West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper took a visit to the 140 year old Skelmersdale Prize Band at the Bandroom on Hutton Road.

Invited by the Chair, Colin Knowles, MP Rosie came along to one of their evening practice sessions where she took the opportunity to join their new Musical Director Ben Coulson in conducting the band.

Skelmersdale Prize Band was founded in 1878 as Skelmersdale Temperance Band before renaming in 1957.

The band ranges in age from 15 to 74 with both men and women welcome to join. They play for local summer fetes, church events, concerts and weddings.

The prize band work with schools, colleges and the university to encourage younger members to join, with local youngsters joining the West Lancashire Youth Brass Band also housed at the Bandroom.

They have a rich history in competitions and in 2000 competed at Royal Albert Hall in the National Finals.

With Christmas coming up, the band will be busy playing at Ormskirk Christmas Gingerbread Markets and lights switch on this Sunday (5pm), at the Hare and Hounds for the Billinge lights switch on 2nd December (3pm), Christmas Concert at St Paul’s Church on 8th December (7.30pm), Newburgh Carol Service at Christchurch on 13th December (6.30pm) and carolling at Morrisons in Ormskirk on 17th December (7pm).

The band are always on the lookout for new members and look forward to members of the public enjoying their upcoming engagements.

Rosie Cooper MP said:
“It was great to get down to the Bandroom and hear the band practicing, hearing the brass music live really is something special.

“Having their own purpose built premises with catering facilities is fantastic and the Chair Colin told me about encouraging younger members to join up with loan instruments available for those who don’t have their own.

“With a number of events coming up I would urge members of the public to go along and enjoy the music and for any budding musicians perhaps to get involved!”

Skelmersdale Prize Band Chairman Colin Knowles said:
“It was a pleasure to show Rosie around our Bandroom and introduce her to our recently recruited young Musical Director Ben Coulson.

“Rosie was interested to hear about our long history of prize band competitions and our work in the community and schools to encourage the younger generation coming through and providing instruments free of charge.

“If you’re interested in joining or taking your children along come and speak to us at our concerts over the next few weeks or contact us by email linda.knowles@live.co.uk or 01744 883 288.”

Rosie Cooper MP joins Musical Director Ben Coulson and Skelmersdale Prize Band Members including Chairman Colin Knowles (far right)
Rosie Cooper MP joins Musical Director Ben Coulson and Skelmersdale Prize Band Members including Chairman Colin Knowles (far right)
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