St Boswells Concert Band
Peake Pasha in his book on the Village "Change at St Boswells" describes the Band as like the legendary bird, the Phoenix – periodically it dies only to rise again from its own ashes.
Founded in 1858, this, the first band lasted for about ten years. It reincarnated in 1896, but had to find new instruments as the original ones had all disappeared. After donations and a house to house collection sufficient was raised to purchase the core instruments: 4 Cornets, 2 Tenor horns, 1 Baritone, 1 Euphonium and 2 E Flat Bombardens. A drum was added the following year, a conductor, Mr Gray, appointed and before long the Band was performing in public. During 1898 the Band gave 52 public performances, giving Saturday evening concerts and visiting the local Mansion Houses.
The strength having risen to 20, more new instruments were added, bringing the total to 20 plus the drum.
The band died again about 1910, but after other failed attempts to revive it, it rose again in 1945 for a short time, folding again because the instruments had once again vanished.
The present band, formed in 1946, is some 24 strong and is made up of players from all over the Borders.
It performs at events throughout the year in St Boswells and in neighbouring towns and villages, both indoors and out.
The Full Band meets every Monday evening in the Community Wing in Newtown St Boswells at 7 pm for practice.
New members are always being sought, and, in addition to those who are already competent players, beginners who are keen to learn should get in touch. This is especially important, as, in the past, many of the younger members have come through Brass Tuition in the area's Secondary Schools, but with financial restraints in the education service, the imposition of tuition fees for music may well affect the numbers of young people becoming band members.
Recent funding from the Lottery has allowed the purchase of a set of new instruments.
Helen Robertson, assisted by son Gordon, has made a web archive of the photographs of St Boswells Concert Band which Martin Innes had collected and put into albums. As this web album has a limited life on line, those wishing to have a copy should download it into Picasa, a picture handling program which is available free by download from Google at
Picasa 3 Download.
Archive of Photographs of St Boswells Concert Band
Helen Robertson's Slideshow of St Boswells Concert Band
St Boswells Concert Band, Scotland