening, Nick Stokes won the best soloist prize. Congratulations Team Shirebrook!

HAT-TRICK for Shirebrook


'Photograph is the property of North East Derbyshire District Council'

Shirebrook Miners Welfare Band claimed the Hat-Trick prize of Champion band at the 57th Annual Brass Band Festival at Dronfield Sports Centre. It was organised by the North East Derbyshire District Council. The band took to the stage and gave an impressive, entertaining performance, in which adjudicator Mike Kilroy awarded the band 1st place, The T.H Hallworth Challenge Trophy and £400 for the third consecutive year. The band's programme of entertaining music consisted of the opening number Valero, A principal cornet solo; 'Stars' from Les Miserables performed by Neil Escott. A cornet ensemble played Yesterday. A novelty feature- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. You are the sunshine of my life featuring a trio of flugel players Roy Briscoe, Dave Peck and Dave Jones and trombone players Natalie Tyrell, Nick Stokes and guest player Sally Thornburn and the band completed their programme with the Finale from the Ballet 'Faust' Congratulations Shirebrook Miners Welfare Band. More photos of the event to follow.


Band Manager John Barker accepting the trophy from Cllr Ann Holmes the Chair of North East Derbyshire District Council- 'Photograph is the property of North East Derbyshire District Council.'

Thank you presentation from the band to Bolsover Rotary

On behalf of everyone in Shirebrook MWU Band, President Barry Nuttall thanked the members of the Bolsover Rotary and the Ladies of the Inner Wheel for their very generous donation, which they presented to the band last Autumn. This has enabled the band to purchase smart walking out jackets, embroided with the band's logo. Barry presented a framed photo of the band with an inscription of gratitude to the Rotary and Inner Wheel members, which was accepted, with thanks by the Bolsover Rotarian President, Geoff Davis, during the annual Spring Concert at the Bolsover Assembly Rooms on Saturday 18th April. The band have had strong connection with Bolsover Rotary for many years.


Prizes at the NEMBBA contest 2015

On Sunday 22nd February the band took part in the NEMBBA contest at the Post Mill Centre, South Normanton. The band succeeded in winning the trophy for 2nd place. The percussion section; Andrew Stanton, Alex Emson and Jane Gaddes were awarded a shield for best performance on the day. The band played the upcoming 1st Section Area Test piece, A London Overture, composed by Philip Sparke.


Generous Donation from The Rotary Club of Bolsover and The Inner Wheel Ladies


On Saturday 11th September 2014, The Rotary Club of Bolsover and The Inner Wheel Ladies made a very generous donation of £1100 to the band. President of the Rotary: Geoff Davis, handed the cheque over to Band President: Barry Nuttall. £1000 was given from the Rotary and £100 was donated by the ladies of the Inner Wheel. Band President: Barry Nuttall thanked the Rotary for their kind generosity and expressed how the money will be put towards upcoming band projects.

Services to the band Presentation-Graham Buckley


On Friday 10th September, at the Sports Direct Auditorium, Shirebrook, Musical Director, Mark Wilcockson, on behalf of himself and the band, presented Graham Buckley with a leather music portfolio, to thank him for his service to Shirebrook Band. Graham retired from the senior band, having played Bb Bass for many years, earlier this year(2014). Graham however, hasn't departed from the SMWUB community forever, as he is the Musical Director of the wonderful B Band. This comprises of both adults and children who are interested in playing a brass instrument which, in recent years has flourished under the baton, hard work and dedication of Graham. Anyone wishing to play a brass instrument come along to the B band rehearsals at Shirebrook Welfare on Wednesday evenings at 7pm.

Dronfield Entertainment Contest 2014

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For the second consecutive year, Shirebrook Band retained the Championship Title for this contes held on Saturday 13th September. Musical items including the soloist item Carrickfergus played by Principal Cornet Neil Escott and The Typewriter played by percussionist Andrew Stanton, won over the adjudicator to award the band first place. Congratulations SMWUB!

Dronfield Entertainments Contest Champions 2013

On Saturday 7th September the band entered the Entertainments Contest at Dronfield Sports Centre. The band were awarded 1st prize after entertaining the audience and adjudicators with the following pieces: Valero, Stal Himmel, Rusalka's Song to the moon was played by Cornet soloist Glenn Birks. Mick Cartlidge, Nick Stokes and John Hudson formed a tutu wearing trio for a rendition of Sandpaper Ballet. The band ended their musical items with Gaelforce which was a whole band feature. Congratulations SMWUB.

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Buxton Brass Champions 2012!

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On Sunday 30th April 2012 the band travelled to Buxton to take part in the Buxton Brass Band Festival.Torrential rain and floods however did not dampen the band members spirits as they stepped onto the stage and played Goff Richards 'Cross Patonce'. The band were crowned champions of the 2nd Section and received the 1st place 'Octagon Catering Trophy' and a cheque for £450. Congratulations SMWUB!

Cheltenham 2012 Nationals and 1st Section Promotion here we come!

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On Sunday 11th March the band travelled to Bedworth to take part in the Midlands Area Qualifing Championships. They took to the stage after being drawn 2nd to play Cross Patonce by Goff Richards. The band won 2nd place and was presented with the GT Winfield memorial challenge trophey and £100. They also qualified for the 2012 2nd Section National Finals of Great Britain. With the bands many successes over the past 2 years in the 2nd section (promotion to 2nd Section 2010) and also in the 3rd section previously, the band have now been promoted to the 1st Section which will begin in January 2013. Congratulations SMWUB!

It takes '2'


The number '2' appeared to be lucky for team Shirebrook at the Midlands Area at Bedworth. 2012 has 2 digits of the number 2 to begin with then... They were drawn to play 2nd in the 2nd Section, Won 2nd place and qualified for the National Finals for the 2nd time in 2 years. 2nd can be the best!

3rd place at Butlins 2012

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The band enjoyed another brass band weekend at the Butlins Resort Skegness. The band in the second section played The Frogs of Aristophanes (Granville Bantock)at the Lakeside venue on the resort. The band were placed 3rd out of 20 bands and were also awarded the highest placed Mining Band trophy during the results ceremony in Reds on the saturday evening. Congratulations!

Glorious Achievement for our Graham!

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Graham Buckley our Bb Bass player has recently received a Derbyshire County Council Excellence Award for Services to Young People in the Brass Band Movement. Graham has over 50 years involvement with Brass Bands in the local area and he was involved with setting up a Youth band in Creswell in the 1980's. For the past 10 years, Graham has been Musical Director of Shirebrook Miners Welfare Unison B Band. Graham received his award at a ceremony at the Palace Hotel in Buxton. Many Congratulations Graham we are all so very proud and pleased for you!