The origins of Hitchin Band date back to 1866. Last year the band had a busy time celebrating its 150th anniversary, beginning with the appointment of Graham Chambers as Musical Director and shortly afterwards securing third prize in the First Section at the L&SC Area, where Principal Cornet Dinah Birch was also awarded Best Soloist prize.
Anniversary celebrations continued with a Reunion Event attracting past players from up to 50 years ago and visitors from as far away as the USA, a Twinning Exchange with guests from Sponsheim Band in Germany and packed concerts for the Rhythms of the World Festival and celebrations for the Queen’s Birthday. Other highlights included an Anniversary Concert showcasing music throughout the band’s history and a performance of live music to accompany the film “Brassed Off”.
Hitchin Band’s new CD “Because” was released in December, with the title track specially commissioned for Hitchin’s Solo Horn player, Sarah Gibbons. Every month since its release at least three tracks from the CD have appeared in the allbrassradio.com Top 20.
Volunteers from Hitchin run the Hitchin Youth Band as well as the newly formed Hitchin Community Brass. Now with three bands in their organisation and opportunities for players at all levels, Hitchin Band is making every effort to ensure the successful future of brass band music in their region.
This year’s First Section Area contest at Stevenage saw Hitchin retain the third place trophy for the second year running and Hitchin are looking forward to the National Finals.
First Nationals appearance since 2013 (Section 1). Total of 14 previous Nationals appearances, best result was winning S3 2012. Qualified for National finals for 4 consecutive years from 1980-1983 (80-81 S3, 82-83 S2), then had to wait 10 years to qualify again.
Principal Cornet: Dinah Birch
Soprano Cornet: Jess Gales
Flugel Horn: Sarah Findon
Solo Horn: Sarah Gibbons
Solo Euphonium: Keith Birch
Solo Trombone: Mike Thorn
Principal Bass: Ian Miles
Principal Percussionist: Emily Prince