In the Spring of 1998 a group of musicians responded to an article in The Citizen free newspaper and met in 'Hobos' on Westgate in the north west Norfolk sea-side
town of Hunstanton to form The Hunstanton Concert Band.
The current band members...
Over the years players have come and gone but most of the original members are still playing in the band. Ron Penniston retired as a Trombonist with the band in November, 2017 after many years playing. Thank you, Ron for such sterling support for very nearly 20 years.
We will also miss Jayne Gutteridge who played Saxophone with the Band for many years and left in March 2020 to start a new life with her husband Chris in Scotland. Jayne was also the Band's Secretary and Librarian during her time with us as well as being 'keeper of the birthday list'! Members' birthdays would be remembered with the presentation of a birthday cake at the regular Friday rehearsal nearest to the day. We are not just talking about ordinary cakes here - these were wonderful constructions made by Jayne (sometimes aided and abetted by other members). The cake would invariably be designed to be a personal tribute to the birthday boy or girl and would be paraded in during the break with Alf Ball playing Happy Birthday on the trumpet. Thank you Jayne for every cake you made - they were so much appreciated.
The band has performed in many of the Royal British Legion's annual 'Lest We Forget' concerts at The Princess Theatre here in Hunstanton and this is not the only time that it has appeared on this stage - it also helped John Harris with the millennium Concert. The band has also played at Adrian Bloom's Garden Centre at Diss, when it was engaged to play at the opening of the 'Dad's Army' Museum. Many of the stars of the show were present and indeed they received many glowing comments.
On two occasions HCB has played at the Wells-next-the-Sea RNLI Harbour service and has very much enjoyed playing at receptions for no less than five holders of the title High Sheriff of Norfolk!
It has accompanied the singing of Carols at the annual Hunstanton Town Carol Service and, of course, can be seen on the bandstand during the summer season - having played during the Hunstanton Carnival for many years and also for the annual Picnic on the Green event.
The band was very pleased to be chosen to play in 2005 for the Fleet Review at Burnham Overy Staithe to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Admiral Lord Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar and also at the World Water Ski Championships held at Hunstanton in 2005.
On the 16th July, 2006 Hunstanton Concert Band was honoured to play at St. Mary's Church, Great Bircham on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of King George VI's unveiling of The Cross of Sacrifice.
This very special occasion was made particularly poignant as Her Majesty The Queen was there to rededicate the memorial sixty years after her father unveiled it.
On the 12th June, 2012, in the Diamond Jubilee year of H.M. The Queen, a royal Garden Party was held at Sandringham, the Queen's country home. Hunstanton Concert Band were one of only three Norfolk bands to be invited to play at this important social occasion. We were so pleased to be given this opportunity to entertain the Queen's guests and to be part of of this magnificent event in her Jubilee year.
On the 5th February 2022, on the eve of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s succession to the throne, the Band was asked to play just outside the ballroom at Sandringham House as Her Majesty hosted a tea party which was attended by members of the Sandringham Women’s Institute. Also present were pensioners from the Royal Estate, their families and staff and volunteers from local charities.
Her Majesty was in sparkling form and, as she left, she stopped to listen to the Band playing Congratulations and was seen to say, “Thank you!” before she stepped into her car.
We all felt most honoured to have been asked to play for our Queen – and poignantly this became an historic occasion as it was to be Her Majesty’s final public appearance in Norfolk.
...and the Band commissioned a special badge to be worn on our uniform jackets throughout 2022!
On 2nd June 2022 the Band were once again honoured to be called into the service of our monarch as we were asked to play in the grounds of the Sandringham Estate at the beacon lighting ceremony.
After playing a broad selection of music, including one of Her Majesty’s favourites Highland Cathedral, the Band’s trumpet section played a fanfare, commission just for the occasion, before the beacon lighting ceremony. Yet another very special performance in the Band’s history - and one of which we are immensely proud!
Continuing the long tradition of celebrating Royal Jubilees, Weddings and Coronations – the lighting of the Sandringham beacon marked the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in the Royal Parkland.
