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Stretford Band


Saturday 16 August

Fingers crossed for Victoria Park tomorrow

Weather warnings notwithstanding, Stretford Band is due to start playing in Victoria Park tomorrow afternoon - and the forecast is wild but hopefully not wet! More Stretford magic?

Should be a good afternoon - being summer, a number of our usual players are away on holiday but we have friends aand you won’t be disappointed.

Come and join us - especially if you’re coming to Uni in the Manchester area

THERE’S NOW PLENTY OF EVIDENCE THAT PLAYING A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT DOES WONDERFUL THINGS TO YOUR BRAIN so give yourself the best possible chance with your studies, whatever they are, and join STRETFORD BAND while you’re studying.  Don’t let that cornet / trombone / horn gather dust. re+++++++++++++++++++++

There is now

Saturday 28 June

Wonderful night at All Saints Stretford

Mixed emotions with a special award (including ceremonial bike clips) to Euphonium Player Ruben Perez for his heroic ride to Delph on Whit Friday

and a fond farewell to Rev Moira Slack as she prepares to move to her new post at Bolton Parish Church.

Tomorrow afternoon sees the band joining with Sale Brass to provide a musical background to the festivities at Sale Sports Club.


Saturday 14 June

Whit Friday was yesterday - Gorse Hill Park is tomorrow

Busy times for the band: having made it through our first Whit Friday outing in ages (see the Event Reports page), we’re off to play in support of Gorgeous Gorse Hill tomorrow lunchtime.

We’ll be on stage at 12:15pm for a 55 minute slot and, in accordance with our usual practice, the weather is forecast to be good so we look forward to seeing you there!


Wednesday 4 June

New Euphonium Arrives

Last night’s rehearsal saw the arrival of our new Euphonium - and a surprise visit from our previous MD, Craig Mann.  No, he hadn’t resigned his new post but his new band was doing other things so he had a night off and came along for a blow, bringing with him Stretford’s latest acquisition, a brand new Wessex euphonium.

It looks as if the new instrument will have its first outing at our Ashton-on-Mersey park concert on Sunday, where we’re grateful for the assistance of our friend Tom Morris from Sale Brass on trombone.

Sadly we’ll be without baritone player Tom Merren on Sunday, as he is recuperating from a fall.  Get well soon, Tom: we’re missing you!


Thursday 29th May

Busy time for Stretford Band!

The band is working hard on preparations for our first concert under the baton of new MD Nick Garbett.  That’s in 10 days time on 8th June in Ashton-on-Mersey Park and is followed in quick succession by our first Whit Friday for donkeys’ years and then a concert almost every week until mid-July!


Wednesday 14th May

First rehearsal with new MD Nick Garbett

Last night was our first rehearsal with our new MD, Nick Garbett, who kicked off with some serious marching practice for our forthcoming return to the Whit Friday contests.

For a band that hadn’t marched since the majority of players joined, the first attempt was, frankly, nothing short of brilliant!  So we’re aiming to steal deportment prizes left, right and (what’s that other foot called?).

And, as another bonus, we were delighted to welcome Beth Whitby on kit.  Beth plays for the Integra brass Ensemble and her contribution added a great flavour to our playing that has been missing for a good while.


Wednesday 7th May

MD Craig Mann departs for Bolton

Surprise announcement at last night’s rehearsal: as of next Tuesday, our MD, Craig Mann takes over as MD at Bolton Hoover, a first section band. Since they also rehearse on Tuesday and Thursday and Craig has never mastered the technique of bi-location, this means he will be leaving Stretford.

First & foremost, we must offer Craig our hearty congratulations on his new appointment - clearly Hoover realised what he could do for them when we lent Craig to them last week!  They’ve made great progress under their previous MD over the last 5 years and we know they’ll continue to improve under Craig.

We would also like to thank Craig for everything he has done with (and to) Stretford Band during his two spells in charge here.  We can’t measure this in contest results because that’s not what we do but, under his baton, we have come from nowhere to being a band that can really deliver good music and entertain people!

Sad as we are to see Craig go, band life must go on and we have a rapidly filling diary of engagements.  One of these is our first foray for many years into the mayhem that is the Whit Friday contest and we are very fortunate to be able to announce that we will be led on that evening by Nick Garbett [frankly, I thought he had more sense - Ed.]  Nick, the band would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to you for stepping into the breach: you know how gently Craig worked us . . .


Friday 4th April

No change in band officers line-up at 2014 AGM - but watch this space for new initiatives!

Last Tuesday night’s AGM confirmed the current team for another year - we must be doing something right!!!

And we got everything done and dusted in the first hour so that we had the whole second half to try out some new music.  And there was more new music last night!


Monday 17th March

SPRING is beginning to SPRING and plans for 2014 are coming together!

