The Backworth Colliery Band are available to hire for music making at your next event.
The band can not only offer traditional brass band music, but are versatile and can play music to match most occasions. The band has access to over 1,000 pieces of music, but also offers a bespoke service where music for an occasion can be specifically tailored and arranged.
The common perception is that brass bands just play loud and play marches, however a quick look at our music page shows that we play a wide variety of music. We also are quite comfortable in matching our ensemble size to your circumstances, size of venue, being able to play as a full band, or in smaller numbers.
The band give concerts and play at events across the North East of England (and, subject to distance, do go further afield); examples of such performances are listed in each page of this section.
The cost of hiring the band is from £350 – e.g. for events up to 2-hours within about 30 minutes travel from Newcastle. However, costs vary depending on the type of event, time and location, music and number of players required. Note that the band is normally only available at weekends or on a week-day evening from 7pm, due to work commitments.
Quotations are usually offered on a per-engagement basis for Marching engagements, and typically depend on the location, distance on the march, and any requests made.
Any fee charged is a contribution to the running costs of the band. We are an amateur organisation with no ‘professional’ players and the Band is entirely self-funding.
Book the Band
If you are interested in booking the band for your event, please contact us.
Wedding and Church Services
Hiring a band for your wedding or church service seems a good match – bands sound great in the acoustics of a church and the bright but solemn sound of a band matches most occasions.
The band plays at many such occasions throughout the year, offering ensembles appropriate to the venue, service, and musical tastes.
Our “Wedding Service”
This service typically includes playing while guests arrive or gather before the ceremony, music to accompany the Bride down the aisle, playing during the service if required, and afterwards during the drinks reception or garden party.
By engaging directly with you we tailor our service according to your preferences and musical tastes, catering for special requests for particular music, hymns, or reception pieces.
For wedding events, whether civil or in church, we generally suggest using a smaller ensemble where the venues are more intimate or a more subdued musical effect is required. Generally a 12-15 piece ensemble is acceptable, although we can provide full band on request.
Our fees vary depending on the nature of the engagement, location, special music preparation, time, and size of band required.
Custom Musical Arrangements
The band has an in-house arranger who is able to arrange virtually any piece of music to fit the tastes of the audience. Especially in the case of weddings, it is our pleasure to play that special piece for the bride’s procession or to play the groom’s favourite hymn.
We also have access to a large library of hymn arrangements, specially written to be in the best range for vocal performance. We are also able to liaise with other performers such as an organist to organise joint performances and advise in matters such as keys and verses.
Guyzance Hall, Northumberland, July 2009
The band performed at an outdoor Wedding Picnic at Guyzance Hall in July 2009 as a celebration concert given to wedding guests and friends.
The event was made extra special in response to the bridegroom’s request that the band should march in playing “Congratulations” and surprise the guests as the band appeared.
Before the Picnic the bridgegroom emailed his selection from the Band’s online music catalogue and the concert was arranged with that selection in mind.
The band marched in, and having previously ensured that the concert platform was set up in readiness, the band – wearing mess attire – played a two hour programme to the guests.
Matfen Hall, July 2009
The band performed at Matfen Hall in July 2009 for an outdoor ceremony in the Hall’s gardens.
We performed an appropriate selection of music as the guests arrived and took their places in the outdoor marquee, and afterwards on the lawn during the drinks reception. The bride asked that “La Vie En Rose” be played as she processed from the Hall to the ceremony in the Dutch Garden, and our Musical Director arranged the piece to suit the 15-piece ensemble.
Our engagements representative liaised with the Matfen Hall wedding co-ordinator in good time before the event and with the MCs on the day, to ensure all went well.
The band played in formal mess attire, with the Musical Director in “black tie” befitting the dress code.
Durham, March 2008
The band performed at a wedding in Durham in March 2008. The request was to play a 10-12 piece band. It was asked of the band to play Brideshead Revisited as the bride processed, to play a number of hymns, and to play the congregation out to the Wedding March.
