The Stockport Plaza plays host to the Stockport Schools’ Brass Bands (SSBB) 40th year gala concert on Saturday, June 16.
More than 100 players from the current SSBB bands and the Reunion Band will be performing and then joining together on stage to play the finale.
The SSBB has nurtured brass and percussion players from across Greater Manchester since its inception in 1978.
One of the founder members, Helen Williams, is now a soloist with Cory Band in south Wales, the number-one ranked brass band in the world.
“Playing for Stockport Schools’ Brass Band helped fire my enthusiasm for music as a teenager and gave me the confidence to push my playing and brass teaching career forwards to where it is now,” she said.
Helen is not the only SSBB player who has gone on to make a career in music and the Reunion Band, made up of around 60 ex-members, will feature a number of professional brass players from across the north west and further afield as Major Justin Matthews, musical adviser to the Jordanian Armed Forces, returns to play at the weekend.
Bob Wyatt, who was musical director at SSBB for 17 years, is looking forward to catching up with old friends and will be represented in the Reunion Band with all three of his children taking to the stage. Bob’s son Tony will be conducting the band alongside Phil Pavey and James Holt.
Alice Bell, administrator of the SSBB, has been overwhelmed by the number of ex-players who want to join the Reunion Band.
She said: “I have been associated with the Stockport Schools’ Brass Bands for the past nine years and it has always been clear that the SSBB is not just an organisation but a warm and welcoming family.
“As an organisation we are very proud of all our members who have continued to play at whatever level, demonstrating that banding is so often a real hobby for life and reinforces how important organisations like SSBB are.”
Tickets for this event, which starts at 7pm, can be purchased from the Stockport Plaza website or direct from the new box office inside the theatre on Mersey Square.