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Rolls Royce Derby Band
On Monday 11th November 1935, a meeting was held to consider ways and means of forming a brass band at Rolls-Royce. Just over a month later, on the 16th December to be exact, the first rehearsal of the Rolls-Royce Works Band was held.
Initially, only people employed by Rolls-Royce were allowed to join the band. Commitment was very important and players had to have good reasons for not attending rehearsals and engagements. In fact, players who did not show the desired level of commitment or playing standard, were asked to resign. People wanting to join the band had to apply to the Committee, who in turn would organise an audition for that person. If the audition was successful, the player would be given a months trial with the band. Fortunately for the modern day band member, things arent quite so strict now!
The Rolls-Royce Works Band gave their concert on 1st March 1936 in the grounds of the Rolls-Royce Welfare and didnt look back from there on. They soon became a regular concert attraction throughout the local area, particularly at the Derby parks. As the years went by, the band started receiving invitations at venues outside the local area which they were more than happy to accept. In the past years, the band have taken part in The Lord Mayor of London Parade, entertained royalty, played at Blenheim Palace, Althorpe House, Chatsworth House, other country estates and various seaside resorts. The Rolls-Royce (Derby) Band still travel all over the country entertaining audiences and have also toured Europe.
On the 7th March 1936, the Rolls-Royce Works Band entered their very first contest the Leicester Music Festival. They entered in the Fourth Section and managed to scoop second prize. More prizes followed in subsequent years but, like most brass bands, they had bad times on the contest stage too. The Rolls-Royce (Derby) Band enters contests regularly and have been successful in qualifying for the Brass Band National Finals several times.