Still Mighty at Ninety
On 2nd January 1933, ninety years ago this year, a press release in the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph announced the formation of a works brass band at the Munn & Felton shoe factory in Kettering. Just two years later the band were Champions of Great Britain, and so the legend began.
Ninety years later and the band has no less than a World Championship title, two British Open titles, six National Champion titles, and no less than eighteen Midland Champion titles to its name. Since their first historic championship win in 1935, the band has gone through several name changes, reflecting its corporate sponsors but whatever the name, the high standard of performance has continued to this day and to celebrate these amazing achievements, a special celebratory anniversary concert is to be held to honour all the players that have been lucky enough to literally play a part in this band’s illustrious history.
This momentous concert will be held in the band’s hometown of Northampton on Sunday 24th September and will feature The GUS Band (currently in the Top 20 brass bands in the world), as well as a reunion band made up of over fifty past players of the band before a grand, massed band finale.
Also eagerly anticipated will be the feature of four soloists during the concert. Three are also former players with The GUS Band, namely James Fountain, now Principal Trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Fountain, now Principal Trumpet of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, and Jordan Ashman, BBC Young Musician of the Year 2022, while Dr David Thornton, Euphonium tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music is the band’s Professional Conductor, but also one of the most respected euphonium soloists in the world, having played for the likes of the Black Dyke Band and Brighouse and Rastrick.
Speaking of the upcoming concert, the band’s Musical Director, Christopher Bond said “To be able to celebrate the band’s 90th anniversary with such a brilliant event is really very special. The calibre of soloists alone is phenomenal, but in combination with the current GUS Band and GUS Reunion Band, it will be a truly phenomenal way to celebrate the 90-year history of this world-famous brass band”.
Tickets for this event are on sale now at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/thegusband.