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Whitburn Band celebrates its 150th anniversary

Members of Whitburn Band, both past and present, along with their families and friends have celebrated the band’s 150th anniversary at a black-tie dinner and dance.

The event, which had been delayed for a few years due to the pandemic, featured several speakers including Whitburn’s Director of Music Professor Nicholas Childs.

SBBA Life Membership medals were also presented to three Whitburn stalwarts – Evelyn Bradley, Chic Cullen and Iain Fleming.

The event started off with a drinks reception at the Hilcroft Hotel in Whitburn, as players of the current band and bands of old joined together to look at an archive presentation from the band’s archivist and Eb Bass player Robert Fraser.

A three-course dinner followed, with amusing anecdotes from the band’s history provided throughout the evening by host Mike Marzella, a former conductor and player of the band.

Speeches were given by the band’s Chairman Charlie Farren, Professor Childs, Whitburn’s Associate Conductor Bryan Allen and Carrie Boax, the President of the Scottish Brass Band Association.

Some of the themes which emerged were the role of families throughout the history of Whitburn Band – from the actual families involved, to the wider band family which the band has always been to its members and supporters.

The pivotal roles of Major Peter Parkes, Professor Childs and others in the band’s musical development over the years, Whitburn’s role in the local community of West Lothian and representing Scotland all over the world, and Whitburn’s development of young players through its Player Pathway programme were also highlighted.

Carrie presented the band with a commemorative quaich to celebrate 150 years of achievement, and presented Evelyn, Chic and Iain with their lifelong SBBA membership for years of long service in the Scottish brass band community.

The evening finished with a ceilidh dance, while players throughout the generations of Whitburn Band caught up with each other over a drink.

Here's to another 150 years of Whitburn Band.

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