In January 1998 the school staff and pupils at Milnthorpe primary school, Cumbria had a visit from a steel band from Manchester. It was far from the sun-kissed beaches of Trinidad and Tobago where the slaves had sung calypsos and banged on old oil drums to annoy their masters such a long time before.
However the children and staff were so impressed by the sound that, encouraged and inspired by Andy Whitfield one of the teachers, they formed their own steel band. A community band was also started, for adults and children who did not necessarily have a connection with the school. This band gained the affectionate name of ‘Din in A Bin!’
The bands were introduced as a way of enhancing musical opportunities for children and adults and to increase the popularity of steel bands in the wider community. This is still the ethos of Milnthorpe Steel Band today, twenty years on.
In September 2005 the two bands were amalgamated and became the Milnthorpe Steel Band as we know it today.
In 2016, the band was granted charitable status to promote education/training/arts/culture/heritage/science and recreation.
Steel bands produce timeless music which appeals to all ages and to people from all walks of life. Many who hear us play often say how the sound ‘lifts their spirits’. ‘Happy’ music is a phrase they often use.
In the last twenty years many players have come and gone but all will have felt privileged to be a part of this music which has such a rich and vibrant sound and is unique in the music world.
About the band now!
Milnthorpe Steel Band is a community band based in the South Lakes and provide an opportunity for people to participate in a unique and exciting musical experience.
We are not a professional band, we are all local people who enjoy playing music and having fun whilst entertaining others.
As well as workshops and taster sessions our gigs throughout the year, including Christmas, are many and varied. We play mainly at weekends, as many of us also have full time jobs of our own.
Our booking consist of:
- Festivals and Field Days
- Sporting Events
- County Shows
- Corporate events
- Private Events – weddings/ birthdays/anniversaries/island parties
- In fact, you name the event, we can do it, UNLESS it involves marching!
The funds we raise from performances, helps pay for the upkeep and housing of the equipment, our rehearsal space, the hire of a large van to transport equipment and the tuning of the pans. The money also helps us to buy new pans, drums and equipment when needed which means we can get more people playing.
We have a wide-ranging repertoire of music from traditional Caribbean calypsos to Abba, the Beatles and Glenn Miller.
We can guarantee that you will not be disappointed whether you are considering booking Milnthorpe Steel Band or would like to play with us.