Skelmersdale Prize Band

Registered charity number 508535

NEWS 2019

The Last Gig of the Year: Royal Machester Children's Hospital

Some of our players had the absolute privilege of joining Brooke's Barmy Army to play carols at The Royal Manchester Children's Hospital alongside over 100 players of bands from all over the country. It was a pleasure to spread Christmas cheer to amazing children and their families and also to the wonderful staff. We wish you the very best for a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

The band thoroughly enjoyed playing carols at The Red Lion, Newburgh where there was an abundance of Christmas spirit! From there we headed to St Michael's and All Angel's Chruch, Wigan to accompany carols at their Advent Service.

A Christmas Carol

We've enjoyed a very successful Caroling season. We've had the pleasure of spreading Christmas cheer at Booths, West Lancashire Community High School, Trinity Primary School, Yours is the Earth and Birch Green Care Home with Woodlands Primary School.

Christmas Party and Presentation Evening

The band enjoyed a great Christmas Party and Presentation Evening. A fabulous social event for our players and supporters. The brilliant quiz and games organised by Dan was won by the team 'Gee Gee at the races'. Well done to our Award winners. Thank you to all our members and supporters for another fantastic year. The band has made huge strides moving forward and we look forward to an exciting 2020. Keep an eye out on our social media and website to keep up to date with our latest news and upcoming events.

Double Header of Chirstmas Concerts

Southport Royal British Legion Christmas Concert

The band performed a superb Christmas Concert at The Prince of Wales Hotel, Southport supporting the Royal British Legion. The band played a greatly entertaining programme of traditional and modern popular Christmas music. It was great to perform for such an appreciative audience...with some very enthusiastic Snow Waltzes!

St Paul's Church Christmas Concert
The band enjoyed performing a fantastic Christmas Concert at St. Paul's Church, Skelmersdale. It's always a pleasure to play to such an appreciative audience and in this wonderful setting. The concert also featured organ soloist Ken Rainford.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

We've had a busy but wonderfully festive day! We enjoyed performing a selection of traditional and popular Christmas music in the Courtyard at Haigh Woodland Park this afternoon. We then headed over to The Hare and Hounds, Billinge to play at their Lights Switch On.

Step Into Christmas!

The band enjoyed a very festive afternoon to kick start the Christmas Season. We loved playing carols to the lovely customers at Chapel Gallery before heading to play at the Ormskirk Lights Switch On. 

Photo source: Ian at Discover Ormskirk

Remembrance Day

The band were proud to lead the Remembrance Sunday Parades in Skelmersdale and Burscough.

Success at Rochdale Concert

The band had a great day at Rochdale Contest. The hard work and commitment of Ben and the band was rewarded with the achievement of third place in a closely fought 4th Section. The band played Kaleidoscope excellently and thoroughly enjoyed performing the exciting piece at the wonderful Rochdale Town Hall.


The band are excited to welcome Kira and Andrew to our band family on euphonium/baritone and thrilled to welcome back percussionist Richie.

Blackburn & Darwen March and Hymn Contest

The band had a great day at the Blackburn and Darwen March and Hymn Contest. Playing the march 'Black Knight' and hymn 'Abide With Me' the band performed well and had a respectable placing for our section. 
St Michael's Church, Dalton

The band enjoyed a great concert at St Michael's and All Angel's Church, Dalton. The band played a varied selection of pieces to an appreciative, packed audience.
Civic Day Parade

The band was proud to lead the Civic Day Parade in Ormskirk.
Sutton Manor Miners Reunion

The band enjoyed performing at the Sutton Manor Miners Reunion. It was a privilege to perform to such a great, appreciative audience. At the request of the organisers, the band played a fine selection of music from the film Brassed Off.
Coronation Park

The band enjoyed performing their final concert of the summer season at Coronation Park, Ormskirk, with another entertaining and varied programme. Thanks to the great audience who came out to watch us. Our latest CD was once again very popular!

New Signings

The band were recently very pleased to announce the signings of Eddie and Nicola Hill on sop and tenor horn and Paul Johnson, Charlie and Isaac Tweedle on cornet. We're massively excited to be adding to this as we also welcome to the ranks Amy Oliva-Sharkey on cornet and Darren Gibson on bass trombone. These talented new members bring an excellent mix of experience and youth and we're excited for a bright future ahead.

What a Great Year!

