Milnrow Brass band’s roots trace back to 1869, when it formed as the St. Stephen's Band. Before the Second World War, the band changed its name twice more, finally settling on the name of the village in which it was based - Milnrow.
From this period until 1995, Milnrow remained in the lower sections, but began its successful competitive drive in 1995 under the baton of David Morris at the Greater Metropolitan Police Championships, claiming first prize in the 4th Section.
Over the next three years, Milnrow progressed to 2nd Section and, in 1998, merged with Rochdale Co-op Band. Under the baton of Ian Brownbill, the band went on to take second place at the ‘Nationals’ and became a 1st Section band six years after the start of its progressive competitive campaign. Milnrow Band finally became a Championship Section band in 2006 and has proudly held the position ever since.
Recent climb to success...
In 2011 the Band joined forces with Mareika Gray and enjoyed a string of successes under her baton. With the assistance of Mareika’s husband, Russell, the band qualified for the 2013 National Finals for the first time in its long history. Keen to build on this success, and with Mareika back at the helm, Milnrow won the 2013 Grand Shield, qualifying for the 2013 British Open - another first for the band.
2014 has been another strong year for Milnrow Band, finishing 4th at the North West Area and securing their future at the British Open with another solid performance and consistent result.
In October, the band partnered with Mark Bentham and, under his baton, won the NWABBA Rochdale Contest. 2015 looks set to be an exciting new chapter for Milnrow Band.
Musical Director: Mark Bentham
Mark hails from the North East of England, but now lives in Wakefield and teaches music at Holmfirth High School. He studied music at Huddersfield University, specialising in performance and composition. Mark has had many successful years as a player with Black Dyke Mills, Leyland, and most recently, Brighouse & Rastrick.
He became the youngest conductor to appear at the All England Masters in Cambridge at the age of 22 when directing the Ever Ready Band. In 1999 he became MD with Drighlington Band, near Leeds, achieving immediate success in taking the band through to the finals of the National Brass Band Championships.
For 7 years he was the Musical Director of the Hepworth Band, directing them in 2004 when they were crowned Saddleworth Whit Friday Champions. He also conducted the winning performance at the Scottish Open in 2004 and the Grand Shield in 2005 as well as conducting the band as runners up at the Yorkshire Area in 2007 and at the English Nationals in 2007.
Mark took over the position of musical director of the Pemberton Old Wigan DW Band in July 2008. The Pemberton band has since had notable successes including qualifying for the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall in 2009 and 2011.
In 2013 Mark accepted the position of resident conductor with the Grimethorpe Colliery band, and in late 2014, accepted the position of MD of Milnrow Band, after success at The Rochdale Contest and several excellent concerts.
Location: Milnrow, Rochdale, UK
Member: MD - Mark Bentham
Principal Cornet - *Applicants Welcome*
Ass. Principal Cornet - Bek Chrimes
Solo Cornet 3 - Chris Buckley
Solo Cornet 4 - Sarah Holland
Soprano Cornet - Kenny Pain
Repiano Cornet - Hayley Walsh
2nd Cornet - Kelly Hayes
2nd Cornet 2 - Penny Hilton
3rd Cornet - Kate Mellor
3rd Cornet 2 - Adrienne Connell
Flugel Horn - Natalie Beer
Solo Horn - Donna Towse
1st Horn - Helen Clegg
2nd Horn - Lauren Armitage
Solo Baritone - Michael Thewlis
2nd Bartione - Gill Middlemas
Solo Trombone - Ellena Newton
2nd Trombone - Rachel Squibbs
Bass Trombone - Tristram 'Trum' Cox
Solo Euphonium - Mick Morris
2nd Euphonium - Dave Hebb
Solo Eb Bass - Gordon Clark
2nd Eb Bass - John Clough
Solo BBb Bass - Matthew Beazley
2nd BBb Bass - Stephen 'Dillo' Armitage
Percussion - Alan 'Angus' Connell
Percussion - James Kershaw
Percussion - Matt Whitfield
Milnrow Brass Band