The Musical Director arranged the music as requested for the required number of players and the band rehearsed these pieces on a practice night before the wedding to ensure suitability. The Musical Director attended the wedding dress rehearsal, to ensure that the entrance music was of the correct duration for its purpose, and to liaise with the church as to when the band was to play.
Bamburgh Castle, July 2007
The band was requested to play at Bamburgh Castle in July 2007, to perform at a private wedding. The band was to perform outside the castle, to provide musical entertainment before and after the wedding, and to perform a suitable fanfare.
The Musical Director met with the bride’s family to discuss choice of music. It was decided 15 players would be a optimal number, and that the before wedding music was to be of a Geordie nature, and the second half to be more upbeat. A suitable fanfare was chosen and performed by our cornet section.
The band plays at many outdoor events throughout the year, at events such as:
- Agricultural Shows (i.e. Glendale Show, Allendale Show, Slaley Show)
- Local Parks (such as Heaton Park, Jesmond Dene and Richardson Dees Park)
- Festivals (i.e.Warkworth Flower Show)
- Historic Events (i.e. North Shields Fish Quay, Royal Quays Marina, Lifeboat Days)
- Private Events (such as garden parties, birthday and anniversaries, fun days)
We able play Christmas Music and Christmas Carols outdoors, at events such as the North Shields Victorian Market and outside local shops and shopping centres.
Brass Band Concerts
The band play many formal concerts over the North East throughout the year. The band draws a wide following from traditional brass band supporters in the area who enjoy the good music we play.
A formal ‘sit down’ concert usually consists of two, 50 minute halves of music. The music is normally selected by the Musical Director to match the occasion and audience. However we do often tailor programmes to a ‘theme’ at the suggestion of the host. Themes we have used in the past are:
- Film music
- Selections from Musicals
- ‘Geordie’ Nights
- World War II/1940’s
- Music from around the world
- Last Night of the Proms
- Christmas Music
We have performed in many venues of late, from the Whitely Bay Playhouse and Theatre Royal, to Backworth Community Centre.
The band has also performed as part of a joint concert, with other ensembles or with a guest soloist.
Corporate Live Music
Are you looking for something different for your corporate event? The Backworth Colliery Band offer a live musical experience different to many others, as well as the positive impact of supporting a community-based organisation.
The band offers the following services to businesses:
- Performance at outdoor events
- Awards dinners
- P.R. events
…and many more – as everyone’s requirements are different, so are we.
We also have the ability to arrange and compose music specifically for any event, and we also are able to ‘brand’ the band for specific occasions in your name. Why not hire a real colliery band in your name for your next business occasion?
Smaller Brass Groups
As well as the traditional 25-piece brass band, we also offer smaller numbers to meet those occasions when 25 players are just too many.
We offer the following combinations to hire:
- 12 piece brass band
- 10 piece brass band
- German Umpa-Band formations
We have many pieces of music to fit these ensembles, and we can also arrange music to suit by arrangement.
Marching Brass Band
The members of Backworth Colliery Band have much experience performing as a marching band.
The band perform many outdoor marches throughout the year, from traditional events such as Remembrance Sunday and Durham Miners Gala, to filming for BBC programmes.
The marching band is led by a percussion section, usually bass drum and side drum.
Hire for Media: Film, Radio and TV
Backworth Colliery Band has featured many times in the media.
Although the band is an amateur organisation, we are a professional set of people to deal with, both responsive and articulate. The band is available for media work both in the North East and across the UK.
The band plays many concerts at Christmas Time. We are available to play Christmas music such as:
- Christmas Carol Concerts
- Joint Concerts with choirs or other ensembles
- Smaller groups
- Outdoor and Community playing
The band’s library contains music from all spheres of Christmas and Celebration, from hymns to traditional carols to popular songs to congregational sing-a-longs. A sample list is available here.