Formed in 1893, Bilton Silver (Rugby) Band is a friendly, successful community-based brass band in the village of Bilton, Rugby, in Warwickshire, England. The band is a traditional contesting brass band, placed in the First Section of the National Brass Band Championships, having been Midlands Regional Second Section Champions for both 2012 and 2013.
The band perform at many concerts throughout the year, varying from “Last Night of the Proms”, Summer fetes, Weddings, Christmas concerts and Carol services.
Throughout its hundred and several years of existence, Bilton Silver (Rugby) Band’s mission has been to serve its community — in the first instance, since its formation in 1893 amidst the days of fervent social reform, to act as a ‘magnet’ to redirect local youngsters from the streets and pubs and into more edifying pursuits, and in more recent times, as a form of entertainment through formal concerts, church services, parades, fetes and private functions.
The main band maintains its reputation through a varied membership, continuing to nurture players with individual memberships of over fifty years, through to the attraction and welcoming of high quality musicians as the need arises, ensuring a healthy mix of knowledge, skill and raw talent across a broad range of experiences – this, together with the band’s policy of introducing less experienced players from the Training Band as soon as they are ready.
Musical Director — Mark Allen.
As a little boy, living in the wilds of Warwickshire, Mark dreamt of wearing a bandsman’s uniform having seen parades of musicians on the television. Having harassed his neighbour, a tenor horn player with Brailes Silver Band, Mark was taken along to a rehearsal and an instrument placed into his eager hands.
His passion for the brass band sound continued through into his teenage years when he joined the Bilton Silver (Rugby) Band, playing solo horn — his first stint lasting about ten years. By his early twenties, Mark was involved in many of the banding activities synonymous with success in the Championship Section with the William Davis Construction Group Band — Loughborough-based and one of the country’s elite outfits of the time. Highlights of this era included regular appearances on national radio, European Tours and competing in the Albert Hall and Free Trade Hall.
During his thirties, Mark and his young family made a move to Rugby, returning to Bilton Silver (Rugby) Band as their principal horn player and later as Bandmaster. His recent appointment as Musical Director comes in his fourth decade in banding and parallels a similar role with Rugby’s Scirocco Wind Ensemble. The Band’s recent successes are the subject of great pride and Mark looks forward to guiding and facilitating further successes for the band in the future.