2020, well....
1st November 2020

Firstly we want to thank all our colleagues in the Fire Service, as well as the other blue light services, and of course the NHS for their huge commitment to the response for the Coronavirus pandemic.

It has of course been a difficult year for the whole of global society. At times like this, the band and its’ members remain hugely grateful for all the positive things that we have in our lives, but of course it is terribly disappointing for our clients, audiences and of course our members that we have been unable to perform for most of the year.

Throughout the last few weeks and months, the band management have been working together to pull together a plan of how we can get together and start rehearsing again. This of course needs to be in a way which complies with the guidance published by the relevant authorities, but most importantly in a way which we know can be safe. Music and performance is a huge part of the lives of all of our members and we are missing it dearly. Playing music, and listening to music are known to play a huge part in the mental wellbeing of individuals, both musicians, and audiences alike, and we are committed to getting back playing as soon as it is safe for us to do so.

In order that we can hit the ground running, the management of the band have continued to work in background to appoint a new Musical Director, and we are delighted to announce the appointment of Ritchie Howard, as Musical Director of the Band of the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

A full summary of Ritchie’s musical career can be found on the Contact us page. In the meantime, please follow our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube for our latest remote performances and we look forward to catching up with our audiences again soon! Be sure to subscribe to our channels to keep up to date on lates news.

Round up of 2019
31st December 2019

2019 has been one of the busiest in recent years for the band, performing at private and public engagements across the country.

The spring was busy with a number of concerts, starting in March for a charity concert in Richmond, and followed in May by another charity concert at our local haunt Morley Town Hall.  The band were also very excited to play in Knaresborough at the wedding of longstanding member, flute player Frances and her new husband Gavin.

We are normally busy during the summer months with marching gigs, and this year was no different. We once again visited Bolesworth Castle for performances at the CSI International Showjumping weekend in June, and were invited back to perform again at Carfest North where the rain was so bad this year we had to perform in our wellington boots!

In June the band were proud to take part in the Armed Forces day celebrations in Leeds city centre, leading the parade of our veterans and serving forces through the packed crowds of the city.

The band were very excited to perform at two very special sporting events this year. The first was the opening ceremony of the Underwater Hockey World Championships at Sheffield City Hall, an event that was attended by teams from all over the world. The second was to perform at the start line of the UCI World Cycling Championships for the ladies race in Bradford.

A highlight of 2019 for the band was also our first performance at The Chatsworth Show. The band played numerous displays in the main arena across the full 3 days of this highly prestigious event. You can see the video highlights here!

In October we raised lots of money at a charity concert for the Royal British Legion at Morley Town Hall.

During the Christmas period, the band once again marched Santa & his reindeer around Bradford city centre for the Reindeer Parade. We also  performed Christmas concerts at Cleckheaton Town Hall and St Peter's Church in Birstall, and also spent two very chilly days at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park entertaining the masses.

The band would like to thank all customers and audience members that have supported us during 2019, and would like to wish you all a happy and healthy new year for 2020.

2018 Update

2018 was another busy year for the band, performing at a host of private and public engagements, some of which were new invitations for the band.

We entertained local audiences in Morley at our annual Town Hall annual concert in March, and then showcased our marching band skills as we lead the St Georges Day Parade and celebrations in the town.

During the summer months we are generally found performing in our marching band format, and highlights included performances at the CSI International Showjumping weekend at Bolesworth Castle in June, Drighlington Gala, and a first time performance at Carfest North, a family festival held in support of Children in Need and other children's charities.

Our affiliation to the Fire Service means that we have the honour of playing at a number of Fire Service events throughout the year. In June we had the honour of playing at a private ceremony at West Yorkshire Fire Service Headquarters which celebrates the achievements of those fire service personnel who have earned awards for long service. This event is well attended by family and friends of the recipients, and is also attended by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.  July sees us entertain the crowds at the very well attended Emergency Services Gala hosted at WYFRS HQ in Birkenshaw, where the band loves to show it's versatility with marching and static displays. In September we travelled to London to represent WYFRS at the National Firefighters Memorial Ceremony. This is a fantastic event where fire service bands from around the country join forces and march through the streets of London. It is quite a sight to behold.

As we enter the winter months, the band plays at a number of traditional concerts in venues around Yorkshire. This year we played concerts at the Birkenshaw Music Festival, performed for the Royal British Legion back at Morley Town, and hosted our annual Christmas concert at Cleckheaton Town Hall.

November was a very special month for the band as it once again visited Belgium to join other Fire Service bands to play in the Rememberance Day parades at the Menin Gate in Ypres.  As this year was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the event was even larger than normal, and was an incredibly special experience for all band members.