The band has performed in many of our local churches and makes regular appearances during the year at fêtes, garden parties, flower festivals and private functions. Hunstanton Concert Band draws its players from the young, the middle-aged - and the more mature! Some of the players have played professionally and others are self taught. If you fancy trying out with the band there are usually vacancies for woodwind and brass players - our music is scored for all wind instruments from piccolo to tuba and covers a wide range including classical, Glenn Miller, Sousa's marches and selections from the shows! We rehearse every Friday evening from 7.30 p.m. in the Union Church (opposite the Library) in Hunstanton - and all new musicians are assured of a warm welcome.
For more information about rehearsals please visit the Rehearsals page.
From time to time opportunities arise for new players to join the Band. The Vacancies page lists any positions currently available.
The Band celebrated its 10th Anniversary in September, 2008 with a concert given in the Town Hall, Hunstanton. The King's Lynn Male Voice Choir joined us on stage in the presence of the Mayor of Hunstanton, Councillor Mr. Richard Bird and Mrs. Elaine Bird. Every ticket was sold and some folks were standing at the back! The proceeds for the evening, amounting to £1,031.52 was donated in full to the Hunstanton RNLI. You can view a photo of the cheque being presented to the RNLI in the Gallery.
We are very pleased to announce that in May 2023 Paula Cuthbertson was appointed Director of Music of Hunstanton Concert Band.
Paula is also Musical Director of the Downham Market Swing Orchestra and was previously Deputy Musical Director of the City of Ely Military Band from 2008 to 2022.
Born in the north of England, Paula enjoyed playing flute from the age of 9 and regularly played with Bradford Youth Orchestra and Yorkshire Youth Wind Orchestra, then moved to Newcastle University and became Principal Flute of Newcastle Concert Band and also played piccolo in North Tyneside Orchestra. After graduating, Paula moved to Ely in 2001 and currently plays flute and soprano saxophone in various local community groups, including the Ely Band and the Fountain Wind Quintet.
Paula is a member of BASBWE (British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles) and Event Manager for East Cambs. Wind Band Workshop which she founded in 2016 to offer enhanced opportunities for playing a diverse range of wind band repertoire for musicians in the local area. She attended Sherborne Summer School of wind band conducting in 2018 and more recently completed a conducting course at Bicton College in Devon in summer 2022 under the guidance of Duncan Stubbs OBE (former RAF Principal Director of Music).
In her spare time, Paula works as a civil engineering consultant designing roads, bridges and train stations and she also enjoys hockey and kayaking
Frankie joined HCB in April 2022 as Conductor and Director of Music. Frankie's principal instrument is the Tuba but he is also an accomplished player and tutor of a wide range
of other brass instruments. During his teenage years he toured around many countries in Europe as principal Tuba player with the Suffolk Youth Orchestra.
More recently, Frankie has performed with the London Mozart players, the Kingfisher Sinfonietta and other renowned orchestras in the UK. He is a former brass tutor for the Norfolk Music Service.
In 2016 Frankie founded the East Coast Sinfonietta, based in Lowestoft, and he is their conductor. He spends his spare time with his horse, riding, grooming and mucking out!
Frankie resigned from the Band December 31st, 2022.
Dave Taylor LRSM, a musician with over 30 years professional experience, joined the Band in May 2021.. His musical career includes 24 years as a saxophonist, instructor,
administrator and manager in the British Army. Dave went on to instruct young recruits at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller hall.
Now a gigging musician and peripatetic music teacher he brings to the Band his many years' experience in the world of military and concert bands to add to the successes achieved by our previous Directors of Music and conductors.
Dave resigned from the Band in January, 2022.
Chris Gutteridge, who left the Band in March 2020 to move to Scotland with his wife Jayne, comes from a musical family and has been involved in music all his life, from being a folk singer and running folk clubs in his youth, to playing viola in
Norfolk Symphony Orchestra and trombone in various bands.
Chris was also the conductor of Centre Stage Swing Band, in which he once played 3rd trombone under the direction of the band’s founder, the late Roger Lines.
Chris was a very popular and highly respected member of the Band and his skills, enthusiasm and the promotion of better playing will be remember with great fondness. We wish him and his wife Jayne every good fortune in their new life in Scotland and thank them both so much for everything they have done to support the Band and contribute to its continued success.