September 28, 2015
In photos: Burnham and Highbridge Band celebrates 70th anniversary

A celebratory concert was held on Sunday night (September 27th) to mark the 70th anniversary of the formation of Burnham and Highbridge Band.

Burnham and Highbridge's Mayor and Mayoress, Cllrs Michael and Maria Clarke, were the special guests at the celebration, held in front of a capacity audience at The Princess Theatre.

Musical Stephen Sykes, pictured with the Mayor and Mayoress, said it was a big milestone for the long-running group.

The band was formed in 1945, mostly from ex-servicemen who formed an ad-hoc group playing a variety of instruments but mostly pipes and drums. As a result of keen interest shown by local people and businessmen the band rapidly expanded and by 1947 had become a full brass ensemble, when it was given official status by the then Urban District Council.

The band has continued to provide music for the people of Burnham and Highbridge and indeed to a much wider audience continuously since. From 1952 until the beginning of the 2000s the band was involved in the brass band contesting scene with a variety of results, of some of which the band can be justly proud.

It is now a well-respected concert band, well known in the area for its Princess Theatre Sunday evening concerts, church concerts and background music at a number of local shows during the summer months.

Sadly, last year the band lost its long-standing Musical Director, David Fisher, but the baton was passed to up-and-coming young brass specialist Steven Sykes, above. Stephen was twice the British Open Solo Champion for his trombone playing and was also BBC Young Brass Soloist Of The Year. He is an ex-Principal Trombone of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Sunday's wide-ranging concert saw performances of Death Or Glory, The Impressario, Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair, Happy, Pastorale, Chorale and Rock Out, American Trilogy, Amparito Roca, I Dreamed A Dream, 2nd Movement Concerto De Aranjuez, Born Free, Love Changes Everything, Singing In The Rain, and Breezin Down Broadway.

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