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Stoke sub Hamdon Band
The rural south Somerset village of Stoke-sub-Hamdon has a banding tradition going back to 1891, which continued to around 1930. The present band was reformed during VE celebrations in 1945 under its former name Stoke Military Band. In the fifties a traditional brass band formation was adopted, with all woodwind instruments being phased out.
The history of the band may best be characterised as being colourful and chequered; certainly never dull! The 50th anniversary, in 2005, proved to be something of a watershed for this small village band, which culminated in a gradual process of rebuilding with a shift of emphasis away from the contest arena to concentrate on bringing an entertaining programme of light, popular music to the general public.
The band relies entirely on public donation through a busy schedule of engagements throughout the county, with regular concert performances in the village, and attendance at local fetes, street fayres, carnivals and carol concerts. Large investments have been made in new instruments, dress uniforms, waistcoats and concert stands. A book chronicling the history of the band has been produced in an amusing and witty style by one of its founder members, Alan Richards.
In October 2006 the band undertook it's first overseas trip to Igny near Paris with Crewkerne Twinning Association, which included playing in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.
Sadly in December 2007, the Band's President Cecil Gillman died after a long illness. He was a founder member of the band and for over twenty years, hosted a garden party at his home in Chiselborough.
In 2008 the band lost another of its founder members when in September, when band historian, Alan Richards died following a stroke. He attended band practice right up to the night before he was taken ill. He left a legacy of teaching and one of his last students is now a regular member of the band.
In 2009 Wayne and Rosemary Thomas took over as joint presidents of the band.
At a time when many of our traditional grass roots bands are sadly struggling, Stoke-sub-Hamdon Band continues to prosper, and is always pleased to welcome new players and the opportunity of performing at new venues. If you would like to make any enquiries about the band, come along for a blow, or book them for a concert, then please contact us.