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HISTORY

In November 1965 Hubert (Bert) Osgood, the Deputy Head of Hangleton Junior School  in Hove demonstrated some brass instruments during a music lesson.

At the end of the lesson some of the children asked if they could try playing the instruments, and they were told that if they worked hard they would be allowed to play a carol at the upcoming Christmas Concert.

Four weeks later following weekly lessons eight children accompanied the hymn for morning assembly, and during the fifth week played three items in the Christmas Concert.In January 1966 more instruments were borrowed which allowed the small group expand to sixteen. Three twenty minute practices were held a week during lunch breaks. In June the band took part in the Hove Schools Music Festival held at the Brighton Dome and played in front of a crowd of 1,500 people.

 

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In September 1966 many of the children in the band left Hangleton Junior School to attend local secondary schools. It was agreed they would continue to meet on Saturday mornings in the school hall. The group was named the ‘Hangleton Junior Band’, an independent organisation with Ron Brooks, a school manager and local Justice of the Peace, as Honorary President.

 

1969 saw the band take part in their first of many contests, held in Hastings. A performance of Thanet Seascapes resulted in a position of 4th of 5 bands.

1970s

 
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By 1970 the band was taking part in contests and playing at fetes and church services. An invitation was received to forge links with an overseas band and as a result Hangleton played at the 25th Anniversary commemorations of the liberation of the Dutch town of Leeuwarden. The trip was such a success that a reciprocal visit was made to Hangleton by the Dutch band Soli Deo Gloria the following year. The trip was the first in a series of foreign exchanges over the next twenty years, with reciprocal trips also made between Hangleton and Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany. These trips are remembered fondly by band members and many friendships were made that endure to this day.

By 1970 the band was taking part in contests and playing at fetes and church services. An invitation was received to forge links with an overseas band and as a result Hangleton played at the 25th Anniversary commemorations of the liberation of the Dutch town of Leeuwarden. The trip was such a success that a reciprocal visit was made to Hangleton by the Dutch band Soli Deo Gloria the following year. The trip was the first in a series of foreign exchanges over the next twenty years, with reciprocal trips also made between Hangleton and Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany. These trips are remembered fondly by band members and many friendships were made that endure to this day.

In 1971 the growing band was split in two, with a Senior Band created for children aged 13-18 and a Junior Band for children aged 8 – 12, however the upper age limit was soon lifted. In 1972 the name of the organisation was changed to the ‘Hangleton Band’, with 65 members split between the two units.

In 1973 the band undertook a ten day tour of Sweden. In order to raise enough funds for the trip an eight hour sponsored Hymn Tune Marathon was held at Hounsom Memorial Church, which was reported on in the local Evening Argus newspaper. Prior to the trip David Chappell was appointed as Assistant Musical Director. The tour saw the formation of the Hangleton Band Timbrel Troupe, who performed tambourine routines to band music in the Salvation Army tradition. Timbrel displays were a common feature of band performances during the 1970s and 1980s, and have been periodically revived since for special occasions

During 1974 another reorganisation took place which saw the re-christening of the Senior Band as the ‘A’ Band and the formation of an intermediate level ‘B’ band. There were now three units with the ‘A’ Band rehearsing on Friday evenings, and the ‘B’ and Junior Bands rehearsing on Wednesday afternoons.

In 1978 Bert Osgood sadly passed away. The HAJ Osgood Memorial Trust was set up in his memory and the band donated money from several concerts to this worthy cause over the next few years.  David Chappell was appointed Musical Director of the ‘A’ Band, with Christine Harris MD of the combined ‘B’ and Junior Bands. A committee was formed to run the organisation with an agreed constitution and the band was turned into a registered charity.

1979 saw the ‘A’ Band under David Chappell sweep the board at the Portsmouth Regional Band Contest, winning the March and both the 2nd and 3rd (now 3rd and 4th) sections. David Chappell was also presented with a well-deserved Best Conductor Trophy.

During 1979 a dedicated fundraising committee was established, charged with raising money for new instruments, music and venue hire. The fund raising committee proved a big success, raising thousands of pounds in the years that followed. The band owes a huge debt of gratitude to all parents and supporters who played a role in this committee over the years, and particularly to individuals who chaired the group such as Keith Rogers, Pam Ansell and Roger Chamberlain.

The Junior and ‘B’ band were merged in August 1979 and renamed the Training Band to reflect a wider age range of players. Martin Obermuller took over as MD as Christine Harris left the area to study music.

1980s

 
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In 1989 Andy Wooler was appointed MD of the Youth Band and then also the Senior Band following the departure of Paul Stanley in June. Later in the year local vicar Father Terry Martin was then appointed MD of the Youth Band.

1989 also saw the band make a television programme appearance, on ‘Hearts of Gold’. As part of the programme presenter Esther Rantzen posed as a member of the band during a performance on Brighton seafront in order to surprise a member of the public. The appearance generated some great publicity for the band, with articles in two national newspapers and also the Radio Times.

In 1980 Kevin Hayter took over as Musical Director of the ‘A’ Band, with Linda Nurcombe taking over the reins of the Training Band. Arthur Chapman was appointed MD of the Senior Band in 1983, having conducted the band at several contests the previous year. At Arthur’s suggestion Spring and Christmas Concerts were established and they soon became well established highlights of the band’s annual calendar. 

In 1985 Christine Nonoo took over as MD of the Training Band. Rehearsals were moved to Friday evenings and the band’s name was changed back to the Youth Band. The ‘A’ band was later renamed the Senior Band, and the names have been unchanged ever since.

