Meet our new conductor – Alexander Webb

It's with great delight that we welcome Alexander Webb to the ranks of the Greater Manchester Police Band volunteers, as our new conductor.

Alexander is a graduate of the percussion programme at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and in 2016 accepted a place to become the Timothy Reynish Conducting Scholar at the Royal Northern College of Music. He first studied with Guy Woolfenden and now studies with Mark Heron and Clark Rundell. He has also participated in masterclasses with Nicolas Pasquet, Jac Van Steen, and Sir Mark Elder.

He maintains a busy schedule as a freelance musician balancing percussion performance with his conducting engagements. As a percussionist he has worked with the English Symphony Orchestra, Queen’s Park Sinfonia, Desford Colliery band, and in 2012 was awarded the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Scheme place for timpani.

As a conductor Alex has worked with a variety of ensembles across the UK; including The British Police Symphony Orchestra, Swindon Chamber Orchestra, National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain, and Liverpool Mozart Orchestra. He has undertaken tours around Europe, Asia and to the United States; and has also made recordings for broadcast on BBC Television and Radio.  Alexander is very generously supported by the Waverley Fund.

Alex has already begun rehearsals with the wind band and has a couple of concerts with us under his belt. With some high-profile events coming soon, the band are thoroughly enjoying his conducting and are benefiting greatly from his knowledge and experience.

We hope you'll be able to see us perform soon, and enjoy Alex's conducting as much as we do!

It’s Volunteers Week

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. It takes place from 1st-7th June every year, and Greater Manchester Police are celebrating the great work volunteers help the force to do in local communities with a series of videos.

Amongst the volunteers from throughout GMP, our very own Helena Hornby is featured. In this short YouTube video, she explains why she volunteers for GMP, and how she enjoys making a difference in communities through music.

Watch Helena's volunteer video here

The GMP band has around 50 volunteers - collectively they give over 12,000 hours a year to making a difference through music. To date, they've helped local communities to raise over £380,000 through the various events they've played at.

You can find out more about Volunteers Week on their website - http://volunteersweek.org

New GMP staff magazine feature

The GMP Band has featured in April's edition of the GMP Staff Magazine 'Brief'.

To read the article in full, please click the link below.

We are looking forward to a great year celebrating our 140th Anniversary. Look out for special events throughout the year, and we hope to see you at some of our performances.

Read the article online

Don't forget you can see a calendar of our forthcoming events on our website.

Go to the Calendar

 

 

Could you be our new conductor?

We are looking for an experienced conductor for our Wind Band - could it be you?

You would be responsible for organising and planning weekly rehearsals, leading the band at our performances and helping our manager to organise the band's busy schedule.

The band is community-focused and we support a wide range of events and concerts. The music we play reflects this: it includes traditional pieces, marches, medleys, film scores and more. Our conductor would also be responsible for selecting suitable music for performances and working with our clients to discuss their musical requirements.

Applicants should be:

  • able to show previous experience of wind band conducting at a high standard
  • thoroughly understanding of the diverse range of wind band music
  • experienced in organising and performing ceremonial events and parades/marches
  • qualified to degree level or equivalent in music
  • able to work flexible hours to support band rehearsals and engagements

Payment will be on a fixed-fee basis and successful applicants will report directly to the Band Manager.

Due to the demands of the role, it may be necessary to appoint more than one person to this position.

Please email Barry Frost for the full job description, which will contain details of how to apply.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday 5 April 2017.

Interviews will be held at GMP Headquarters over the Easter period, with auditions with the band shortly after.

Email: Barry.Frost@GMP.police.uk Phone: 07500 033 247

New band calendar

We have published a new calendar, so you can quickly and easily see what events we'll be playing at in the near future.

Visit gmpband.co.uk/calendar to see what's coming up...

There are also lots of GMP engagements that aren't displayed on the calendar as they aren't public events. If you'd like details of these, or are considering booking the band and want to know if we're available, please get in touch with our band manager - Barry Frost.

A surprise birthday band visit

It was an honour and pleasure for us to take part in the 90th birthday celebrations of former band member, Kenneth Donnelly.

Fellow retired officers and band members Simon Rogers, George Pinnington and Barry Frost met with Mr Donnelly and his grand-daughter Katie to chat about the good old days! This was a complete surprise for Ken, who was thrilled to be presented with a commemorative photograph and a certificate for his 90th birthday, with a personal message from our Chief Constable, Mr Ian Hopkins.

