History of Brass Bands 
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The First Brass Band?

For some time it was assumed that the New Mills Old Prize Band, said to have originated in 1812, was the oldest brass band in Britain. Nevertheless, the Coxlodge Institute Band of Durham was founded in 1802, and other claimants to the title include the Nottingham City Guild Brass Band - documentation showing it having played an anthem for Wolfe's victory at Quebec in 1759, and Besses o' th' Barn Band - which first appeared as Cleggs' Reed Band in the 1790's.

However, it is unlikely that any one of those bands was an all-brass ensemble at its inception - several date from the early 19th century or before, but they originated as reed or mixed wind instrument groups. References have been made to the formation of an all-brass band in Blaina, Monmouthshire, in 1823, 1830 and 1832, and another band in York in 1831 and 1833. Although dates conflict, it would seem that the honour of being the first brass band established in Britain lies with the Blaina ensemble - so far...