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Article compiled by Karon Rice 2008

Rushden Mission Band Centenary Concert 1998

An Anniversary Concert conducted by Mr Tony Boddington was held on Thursday 19th February at 7.30pm at the Mission Church, Rushden. The guest compére was Mr. Paul Mackness and the supporting artists were The Riseley Singers under the direction of Mary Boutall. Mr Brian Sanders wrote a special piece for the band called “Mission Praise” which he also conducted. To see the programme for this concert, click here.

Listen to a track played by the Rushden Mission Band on a cassette tape they made in 1993.

This track became their signature tune

In Internet Explorer, you may have to click on the yellow bar at the top of the screen to "allow blocked content" and see the control panel

To hear further tracks, go to the page about the making of the tape

The following article appeared in the Evening Telegraph on Friday 20th February 1998:

Photograph taken in 1998 to mark the Band's Centenary. Pictured here are Conductor Tony Boddington with Cornet players David Rice and Leanne Parry.
Rushden Mission Band Celebrated its Centenary in 1998. Pictured here are
Conductor Tony Boddington with Cornet players David Rice and Leanne Parry.

One Hundred Years of Brass

Rushden Mission Band celebrated 100 years of making music with a concert last night.

A packed audience at the Mission Church hall, in Wellingborough Road, Rushden, enjoyed a varied anniversary concert, with specially written music.

Band secretary Karon Rice said: "The mission was founded in 1898 as a breakaway from the Salvation Army. The band made regular radio broadcasts in the 1930s. It is a real family set up, passing from generation to generation and we have 38 musicians. It is really like an extended family.”

For the concert, the band was conducted by Tony Boddington and joined by the Riseley Singers under leader Mary Boutall.

One piece – Mission Praise – was specially written by Brian Sanders, the musical director of Wellingborough Salvation Band, who also conducted.

Two pieces were specially arranged by Colin Bugby and the band also played a selection from Carousel, music from James Bond films, the Coronation March from The Prophet, and Three Jolly Sailormen.

There were solos from Peter Cross on cornet and Ray Moule on euphonium, and the evening was compered by Paul Mackness, son of Eric, the oldest playing band member.

A celebration cake was made by band supporter Ivy Safford and decorated with the band’s banners.

The article below by Charles Towler appeared in the Down Your Way Section of the Evening Telegraph the following week:

Nearly 200 music lovers helped celebrate the centenary concert of Rushden Mission Band held in the church in Wellingborough Road.

The band was conducted by Tony Boddington and the compere was Paul Mackness.

The first item in the programme, Centenary March Mission Praise was written and conducted by Brian Sanders, musical director of Wellingborough Salvation Band. He had composed the piece of music after seeing a picture of the band in their new uniforms in the Evening Telegraph.

The band played a wide range of music from Meyerbeer to the moving Candle in the Wind by Sir Elton John. Soloists were Peter Cross (cornet), Colin Bugby (trombone) and there were four cornet players - Peter Cross, Kevin Bates, David Rice and Kelvin Nobles. The euphonium soloist was Ray Moule.

A very attractive programme of folk songs and recitations was given by the Riseley Singers.

Ivy Safford made a special birthday cake with the band’s insignia. It was cut by conductor Tony Boddington and formed part of the refreshments.

The band was originally formed in 1898 as a breakaway group from the Salvation Army and regular broadcasts were made in the 1930s.

Several players were, unfortunately, lost during the Second World War and for some years after the band was depleted in numbers.

After several lean years the band began to grow again in strength and during recent times have been very active, playing not only locally but at various venues farther afield.

There had been several conductors since the war, one of the longest serving being the late Ray Clark, who died in1991 after being conductor for 11 years.

At present  more than 30 musicans perform regularly under the leadership of Tony Boddington.There is a wide age range among the players in the band – the oldest is 81 year old Eric Mackness father of the compere for the night Paul Mackness.

The concert raised £400 for band funds and the chief organiser, band secretary Karon Rice, said: “We would like to thank all those who came and supported us.”

Editor's note: To read about the history of the Rushden Mission Band, please click here.

click here for an interactive presentation of the programme

then click Run to view the album

Please note that because of the limitations of the software package used, it will at present only display on-line in Internet Explorer, other browsers will download the file to run locally

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