Grimethorpe Colliery Band
|Origin||Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire, England|
The Grimethorpe Colliery Band is a brass band, based in Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire, England. It was formed in 1917, as a leisure activity for the workers at the colliery, by members of the disbanded Cudworth Colliery Band. It achieved worldwide fame after appearing in the film Brassed Off, and, along with the Black Dyke Mills Band, the band became the first to perform at the Proms.
George Thompson was musical director from the early 1950s until 1972 during which time the band won the British Open Contest for the first time. Thompson was followed by Elgar Howarth as Professional Conductor and Musical Director. 1974 saw the band, along with Black Dyke Mills Band, become the first to perform at the Proms.
The band continued through the industrial troubles of the 1980s and the closure of Grimethorpe Colliery on 13 October 1992. The band gained first place with 99 out of 100 on 17 October 1992 in the National Brass Band Championship at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The Grimethorpe Colliery Band has premiered some of the most important brass music of the 20th century, including Sir Harrison Birtwistle's Grimethorpe Aria, written for the band, and Hans Werner Henze's Ragtimes and Habaneras as well as several pieces by Sir Malcolm Arnold.
The band has appeared on rock and pop records, notably "When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease", on Roy Harper's 1975 HQ album, and Peter Skellern's 1978 and 1979 albums Skellern (including the hit single "Love Is the Sweetest Thing") and Astaire. In 1976, the band assisted comedian Max Bygraves in recording a song specially commissioned by the National Coal Board called "Do It The Safety Way", in order to promote safety procedures in coalmines.
International fame came with the film Brassed Off, the plot of which was based on Grimethorpe's struggles against pit closures, and whose soundtrack was recorded by the band. The band also performed Ron Goodwin's film score for the 1976 Disney film Escape from the Dark (also called The Littlest Horse Thieves), with the composer conducting. They also recorded some of the Beautiful South's hits in the 1996 and the tracks were given as extra tracks on the cd single issues
The band represented England at the European Brass Band Championship in Norway in May 2008 and came second behind the Cory Band, both on 194 points. In June 2008 Grimethorpe gained its second successive victory at the English National Brass Band Championships, thus qualifying to represent England once again at the European Championships in Ostende, Belgium, in 2009. The band gained further worldwide attention with its rendition of the Olympic Hymn during the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium, accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra.
|1976||Grimethorpe Special||Elgar Howarth|
|1991||A Night at the Opera||Elgar Howarth|
|1992||Paganini Variations||Frank Renton|
|1993||Wilby||Frank Renton & Garry Cutt|
|1997||A White Christmas with Grimethorpe||Major Peter Parkes|
|1999||Grimethorpe Colliery Band - Australian Tour Edition||Elgar Howarth|
|2001||Eric Ball - The Undaunted||Elgar Howarth|
|2002||Grimethorpe in Concert||Garry Cutt|
|2004||Grimethorpe in Concert Volume II||Richard Evans|
|2004||The History of Brass Band Music - The Golden Era||Elgar Howarth|
|2004||The History of Brass Band Music - The Salvation Army Connection||Elgar Howarth|
|2005||The History of Brass Band Music - The Early Years||Elgar Howarth|
|2006||The History of Brass Band Music - The Modern Era||Elgar Howarth|
|2007||Grimethorpe in Concert Volume III||Richard Evans & Philip Harper|
|2007||The History of Brass Band Music - Classical Arrangements||Elgar Howarth|
|2008||The History of Brass Band Music - New Adventures||Elgar Howarth|
|2010||Grimethorpe in Concert Volume IV||James Gourlay|
|2010||Hymns Volume II||James Gourlay|
|2011||By Request||Brian Grant|