Catchup time for your webmaster - time has flown since Christmas!

First, congratulations to Emmanuel and Agi on the arrival of future bandsman Ludovic!

More dates for 2014 concerts are now on the Events page

We are also delighted to welcome euphonium player Ruben who has joined the band while he is in the UK to  polish his English.  We think that he has come to Stretford Band to develop his Manchester accent!

And, last but not least, every good wish to Lucy who is enjoying her move from cornet to baritone.


Monday 16th December

More CAROLS TOMORROW (TUESDAY 17th) from 7:30pm at The Good Bag Co., 62 Beech Red Chorlton

The band has been invited back to play carols for shoppers outside the Good Bag Co in Chorlton’s delightful Beech Road. This is always a lovely backdrop - and the weather forecast this year is better than last year so fingers crossed!

AND DON’T FORGET OUR FINAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT this coming Saturday 21st at ALL SAINTS CHURCH, Barton Rd, Stretford.  Tickets £5 on the door  (and apologies for the confusion: the website has been showing the wrong date for this event!)


Monday 9th December

CAROLS TOMORROW (TUESDAY) from 7pm at Trafford Centre’s Regent Court

We’re serenading shoppers with carols at Regent Court tomorrow outside Debenhams at the Trafford Centre - so you can kill two birds with one stone:


Friday 6th December

All Saints 21 Dec Tickets now on Sale

Tickets for the Christmas Concert on Sat 21 December at All Saints Church, Barton Lane, Stretford are now available from:

Tickets will also be available on the door - if they haven’t sold out by then!!!


Thursday 5th December

Off to a new venue tonight: Carols at Tesco / M&S at Handforth Dean

We heading for Cheshire tonight to entertain shoppers at M&S / Tesco stores at Handforth Dean with a variety of Christmas Carols.  So come and shop with a smile - and sing as you spend!


Tuesday 26th November

Final preparations for concert at ST HUGHs, Timperley next Saturday

We’re looking forward to our return visit to St Hugh’s parish centre in West Timperley next Saturday when we’ll be playing a Christmas Spectacular programme, sharing the proceeds with CAFOD’s Hurricane Appeal.  Hope you’ll be there!


Friday 22nd November

POLISHING PIECES for the next concert: St. Hugh’s, Timperley on Sunday 30th Nov

We had a great rehearsal last night and everything is nearly ready for our first “proper” Christmas Concert.

So Long, Mr. Soprano!

Last night, we had to say goodbye to our Soprano Cornet player, James, who is emigrating over the Pennines to a new life in York.  We appreciate that it would be a bit far to come twice a week - so we wish him all the best and hope he soon finds a new band.

But if you’d like to take his place, all we ask is two rehearsals a week, plus concerts and an ability to take the blame for anything!

Saturday 9th November

This week, the year’s FIRST CHRISTMAS JOB: Trafford Centre Carols Thursday 14th

See us and sing with us on Peel Avenue, outside Boot’s and M&S!

Thursday 17th October

WELCOME: New Trombone Jennifer Smith

We’re delighted to welcome Jen Smith to Stretford Band to begin building our new Trombone Section.  She’s making the transition from orchestral to band playing - and managing it with no great difficulty.

We could do with one or two more trombonists, so WHAT ABOUT JOINING US?

And we’re looking out for a percussionist to drive our  super new drum kit: if you’re the one for the job, come and show us what you can do!


Tuesday 4th June

TIMPERLEY - ARMED FORCES DAY: Saturday 29th June 2:00pm

Stretford Band will be at the Larkhill Centre to support the British Legion Appeal


Sunday 27th May

NEXT EVENT: Sunday 9th June 2:00pm

Brass on the Grass: Ashton Park, Ashton-on-Mersey


Monday 27th May

NEXT EVENT: Sunday 2nd June from shortly before 12 noon

Fun Day at Gorse Hill Park, Stretford


Tuesday 7th May

NEXT EVENT: Sunday 26th May from 1:30pm

Centenary in Northwich: A split venue concert celebrating the centenary of a piece of Northwich Social History.  More details soon.


Wednesday 1st May


Tickets on the door


Wednesday 27th March


Arrangements are almost complete for a charity concert in the afternoon of Sunday 5th May.


Sunday 17th March


Tickets are now on sale for the forthcoming concert at All Saints Church, Barton Rd, Stretford on Sunday 13th April

Call Gerry on 07970 207941 or pop in to a band rehearsal (8:00pm to 10:00pm Tuesdays & Thursdays at Sale Sports Club)


Tuesday 6th March


We can now confirm another “Brass in the Park” event at 2:00pm on Sunday 9th June in Ashton Park, Sale - another of our regular local venues!


Wednesday 13 February


Today, we announce three new concerts as the first events in our 2013 Spring / Summer Programme:

More details on these events nearer the time - watch this space!


