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MacTaggart Scott Loanhead Brass Band
Brass Bands have had a long history in Loanhead and the surrounding district. Before the First World War, the local band was the Polton Mills Band. It was a most successful group of musicians, even winning the Scottish Championship title in 1904.
The band however disbanded, probably during the 1914-18 War.
Sometime thereafter, the Loanhead Ex-Service and Burgh Band was formed. The Second World War brought that to an end and the instruments were stowed away under the platform in the Loanhead Town Hall.
In 1943, a concert party from the local engineering works, MacTaggart Scott & Company were rehearsing in the Town Hall. They came across the stored instruments and approached the Town Council with a view to forming a 'works band'. Thus, the present band was born and known for many years as MacTaggart Scott Works Band.
During the 1950's and 60's approximately half the members were employees of the company. Today however we have no employees in our number. Band members now travel from all over the Lothians and beyond. The come from Bonnyrigg, Dalkeith, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Haddington, Lasswade, Livingston, Loanhead, Newtongrange and Penicuik.
In 1992 the band was promoted from the Fourth to the Third Section in the Scottish Championship. We have worked hard ever since to gain promotion to the Second Section. This feat has eluded us on occasion by only one point. Our most recent success was topping the third section in 'Brass in the Park', Newtongrange in 2002.
A busy programme of concerts, contests, local festivals, gala days and charity events demands serious dedication from all the members. In a typical year there may be as many as thirty public performances. As mentioned this requires dedication from not only the band members but also their families. The Band is deeply indebted to this support.
Our Junior Band, 'Loanhead Brass Roots' was formed in March 2002, and have participated in each of our Friends and annual concerts since formation. They too have had a taste of contesting at Brass in the Park and the Scottish Development Section Contests and most recently at the Edinburgh Charities Lothians Solo and Ensemble contest and the following Scottish Contest. The 'Brass Rootsers' are also a widely travelled group coming from all over the county of Midlothian and some from Edinburgh. Again the Band is deeply indebted to the parents of the members for bringing them to and collecting them after each rehearsal.