Long Melford Silver Band on the village green

Long Melford: String of festive engagements for brass band

Monday, December 24, 2012
11.55 AM

CHRISTMAS is the busiest time of the year for one of Suffolk’s most long-established musical groups.

The Long Melford Silver Band, which formed in 1890, has been in the throes of a string of festive engagements, ranging from appearing at street fairs and carol services to performing at its own Christmas concert.

At this year’s event, which has become a yuletide favourite in Long Melford, the band performed a version of Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, arranged by multi-talented musician and cornet player Stuart Mathieson.

He said: “This is the first time one of my arrangements has been performed in a UK concert, so it was a real privilege to premiere it in front of local people.”

The band initially had a strong connection with the Suffolk Regiment 2nd Volunteer Battalion and became the band of ‘C’ company until 1911.

Following a difficult period during the Second World War, the musicians hit a high note in 1949 when they won a silver cup in the first band contest they entered.

What had been the Long Melford Brass Band up to that point was renamed The Long Melford Silver Prize Band in honour of the event. Since 2005, the musicians have travelled to Ypres in Belgium every year for an intensive practice weekend, which also gives band members a chance to visit some of the First World War battlefields and cemeteries, and to play at the Menin Gate Remembrance Day service. The band is always looking for new members. Call Martin Gore on 01787 372439 for details.