Archived Histories of Brass Bands 
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This page is part of an archive of historical details from existing or defunct brass band websites. This is being maintained to provide a record of this information in the event of a band folding, its website disappearing or other loss of the historical record. Where possible, and appropriate, the information cached will be updated from time to time - and any corrections or updates are welcome.

Redbridge Brass

Formed by John Ridgeon under the name Redbridge Brass Ensemble, the band actually started life as part of the Redbridge Music School (in the London Borough of Redbridge) and was the top band of four at that time. The band started entering contests as 'Redbridge Youth' and in 1970 became National Youth Champions of Great Britain, then won the 3rd Section National Finals in 1971 and in 1972 came 3rd at the Grand Shield Spring Contest, an astounding performance for a youth band! And to add further acolade the band gave the first performance of 'Intrada' by Edward Gregson at the London Festival, a commission by the borough, with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain.

The band members being too old to remain in the music school reformed as Redbridge Brass Ensemble in 1972 after being promoted to the 2nd Section. Most of the players were taught by John Ridgeon in the use of his own brass playing technique. The fantastic sound that this produced and talent of those young musicians was captured on an LP recording called 'The Redbridge Phenomenon'.

After several changes of leadership, one of whom was Ray Farr, the band again won the 2nd Section Area title in 1985 (and came 4th in the Finals) under the baton of Graham Chambers. Shortly afterwards the band entered the top level Championship Section in 1986 where it has remained ever since.

In 1988 the band won the Area title and gained some sponsorship under the name 'London Electricity Redbridge Brass' until 1993 when the band's name became 'Redbridge Brass' to the present day.

The band won the Area title twice more under the direction of John Clarke in 1991 and 1992, and produced a ground breaking CD called 'Close Enough for Jazz' in 1994. Graham Wilson conducted the band in 1996-97 and led them to two Area title wins. Then in 1998 Melvin White became the band's MD and stayed with the band until 2007, the longest tenure of all the band's conductors. In that period the band achieved five Area wins, four of which were in succession (2002-5), a feat not achieved by any other band in the Area contest, ever. The band also recorded a triple CD of marches, show music and film themes, which has proved very popular indeed.

In 2008 the band win the Area contest under the baton of Rob Wiffin, and have high profile performances in Trafalgar Square and Dubai. Then with the arrival of new MD, Jeremy Wise the band gained a personal best at both the Grand Shield Spring Contest in Blackpool and at the invite only All England International Masters contest held in Cambridge's Corn Exchange (also the highest placing any London and Southern Counties Area band has achieved in this contest so far). Rounding off the 2008 summer the band had a debut at the Glastonbury Festival in front of 40,000 people on the 'Other Stage' with chart band 'Hot Chip'.

2009 sees the band win the prestigious Mineworkers Open National Brass Band Festival and again win the Area contest. With good results in 2010, and 2011 (3rd and 4th) at this contest the band regularly out performs its rivals with consistent and fine performances, earning praise from adjudicators, composers and other MDs too.