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This page is part of an archive of historical details from existing or defunct brass band websites. This is being maintained to provide a record of this information in the event of a band folding, its website disappearing or other loss of the historical record. Where possible, and appropriate, the information cached will be updated from time to time - and any corrections or updates are welcome.



Dronfield Band

The Dronfield Temperance Brass Band was wound up in the late forties but in 1970 the deputy headmaster of Henry Fanshawe School, Ian Cottier, placed an article in the parish magazine about "banding" and in response, Mrs. Higginbottom, widow of the last conductor of the defunct Temperance Band donated two pounds in the form of a postal order towards the reformation of the band. The New Dronfield Band was born and practised in the front room of someone's house

The band performed its first engagement on Armistice Sunday 1970. Keith Oldman one of the original players that day is still with the band. In 1984 the band left Dronfield to take up the offer of sponsorship from the Staveley Works, rehearsing in the works canteen. The band actively contested in the 2nd section as well as securing success in other contests including at least one first prize under its then musical director Mr Don Blakeson.

In 1991 sponsorship was offered by the Stagecoach East Midlands Bus Company and rehearsals commenced on their work premises that year.

At the beginning of 1994 the bus company advised the band of the proposed redevelopment of the premises and we relocated to Chesterfield Miners Welfare during that year. Several temporary prctice rooms and three musical directors followed but ties with Dronfield were never entirely broken over this period with the annual Christmas performance at the Hallowes Golf Club and additional concerts in the Dronfield Civic Centre and the Contact Club.

Following a concert on behalf of the town twinning organisation the band renewed former contact with the Sindelfingen Band Germany in 1995. With an exchange visit due from our foreign visitors the following year and mindful of the ties with Dronfield and the support within the town we decided to try and return. The Present...

The circle was completed in January 1996 when Exel Logistics offered use of their board room for rehearsals. A few years later the band moved to the recently renovated Coal Aston Village Hall where we currently rehearse. In 2002 a replacement set of instruments was secured through the national lottery and the Training Band was formed; they utilise the old set of instruments along with with additional new ones bought through band funds.

In 2004, the band returned to Sindelfingen to tour the region and perform with the Sindelfingen Band at the local festival.

2006 saw the band travel to Switzerland, performing throughout the Bernese Oberland. This was followed by another visit to the beautiful country in 2009.

At the end of 2008, the band reached a crisis point, with no musical director and falling morale within the band. With the prestigious Butlins Contest looming, John Davis agreed to step in as conductor, meaning we were able to compete.

In March 2009, the band came second in the Midlands Regionals Contest, securing an invitation to the National Finals in Harrogate for the first time. Here, the band was absolutely delighted to come second!

The following January in 2010, the band returned to Butlins, determined to live up to our new-found reputation. We did just that and won the contest for the first time in the band's history.

Last year, the band made its move to a more appropriate rehearsal venue. The committee at Coal Aston Village Hall could only offer us the smallest room in the building and so with a band of 30 players and an increasing collection of percussion equipment, we could no longer rehearse there. After months of searching, the band finally moved into the Michael Church in Lowedges.

Continuing the band's recent success story, October 2010 saw another second place in a long-standing brass band competition when the band travelled to North Wales to compete at Pontins.

At the beginning of 2011, the band returned to Skegness, hoping to retain the title. The band beat off stiff competition to once again win the Butlins Contest, taking home the title for a second year.

Due to the move from Coal Aston to Lowedges, this means that Dronfield Band now competes in the Yorkshire Area and after coming second at the Yorkshire Regionals Contest in March, we will be taking the name of Dronfield to a national level as we compete for the title at the National Brass Band Championships in September.

Taking Dronfield even further afield, the band has just returned from a tour of Belgium, performing in Bruges, Leuven, Brussels and at the Menin Gate service in Ypres.