The Kennedy Center

The Harwich Royal British Legion Brass Band



Biography

The Harwich Royal British Legion Brass Band hails from Harwich, England, a coastal town on the Eastern side of the Isle, due West, across the Channel from Amsterdam. The band formed in 1958 as an adult further education class and was originally named the Grange Band, after the education centre of Harwich. From the onset, the school provided the practice facilities and instruments, but slowly as the band became ever more popular and successful, they began to raise sufficient funds to purchase their own instruments. In the early 1970s the band became independent from the education authority to allow younger players to join and was re-named the Harwich Concert Band. With a larger spectrum of players the band now enjoyed greater success, and won many prizes in regional brass band competitions. During this period the band donned their familiar blue concert jackets. The blue jackets are still worn today.

Unfortunately during the 1980s the popularity of the band started to decline and it struggled to keep many of its players, and by 1989 only 6 musicians remained. In the latter part of 1992 efforts to rejuvenate the band with a vigorous recruiting campaign started. A new musical director was appointed and many new players were recruited, allowing the band to continue playing. During 1994 the band became sponsored by the Harwich branch of the Royal British Legion, and thus proudly adopted its current name. The sponsorship gave the band much needed stability and yet again it grew in popularity.

During the summer of 2000 the band appointed its current Musical Director, Mr. Antony Sanders. Prior to joining the band, Antony Sanders played euphonium in several championship section brass bands, and has won many awards throughout southern England in recognition of his talent and musicianship. His enthusiasm has had a positive effect on the band, which continues to attract many new players. He is very keen on youth development. His vision is responsible for the creation of the Apprentice Band and the Harwich RBL Music School. Antony holds a Certificate of Teaching from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM).

The band continues to grow in numbers, strength and spirit. Since 2000 the Band has toured overseas to southern Spain, Holland and three Europeade Festivals in Belgium, France and Denmark. Today the band consists of over 35 players of all ages ranging from 11 years-old to mid-sixties. Most of their concerts are performed within the Tendring peninsula and many are given in aid of local charities. The band is currently ranked 1st in the fourth section of the London & Southern Counties region.
The Harwich Royal British Legion Brass Band