Friday 31 January


Last week, our new drum kit arrived and this week, it got well and truly christened!  We are hoping to see some job-sharing on drums, more of which very soon.

Since Christmas, Emmanuel Pinteaux has moved onto the front row so we now have a full team there.

Sadly, veteran John Hook has decided to retire from the band - but we would like to put on record our thanks for his support on tenor horn and, previously, on Eb Bass.  Best wishes to him and his wife, Pat.


Friday 28 December


Thanks to all our venues over Christmas - and especially to the shoppers who supported the band so generously as we serenaded them!

Back to work now - first rehearsal of 2013 is on Thursday 3rd January when we will all be refreshed and raring to go!


Friday 23 November


Our Christmas programme is now pretty well fixed - although there were some last minute changes announced at last night’s rehearsal that will be posted very shortly.  Pop over to our

Forthcoming Events

page for details.


Wednesday 3rd October

Mike McKeigue’s Funeral

Members of Stretford Band joined colleagues from Elmfield Band  to play under the direction of Jack Bennett at Mike’s Requiem Mass at St Chad’s church in Cheadle.  The church was filled with Mike’s family and his many friends from the worlds of teaching, rugby, cricket and, of course, music.  After the funeral, all who were able to do so moved a few doors down the road to Mike’s favourite watering hole, the Red Lion.  Mike, we will remember you.

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Saturday 22 September


We heard today that our long-serving Solo Euphonium, Mike McKeigue, passed away at his home last night, after an evening out with his wife.

Mike had been on sick leave from the band, somehow complying with medical instructions to do absolutely nothing following a suspected mini-stroke.  He appeared to be on the mend, having been allowed last week to start driving again and was planning to sit in on next Tuesday’s rehearsal.  Sadly, this was not to be.

Stretford Band would like to offer its deepest condolences to Mike’s family and friends and to put on record our appreciation of all the many things that Mike did for this - and for other - bands, both on and off the concert platform.  We’ll miss the music, the unstinting support and the wicked sense of humour.

Mike, may you rest in peace.

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Wednesday 12 September


Welcome also to our new back row cornet, Kay Schofield.  We’re within sight of a full line-up - but still room for a trom or two . . .

Late news: seems there may be another cornet on the way - watch this space!


Friday 7 September 2012


“Wednesday morning at five o’clock . . .” - Well, it felt like it, as the band hit the early morning road to playat Sainsbury’s, Cheadle Royal. See the Event Report for details.

PLEASE NOTE: NO REHEARSAL TUESDAY 11 September - to many absent.  See you all on Thursday Night.


Friday 31 august 2012


Last night saw the band working through another challenging rehearsal under Craig, who took us through two more pieces from the new concert programme.  And we were delighted to welcome another new face: Julia Hathaway has moved into the Eb bass seat vacated by John Hook’s move to 2nd horn.  This band is improving by the day!


Friday 24 august 2012


We’re delighted that Charlotte Garbett and Zoe Spencer (who have often helped us as deps) have agreed to become part of the Stretford establishment! And we are equally happy to see the return, after a short absence, of John Hook, this time taking the 2nd Horn seat.

We also welcome, on 3rd Cornet, Colin Whitbread.  Colin recently emigrated to the North West from Sandhurst and we hope he has a great time with us.


Friday 17 august 2012


When the band heard that former MD, Craig Mann, was free to return to lead the band, the response was a unanimous YES!  He didn’t stand a chance of getting away!

While Phil Dust has had only a short time at the front of the band, we would like to thank him very much for his input and, in particular, for so generously standing aside to enable Craig’s return.

We wish Phil well in whatever his next musical venture may be.



It’s official - Sunday has been moved to Tuesday.

After many years of Sunday Lunchtime rehearsals we have changed our rehearsal schedule.

We now get together on

from 8:00pm to 10:00pm

at the Sale Sports Club on the corner of Clarendon Crescent and Dane Road - just down the road from Dane Road Metrolink Station

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Welcome to

Stretford Band

Our history goes back to the middle of the 19th century — but we are more interested in looking forward into the 21st!

Our mission is to bring interesting and entertaining music to Stretford and the surrounding area and to pass on to the next generation some of the passion and skills that we have picked up along the way.

So, whether you just like to listen to good music or you are a player wanting a new home. please have a look round our site - and add us to your Favourites so you can come back often to see what we are getting up to.

Latest Website Update:

See the FORTHCOMING EVENTS page to find out when and where you can hear the band.

And click on the “EasyFundraising” link below to see how you can help to raise funds to keep Stretford Band going - without costing you a penny!  Go on, try it now!

You’ll normally find Stretford Band in rehearsal on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8pm to 10pm in the main function room at Sale Sports Club (see for details)