Join us at 7pm on Friday 19th October as we celebrate our 200th anniversary with an evening of musical entertainment at Shaw Playhouse 2, Oldham

Tickets are £10 in advance or £13.50 on the door and are available from the Shaw Playhouse 2 Box Office: 01706 840400


Join us to celebrate our 200 year anniversary with a Celebration Concert at Bury Parish Church on Saturday 27th October at 7pm.

The concert will feature the current Besses o' th' Barn Band alongside special guest players from the band's illustrious past forming the Besses Reunion Band.
Tickets are £10 for adults and £8 concessions, and are available from Bury Parish Church. members of the band or can be reserved for collection on the door by calling 0161 290 4721.

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After much hard work by members of the band past and present we're delighted to be back in the Besses bandroom on Moss Lane. There's still plenty of jobs to keep us busy including recataloging the extensive library, but it's great to be back. A special thanks to our Chairman Barrie Chappell and solo horn player Nick Guzman for the many many hours they've put in!

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TrevorBesses o' th' Barn Band are delighted to announce the appointment of Trevor Halliwell as their new Musical Director.

A cornettist from the age of 9, Trevor's talent was spotted as a young player by members of Wingates band. He went on to become assistant principal at Foden's, before returning to Wingates where he held the principal position for ten years, also winning the coveted title of Champion Soloist of Great Britain 1979 and playing principal trumpet with the Haffner Orchestra.

Trevor brings to the band a wealth of experience as a player, teacher, adjudicator and conductor. In his conducting career, Trevor has taken numerous bands including Stalybridge, Marple, Hoover Bolton, and more recently leading Golborne band to promotion into the 2nd section.

The band are very excited to be working with Trevor as they approach their Bicentenary year in 2018 and would like to invite any players who would like to come for a blow to join us at rehearsals every Tuesday and Thursday 8-10pm at the band room, 2 Moss Lane, Whitefield, Manchester M45 6HG.

We are looking to fill the last empty seat in the band.
All players are welcome, but we have permanent positions available for the following:

B-Flat Bass

Please contact Chairman Barrie Chappell on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

Rehearsals are every Tuesday and Thursday 8-10pm.

Besses Triumphal with the RLPO

A resurgent Besses has now played to three delighted and packed houses in one week whilst supporting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (‘RLPO’). Earlier this week, the RLPO – just back from another triumphant visit to Bucharest – swept into the Royal Albert Hall with Besses for a sold-out Classic FM concert drenched in razzamatazz, cannons and fireworks. The Royal Albert Hall concert was recorded for broadcast on the radio on Friday 25 September.

Much of the same programme was then performed in two further sell-out concerts at the RLPO’s Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool in a celebratory atmosphere as the orchestra’s opener for this season.

The RLPO party programme included the world premiere of screen composer Nigel Hess’ specially-commissioned Celebration Overture, written for the orchestra’s 175th anniversary this year. Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto was played in gorgeous style by the orchestra, and with a lovely lightness by rising star, 25-year-old, Chinese pianist Ji Liu.

The other guests at the Phil, returning after Tuesday’s performance in London, were Besses o’ th’ Barn Band, whose current musical director is RLPO principal trombone Simon Cowen.  They added a splash of red-lapelled colour to the platform, and boosted the concert’s brass complement to something like an ear-busting 34.

This was particularly effective in the closing pairing of the Triumphal March from Aida, and Tchaikovsky’s evergreen crowd-pleaser the 1812 Overture which, with the strings going hell for leather, percussion in full flight and a deafening wall of brass, might just have been heard in Moscow Drive, if not in Moscow itself.  Stirring, nay explosive stuff.

Musical director Simon Cowen commented:

“The concerts were huge fun, and absolutely loved by the audiences.  For the band, the experience of the last week has created a buzz around the bandroom which will last for quite some time.”Besses RAH RLPO photo ianwestPA 2


Classic FM recording of RLPO Concert at Albert Hall





Besses o' th' Barn Champion Brass 1975/76 

Joseph BirkettCompany Sergeant Major Joseph Birkett DCM
240883   2/5th East Lancashire Regiment
Lived at 49 Marlborough Street, Burnley

The Burnley Express of 16 August 1919 reported:

The Distinguished Conduct Medal was presented on Saturday last, at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, to ex- Company Sergeant-Major J. Birkett, 1/5th East Lancashire Regiment (Burnley Territorials). Ex-C.S.M., Birkett, who is now demobilized, and resides at 49, Marlborough Street, Burnley, enlisted on October 9th, 1914, in the 2/5th East Lancs. He first got the information of his honour through the columns of the "Burnley Express," on June 4th, 1919, when we published the honours and awards list from the London Gazette, dated June 3rd, 1919. The Depot Colonel at Preston presented him with the medal as stated, the following regiments being represented on the parade, about one company in strength; East Lancashire Regiment, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, one battery R.F.A., and a small detachment of A.S.C.

Read more: Besses Band’s own WW1 Hero

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