...when the weather is typically Mancunian!
Hope you are enjoying this lovely British summer: sunshine, rain, wind and all!
Over the summer weeks, the GMP band volunteers have a bit of a break from rehearsals and gigs. Well, we say a break, but there are always a few gigs that we manage to squeeze in, because we just can't resist them.
Some of us go on holiday with families and friends, some take the opportunity to do gardening and DIY, and some even manage to get in a spot of performing with *gasp* other bands!
This summer there have been a few new additions to the GMP band family too, as some of our players have welcomed the arrival of new children. Future musicians in the making!
Rehearsals for the wind band and big band start up again in a couple of weeks, and the preparations start for the autumn/winter busy season. There are lots of new dates being added to the calendar on our website, so be sure to have a look and see if we're performing near you. You can also keep up to date with us on Twitter and Facebook - do please follow and like us.
If you're thinking about booking one of our bands for your event, please get in touch with our manager Barry (details on the contact page)
The band were proud to be invited to perform for part of a BBC Crimewatch Roadshow programme in June 2017. The show featured an interview with Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, and paid tribute to those that died as a result of the attack in Manchester MEN arena.
We set up in the amphitheatre in the Great Northern Square, in the city centre. Passers-by on their way to work and people in nearby offices took photos and videos of us playing and shared them on social media before the broadcast!
Band manager Barry Frost was interviewed live, and talked about the funds that the band help local charitable causes to raise - a figure that now stands at almost £390,000!
Sgt Jonathan Kenna, who plays percussion with the wind band, was also interviewed about the band and his role in GMP.
This is a selection of photos from the live broadcast.
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!
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 60 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
Also, why not look at our 'Meet a Musician' section and find out more about Helena and some of our other volunteers.
Meet the musicians
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.