The past 12 months have proven to be both successful and enjoyable for all involved with Skelmersdale Prize Band. Since Musical Director Ben Coulson joined the band in 2018, success has been flowing, with many enjoyable concerts and successful contest performances.

First came Rochdale contest, the band’s final contest performance in the third section before moving to fourth section in January. The band played Dimensions, and were placed an impressive third, immediately showed that Ben’s positive and professional approach was just what the band needed.

In the new year, the band enjoyed a clean sweep of prizes at Preston contest, playing A Saddleworth Festival Overture. The piece was very enjoyable to play, and the band produced a performance to be proud of. This was rewarded by first place and winning MD trophies, and a best soloist prize for principal cornet James Ball, best euphonium for Darren Fawcett, and best basses for our bass section.

The area contest in Blackpool at the end February also didn’t go unrewarded. After a pleasing rendition of Stantonbury Festival, the band were awarded sixth place, allowing us to leave Blackpool with yet another trophy for our cabinet.

This year, the band have also performed for the first time at Boarshurst Band Club, as a part of a popular series of concerts that are live streamed. The band gave an excellent performance to a large audience both at the band club and online, and have been highly commended for both their performance as a whole, and for their music choices. This was an exciting opportunity for the band, which we already plan to do again.

In another first for the band, we were thrilled to take part in the From The Bandroom series by East Leeds FM. The band spent an afternoon recording both interviews and musical numbers, for a broadcast that is still available via the East Leeds FM website. The band are also lucky enough to be able to make a CD from the recording, which is now available to purchase.

One of the biggest brass band nights of the year is Whit Friday, and this year we were thrilled to take part on the Saddleworth side of the contest. The band spent many weeks rehearsing our march, William Rimmer’s The Black Knight, and we were thrilled to have been placed first in our section for three of the six villages we entered – Lees, Scouthead and Diggle. This was a very enjoyable and ultimately successful night for all concerned. The chosen march holds particular significance for the band, as Rimmer conducted the band for a time, making it a special choice indeed.

Most recently, the band were out at Brighouse March and Hymn contest. We played The Black Knight once again, along with hymn Abide with Me, and were thrilled to have won our section overall, including the prize for best hymn, and second place overall for deportment. The contest results here were particularly pleasing, as the band were placed higher than many from higher sections, showing that the calibre of performance that we are giving is continuing to rise.

Overall, this year has been one of incredible success and enjoyment for Skelmersdale. This is largely thanks to MD Ben Coulson, but is also testament to the hard work and dedication shown both by the committee and the players of the band. We have an exciting time ahead of us, and if you would like to come to listen to the band – or even join us as a player – visit our events page. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Vale Park Bandstand

The band thoroughly enjoyed performing to an appreciative audience at the Vale Park Bandstand, New Brighton. The weather was kind to us and an afternoon of great entertainment was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to the Wallasey Lions for sponsoring the event. Our new CD was brilliantly received. You can listen to the band and grab a copy of our CD at our next concert on Sunday 11th August at Coronation Park, Ormskirk...look forward to seeing you there!

Hitting the High Notes

Our CD 'Hitting the High Notes' is now available to buy! Recorded live at the bandroom by East Leeds FM for their From the Bandroom series, the CD includes an entertaining variety of traditional and contemporary pieces. Get yours now for £7 or two for £10. CDs will be available at our concerts or by emailing the band

Happy Birthday Charlie!

The band enjoyed a party at the bandroom to celebrate new member Charlie's birthday. Charlie first joined West Lancashire Youth Brass Band and it's great to see him join the ranks of Skelmersdale Prize Band. The band wish Carlie a very happy birthday! 

Diggle Whit Friday Presentation

Players Nicola and Eddie Hill represented the band at the Diggle Whit Friday Presentation. They were presented with the Peter Blacker Trophy for the 4th Section Champions, one of the three prizes we were awarded at a very successful Whit Friday.

Summer Concerts

The band had a great day performing at Parbold Show. Come along to our next events to hear our entertaining summer programme with an exciting mix of traditional and modern music.

Sunday 4th August - Vale Park, New Brighton - 2:30pm-4:30pm

Sunday 11th August - Coronation Park, Ormskirk - 2:00pm-4:00pm

New Signings

The band are very pleased to welcome Eddie and Nicola Hill on sop and tenor horn and Paul Johnson, Charlie and Isaac Tweedle on cornet. These talented new members bring an excellent mix of experience and youth.

