About the band
Click for the "Constitution" of the Crystal Palace Band
About the Band Today
Crystal Palace Band (CPB) is one of the few traditional Brass Bands remaining
in London. It consists of between twenty and thirty musicians and plays
at a variety of events, including open-air concerts at Royal Parks and
at the seaside, fetes, carol concerts, parades, brass band contests, parties
and indoor concerts. Performance fees are charged and depend on location,
time and number of players required. The band also plays and contests in
smaller groups of four to ten players.
|The Main Band at Broadstairs - 2011
We also have an active 'Progress' Band of over twenty players of all ages
and abilities. This training and development section is ideal for new and
returning players or those wanting to enjoy band playing without committing
to the standards and rehearsals of the main band. An ideal entry point
for those inspired to try their hand having seen the 2010 BBC programme
‘A Band for Britain.’
Visit the Progress Band Web Pages
|The Progress Band at the Holy Trinity Church Penge 2009
Crystal Palace Band was founded as the Upper
Norwood Temperance Prize Band by the Upper
Norwood Temperance Society in 1901, and lived
up to its name in its first year by securing
prizes at all three contests it entered.
Over time it became closely linked with the
Crystal Palace and played there for many
years. After the First World War. permission
was granted in 1924 by the Crystal Palace
Company to change the name to "The Crystal
Palace Band". Read an article from the The British Bandsman
dated 12th January 1902.
In 1936 the band's close association with
the Crystal Palace Company came to an end
when the Crystal Palace burned down. Until
1936 the National Brass band Championships
were held at the Crystal Palace with the
band winning the Grand Shield (Second Section)
Twice in the 1920's. The band reached a peak
during the 1930's as a Championship Section
Band under the baton of Dr Denis Wright, the well-known composer, arranger and conductor.
|The Band in the mid 60's. Click for more detail.
After the Second World War the band's fortunes gradually declined as membership dwindled. At one time in the 1970's there were only a handful of players left, but the band kept going with the determined efforts of a few die-hards Today there are over 30 playing members in the main band with a thriving 'Progress Band' as well. The band's resurgence in fortunes can be measured by their extensive summer bandstand programme under the enthusiastic musical direction of Michael Gray.This reflects the relatively low turnover of players, and the popularity
of the annual band trips!
In 1996 the band received an extra boost
after being awarded lottery funding from
the Arts Council for England which, together
with its own funds, enabled the purchase
of a whole new set of band instruments. Further
internal investment in the band has followed
since then with the acquisition of new timpani
in 2003, new banners in 2001 and new uniforms
in 1997 which means that the band not only
sounds the part but looks the part too!
CPB has performed at numerous venues over the years including Royal Parks,
seaside bandstands, concert halls, carnivals, shows, BBC Radio and has
even recorded a soundtrack for a film. The band has also made numerous
successful trips to Europe including concerts in Belgium. Holland, Germany,
France and Switzerland.
In the band's centenary year (2001) over
£1,800 was raised for St Christopher's Hospice
via two concerts at St John's Church, Penge
and a Gala Centenary Concert at Ravensbourne
School in Bromley (concert review). The Band has continued to support the Hospice for most of the years
since and the total raised is now over £10,000.
For the future, the band is looking
to improving musical performances,
contest successes and continued
with the local area. One particular
be to find and acquire a permanent
room for the band so that it
to provide musical entertainment.
Read also some interesting items on our archive News Page
If you would like a traditional Brass Band
to play at your event why not get in touch with us? Click to see where we have played in the past.