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Hathersage Band was formed on 4th. November, 1882 as the 'Hathersage United Brass Band' and early in 1883, the first fourteen new instruments were purchased from a London company at a cost of £61/4s/6d. to be paid monthly at a rate of £1/5s/0d. The cost of a Cornet then was £3/3s/0d as compared with the current price of in excess of £1000!
The band is unusual in having been in continual active existence ever since this date and has played through the two world wars when it was sustained by its older members to keep local spirits high.
It has also played at many significant events in the surrounding districts over the years. One which is often mentioned was the involvement in, and playing for, various stages of the first lighting of the village by gas on 14th. December, 1908.
At around this time also, the band had its only 'professional' member in the person of Mr. Thomas Gray who was appointed Conductor at the expense of the local company, Bole Hill Quarries. Unfortunately this company closed in 1910 and Mr. Gray's services were dispensed with, the band reverting to an entirely Honorary membership.
Another more recent event at which the band played a significant part was the large party given at Chatsworth House in honour of the Duke of Devonshire's 65th. birthday.
The current band draws its members from a wide area ranging from Sheffield in the North to Derby in the South and has a very active and enthusiastic membership of around 20. Ages and abilities vary widely from the youngest at 8 years to the oldest at a little over 70 and the band has a policy of welcoming anyone with enough enthusiasm whatever their background and abilities.
It is not uncommon for members of other neighbouring bands to drop in for an extra evenings playing and all are made welcome.
Teaching is given free to those who need it and youngsters are encouraged to improve their abilities by whatever means are possible. The band is fortunate in having the services of a long time member who has passed through academic successes to become a professional brass tutor and an internationally recognized performer. His services are invaluable in encouraging young talent and in arranging music for the band.
The standard of playing of the band is generally good although, as the band chooses no longer to enter competitions in order to preserve its relaxed and pleasurable atmosphere, this standard can only be measured by the size of the audiences and their reaction at the concerts and other events at which the band performs.
Regular events at which the band performs include marches through a number of villages to celebrate their Well Dressings and the Blessing of the Wells, a famous and ancient Derbyshire custom dating back to Celtic times and for several local garden parties and galas including those thrown each year by the Estate workers at Chatsworth House.
The band is also active in fund raising for good causes and has recently raised over £1000 in a concert towards providing a powered wheelchair for a local disabled child. This new charity is now continuing to raise funds to help other sufferers of the same disease.