Founded in Arklow Co. Wicklow, Ireland in 1968, this band has an unusual history. It was established from a very successful boys’ choir which was part of the Arklow Youth Club. While there were previous Brass Bands in Arklow it was many years ago so there was no expertise to call on to help with the development of the band but from such humble origins the band gradually developed and by 1972 began to compete in the lower sections of the Irish Band Championships which were held every year in the Town Hall in Dun Laoghaire, eventually winning the Championship section in 1981.
From 1977 to 1990 the band travelled twice annually to England to compete in the Pontins Championships in both Southport and Prestatyn. Starting in the 4th Section the Band progressed through the ranks to the 2nd Section over the years.
The band appeared at the Rose of Tralee in 1971 and 1972.
In 1987, John Bonner became musical director. The band has been very successful in both concerts and contests. In 2006 the band won the National Brass Band title for an unprecedented seven times in a row. This achievement is unprecedented in the Irish Brass Band movement
The Band Quartet have won the Irish Quartet Champions, Feis Ceol and the Quartet competition at the Arklow Music Festival on numerous occasions. Individual members of the band have won numerous Solo competitions in the Arklow Music Festival and Feis Ceol over the years.
The Band has recorded three vinyl albums
and 2 CDs to date and provided a backing track for
It has broadcast on TV (The Late Late Show, Trom agus Eadtrom, etc.) and on radio (RTE 1, BBC & Lyric FM), including the BBC’s “Listen to the Band” series and RTE’s Bandstand series. In 2005 the Band featured in the Nationwide program and this can been see on the Band’s website. The band also appeared on The View in 2009.
In September 2002 the Band were very fortunate to have Arklow Shipping Ltd. become its main sponsor who succeeded Armitage Shanks who were the Band sponsors for many years. This sponsorship money helps with the day-to-day running costs of the Band which can be quiet substantial.
The band made its seventh appearance in 2007 at the European Brass Band Championships, representing Arklow and Ireland, in Belfast. They have also competed in the Europeans in Glasgow; Groningen, Holland; Bergen, Norway; Brussels , Belgium; Montreux, Switzerland and Kerkrade, Holland.
Recent appearances on Lyric FM have further enhanced the popularity of the band and they were invited to play at a Garden Part for President Mary McAlesse in Aras an Uachtaráin on the 9th July 2005.
In 2008 Derek Broadbent became Honorary President of the band. Derek is most famous for arranging the Floral Dance which was a big hit for both the Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band and Terry Wogan in the late 1970’s. It is a great honour to have such a prestigious person associated with the band.
On the 4th July 2009 the band picked up a hat-trick of wins at the 30th South of Ireland Band Championships which took place in Clonakilty Co. Cork. They won the best overall band of the Championships, the best Brass section and the best Bass section.
The band released a Christmas CD “Brass at Christmas” in December 2009 and it was very well received. The CD contains many Christmas favourites.
In 2011 Michael Hannan was appointed Musical Director of the Band. Michael was a former Solo Cornet player with the world famous Black Dyke Mills Band in the UK and with his vast “brass” experience the future looks very bright for the Band. John Bonner is the current principal guest conductor of the band. Michael stepped down, due to work and personal reasons, in September 2013 and James MacCafferty took on the job as Musical Director of the Band
The Band gives numerous indoor and outdoor performances every year details of which can be found on the Diary Page of the Band’s website.
The Band has a very active and informative website where there is a vast amount of information, photos and music of the band. The address is: - www.ArklowSilverBand.com
The Band also has a Facebook page for day to day announcements.
The Band are always looking for new members especially experienced musicians who may want to try their hand at a brass instrument and again contact details for this are on the front page of our website.