Brighouse March and Hymn Contest

The band had a fantastic day competing at the Brighouse March and Hymn Contest. The band marched down the street playing Imperial Echoes before performing the hymn Abide With Me and the march Black Night. The band played brilliantly and once again the hard work and commitment of the band and MD Ben Coulson was awarded with great success. The band achieved an outstanding result of Fourth Section Champions and Best Hymn, beating many higher graded bands in the process. 

Whit Friday

The band had a great night competing at Whit Friday. For six of our members it was their first time at the event known as 'the greatest free show on Earth'. The band performed the march Black Knight and played brilliantly! We competed at 6 venues before heading to Delph to enjoy a listen and soak up some atmosphere. The band are proud to have won prizes at three of the venues, winning the Fourth Section at Lees and Scouthead and the Peter Blacker Prize at Diggle. The band's great success is testament to the hard work of the band and MD Ben Coulson. We're looking forward to our next contest, Brighouse March and Hymn Contest on Sunday 7th July.

Bickerstaffe Treat Day

The band enjoyed performing at Bickerstaffe Treat Day yesterday. The weather wasn't on our side with heavy rain but thanks to the generosity of local farmers we had a dry barn to play in. As ever, our hosts looked after us very well and we look forward to seeing them again. The band are now preparing for world famous Whit Friday Contests, "the greatest free show on Earth"

Haigh Woodland Park

The band were invited by Friends of Haigh Woodland Park to kick off their Brass and Picnic series of concerts. The band played a fantastic selection of traditional, modern and popular music from some of the best known writers and arrangers for brass bands. The audience had a great time in the sunny weather and we look forward to playing there again in the future. Many thanks to our hosts for their hospitality and help and the appreciative audience.

East Leeds FM Recording

The band had a great day recording for East Leeds FM. It was great to have bass player Keith Sharples with us all the way from Norfolk...on his birthday! We look forward to letting you know details of when you can listen to our recording.
Boarshurst Debut 
The band had the privilege of playing at the Boarshurst Band Club on a night where our performance was live streamed to a global audience. The band played a varied selection of traditional, modern and popular music which was well received by a vastly knowledgeable audience. Without a doubt a thoroughly enjoyable night was had by all, with feedback and reviews proving that the band yet again delivers outstanding and entertaining concerts. Our thanks go to Boarshurst Band Club for their hugely popular and innovative way of promoting the brass band movement.  You can watch the whole concert on Boarshurst Silver Band 's Facebook page

Birthday Boys!

The band enjoyed a party at the bandroom to celebrate BBb bass player J-P's 50th and cornet player Chris' 60th birthdays. The band wish them both a very happy birthday and many happy returns. 

North West Regional Championships

The band played at the Empress Ballroom, Blackpool for the annual North West Regional Championships. The band played the set test piece Stantonbury Festival by Ray Steadman-Allen to a high standard. The hard work and commitment of the band and MD Ben Coulson was rewarded with a very creditable top 6 placing and another trophy for the prize cabinet.

A Rehearsal with Philip McCann

In preparations for the North West Regional Championships the band had the privilege and pleasure to have a rehearsal night with cornet legend Philip McCann. As the former tutor of MD Ben Coulson, Philip shared with the band his invaluable wealth of not only being the finest cornet player around but also a highly respected conductor and adjudicator in his own right. The band gained a vast insight into delivering high standard contest performances. We thank Philip for his support and positive input and look forward to working with him again in the future. It was good to see that the hard work and effort of both the band and MD is paying dividends and the band continues to move forward, onwards and upwards!!

Clean Sweep of Prizes at Preston

The band attended Brass at the Guild Contest with their tails up following their recent result at Rochdale Contest. The band entered the contest playing A Saddleworth Festival Overture by Goff Richards and came away with Best Soloist Award awarded to Principal Cornet James Ball, Best Euphonium awarded to Darren Fawcett, Best Basses awarded to J-P Coulson, Andy Maguire, Dave Lyon and Johnny Day and to top it off took the coveted First Place!! Musical Director Ben Coulson was thrilled to win another trophy in only his second contest leading the band.  This achievement is a great testament to the hard work of Ben and the band who are now preparing for the upcoming North West Regional Championships at Blackpool.