Preserving our History

Everyone associated with Black Dyke Band is fully aware that they represent a truly unique musical organisation – one that has a proud history spanning over 160 years of remarkable achievement. It is a history combining artistic and competitive excellence, collaborations and partnerships, that has no equal in its field of amateur music-making.

The Band has worked with some of the greatest and most celebrated professional musicians, artists, performers and celebrities in the world – from The Beatles to Andre Previn, Oscar nominated film makers to former Prime Ministers. 

Many of the brass band world’s finest composers have written works for Black Dyke, whilst many of its players have gone on to perform with some of the world’s finest professional orchestras. The band has a recording history unparalleled by any other brass band and a competitive record of success without equal.

The determination to preserve this heritage, the music and the stories of the people it has shaped and influenced was the seed for The Black Dyke Band Heritage Project – the brainchild of Professor Nicholas Childs, Black Dyke Band’s Director of Music.

Made possible through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project attempts to display, celebrate, and encourage further study of this rich history, reflecting on the people and events which have played a part in the Band’s fame and success from its earliest times to the present date. The Black Dyke Band has a truly unique musical story to tell – one that is rich in artistic and competitive success, complemented by a sense of tradition, as well as a respect for history and heritage.

In initiating this project, the current custodians of Black Dyke’s musical excellence are attempting to preserve our heritage, so that it can be shared by lovers of brass band music, academics and the general public for generations to come.

The aims of the Heritage Project are:

To develop and sustain a recognised world-class Heritage Centre that people can visit to explore Black Dyke Band’s past, understand the present, and imagine the future.

To promote an understanding of Black Dyke Band’s history and an awareness of future possibilities by:

  • developing, preserving and exhibiting a significant collection
  • taking a leadership role in research and scholarship
  • engaging and providing access for audiences nationally and internationally
  • delivering innovative programs.

The Black Dyke Heritage Project today comprises three key strands:

The Black Dyke Heritage Centre – a living museum of artefacts and memorabilia

A Digital Heritage Archive –  the history of the Band and its people, with personal testimonies and sound recordings

Educational Outreach – the development and delivery of Arts Award Explorer qualifications to young people. The project has been established as an organic and constantly evolving collection of historical and musical history, combined with a focus on present day activity and possibilities for the future.

The project has been established as an organic and constantly evolving collection of social and musical history, combined with a focus on present day activity and future possibilities.

We hope you enjoy looking through some of the archive material we have gathered and listening to the reflections of some of the key members of Black Dyke over the last 50 years. We also hope that you are stimulated to visit our Heritage Centre, which is the core of the project’s work and stands as physical testament to the amazing brass band that is Black Dyke.


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