Brass Bands

The brass band movement is of huge significance to Cornwall and rightly takes its place as one of the main elements of the Cornish National Music Archive. Brass bands were once at the heart of almost every Cornish community and added greatly to the musical and social life of the population.

Our website includes every Cornish brass band that ever existed: a bold claim that is made with tongue in cheek in an attempt to encourage you to tell us if we have missed any.

The contests were, and still are, important to players and supporters alike and here we are slightly less confident that we have found them all. Again, your help is sought in making this collection as comprehensive as possible.

From the time that music began to be produced specifically for brass, Cornwall had its budding composers. This began with a trickle but soon gathered momentum and we now have many world-class composers who bring great credit to our homeland.

The movement is still large and it is supported with a passion that is as strong as ever with its bands competing in contests and participating in concerts, carnivals, parades and a whole range of public events. Certainly, no other genre has done more to encourage and nurture young musicians, a service it readily provides to Cornish communities. The quality of the instruments and the standards achieved by the players have reached staggering heights and that, coupled with the variety and quality of the music, surely bodes well for the future of this wonderful movement.

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Cornish Brass Bands – Redruth
1820: There is a suggestion that a Redruth Band was formed in this year and that it was known initially as the Redruth Volunteer Band. I am not disputing this but I have not found any evidence to support it. (Tony Mansell) 1828: Bands of musicians were playing in Redruth.
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Cornish Brass Bands – Blackwater
1838 – 28th June: Blackwater Musical Band played at Redruth for the coronation of Queen Victoria. (Still Blawin’) The Blackwater philanthropist, John Passmore Edwards, was a fife player in Blackwater Band. 1878: “… Blackwater Juvenile Brass Band, under the leadership of Mr Frank Symons, was in attendance and played some nice selections throughout…” (RCG 1st
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Cornish Brass Bands – Camborne
1841: Newspaper reports Camborne Band formed. (Camborne Town Band by Tony Mansell) 1846: “… and with a bright sun, and a steady breeze from N W, was everything that could be desired for an aquatic holiday. The Camborne Band attended, and multitudes from all parts of the surrounding populous neighbourhood assembled …”(14
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