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St Stythians Band
St Stythians Band was founded in 1928, in the village of Stithians. Stithians is a rural Cornish village, located between Redruth and Falmouth. At the time of the band's formation, Stithians was the only village in the area that didn't boast a brass band, and a group of villagers decided that this had to change. At the time of its formation, not one of the 30 volunteer members could even produce a note on a brass instrument, but the band nonetheless proved popular, with a waiting list of dozens more wanting to join, and with many hours of practise the group devloped into a competent outfit, featuring in many local concerts and contests right up until 1939.
The band disbanded for the World War II, and most members served, with two making the supreme sacrifice. Soon after the war the band reformed, and with the appointment of Edgar Floyd as Musical Director they flourished, becoming one of Cornwall's leading bands. They soon started appearing twice-weekly at the Gyllyngdune Gardens in Falmouth, quickly building up an audience in at the venue numbering over 1000: the band still appears at this venue on Sunday evenings throughout the Summer to this day. At one point in this period St Stythians defeated Cornwall's banding elite to win the top section of the Bugle Contest, as well as competing in the notorious Grand Shield in Blackpool.
Between the mid 60's to the late 70's the band took a break from contesting to focus on their concert work, before re-emerging at contests once more in the 3rd section. Several conductors have wielded the baton since, taking the band to locations such as Malta and Germany, and entering many contests, with the band hitting a contesting peak of entering the 2nd Section National Finals in the early nineties. A lottery grant in 1999 enabled the band to purchase a complete set of new instruments, and the Training Band started to flourish in the early '00s, boasting 25 members, and winning the SWBBA and CBBA Junior Section titles.
Nina Davey, a popular regional radio broadcaster, became president of St Stythians Band in 2004, and appears at many of the band's concerts as a compere. Renowned brass musician John Berryman agreed to conduct the band in a professional capacity during 2006, culminating in the band winning the West of England 2nd Section Bandsman's Festival title at Bugle Contest. The band's association with John Berryman continued into 2008, when he took his own GUS Band to Cornwall to appear at the Band's 80th anniversary celebratory concert.
The band now competes in the 3rd section under Musical Director James Burns. St Stythians is a friendly band, and always welcomes new members into the fold. The band is also open to invitations for concert appearances, and has appeared at weddings, fetes, grand openings, ship-launches and many other events in recent years.