Band manager Barry Frost said "it was such an honour to meet Mr Donnelly - he was clearly moved by the surprise visit that Katie organised, and we were proud to be part of his birthday celebrations. He definitely had some great stories to tell! We all spent time looking through old photographs from the band's history, bringing back lots of memories for Ken and George."

Ken joined Salford City Police in 1948 directly from the Royal Signals, when he was 21 years old. He was taught clarinet by officers playing in the band, and he remained with the band until his retirement in 1973.

George, who is now 77 and still plays clarinet and sings with the band, rejoined GMP band in the early 1970s after working as a professional singer, and has remained with the band ever since. It was truly remarkable having Ken and George together, effectively spanning 77 years of our 140 year history.

 

Celebrating 140 years of GMP Band

In 1877 a group of musicians from within the ranks of Salford City Police came together to form a band. Fast forward 140 years and the Greater Manchester Police Band is still going strong! To commemorate our anniversary we are planning some fun (and unusual) events in addition to all our other engagements.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter for more information.

You can read more about the history of the band on the 'about' page

Merry Christmas from GMP Band

Our final carol concert of 2016 has been played! What a fantastic festive season we have all had and it's been one of our busiest ever. It's time to pack away our instruments and put our feet up with a mulled wine and mince pie or two! If you've seen us and enjoyed a sing-along, please leave us a message on Facebook or Twitter - we love to see your photos and videos from our events!

It was a very busy year for everyone involved in the GMP band. We have performed at over 100 events throughout Greater Manchester and beyond.

Making a difference through music in our communities is at the heart of what we do. We're all volunteers and are proud to represent GMP. We have helped communities throughout Greater Manchester raise over £300,000 for good causes. As a consequence, this has helped many people and we are delighted to have been part of that. We are very much looking forward to continuing this good work in 2017.

So, on behalf of the Bands of Greater Manchester Police we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous New Year.Thank you for your support throughout the year. We look forward to seeing you at the many events already scheduled for 2017.

Interested in booking the band?

And finally, if you're having an event in 2017 and would like the band to perform, please contact our Manger - Barry Frost. He'll be happy to discuss your requirements and see whether the band could support your event.

 

Santa Baby live!

The GMP Big Band performed at the Winter Wonderland spectacular at Event City on Saturday 17 December.

Here's a short clip of Chief Inspector Clara Williams, together with Andy Fenton, Clare Prior, Carol Rogers and Sarah Kent performing 'Santa Baby'

This is the band's second year performing at Winter Wonderland and we were happy to perform for so many people, especially those in the big queue to see Father Christmas himself!

Thank you to the organisers for inviting us to be part of your amazing event.

 

Big Band at the GMP STARS awards – 14 October 2016

On Friday 14 October Greater Manchester Police held the Chief Constable's STARS awards to recognise the exceptional work that takes place on a daily basis across the Force.

The ceremony was presented by television actress Jennie McAlpine, also known as Fiz from Coronation Street, and was held at the Imperial War Museum. The GMP Big Band were invited to perform after the awards ceremony.

The awards recognise colleagues and volunteers who have gone above and beyond, by providing someone with life-enhancing customer care or support, helping to enhance the reputation of the force or their work has had an impact at a national level.

Colleagues nominated one another, including teams, volunteers and office staff for the STARS awards (STARS stands for Safety, Teamwork, Action, Respect and Service). Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, with the help of a panel of colleagues from across the force decided on the final winners of the awards.

image005Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “All the nominations for the STARS Awards were incredibly strong; it’s great to see the commitment and dedication our colleagues and volunteers have to GMP and the public we serve.

“The judges had a really tough job to narrow down all the nominations, which just shows us the final winners are extra special; they have gone that step further to make sure they really make a positive difference.

“I want to congratulate everyone who was nominated and of course all the winners and thank you all for your hard work and continued commitment to the force. I would also like to thank Jennie McAlpine for giving up her time for free to support GMP in this way.”

The GMP Big Band were delighted to be part of the evening's entertainment and pleased to see people singing along and dancing away at the end of the night.

On the night, over £1500 was raised in the raffle for Mood Swings - a mental health charity supported by Jennie McAlpine.

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