Delayed dinner dance celebration for Whitburn 150th anniversary

Thursday 28 March 2024

Past and present members of Whitburn Band, along with their families and friends, celebrated the band’s 150th anniversary at a black-tie dinner and dance last weekend. The event had been delayed for a few years due to the pandemic.

A drinks reception at the Hilcroft Hotel in Whitburn welcomed guests before they enjoyed an archive presentation from the band’s archivist and Eb bass player Robert Fraser.

Amusing anecdotes from the band’s history were provided throughout the evening by host Mike Marzella, a former conductor and player of the band.

Speeches were given by band chairman Charlie Farren, musical director Professor Nicholas Childs (cover photo), associate conductor Bryan Allen and Carrie Boax, president of the Scottish Brass Band Association.

Among the themes which emerged was the role of families throughout the history of Whitburn, from the actual families involved, to the wider band family which the band has always been to its members and supporters.

The pivotal roles of Major Peter Parkes, Professor Childs and others in the band’s musical development over the years, its role in the local community of West Lothian and representing Scotland all over the world, and the development of young players through its Player Pathway programme were also highlighted.

Carrie handed the band a commemorative quaich to celebrate 150 years of achievement and then presented (left to right, below) baritone player Evelyn Bradley, tenor horn legend Iain Fleming and former principal cornet Chic Cullen with SBBA life memberships for years of long service in the Scottish brass band community.

The evening finished with a ceilidh dance, while players throughout the generations of Whitburn Band caught up with each other over a drink.


Got a story?

Email Nigel Martin: