Hebden Bridge Junior Band is proud of the town’s deep-rooted association with brass band music. The town is the birthplace of ‘Mr Brass’ himself, Harry Mortimer, CBE , the composer and conductor who specialised in brass band music. He is regarded as the world’s best ever cornet player. Harry Mortimer was one of three sons of Fred Mortimer, who was the conductor of Hebden Bridge Brass Band.
Whilst the following quote from Harry Mortimer does not refer directly to our band, it shows the atmosphere of the town perfectly!
“…it was at Hebden Bridge that my life started.
There is something about the Pennines which encourages music. The majority of bands of all grades come from the geographical area surrounding this great line of hills, and Hebden Bridge is as typical as any. Perhaps it is the sheer beauty of these hills which encourages men and women to get together to make music. Despite the noise and the rush of the modern world the Brass Band still holds its place in the lives of these people. You can still hear, on practice nights, the notes of the band on the night air: the warmth of the euphoniums, the insistence of the cornet and the steady throb of the bass. The quality of music and playing has improved almost beyond recognition in my lifetime, but the spirit has always remained the same. To be a member of the local band is as much an honour now as it has ever been.”
Hebden Bridge Junior Band was formed in October 1971 and has been going strong ever since. We practice twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays and play engagements throughout the year and are particularly busy in June and July and in the lead up to Christmas.
Regular events in our calendar include a Spring Fair and an Autumn Fair at our Hebden Bridge Bandroom. These are public events to raise funds for the band, to publicise what we do and encourage other young people to get involved. They are also important events for B Band members as B Band always plays at these fairs.
The Junior Band supports the Remembrance Sunday Parades in the valley each year, providing a marching band and church band for the Mytholmroyd service as well as buglers to play Reveille and Last Post at Mytholmroyd and Blackshawhead.
As well as supporting numerous fairs, events and charity concerts throughout the year, we usually play at one or two civic events on behalf of Hebden Royd Town Council, we join in the parade and open the Mytholmroyd Gala regularly and are the main feature at the annual Candlelighters event, Carols in the Square on Christmas Eve in Hebden Bridge.