The Christmas festivities started for the band in November as we paraded Santa and his reindeer around the streets of Bradford for the annual Reindeer parade, in celebration of the start of Christmas in the city.  We also performed at the Christmas events at Yorkshire Wildlife Park and a number of private Christmas events.

Happy New Year
23rd January 2017

Well yet another busy December, so now we are all rested its time to catch up on our news.
We performed at various new engagements prior to Christmas, which was a nice refreshing change for the band. We had a trip to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster where we received a great welcome from the visitors and lions, although they hid when we tried to grab a photo!

We completed a busy 2016 with a performance in Bradford Cathedral, which is always a treat, as its a fantastic venue to play in. This was for the Lord Mayor's Christmas Carol Service and it was great to see a huge audience. 
Already this year preparations are well underway for our four upcoming concerts. March see us perform at our annual concert in Morley Town Hall supporting the Fire Fighters Charity. April we can be seen at Wakefield Cathedral supporting the Rotary Club, May takes us to Manchester to commemorate the 10 Year Memorial Concert for Guardsman Tony Downes and finally in June we travel to Masham to perform for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Fund.

So for our followers, we hope there is something near you and we look forward to seeing you.
For anyone who plays an instrument reading this please get in touch. We meet on a Monday night from 1930 hrs at West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters in Birkenshaw, Bradford. So why not start 2017 with a new band, or pick up that dusty instrument case and start playing again.

Season of Remembrance
14th November 2016

Once again the band had the honour to play at the Last Post and Remembrance Day Ceremonies at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium. The band travelled out on Wednesday evening and then led the UK massed Fire & Rescue Bands to the Menin Gate on the evening of the 10th November, then again at 11am and 8pm on the 11th November. This is the sixth time since 2007 that the band has participated in the Last Post and Remembrance Day Parades, with plans to return again in 2018 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War. On their return to the UK the band then also led the parade in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire on the afternoon of Sunday 13th November.

The WYFRS Band outside the Cloth Hall in Ypres, Belgium, 11th November 2016

2016 Update

11th October 2016

Sunday saw us perform at one of our local favorite venues, Cleckheaton Town Hall for the Spenborough Branch of the Royal British Legion. The crowds gathered for the Sunday afternoon concert which featured some great musical content and lots of audience participation. The band has a long standing relationship with the Royal British Legion and are always happy to support this very worthwhile cause and we have for a number of years.
The Royal British Legion does an exceptional amount for the lives of Britain's servicemen and their relatives. Please make sure you buy your poppy this November.
Continuing the theme of Remembrance, November sees the Band to travel across to Ypres, Belgium to take part in the Remembrance Day services at the Menin Gate. We will join other Fire Service ensembles from across the United Kingdom between the 9th and 13th November. Each day the Last Post is played by a bugler from the local volunteer Fire Brigade to remember those that gave their lives in the Great Way. WYFRS Band have are very proud to be part of the Remembrance Service this year as in previous visits. 

A sad day...

18th July 2016

A statement about the passing away of Roger Lumb, one of our longest serving members, can be read here.

Time Flies...

11th July 2016

It's been just over a year since the news section was updated, so we thought we'd just bring you up to date with some of the latest news from the bandroom!

The Band have had a great start to the year performing a second concert in Richmond, North Yorkshire following our very successful concert at the end of last year.  The fundraising gig was in aid of local charities in the Richmond area.

Our annual Morley Town Hall Concert attracted our biggest audience there to date and was a rousing success, featuring bandstand favorites as the theme to the performance. The concert supported the firefighters charity as we often do, and was attended by local dignitaries.

A new event for us in June, took the band back to Harrogate International Conference Centre. This time playing for the Trefoil Guild. The hall was at capacity and we were joined on stage by a number of musical groups formed of members from the Guild. It had been a while since we were at the HICC and made for a pleasant evening at the Guild's annual meeting.

On top of these concerts, the band has also performed a number of Ceremonial Marching engagements, including, St Georges Day, the WYFRS Young Fire Fighters Graduation, Eventing at Bolsworth Castle and of course one of the annual highlights, was to perform for 13 Fire Fighters that received their Long Service and Good Conduct medals for service to the Fire and Rescue Service.

A recent first for the band was also to perform alongside our 999 colleagues from the West Yorkshire Police Band, at the Emergency Services Show at WYFRS HQ. The two bands have been discussing joint opportunities for a while now, and it was great to see the first joint performance as we paraded on our home ground - and at such an appropriate event.

In addition to all this performing, the band has also been working on some major wind band works for concerts later in the year and welcomed some new faces in to the band room.

