Northampton Scout Band - History

The 'Northampton District Scout Band' was formed in 1972. This was at the time when all of the Northampton Scout Groups formed a common Town District. Membership of the band was restricted to active scouts of 11yrs and older. Its first public appearance was to head to District St. Georges Day Parade in 1973 when the band incorporated just a bass drum, side drums and cavalry trumpets. The next few years saw gradual expansion and development.

Requests for performances came thick and fast to head Individual Group Church Parades and attend social functions, both within and outside of the Scout Movement. Continuous fundraising allowed further instruments to be purchased with the addition of two, and then four, Bell Lyre's, together with Tenor Drums. The band became prominent throughout the town. Public acclaimation came with regular appearances in the then annual Northampton Carnival Parade.

In 1978 it was decided to go ahead with the organisation of a European tour. This tour was supported in a small way by the then Northampton Town Develop Council. Application was made to the Northampton Town Council for the permission to wear and display the Nothampton Town Coat of Arms. This was granted and was bestowed at a ceremony by the Mayor.

Overwhelming receptions in towns and cities throughout France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium brought about two further tours undertaken in 1980 and 1982. These tours meant that the band performed to enthusiastic crowds in some 40 venues throughout the aforementioned countries and also in Germany and Austria.

National UK performances extended to some of the well-known theme parks such as The American Adventure and Thorpe Park. Throughout this time expansion continued when Cavalry Trumpets were replaced with valved instruments. Euphoniums, Saxophones and Triple Drums were introduced.

The maximum membership reached 45 performing Scouts. Recruitment later became difficult and so membership was successfully extended to the Girl Guide Association. When The Northampton Scout District was subdivided into Northampton East, West and Brixworth Districts, the band was renamed 'Northampton Scout Band.'

One very successful final tour was undertaken in 1992 when the band was based at the Scout Centre at Wiltz in Luxembourg with excursions into Germany with performances in Cologne, Koblenz and othe venues.

Following Leadership problems the band was forced to close until a new Bandmaster took over in 1994.

The band has been competing against other T.Y.M.B.A. bands in competitions since 1996. The band has played at many prestigeous events including Her Magesty the Queen's 70th Birthday in London. The band has also played alongside The Royal Marines and The Royal Air Force in various Tattoos across the country.

The band's first trip overseas since reformation was to Paris, but the band competed internationally for the first time in the World Marching Show Band Championships in Calgray, Canada, 2000 and won a bronze award which was a very big acheivement for possibly the youngest and smallest band in the competition. The trip was a very enjoyable and memorable experience for all who went. Whilst on the trip the band played in The Calgray Stampede Parade as part of The Massed Scout and Guide Bands of the United Kingdom.

After this 2001 was a very busy year for the band playing at many local events and competing in more T.Y.M.B.A. Competitions allowing themselves to work their way up the Contest Class. Early in 2001 the band played in the Northampton Gang Show at Derngate theatre performing a 'Stomp' style routine and one of the band's usual tunes. Also in 2001 as well as the many local fetes and carnivals the band attended they played at the opening to the local international Scout Jamboree - Nailer. 3rd Davyhulme Scout & Guide Band also came down to play together and both bands were praised by the Northamptonshire County Commisioner for their performance.

Then in 2002 the band had what was possibly their most successful competing year. They competed in six competitions winning more than 30 trophies during the year leading them to become Overall Contest Class Champions. This success meant that the band were promoted to Championship Class for the first time in their history. This sucess was documented in local press. 2002 was also the year of the Queen's Golden Jubilee and this allowed the band to lead representatives of the Scout and Guide Movements from around their local area in a huge parade around the town; a great honour. Later on in the year the band were privelidged to be asked to lead Father Christmas and mascots from the Saints Rugby team and Cobblers Football team through the town centre before they turned on the christmas lights. This was an enjoyable occassion for the band as it allowed them to play christmas carols and brought attention to them in the local area.

2003 promised to be a good year for the band and they won a few trophies and enjoyed playing at many local carnivals and fetes in the Northampton Area, boosting their local reputation.

Unfortuanately the band lost a lot of members at the beginning of 2004, but they also recruited many new members which were a lot younger and more inexperienced. But still they practiced hard and focused on one big competition - the World Marching Show Band Championships which were to be held in Bournemouth, England. The band were very young but they worked together to play what was probably the most complicated music and routine the band has ever had. The band were given a bronze award for this - quite an accomplishment considering this was most members' first competition.

In 2007 a new Bandmaster took the reins.

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