The idea of Kearsley Youth Brass Band was first proposed in February 2010 by Stephen Tonge and Craig Mann who wanted to revive brass banding in the area of Kearsley, Bolton. The initial idea followed the renovation of Kearsley Mount Methodist church and was one of the ways in which to expand the building’s potential for use by the community.
With financial assistance from Bolton at Home, the first meeting took place on Tuesday 18th May 2010, and was attended by an incredible forty people. The first session was used to match players to instruments and, within an hour, the new players were learning how to make a sound on their instruments. After the initial five week taster course, it was decided that the band should continue up to and beyond the summer holidays, and so another four sessions were added, with the band continually growing in popularity.
Since then, the band has continued to improve and has made many local appearances at concerts, church services, and charity events in the surrounding area.
Some very proud moments for the band over the years have been several awards. In 2010 we were awarded the ‘Prosperous Community Award’ from Bolton at Home Stars of the Community. This award is given to an individual or group who has demonstrated drive and motivation to bring opportunities or investment to members of the community. This is an incredible achievement and we were delighted that our investment in local people through the hard work of our dedicated team was recognised.
In February 2016 we competed in the National Youth Brass Band Entertainment Championships of Great Britain at Blackpool's Winter Gardens. We were awarded the ‘Band with the Most Potential,’ the ‘Band with the Best Deportment,’ the ‘Most Entertaining Band’ and Runner-Up in the Music category.
Our hard working committee, headed by chairman Stephen Tonge, has also managed to secure charity status for the band, which will enable additional funding to be accessed and so benefit more children from the local community.
The band meets approximately forty times each year, with its two conductors, Mark Harrison, and Mike Hurst, and currently comprises of around 30 members.
Finally, it must be acknowledged that, from the outset, a number of dedicated adults have voluntarily given up their time to assist with the formation and day to day running of the band, with many now participating in lessons and rehearsals, having decided to learn an instrument and join in the fun ... it’s never too late to start!
In October of 2015 Craig Mann left the band to concentrate on his musical teaching career. Mark Harrison was then appointed Musical Director and Mike Hurst is Assistant Musical Director.