Today is Whit Friday and, although the bands will not be parading through the streets of Tameside, celebrations will still be going ahead with the sound of brass ringing through the air.
The decision to postpone the 2021 Tameside contests was made in January after the Friends of Tameside Whit Friday Brass Band Contests believed it was the safest action to take.
However, it doesn’t mean that anyone has to miss out on the music they love so much.
Foden’s Band, the reigning open champions, are staging a repeat of the online Whit Friday contest that proved so popular last year to help keep the 150-year-old tradition alive.
Foden’s have generously agreed to donate all entry fees and money raised through their crowdfunding campaign to the Tameside and Saddleworth Whit committees.
You can watch these online contests here:
Tameside Cultural Services have also produced their own ‘movie’ tribute to brass music.
In an exciting collaboration, the council team has brought together members from eight of the borough’s bands for a video that celebrates brass music and tradition, praising bands that have managed to survive after so many months without concerts.
Produced with the help of Tameside Music Service and Tameside Brass Band Association, this video presents 30 musicians playing in the borough’s green spaces and parks appearing against a soundtrack of JA Greenwood rousing tune, ‘True and Trusty.’
It will be made available on the council’s social media channels from today and you are able to watch it here:
Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council's executive member with responsibility for culture, said: “I have often said brass bands and their music form part of Tameside’s soul. By producing this video, we are showing our support for that long tradition.
“For many of the participants- all of whom told us how much they enjoyed the experience- it was the first time they had worn their uniform in more than a year.
“Hopefully our video will spread the word that even after 14 months of lockdowns and restrictions brass music is still alive and well, and encourage more people to take an interest ahead of 2022 when the Tameside Whit Friday contests will be back.”
The participating bands were Ashton-under-Lyne Brass Band, Hattersley Brass, the Incredible Plastic Street Band, Mossley Band, Mossley Hollins Brass Band, St John’s Band (Mossley), Stalybridge Community Brass and Stalybridge Old Band.
Covid restrictions were all observed at the time during the production of the video.
On Friday morning, St John's Band performed outside the Co-op in Mossley and our very own Nigel Wood was there to capture it for us...