Rochdale Youth Big Band was formed in 1993 under the leadership of Mike Briggs, who
also arranged for the band.In 1998, the band was taken over by Ian Nelson. During
this time they twice travelled to London to take part in the National Festival of
Music For Youth, and in 2002 received a Silver Award at the National Concert Band
Festival, held at the Royal Northern College of Music. As well as this they made
appearances at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and have undertaken regular concerts
in and around Rochdale. Under their present musical director Alec Wares, who composes
and arranges for the band, they played for the 2003 GMR Christmas Concert at the
RNCM and in 2004 appeared in the national finals of Music For Youth. In 2005 they
gained a Bronze award at the National Concert Band Festival. The band also played
a specially composed tune on the sound track of the film “The Jealous God”, which
was cinema released in September of that year. In 2006, the band gained a Gold Award
at the NCBF held in Glasgow and played at the Schools Prom in the Royal Albert Hall
and in 2008 gained a Silver award at the NCBF finals in Warwick.
Rochdale Junior Big Band
The band was formed in 2004 to provide a solid foundation in jazz styles and to establish
a feeder to the already successful Youth Big Band.
The band currently has thirty members and under their Musical Director, Ian Nelson,
they play regularly for local concerts and engagements.
They have achieved awards both locally, in Rochdale Music Festival, and nationally,
after taking part in the National Festival of Music for youth in Birmingham on two
occasions, culminating in a Highly Commended award in 2006.
Rochdale Intermediate Big Band
Formed at around the same time as the Junior Big Band, the Intermediate Band is a
follow on for those too old for the Junior Band, but not yet having the opportunity
to play for the Youth Big Band.
They often combine concerts with the Junior Band and have the same Musical Director,