Pittington Band History

Pittington Band History

The idea of a village band originated with Mary Pearce, from her knowledge that Pittington had a thriving group of young brass players at the local junior school. When her husband, John Pearce, acquired sixteen old instruments the idea became a reality. Elizabeth Armstrong (nee Johnson), a teacher at the school, agreed to be the conductor of the assembled group of local enthusiasts and on 1st November 1992 Pittington Brass was formed.

We entered the Teesdale Brass Band Contest in 1994 and 2000 and gained a fourth place at the Durham County Brass Band League Grading Contest, under the baton of David McLean, in 1995.

Prominent appearances have been made at the Durham Miners Gala (pictured above) every year since 1997 with the banner from Vane Tempest. We also appear in the parks of Gateshead and Darlington during the summer months.

Several conductors have helped the band over the years, Fiona Rolfe, Jason Smith, Cecil Peacock and Alex Lewis. In the spring of this year we lost the services of Phil Jackson (Conductor and Principal Cornet) who along with Janet Dixon, a founder member and Mr Les Haywood have moved on to pastures new.

                   ******We are now under the Musical Direction of Mr. Richard Stelling******

In more recent years we have been involved with other ventures Maintaining our contact with the local Primary School eventually brought a group of promising youngsters into the band. Les found time to give them extra tuition and they were soon helping out at concerts etc. As the band and its repertoire grew, our name became well known in the North East and requests to play at new venues appeared every year. In 2004 we were asked to play on the BBC programme Songs of Praise at Beamish Museum.

More recently (2011) the band took part in a collaboration with a local group Winter North Atlantic, including a combined concert at the Durham Live Lounge, and terminating in a joint session at the Gala Theatre in Durham for the Journal newspaper Awards ceremony.

The band is always enthusiastic about taking part in the Durham County Council Festival of Brass in July each year, and have had lively sessions with German band Beat n Blow. As part of the 2012 Festival, we held a very successful concert with French band Funky Style Brass, and repeated the experience in 2013 with Italian BandBandakadabra. Another highlight of 2013 was in July when we provided the music for a 3 night presentation of BRASSED OFF by the Oil Lamp Production Co. in the Assembly rooms in Durham, and much, more……