Published Apr 1st, 2024
Time to Read 3 minute

What was lost is found

Black Dyke Band is thrilled to announce the return of the original score for their iconic signature march, “Queensbury.” The score, composed by James Kaye, was recently gifted to the band by historian, conductor, and former player John Clay. The historic moment took place recently when Black Dyke’s Director of Music Nicholas Childs welcomed John to the band’s headquarters. It was during this visit John presented the band with the long-lost manuscript. The original score had been missing for several decades, making its return a momentous occasion.

Rich history

The story behind the score is a testament to the rich history and personal connections within the Black Dyke band. James Kaye, the composer of “Queensbury,” personally gifted the score to Arthur O Pearce, Black Dyke’s longest-serving conductor at the time. However, it was during a recent visit to Arthur O Pearce’s granddaughter in Morley, who is now 93 years old, that the decision to return the score was made. It is her wish that the original score should now be returned to the band.

John Clay, the historian and conductor, explained the sentimental value of the score, stating, “When the march was composed, James Kaye gave it as a personal gift to Arthur O Pearce. This generous gesture symbolises the close-knit relationships and camaraderie that have defined Black Dyke throughout its history.”

Arthur O. Pearce

Nicholas Childs, the current Director of Music for Black Dyke, expressed his gratitude for the return of the score. He shared, “The score will be proudly displayed in our heritage centre, allowing visitors to appreciate the significance of this renowned march. It is often asked how much Black Dyke paid for their signature march. In the late 1930s, it was a mere 1 Guinea. We believe it was money well spent, considering the enduring popularity of ‘Queensbury.'”

Black Dyke would like to extend their sincere thanks to John Clay for his heartfelt and generous gesture in facilitating the return of the original score. The band looks forward to preserving and showcasing this precious piece of their musical legacy for generations to come.