This brass band originally began as a small ensemble based at Queenshead, later Queensbury, West Yorkshire, England, in 1816. The owner of Black Dyke Mills, John Foster, played the French Horn, but beginning to experience problems through diminishing members they disbanded and the Queenshead Band was formed in 1833. When that band met with difficulties then John Foster established them as the mill band in 1855, adding more members, with the majority being workers there, and giving them uniforms that were made at the mill.
In 1857 John Foster was granted armorial bearings and the band logo uses the stag and Latin quotation translated as “Act Justly and Fear Nothing” which both come from these bearings.
Being one of the oldest brass bands in the world, they still rehearse in the original premises and through their concerts, tours, competition appearances and recordings have become internationally recognised. Performing with many renowned artists in classical and popular music, they have recorded over 120 albums, often with celebrated artists such as Paul McCartney & Wings, the ex-Prime Minister Edward Heath, Peter Gabriel on the Oscar nominated “That’ll Do” from Babe 2, The Beautiful South, Tori Amos, the trombonist Douglas Yeo, and appeared with Evelyn Glennie on her Grammy Award nomination for “Classical Crossover Selection”.
It made its first recording in 1904 and made its first overseas tour in 1906 where they travelled to Canada. Sealing its own wee place in the history of pop music they were one of the first four singles released on the Apple label in 1968 when they recorded the theme for television’s comedy series “Thingummybob”, written by Lennon and McCartney, with the B-Side being a brass version of “Yellow Submarine”, both sides being produced by Paul McCartney. Appearing on other television programmes and radio broadcasts, their work can be heard as the theme tune to the BBC’s Ground Force.
In 1985 they were the first band to win the series of British and European competition’s “Grand Slam” and were named “Band of the Year” by the BBC.
Leroy Anderson recordings
A Christmas Festival
Chandos 4541 (CD: A Christmas Fantasy)
Choir – Huddersfield Choral Society
Conductor – Roy Newsome