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A Brief History of Liss Band 1974-1988
On 4th July, 1974, a meeting was held in Liss Junior School at which Mr. Mason, the Headmaster, proposed the formation of a Band in the village. The object initially was to provide the facilities for the children in the school band who were proficient to extend their musical education and, eventually, to establish a band of good standard in the village. He also suggested that there might be adults in the area who would like to take part.
This suggestion was enthusiastically received and the first 'Band Committee' was formed then and there, the members being as follows:
President - Mr. D.J. Mason
Chairman - Mr. D.J. Smith
Treasurer - Mrs. E. Woollett
Secretary - Mrs. B. Lock
Committee - Mr. D. Burton, Mr. R. Grogan, Mr. P. Cobon, Mr. M. Wright
Mr. M. Wright was the first Conductor and the Band is greatly indebted to him for his efforts in the formative years. Rehearsal were initially held in the Junior School, the first being on Tuesday, 3rd, September, 1974.
It was realised immediately that It would be necessary to raise a lot of money and, to that end, an organisation was formed called "The Friends of Liss Band". In the beginning, this consisted to a large extent of the parents of Band members, but letters were sent to various local personalities inviting their assistance and many of them became active supporters of the Band.
That same Christmas, the Band made its first public appearance, playing Carols in the village with the Junior School Band.
In January 1975, the energy crisis caused the heating in the School to be shut off at night and the Band was forced to seek another venue. An approach was made to the alders of the Liss (Central) Evangelical Church and the use of their hall was requested; this was willingly given and an amicable relationship commenced which continues to this day.
The inaugural Concert was given in St. Mary's Church on Saturday, 2tth April, 1975 and was well received by the village. The first Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday, 12th July, 1975 and at this meeting the "Constitution of Lies Band" was fully discussed and unanimously adopted. Amid general satisfaction, but not complacency, it was agreed that progress in this first year had been good, both musically and in organisation. It was also agreed that an "Instrument Fund" be launched with the object of acquiring a complete set of band instruments. This has been the main item or expenditure by the Band over the years and the Band is very much indebted to all the members of "The Friends of Liss Band", past and present, whose efforts have been so important in this direction. (The first monies collected tor the Band totalled £16.90) today the Band owns instruments that have an insured, replacement value of £25,000).
In January of 1977. Maurice Wright resigned as Conductor and Alan Jones was appointed in his place, a position he continues to hold, while Maurice continues to serve the Band In his capacity as an able musician.
Three dates stand out in the playing history of the Band:
- The visit of stadt Orchester Andernach in April/May, 1979, when concerts were given by both Bands in Haslemere, Petersfield and Liss
- The return visit of Liss Band to Andernach in August, 1980, when concerts were give, by both Bands in Andernach, Labnstein and on the banks of the Rhlne in Andernach.
- November, 1987, when the Band won their class at the Basingstoke Music Festival, beating, among others, the Basingstoke Band.
The Band still rehearses in the Central Hall, Liss Forest, and the Band is greatly indebted to the Church for Its tremendous support over the years.