Band celebrates its 20th anniversary

Derwent Brass
Derwent Brass

AS PART of its 20th anniversary celebrations, a Belper brass band is having a piece of work put together by an up-and-coming composer.

Derwent Brass is working with Paul McGhee on the as yet unnamed 20-minute composition.

Paul McGhee, composer.

Paul McGhee, composer.

The link-up follows a successful grant application by the band to the PRS for Music Foundation.

Derwent will look to use the bespoke new work as a significant marker in the band’s ever-growing history.

Paul McGhee said: “I’m very pleased and excited to be working with Derwent Brass and its musical director Keith Leonard.

“Having known Keith and the band for many years, I’m honoured that they’ve chosen to include me in their milestone celebration.

“Hopefully we can produce new music that breaks from convention and creates a different experience for the audience, whilst giving the members of Derwent, past and present, something to celebrate their times in the band.”

In the last 20 years Derwent Brass has come a long way. From the depths of the Third section of the brass band league tables, they are now firmly established in the Championship section.

Mr Leonard said: “Having been associated with Derwent Brass for 19 of its 20 years, I have enjoyed the long journey to the exciting ensemble we enjoy today.

“The 20th anniversary is a significant milestone for the band and it’s wonderful that we have been able to engage a talent such as Paul McGhee to create something special for us.”

The first performance of the new work is at the Landau Forte Theatre in Derby on Saturday, February 25. For more details, visit

The band meet at Belper’s Strutts Centre in Derby Road.