Whitburn Band (Registered Charity - SC044829) - the current Scottish brass band champions and Grand Shield champions - was formed in the heart of the coal mining area of West Lothian in 1870 and originally served as an outlet for members of the mining community to perform at local parades and gala days. Its first major contesting impact came in 1954 when it became the first Scottish band to secure a National title by winning the Third Section competition in London.
Progression to the Championship Section followed, and in 1968 Whitburn won its first Scottish Championship title. Success continued during the early 1970s, but following the appointment of Major Peter Parkes in 1978 Whitburn dominated the Scottish brass band scene and became regular prizewinners in the major band contests in England. It made regular broadcasts and performed in many of the finest concert halls in Europe, and in 1990 the band was runners-up at the European Brass Band Championships.
Whitburn Band has been Scottish champion 22 times in its history. The band continues to make a significant contribution to cultural life in Scotland, performing regularly at major events such as Scotland’s international rugby games, where television audiences numbering in the millions hear Whitburn perform the national anthem of Scotland’s opponents. Whitburn has also performed at Celtic Connections and at the Edinburgh International Festival in the past few years.