We continue to welcome new members though and presently have seats available for Trombone, Euphonium and Horn, but of course all other woodwind, brass and percussion would be made very welcome too. For information on Seats available please visit our Join the Band page.

On yer bike!

2nd April 2015

12 members and friends of WYFRS band will be embarking on one of their biggest ever challenges this May Bank Holiday.

They are attempting to cycle to official Coast to Coast route – from Whitehaven to Tynemouth. The route takes them 140miles over 3 days, and will include cycling over 10,000ft of climbs!

Read about our adventure in full on our dedicated page here.

Success at Morley Town Hall!

1st April 2015

The first concert of the year was a couple of weeks ago in Morley Town Hall, and raised a good chunk of money for our favorite charity, The Firefighters Charity.

The concert featured some great soloists from our great pool of musicians as well as two talented singers from Freedom Performing Arts who went down a storm with the audience. The band also performed some rousing pieces including Finlandia and a medley of marches as a salute to the forces.

Band Chairman Kevin Fisher MBE said after the event;
"The first concert of the year is always a great one - a chance to blow the cobwebs off and really shine - and in particular in from of a local audience".

Particular thanks also go to Andi Pandi Cakes who served up some sumptuous cup cakes in the interval as well!

2015 off to a great start!

1st March 2015

After a very well earned Christmas rest 2015 for the band has got off to a flying start!!

With the initiative of one of our members, the band's second rehearsal back, was an open rehearsal, where members were asked to bring a friend. The night proved to be a great success!! with the band gaining several new members to start the New Year. The band had planned to record a new CD in March but due to the influx of members we have put this on hold, whilst we get everyone fully settled within our ranks.

The Band's first concert is fast approaching and our new members will be joining us on stage at Morley Town Hall on Sat 14th March. The concert starts at 7pm. The band has lightly themed the concert this year as "Soloist on Parade" and will be featuring some fine soloist, traditional marches, in our Salute to the Forces and two very talented girls from Freedom Performing Arts who will be singing along to our selection from Disney's Frozen and to finish with the splendid Finlandia.

The bands diary is filling up, with, amongst others, another returning year to Chester Racecourse for International Polo Matches and Bolesworth Estate for Showjumping. We also have a number of new events for 2015 including Drighlington Gala, Emley Show and Izegem Tattoo, in Belgium.

This couldn't be a better year to come follow the band, keep an eye on our engagements page for upto date listing. Or if you are interested in joining us, then please come down, new members are always welcome!

Spectacular Summer

16th September 2014

It would seem that the weather has final given up on us for Summer '14 and we're now heading towards Autumn. The band website has been a little thin on updates for the last few months, purely down to how busy we have been outside of cyberspace.

The band have had a great summer, and we're really pleased to have performed a number of new engagements including playing for the Huddersfield Giants, the 3*** Eventing at Bolesworth Estate in Cheshire and more recently our first outing at the local Mirfield Show.

The band also paid our respects to the fallen of World War one as part of the Lights Out Event. We didn't do anything particularly "showy" as that's not really what it was about, more that we paraded to our memorial at WYFRS Headquarters and had a moments silence there.

Continuing with the theme of remembrance, the band are heading towards one of our busiest times. We will be performing for the Royal British Legion at Cleckheaton town hall on 5th October. You can find out a little more about the concert on the Spenborough Royal British Legion website. Tickets are free and available from Cleckheaton Town Hall.

Following from this concert the band will also be performing at Remembrance Sunday services on 9th November in Bradford at 11am and the in Cleckheaton at 2pm. Immediately after this the band will depart the UK for Belgium to lead the 100year commemorations at the Menin gate in Ypres on 11th November, with colleagues from DSFRS on behalf of the Last Post Association.

Keep up to date with the band's jobs by checking our list on the engagements page!

Welcome to 2014.

17th January 2014

The band would like to thank everyone for their support and custom in 2013 and we wish everyone a very safe, prosperous and happy 2014!.

The calendar for 2014 is already filling up, with some more exciting engagements awaiting confirmation. It looks like it will be a busy year for us and one we're certainly looking forward to!

Our first concert is at Morley town hall in just a few weeks. You can read more about the concert and get tickets here. You can also catch up with all out other engagements on the calendar page here.

Tis the season to be jolly :-)

16th December 2013

The festive period has been action packed for WYFRS Band, who have brought the spirit of Christmas to a whole host of audiences across Yorkshire.

At the family friendly Reindeer Parade at Kirkgate Shopping Centre the full marching band entertained the masses wearing full ceremonial dress, with an added twist....Reindeer Antlers!

