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Welcome to the Home of the Britannia Concert Band which was established in 1866 in Londonderry and has been performing various concerts all over Ireland since.
Our program covers a wide variety of music from marches, big band classics, folk, classical and showstoppers.
We are available for all types of engagements, please contact us for more information.
We hope you enjoy your visit to the site and get a flavour of the life of a Concert Band in this part of the world.
08th November - Larne High School
15th November - Limavady High School
22nd November - Millennium Forum
23rd November - Former Inst, Coleraine
28th November - Strule Arts Centre, Omagh
Tuesday's 7:00 to 7:45 at
Tuesday's 7:45 to 9:45 at
Vice PresidentsStanley Alexander
Assistant Musical Directors
According to the Londonderry Guardian of 1866 the Britannia started life as a flute band, uniformed and carrying crimson banners with the Derry arms.
In 1876 it changed to Brass and then in 1881 it became Brass and Reed. The first known photograph was taken on Derry walls in 1881.
Reports in papers of the day describe the band attending the traditional celebrations, playing at regattas (even being towed along in a barge) and performing at the laying of the foundation stone of the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall.
A photo of 1905 shows the band as winners of a cup at the Londonderry Feis and includes members whose descendants are still actively involved.
Sir Edward Carson visited the city in 1912 and was led across the bridge by the 'Britannia'. Many reports appear in the local press of the 'Twenties' with the band entertaining at sports days, soirees, Ballyarnet Races and more regattas.
We have a beautiful programme of the Band sharing a concert with the Ulster Amateur Flute Band in the Guildhall in 1932. Three years later the Britannia Hall was built by its own members and requisitioned by the Canadian Navy during the war.
New uniforms (£15 each) and instruments were purchased in the early Fifties and photos show the band increasing in strength.
The band was on a high in the early 60's taking in Firework Displays in Portrush, the St.Columba services in Gartan Co.Donegal and Christmas concerts with the local Oratorio Society.
Alban Goodman retired as conductor in 1969, after over 50 years service and was succeeded by his son Ken. From this time onwards the band concentrated on cabaret, concerts and competitions.
Triumphs were recorded at the NIBA Championships and at the Dublin International Festival. In September 2004 the band released its latest recording: "... and the band played on."
For the 140th anniversary in 2006 we received the commissioned work “Festival Overture” written for us by Philip Stopford. In 2010, the band released another recording: "Britannia Gold" followed by a live recording from ShowStoppers in 2014
The entire history of the band to the present day can be read in the book "History of the Britannia Concert Band", written by Jim Goodman and Ian Bartlett released in 2017.
The band is going from strength to strength under Conductor Stewart Smith, with every year bringing us new members.
As of June 2nd, 2018, The Band is delighted to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of its contribution to the cultural life of the city through performances at civic, charity, entertainment and religious events. This Award is equivalent to the MBE for organisations and is a tribute to not only the present membership, including our Junior Section, but also to the hundreds of former members who have served the Band during its long history of over 150 years.