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Band of the Grenadier Guards captivate Saddleworth village

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 05 April 2019


Thousands of delighted villagers and visitors thronged Uppermill today when the band of the Grenadier Guards marched fine the village High Street.

Thirty five members of the elite band including wind, brass  and percussion players under their director of music, Major Michael Smith, spent the day in Uppermill.

And the village centre was un lockdown   with the High Street closed to all vehicles from Brownhills Viaduct at Dobcross New Road to Chapel Road.

The guards paraded along the street accompanied by smiling waving crowds  before staging a free 40 minute concert in the King George playing fields.

They included marching tunes in their varied repertoire alongside well know film themes from blockbuster movies.

The event was the culmination of two  two years of meticulous planning by Saddleworth School music department,  to give  villagers and visitors  a unique  opportunity to see the legendary band perform live at two special performances.

And hundreds of children from the school clapped and cheered the performance which was graced with sunshine and bright skies.

Garrath Beckwith,  Curriculum Leader of music at Saddleworth School,  pulled the the whole event together.

He said: “I just can’t believe the guards are here. It’s just fabulous.”

In the evening, the school’s music department is hosting a sellout free celebration concert at 7pm in Uppermill Civic Hall  featuring  the school brass band  and the University of Salford Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

And in an extended second half, the guards will entertain and although  tickets for the concert  have gone, organisers  say in the event of any tickets bring returned,  please email: g.beckwith@saddleworthschool.org - to be placed on the rapidly growing waiting list.

During Friday afternoon,  musicians from the Guards and student conductors from the University of Salford hosted  private instrumental performance workshops with brass, woodwind and percussion students from Saddleworth School.

“I cannot wait for our students to work with these wonderfully inspiring professional musicians,” he declared.

“I’m over the moon so  local residents anf visitors  shared  this special event which is for the people of Saddleworth.

“I am very fortunate to have some great friends in fantastic musical ensembles across the globe.

“The majority of these friends have the same musical outlook where we aim to inspire and present opportunities to young people wherever possible.”

Sergeant Gavin Hall of the Grenadiers guards  band who hails from nearby Meltham,   said: “We are very much looking forward to appearing as guests of Saddleworth School and working alongside their students.  

“This event marks a truly historic first for the band who will march along the hallowed streets of Uppermill.”


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