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Shanklin Town Brass Band
Shanklin Town Brass Band was founded in 1993 by Karen and Malcolm Lewis after their arrival on the Isle of Wight.
Malcolm is an experienced Musical Director and his wife Karen is a talented percussionist and trombone player. Initially having no funds, the Band had to rely on instruments borrowed from other bands, and even from the walls of local pubs.
An advertisement brought in the first players, and the Band has grown steadily ever since. With a membership of around 100 players, it now comprises intermediate, youth and senior sections, as well as a dedicated Saturday school, the Brass Academy. Such is its popularity, the Band now performs over 30 engagements across the Island each year.
In September 1995, the Band was awarded an Arts Council Lottery grant, which enabled them to purchase a full set of new instruments.
Part of the grant was also allocated to commission a piece of music, written by the renowned composer, Stuart Johnson. The work has four movements and features the Shanklin March, Rylstone Gardens (now the home of the Band), Tuba on the Downs and Shanklin Pier, commemorating the destruction of the Pier in the 1987 hurricane.
In 2002 we were privileged to have the renowned Dennis Wilby elected as our Band President, an office he continues to hold, and he continues to provide a valuable input into the band, including periodically taking rehearsals and adjudicating our annual Solo Competition.
The Band regularly competes at contests along the south coast of England in order to continue developing its sound and to raise its standards. Prizes have been won at a number of venues including Brighton, Folkestone and Poole. In April 2010, the band was very proud to win the Second Section in the 2010 Southern Counties Amateur Band Association's Spring Contest, which was held in Hove - they had only been promoted to the section the year before.
However, in October 2010 the Youth Band was named as the 2010 Band of the Year by the Southern Counties Amateur Band Association, which meant that they beat all the other SCABA member bands.