BARNSLEY Metropolitan Band has arranged a ‘50th Party in the Park’ to celebrate its half-century and to connect with players new and old.

Everyone is welcome to go along and enjoy the music at Elsecar Park on Wednesday July 17 from 7pm.

Alex Francis, Musical Director for Barnsley Metropolitan Band, said: “We’d like to thank everyone that has contributed to successfully making it to a half century! The band is now looking forward to the future and evolving with the modern world, while embracing our rich heritage.”

Barnsley Music Centre (now Barnsley Music Service) Brass Band was established in 1974. It was very much a Youth Band and most members had lessons in Barnsley schools. It built up a strong reputation across the region with concert performances, but also on the contest stage at a variety of competitions as high as the 2nd section.

Over its 50 years, the band has always valued a strong connection to civic events, while creating a safe and progressive place for young musicians. Parents and carers have been invited to learn alongside their children and the band built a real family feel to membership, something that still plays a part in its culture today.

In 2012 the band became Music Hub partners and grew again in numbers, with many members staying with the band as they moved into adult working life or returning after university studies. Now, the band boasts a mixed membership of musicians aged from ten to over 60.

Some former members have gone on to play music professionally. Others have played for some of the elite bands in the country including Grimethorpe Colliery Band. Multiple current members also play for the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

Recently, the band has had a purple patch on the contest stage, qualifying for the National Finals four times in the last five years and crowned Yorkshire 3rd Section Champions 2024.

Matt O’Neill, Executive Director for Growth and Sustainability, said: “It’s wonderful to hear some of the history of the band and how their passion and commitment has enabled them to enjoy successes of today.

“In Barnsley, we believe that developing the skills, talent and creativity within people of all ages opens exciting prospects. It’s fantastic to hear that so many people are benefiting from opportunities to achieve that together.”