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Muker Silver Band
In January 1897, the Rev. James Cooke, vicar of Muker in Swaledale, chaired a public meeting in the village institute which decided to form a brass band to mark Queen Victoria's impending Diamond Jubilee. A working committee, consisting mainly of local farmers, raised £52 by public subscription to establish the band. They purchased a set of second-hand instruments, and hired the leader of the neighbouring Gunnerside band to teach the novice bandsmen to play. Four months later, the Band played it's first public performance in the village market place.
Since that time, Muker Silver Band has successfully survived the challenges of war, population movement, and social change and maintained the tradition of village music-making established a century ago. The Band, who recently celebrated their hundredth anniversary is now one of the last surviving bands in Swaledale and Wensleydale in Yorkshire. A strong sense of local identity and family loyalty has enabled the Band to survive despite Muker's tiny population. The great majority of the players (whose ages range from ten to seventy) still hail from within a few miles of the village. Although never a serious contestor, the band maintains a busy calendar of public appearances, performing a wide repertoire of music both ancient and modern
In 1991 the Band broke new ground by going on tour to Cornwall at the invitation of Launceton Band, with which it had become twinned. Launceton band have also paid several visits to Muker and played in the village and surrounding area. The band is also twinned with the City Of Burnie Band in Tasmania. Unfortunately our first overseas tour was not quite this far. We spent five days in Holland, Luxembourg and Germany between 5 and 9 August 2001. Since then we have visited Dublin in 2007 and the Rhineland in 2010.
Since the 1970's the Band's popularity has been boosted by several appearances on television, including such shows as "Go With Noakes", "Bean's Boots", "All Creatures Great And Small", "Highway", and numerous appearances on "Dales Diary".