Shanklin Town Brass Band

Rylstone Chalet, Popham Road, Shanklin, PO37 6RG

Registered Charity Number: 1172098

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About The Band


Shanklin Town Brass Band was founded in 1993 by Karen and Malcolm Lewis after their arrival on the Isle of Wight.

Malcolm is an experienced Musical Director and his wife Karen is a talented percussionist and trombone player. Initially having no funds, the Band had to rely on instruments borrowed from other bands, and even from the walls of local pubs.

An advertisement brought in the first players, and the Band has grown steadily ever since. With a membership of around 100 players, it now comprises intermediate, youth and senior sections, as well as a dedicated Saturday school, the Brass Academy. Such is its popularity, the Band now performs over 30 engagements across the Island each year.

In September 1995, the Band was awarded an Arts Council Lottery grant, which enabled them to purchase a full set of new instruments.

Part of the grant was also allocated to commission a piece of music, written by the renowned composer, Stuart Johnson. The work has four movements and features the Shanklin March, Rylstone Gardens (now the home of the Band), Tuba on the Downs and Shanklin Pier, commemorating the destruction of the Pier in the 1987 hurricane.

In 2002 we were privileged to have the renowned Dennis Wilby elected as our Band President, an office he continued to hold until 2015, but he still continues to provide a valuable input into the band, including periodically taking rehearsals.

The Band regularly competes at contests along the south coast of England in order to continue developing its sound and to raise its standards. Prizes have been won at a number of venues including Brighton, Folkestone and Poole. In April 2010, the band was very proud to win the Second Section in the 2010 Southern Counties Amateur Band Association's Spring Contest, which was held in Hove - they had only been promoted to the section the year before.

In October 2010 the Youth Band was honoured to be named by the Southern Counties Amateur Bands Association as their 2010 Band of the Year, which meant that they were the best of all the SCABA member bands. They repeated this feat when they were named as the 2012 Band of the Year - and again in 2014!  Everyone associated with the band is justifiably proud of the achievements of our young players.

2014 saw the band come of age, and to celebrate this achievement a celebratory concert was held in Shanklin Theatre; a sample of the concert can be seen below.

 In 2015 Gil Taylor took over as President from Dennis, who after many years felt it was right to step down.  In June 2016 the band was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service and in 2017 the band came third in the South Western heat of the National Brass Band Championships - our highest ever placing.

History, however, shows that there was an original Shanklin Town Band, which was disbanded in the 1930s. There are a number of pictures of the band in these early days, which at one point was known as The Rylstone Band - suggesting there were links with the gardens even in those early days. A picture dating back to 1895 is reproduced below.

Page last updated 29 October 2017

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