Formed in 1843, the Skelmanthorpe Band is one of the oldest brass bands in the country. In 1993, the band celebrated its 150th Anniversary in style by becoming the Third Section National Champions under the direction of Stuart Fawcett. Further success followed, resulting in the achievement of Championship Section status in January 2000.
Kevin Wadsworth then led the band for the next 4 years, achieving success on both the contest and concert stage, culminating in the title of Pontins Brass Band Champions in 2003. During this period the band’s reputation grew and highlights included a concert with Aled Jones, a performance at the Shroeders London International Boat Show and a recording for the BBC’s “Songs of Praise”. John Hinckley conducted the band in 2005, the highlight of which was a sell out concert with Katherine Jenkins.
John Roberts was appointed as MD in 2006, leading the band to immediate success becoming the 2006 Wilkinsons Northern Open Champions , the 2007 Butlins 1st Section Champions, the 2007 Silkstone March Champions and the 2007 Pontins 1st Section Champions.
Between 1999 and 2002 the band was sponsored by the communications “giant” NTL, this was followed with a sponsorship deal with Innovate.
In recent years the band has shared the stage with a number of top celebrity guests including West End star tenor Alfie Boe, New Zealander Hayley Westenra, teenage singing sensation Faryl Smith, Britain’s Got Talent winner, Paul Potts and Kimber’s Men.
The band produced a fine performance at the Yorkshire Area Regional Contest 2013, and celebrated a superb result being placed 7th in the company of some of the world’s top brass bands.
Martin Hall was appointed the band’s musical director in January 2014. Martin, who previously conducted South Milford Brass, has played at Wakefield Met, Driglington and Black Dyke.
The relationship got off to a winning start as the band won the Brass at the Guild 2014 contest, playing St Magnus.
Jim Davies the cornet virtuoso of Cory and Brighouse fame accepted the position of Musical Director of The Skelmanthorpe Brass Band in October 2015.
Martin Heartfield was officially appointed Musical Director in April 2018, having led the band to National Finals qualification & promotion back to the Championship section for 2019.
The band have since maintained Championship status for 2020 following a strong 9th place at the Yorkshire Regional Contest.