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Hebden Bridge Junior Band performs at Disneyland as part of its summer tour to Paris. Photo by Alvaro Gonzalez
Hebden Bridge Junior Band performs at Disneyland as part of its summer tour to Paris. Photo by Alvaro Gonzalez

Brass bands in the upper Calder Valley have been performing their repertoire to local and international audiences in recent weeks.

Todmorden Community Brass Band held its own Prom in the park on Sunday afternoon.

And Hebden Bridge Junior Band has been on a trip to Paris, where the young musicians performed at some of the French capital’s most iconic landmarks.

The day after the Last Night of the Proms, more than 150 people headed to Todmorden’s Centre Vale Park for a picnic while they listened to Todmorden Community Brass Band play on the bandstand.

Liz Hinchliffe, of the band, said it was a wonderful day which helped to raise money for band funds.

“Some of the positive comments we got from people who came made it all worthwhile,” she said.

“Everybody got into the spirit of it.

“We all had fun, which made it more enjoyable as well.

“It’s what we are all about - providing a local band for our local town.”

Following a last minute dash back to the band room to pick up some chairs for the audience to sit on after problems accessing the bandstand storage space, the band took to the stage for their first park performance under new musical director Pam Smith.

“I think she really enjoyed it,” Liz said.

“It was a good introduction to the park for her.”

Hebden Bridge Junior Band entertained Parisians with a number of outdoor concerts during their French tour.

Under the baton of musical director Neil Robinson, the band played in Parc Champs De Mar at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, Square Jean XXIII behind Notre Dame Cathedral and Parc George Brassens, as well as the grand finale on the centre stage at Disneyand Paris on the last day of the six day tour.

Tour leader Nic Etherington said the tour, held every two years, was a great success, with each concert being very well received by the French audiences and tourists alike.

“At each venue we would arrive to find few people there, but once the band started playing it was amazing to see people gravitate towards the bandstand and enjoy the band play for an hour in the sunshine,” he said.

“We couldn’t provide enough chairs for them.

“The children played - and behaved magnificently. We were so proud of them and they were superb ambassadors for Hebden Bridge.”

The band wore t-shirts printed by Sutcliffe Farrars, of Mytholmroyd.

The tour was largely paid for by the young musicians’ fund-raising efforts, but was also helped by grants from Hebden Royd Town Council and the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge.

“We are very grateful to everyone who has helped make the tour possible financially,” Nic said.

“The band tour is a really important tradition for band members, who work so hard throughout the year.

“It’s a wonderful reward and helps to cement friendships, as well as strengthening their sense of belonging to the band.”

The band is always on the lookout for new members aged between seven and 18.

For more information, call Sue Holmes on 01422 881433.

The band will hold its autumn fair at Holme Street Arts Centre, Hebden Bridge, on October 19 from 10am until 2pm.