The Band was formed in March 1978 by the late Leighton Rich M.B.E. as there was no opportunity in Harrogate for young people to play in a Brass Band. About 15 young people turned up to the first practice and they had to have a collection to fund money for the gas meter to keep the room warm.
As word got around the schools, more people became interested and the numbers grew to about 28 very quickly. Lack of instruments was a problem but some were donated and some members had their own, so they just about managed.
Within a year they were entering competitions in the area and even winning some. Growth has continued and since 2008, when they were provided with their own Bandroom, they now have up to 90 members.
There are four bands: a Training Group, Junior Band, Intermediate Band and the Senior Band. Starting from age six they stay until the age of under 19. Fortunately, they have always had a good turnover of parents as the members progress who work hard to maintain and develop the interests of the band.
Since first entering in 1980, Tewit Senior and Intermediate Bands have won the competition 24 out of the 34 times it’s been running. The Junior Band have won their class around 12 times.
The Senior Band have entered most years and are regularly placed in the top six in their class, gaining Gold awards for third place in 2014 and 2016. They have gained Silver awards most other years. The Intermediate Band have also entered over the last few years and have achieved a Silver award in their class.
In their first year of entering in 2016, Tewit Senior Band won the competition outright, beating eight adult and one youth band in the process.
Regularly competing, aiming to achieve seven to eight marches, and have a good record of prizes, claiming Youth Section, Soloist and Deportment prizes on most visits. In 2009, five prizes were awarded and again in 2010 when they won the overall Deportment prize at Delph against 79 bands, adult and youth. Since then they average between seven and ten prizes each visit and have also won the overall Top Youth Band prize.
Numerous other competitions have been entered throughout the country, including the National Festival of Youth where they have played at the Royal Festival Hall, London, Symphony Hall and Birmingham Town Hall on a number of occasions. They have also competed in Germany, where they won a marching Competition in Schwandorf, Bavaria, and Bekescsaba, Hungary, where they competed against many bands from the Eastern Block.
Tewit Youth Band were the first British youth brass band to tour in Hungary, having hosted the Hungarian Band in Harrogate during the Easter Festival.
Having hosted their band in Harrogate during the Easter Festival
Played in Worms, Germanyt.
A return exchange to celebrate 10 years since the last exchange visit. They also hosted their band in Harrogate during the Easter Festival and renewed friendships.
Hosted their band at the Easter Festival.
Having hosted their band during the Easter Festival.
Concerts were performed at Salzburg, Zell am Zee, Berchtesgaden and Kitzbuhl.
Concerts were performed in Luxemburg, Trier, Koblenz and at a Wine Festival on the river
Concert were performed at Disneyland, Jardin de Luxemburg, Notre Dame and in the Royal Chapel at Fontainebleau Palace.
Concerts were performed in Cologne on the way out and back. Main concerts were in Prague at St Nicholas Church in the old town square and at the Spa Colonnades in the beautiful spa town of Karlovy Vary. The final concert was at Podebrady, east of Prague.
First concert was played in the mountain town of Herterzarten in the Black Forest with the local town band Trachtenkappelle, which was extremely successful. We then played beside the Cathedral in Strasbourg to a full audience. Going south they travelled to the small French town, Obernai, playing in the market square which was packed.
Finally playing at Germany’s largest Theme Park, Europa Park, where they had the freedom of the park afterwards.
Performing numerous concert around Lake Constance and a special Beer Festival at Rangendingen, whose band had visited Harrogate that year for the Easter Festival. At one town square concert there were over 1,000 people in the audience enjoying every minute.
In August of this year we were invited to travel to Luchon, in the French Pyrenees, which is Harrogate’s twin town, to play at their Fetes des Fleur Festival with great success for three days.
Based just outside Koblenz they played numerous concert along the Rhine and Mosel rivers.
Once again attended the Fetes des Fleur in Harrogate’s twin town of Luchon and equally enjoyed the hectic three days of concerts and marching. They travelled back through the beautiful Dordogne Region of France performing concerts on the way.
Tewit Youth Band have played in every Festival since 1979, with distinction!
Each year all three bands aim to get involved in some outdoor weekend activities at various venues throughout the area. Senior and Intermediate Bands usually stay for the weekends to help build the ‘Team Spirit’ and good relationships. The Junior Band have one day activities usually.
The bands perform over 30 concerts throughout the year, some of which are for charity organisation, for example the Royal Hall Restoration Fund, St. Michael’s Hospice, The Martin House Children’s Hospice, Harrogate Lions etc.
A grant of £27,000 was made to the band from the National Lottery in 1998, which helped substantially to provide new instruments to expand the numbers. A continuous effort is made to raise money for new instruments and subsidise band activities.
In September 2008 the Band moved into their new premises at the old Methodist Church in Huby. They are greatly indebted to Liz and Terry Bramall for purchasing and refurbishing the hall for all three bands to rehearse simultaneously.
The main Sponsors are Hornbeam Park Developments Limited who recently provided new Bomber Jackets for all the band members, for which we are extremely grateful.
Colin W Gibbs
President, Tewit Youth Band