Chapeltown Silver Prize Band was formed and first played in the 1870’s. Throughout its history the band has always had its roots firmly planted in the community from which it gets it’s name “Chapeltown”. When the band formed Chapeltown was a village approximately six miles north of Sheffield and equidistant from Rotherham and Barnsley. Passing time however has seen the area change, Chapeltown has grown into a small town and become swallowed into the conurbation of Sheffield. Chapeltown is to be found just of the M1 at Junction 35.
Chapeltown Silver Prize Band has enjoyed mixed fortunes throughout it’s history rising and falling through the sections at various times, even enjoying a short spell in the Championship Section as players and conductors alike joined and left the band.
One such difficult period was between 2005 and 2009. Employment in the area had become difficult to find therefore band members had no alternative but to look further afield for jobs. This in turn affected the band as members who were now travelling further to work, or in some cases moving out of the area completely were no longer able to be part of the band.
Todays Chapeltown Silver Prize Band is enjoying a strong comeback as new players and personnel have joined the band. A win in the Third Section Regionals in March 2010 saw them represent the Yorkshire and Humberside Area at the National Finals of the same year. This impressive area result was followed in 2011 with yet another superb performance placing them third, just missing out on a second consecutive trip to the National Finals. The two results of 2010 and 2011 saw the band promoted to the Second Section from January 2012.
Behind the scenes new concert venues are being secured and a different approach to fund raising initiatives are proving successful. This in conjunction with successful contesting results brings an air of confidence and feel good factor to the band room.
March 2012 with the band now in the second section saw a confident performance of “Cross Patonce” which was dissapointingly placed seventh. 2013 however showed the band had come to terms with second section banding and a rousing performance of “The Plantaganets” produced with confidence and flair earned the band a third placing, yet again just missing out on qualification to the National Finals. This result has moved the band into a position amongst the top four bands in the second section.
The band started 2014 off well with a good haul of prizes at the NEMMBA Contest Second Section producing a confident well balanced performance of “Chaucers Tunes”. The band won the main prize and claimed the best Solo Prize with best Solo Horn and best section prize with best Bass Section. Slight dissapointment followed in March with the same test piece at the area contest where the band were placed sixth. Sixth place however secures a comfortable position in the 2nd Section where the band now sit in second place with 9 points. Further contesting successes followed this year when in July at Whiston Entertainment Contest the band were placed Second overall and most entertaining band. In November at the Leicester Brass Band Association Open Contest the band came first in the second section and took the best soloist trophy
Moving into 2015 the bands first contest outing of the year was to the NEMBBA contest and saw the band placed third with “Variations on Maccabeus”. The Yorkshire Area Contest followed shortly after this on 8th March 2015. With the same test piece, the band were crowned Second Section Champions, qualifying for the National Finals and also winning best soloist in the section. This result also won promotion to the first section from January 2016. The national finals however proved a firm test for the band being placed 13th.
2016 got off to an exciting start, now in the First Section and a stern test to face in the guise of Edward Gregson’s “Essay”. A line up of nine bands in a pre-area run out the band entered the NEMBBA Contest and were placed first, also scooping the first sections best Euphonium prize. Only one week later and the Yorkshire Area contest was to be the bands stiffest test for some years but another outstanding performance saw the band crowned First Section Champions. A second trip to Cheltenham in two years secured and no less than promotion to the Championship Section from January 2017.
A prolonged stay in the Championship Section – perhaps the hardest section in the country – wasn’t to be. Despite posting the Band’s best ever result, we were faced with relegation back down to the First Section for 2018.
The bands members range in age from 13 years to 67 years young, some living locally to the bands headquarters, however many commute to rehearsals from all parts of Sheffield and indeed some travel from much further afield.
Most Bands are associated with and supported or sponsored by industry and/or business, especially in the past the mining and steel industries. With the demise of our nations collieries and heavy industry bands have looked elsewhere for sponsorship and survive with this as a major part of their income.
Chapeltown has never had such connections and has always been a totally self funding stand alone organisation. Our income is earned from the concerts and engagements we perform, fundraising events we organise and a Patronage Scheme. We recently launched a Commercial Patronage Scheme which is still in it’s infancy.