Burbage Works - A Musical Journey

This unique brass band performance, combining live music and narrated audio-visual storytelling, documents the history of brass bands through the eyes of Burbage Band of Buxton. Burbage Works features premieres of new brass band compositions, researched chronological story, poetry, historical instruments, historic photographs, several special guest performers, videos and music from the 1860s through to contemporary popular tunes.
Burbage Brass Band is a village band established by a local quarry owner in 1861, when they played for local dances and community carols, much as they do today. The band has stayed together, performing through two world wars and a pandemic, making them one of the oldest continuously playing brass bands in the country. 

Burbage band has a great reputation around their local area with a full schedule of sold out concerts, as well as continuing with traditional local engagements for the community, and they are finally making the move into the city with their first Manchester-based Concert.

Musical Director, Steve Critchlow, is celebrating his 40th year with the band in 2024, and this special audio-visual performance marks his achievement by looking back over the band’s long history. The performance combines the story, narrated by local poet Philip Holland, and a visual display of historical images illustrating the changing brass band movement, with live performance of traditional music and new compositions by accomplished composer and band member Sam Pollard.

The audience will be taken on an entertaining journey starting with the early days of the brass band movement in the 1850s and travelling all the way to the varied music enjoyed by brass band audiences today. This performance is truly a one off in the brass band world.

The band will recreate performances from the mid-1800s using actual instruments from the era, including original ophicleide, cornets and horns and there will be an opportunity to see these instruments up close during the interval.

The Burbage Works is supported by Brass Bands England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.

Photos by Matt Denham.

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