A ‘SPECIAL’ youth brass band is to reform for a one-off 50th anniversary concert.

Three years late thanks to Covid, the reunion of the Cheshire County Youth Brass Band will draw 60 former players - from as far away as New Zealand and Singapore - for a full day of rehearsals followed by a concert on Saturday, September 2. 

The event takes place at The Grange Theatre in Hartford, which is close to their former home base at Mid Cheshire College Northwich.

The band was formed in 1970 by former Chester music advisor, Peter Room, and was open to talented young musicians from across the county.

It went on to play all around the world, most notably in the United States, after a cultural exchange programme was set up by a Cheshire-born British diplomat, Peter Manning-Smith, centring on Chester County, Delaware.

The band held its final performance in 2012, followed by a single reunion concert in 2015, with a further 50th anniversary reunion concert cancelled in 2020 due to COVID.

Founding musical director, Peter Room, who is now 91, said: “It’s difficult to say what made the band so special.

“We all made such good friends and playing music together is what made it great.

“When there are 60 people together it always sounds good.”

Peter will be leading part of the concert, along with colleagues David Lancashire and Anthony Bowen-Lewis.

In the second half, past members who have gone on to conduct bands themselves will conduct a piece each.

These will include David Woollam of Cheshire Police Band, Jackie Keating of Helsby Concert Band, Emma Clark of Co-operative Youth Band, and Mike Eccles of Poynton Youth Brass Band.

Major Paul Collis-Smith, current musical director of the British Army’s Household Cavalry Band, will also conduct a medley of famous British marches.

Concert organiser, David Lancashire, said: “This will be a wonderful day of old friends coming together from all over the world”.

The concert begins at 7pm. Tickets are available online through TicketSource, and can be found by searching Cheshire youth brass band.