Another treat for the whole family was the WYFRS Christmas Concert held in the afternoon at Cleckheaton Town Hall.  The kids were out in force at this concert, singing and dancing along to the family favourites, and were helped along in a full audience sing song to a few classic carols.  A great afternoon was enjoyed by all.

WYFRS Band were also very proud to partake in yet another extravaganza hosted by the North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service at Harrogate's Royal Hall.  The annual concert is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness on fire safety, and also makes a wonderful contribution to The Firefighters Charity.  The hall was jam packed with festive concert goers, and the band were pleased to meet VIP guest, John Parry from The Firefighters Charity, a charity very close to WYFRS Band's heart.

Once again, the band were delighted to collaborate with amazing local talent:

The Fisher Singers,

Freedom Performing Arts (Pictured, in remarkly similar dress to the band!!!)

North Yorkshire Fire Service Pipe Band

The band also had the opportunity to work for the first time with fabulous soloists, Lorna Adams & John Christos.  The finale piece, 'Christmas Festival' was a sight to behold, with all groups (around 150 performers) performing as one ensemble.

All of these engagements have culminated in the band raising in the region of £9,000 for various charities, an impressive feat in just a few weeks.

The coming week will see the Band perform at some private engagements, and perform a full day of carols at Meadowhall on Saturday 22 December.  If you're getting your last minute shopping, do come and pay us a visit.  Favourite carols will be available on request (for a small festive donation to the collection of course).  For more details on upcoming engagements, visit our engagements page.

From all at WYFRS Band, we would like to thank you for your continued support, and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, and a safe, happy and healthy 2014.

"Take the next step...."

16th November 2013

It seems appropriate to mention this in "Movember"...

When the band was in Canada in the summer we were introduced to Dan Hennessey a prostate cancer survivor with a mission to increase awareness of the disease.

Whilst in Bridgewater, Dan asked us to be a part of his new campaign video encourage men to "take the next step" and get checked for prostate cancer. Take a look at Dan's new video below and see if you can spot WYFRS band, but more importantly, find out more about him, his campaign and about prostate cancer. More info can also be found here and here.

Take the next step

A time to remember.

6th November 2013

WYFRS band recently performed their annual remembrance for the Royal British Legion in October.

The band have had a long standing relationship with the Royal British Legion and are always happy to support this very worthwhile cause, and we have been for a number of years. This year saw a new dimension added to the concert as the band were accompanied by the superb vocal talent of Trumpet Major Chris Pritchard, who performed a number of songs and led the singing for the "Last night of the proms" finale.

A spokesman for the RBL said afterwards, that it was one of the best concerts the band has staged and the standard was truly excellent. A review of the concert can be read on the Royal British Legion website here.

This coming weekend, the band continues remembering as we perform at the Remembrance ceremonies in our home City of Bradford, on Sunday morning (10th November) and in Cleckheaton in the afternoon.

The Royal British Legion does an exceptional amount for the lives of Britain's servicemen and their relatives. WYFRS band are always keen to support the charity and would encourage others to do so. Please make sure you buy your poppy this November. Another way you could help is by supporting the newly formed Poppy Girls in their quest to get their new single and album to No1 in the charts. You can see a video of their single below and buy it from Amazon or iTunes and help support this worthy cause!

The Poppy Girls

Autumn update.
9th October 2013
The band have relaxed a little more following from a busy Summer including the trip to Canada. We have performed a few engagements including the Audi International Polo Challenge at Chester Racecourse, which is always a great weekend. 

Last weekend, the band were proud to lead a parade round Northampton celebrating Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service being awarded the freedom of the borough. The short parade followed on from a ceremony at the Guildhall, where the mayor of Northampton presented the award to the Chief Fire Officer Martyn Emberson.

Following from the parade Mr Emberson said “Today is a great honour for the Fire and Rescue Service as we have been granted Freedom of the Borough by the Borough Council. It’s a hugely symbolic day for us and represents a significant achievement.” He the went on to add "The band has made the event even more special by adding some real atmosphere to the ceremony".

A full report on the event can be ready on the Northampton & Herald Website here.

Looking forward, the band has a busy few weeks coming up, starting with a concert on behalf of the Royal British Legion at Cleckheaton Town hall on Sunday 13th. The week after we make an appearance at the very first Yorkshire marathon. In November we will be commemorating remembrance day in both Bradford and Cleckheaton, before starting on our Christmas program of events.

28th July 2013
Read the review of our 2013 tour of Nova Scotia, here.

Armed Forces Round Up

25th July 2013

Over the last four weeks the band have undertaken a number of events supporting our Armed Forces.

A number of members performed at RAF Waddington, for the air show, supporting our colleagues from The Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue Service Band.

