The History Of Cantium Brass

Cantium Brass has a history dating back to 1886 when it was known as the Garlinge Wesleyan Mission Band. It later became the Garlinge Silver Band and functioned as such until the Second World War. When hostilities ended, the band became known as the Margate Silver Band, the new name of Cantium Brass being adopted when the band finally left Margate in May 1998. The move to Canterbury, together with the purchase of a new bandroom has allowed the band to capitalise upon many recent successes as well as being more geographically situated for the majority of the players.

The Band's new headquarters was officially opened on the 11th December 1999 by Mrs S.Webb, Chairman of the local Chartham Parish Council.

During the Pre War years the band regularly took part in contests at Crystal Palace and on more than one occasion, featured in the prizes. After a break of several years, the band returned to the competitive stage & entered the Regional Qualifying Contest at Watford gaining a respectable 6th placing. It was in 1992 that the band leapt to new heights with a 3rd placing at the Regional Contest in Watford and 1st Prize at the Southern Counties Spring Contest in Brighton. This result alone ensured promotion to the 1st Section, where the band made it's debut performance at Folkestone in October 1992 with a performance of Percy Fletchers Labour & Love, gaining a commendable 2nd placing. During next few years the Band continued with its escalated run of success and in October 1999 came 5th at the Pontins Brass Band Championships in North Wales.

Cantium Brass at the Royal Albert Hall 2000In March 2000, Cantium Brass became one of the National Finalists by gaining second place at the London & Southern Counties Area Qualifying Contest at Stevenage. The Band represented the London & Southern Counties at the Royal Albert Hall on 20th October after a convincing performance of the Test Piece "Narnia Suite" by Geooffrey Burgon. The adjudicator, Malcolm Brownbill, admired the band's ability and spirited Performance and awarded the band 180 points. Only one year later, Cantium scooped the Third Section Champions Title from a number one draw and represented the London and Southern Counties at the National Finals in Preston on Saturday 22nd September. 2001.

In addition to success on the Contest Platform, the band are in great demand for many other musical ventures throughout the South East of England.

Cantium Brass participated in the "Whit Friday March Contest" as seen in the Blockbuster movie Brassedoff which is probably the best event in the Brass Band Calendar. This was the band's first visit to the Saddleworth area and we were pleased to come home with a second Prize. Not only did we have an enjoyable weekend, but it was pleasing to dispel the great Northern Brass Band Myth about banding down South. We made a return visit to Saddleworth in June, picking up a 1st Prize (3rd Sec) at Scouthead & Austerland, 1st Prize (3rd Sec) at Grotton (10th overall) and a 4th Prize at Friezland. Out of the 104 Bands that participated in the Saddleworth Championships 2000, Cantium Brass came out 20th overall.Much of the credit for the Band's success must go to Musical Director John Goold. John took over as M.D. in February 1990, this led to a renaissance within the band whereby new players were encouraged to join and a more forward looking administration appointed. It is with this, that Cantium Brass have moved from it's static mid 50's image, to an Organisation geared to meet the challenges of the next decade and beyond.

Cantium Brass at The Navigation Inn - Saddleworth 2000The success that followed John Goold's appointment has attracted an enormous amount of interest in the band, which is particularly surprising in a County with so little Brass Band Heritage. This interest has culminated in the band being invited to play at the Official Garden Party of the High Sheriff of Kent and at a private party for Nick Parks, creator of "Wallace & Gromit" at the Waldorf Hotel in London.125 years on, the Band continues to flourish. We are constantly praised for our music prowess. The Band maintains an enviable reputation for providing quality entertainment all over the Country. We are considered fine ambassadors for the incredible legacy which we currently protect in memory of many past members, and will continue to enhance such legacy for those players of the future to come.

Our aim, is to consistently produce music at a very high standard which in turn reflects outstanding value for money to Concert Promoters. 2011 marks a huge milestone in the bands incredible history and we hope to make it a very memorable one for all.

We have ambitious plans for the future and are therefore currently seeking financial assistance by way of Sponsorship. We were engaged to perform over 25 engagements during 2010, regularly attracting audiences of between 200 – 3000 people. The potential benefits to a Sponsor are colossal, and we would of course be proud to endorse your Company Logo on our music stand banners and attire.

The number of brass bands in the UK, have declined from tens of thousands to a mere 650! Changing lifestyles and the many Government cuts are mainly to blame. Please do not let this opportunity pass you by, drop us an email today to find out how you can secure this bands future for the next decade and beyond.