In 1986 Hangleton Band marked its 21st birthday with a special afternoon tea for 200 guests and a concert attended by 300. A new baritone was purchased for the occasion and dedicated to Bert Osgood. 1986 also saw the band qualify for the National Brass Band Finals for the first time following a second placing at the Watford regional qualifiers. Paul Stanley was appointed MD of the Senior Band the following year after Arthur stepped down.

1990s

 
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In July 1990 Arthur returned as MD of the Senior Band. Arthur’s tenures between 1983-1987, and 1990-1999 made him our longest serving musical director to date.

1991 saw Hangleton Band’s big screen debut, performing as extras in ‘Under Suspicion’. The film starred Liam Neeson as a disgraced Brighton cop turned private detective in the 1950s and required a brass band for some scenes shot in and around Brighton Station. Eight band members dressed up as a Salvation Army band for the day, and the results can still be seen (briefly!) in the finished film’s opening scene.

In 1994 Father Terry Martin stepped down as Youth Band MD and was replaced by Clive Thomas, who had been helping Terry with conducting duties for the previous few years.  Jenny Oatway then took over as MD when Clive left the area the following year.

In 1995 the band celebrated its 30th Anniversary and a celebration banquet was held at St Helens Hall in Hangleton. The event was attended by 80 people and was catered by Anthony Hollick, ably assisted by a team of band members.

In 1999 Arthur Chapman retired from conducting and handed the baton over to Christine Nonoo, who had re-joined the band several years earlier as Solo Horn.

1999 also saw Rachel Taylor take over conducting duties with the Youth Band following a stint as joint caretaker MD with Claire Chapman.

2000s

 

The year 2000 was an exciting year for the band, as several high profile events took place to celebrate the new millennium. Hangleton performed at the Millennium Dome alongside Brighton and Patcham Bands, with the Youth Band having the honour of playing in the main arena. The three bands also a held a joint concert called ‘Millennium Brass’ at Hove Town Hall, funded by a National Lottery Grant. A special piece of music was commissioned for the occasion called ‘South Downs Pictures’ by Phillip Sparke and this was premiered at the concert. The year 2000 also saw Hangleton Band well and truly join the twenty first century with the launch of our first website.

In 2003 the Senior Band took part in an outdoor Proms concert at Borde Hill Gardens near Haywards Heath, supporting the English Symphony Orchestra. The band was well received and asked back for several subsequent years, playing each time to crowds in excess of eight thousand people.

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In 2004 the band held a special ‘Night at the Movies Concert’ at the Windmill Theatre in Hove. The programme was a departure from normal and was entirely based on music from the cinema. Images and video clips were shown on a large screen during the performance and these were so well received that they become a permanent feature of every subsequent concert.

In 2005 Hangleton celebrated another milestone, with a special 40th Anniversary Concert and Reunion at the Clarendon Centre in Brighton. Many ex-members came back to help the celebrations, with memorabilia, old photos and videos on display. David Chappell was invited to become the band’s Honorary President and he made a special trip from his home in Sweden to attend the event.  John Williams, a well-respected figure in the local brass band community, and future chairman of SCABA served as Senior Band MD for the 40th anniversary year following Christine Nonoo’s return to the playing ranks on cornet.

 

In 2006 Matthew Pollard was appointed Musical Director of the Senior Band following the departure of John Williams. Highlights of Matthew’s tenure of the band included two successful Brighton Fringe Concerts and an appearance at the National Brass Band Finals in Harrogate in 2008.  In 2009 ex-band member Richard Baker returned to the fold to take over as Youth Band MD and then also Senior Band MD. Under Richard’s baton, the band has gone from strength to strength, with the Youth Band swelling to over fifty members. A strong performance in the Stevenage regional qualifying contest in March 2011 saw the Senior Band again competing in the National Finals in Cheltenham later that year.

2010 - 2015

 

In 2011 the Youth Band carried out a visit to the Isle of Wight as guests of Shanklin Town Brass Band. The band exchanges continued the following year when United Brass from Belgium visited Hangleton for the weekend. Highlights of the weekend included a Ceilidh and fish and chip supper, a joint concert in Brighton, a group trek across the South Downs from Hangleton to the Devil’s Dyke and a performance on Brighton Bandstand. The weekend was a huge success and we are hopeful that a return visit to Belgium can take place in the next couple of years.

2012 was also a successful year for the Youth Band, taking part in the national Bandstand Marathon in Brighton, as part of the London 2012 Festival, and hosting their own Brass Band Festival at Hangleton Junior School. The event saw a return visit from Shanklin Town Youth Band, and also an appearance by ex-member Alan Thomas who has gone on to carve out a successful career in several high profile orchestras.

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In 2014 in preparation for our upcoming 50th Anniversary the band adopted a new logo, with the letter ‘H’ being represented by the bell of a brass instrument. A new set of uniforms and stand banners incorporating the new design were also purchased. 50th Anniversary preparations continued with the recording of a commemorative CD and the commission of a new piece of music called ‘Golden Rhapsody’.

In May 2015 the band had a successful trip to the Crawley Entertainments contest, being placed third, and also being awarded the highest placed Youth Band trophy.

In June 2015 the Hangleton Band celebrated our 50th Anniversary with a special reunion and concert at the Windmill Theatre in Hove.

We hope our founder Bert Osgood would be really proud that the small school band he created in 1965 has grown and prospered for half a century and that it has had such a positive effect on the local community. We are sure he would take great satisfaction from the fact that the band has encouraged so many young people to play brass instruments and has brought so much pleasure to both players and audiences over the years.
Here’s to the next fifty years!