Then, on Armed Forces day, we performed a full marching display followed by concert on Centenary Square in Bradford. The display was met with rapturous applause and was entirely choreographed by the band's Drum Major Jonathan Carr. The event organiser from Bradford Council said she was delighted with the performance.

A week later the band performed a parade for the Stavely Armed Forces Veterans Association in Poolsbrook Park. The parade contained a large number of cadets and was led by the band flanked by Royal British Legion motorbike outriders. Joe Roberts of the SAFVA said afterwards, "You really did us proud and created an excellent impression".

Most recently on 20th July the band were requested to perform for the Freedom Parades of the Yorkshire Regiment in Huddersfield and
Halifax following from a personal recommendation to the RSM. The band was led by the Musical Director Lee Whitworth LLCM ATCL who's experience as a serving military musician ensured the event was a resounding success. The number of positive comments received by the band both during and after the event was exceptional. Some news coverage of the event can be viewed here.

Afterwards Band Manager Kevin Fisher MBE said "This is something which i'm so proud to have participated in. It's a honour to represent our troops in this way" More history and info on the Yorkshire Regiment can be found here. After laying the colours at a service in Halifax Minster, the 3 YORKS regiment was merged into 1 YORKS.

The band leading the 3 YORKS Freedom parade in Halifax (Courtesy Sally Young)

Mad Dash for 10K...

15th July 2013

The band proudly participated in Jane Tomlinson's Leeds 10K run last weekend on Sunday 14th July. The run is one of the largest 10K events and has around 8,000 participants.

Whilst the full band didn't actually do the 10K run we were delighted that our bass drum player Mark did, putting in a very respectable 54 mins 22 seconds.

During Mark's morning sprint, the band marched across the start line of the race, then entertained the crowds in Leeds City Centre, before a rousing performance just over the finishing line.

The event organisers said how pleased they were that the band had taken part and a spokesman for the band said:

"The Leeds 10K is a huge legacy left by Jane Tomlinson, which we are delighted to participate in. We started working with The Jane Tomlinson Appeal following from last years Tunnel To Towers event and we feel its really important to get involved. The next performance will be at the very first Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon!

We also asked Mark for a comment, but he was out of breath at the time!

Busy, busy, busy!

16th May 2013

WYFRS band has has a busy start to 2013 having already completed a number of concerts and private events.

The first three concerts of the year were at Bradford Cathedral, Morley Town Hall, and Ashton Town Hall in March and April. All were charitable performances, with the band keen to build on last years fundraising success.

In early May the band performed alongside West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service personnel at a charity ladder climb outside Marks and Spencer at the new Trinity shopping centre in Leeds. The band provided entertainment to the passing crowds whilst firefighters from WYFRS climber the equivalent of 20 times the height of the Empire State Building! The event raised a phenomenal £3,500 for the Fire fighters charity.

Most recently, a group from the band also performed for the graduation of more than 150 Young Firefighters at the WYFRS training centre and HQ in Birkenshaw.

The young people carried out a number of fire drills in front of their family, teachers, head teachers and senior fire service officers at formal graduation ceremonies and have now completed a Level Two BTEC qualification in Fire and Rescue Service in the Community.

After the event Assistant Chief Officer Dave Walton commented that the band had helped make the evening special for the graduates, who in turn should all be proud of contributing towards making West Yorkshire safer.

More information on young firefighters can be found here.

2012 is WYFRS Band's most charitable year ever, raising £15,000 for worthy causes!

23rd January 2013

At the bands annual awards ceremony on Saturday 19th January, the band's treasurer announced that 2012 had been the most charitable year ever for WYFRS band.

The band participated in a number of concerts and events throughout 2012 which all contributed to the band raising in excess of £15,000 for worthy causes.

Of the £15,000 raised, around half was raised directly by the band or it's members at events which the band hosted or led, and the other half from events which were hosted by others, which the band played an instrumental role in. 

The fundraising highlights of the year were the Help for Heroes concert in April, in memory of Neil "Tony" Downes and the inaugural Tunnel to Towers march in October, which saw the band march 5Km including a stretch through the Rotherhithe Tunnel (pictured).

Andrew Field, The band treasurer commented: "Whilst the band itself relies on donations to survive, it's so important that we do as much as we can to contribute to the wider community. The band has every right to be proud of its achievements in 2012, it's been a record year for fundraising and it's all down to the dedication and hard work of our members".

The largest benefactors were The Firefighters Charity and Help for Heroes, with other charities such as The Royal British Legion, The MS Society, The Jane Tomlinson Appeal and the Stroke Association also receiving donations.

2012 News Archive
2011 News Archive