Welcome to the Unite the Union Band “Lockdown Latest” news page.

Here you can find all the latest news about the band during the lockdown period, including the latest guidance from the UK Government in relation to brass bands, updates on the band’s lockdown projects and our new ‘Meet the Band’ series.

Government Guidance

22nd September 2020 -  Boris Johnson PM, made  a statement  updating the guidance around "the rule of 6". The Department  for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has issued clarification to Brass Bands England as to what this wil mean for amateur perfroming arts groups, including brass bands. The relevant guidance is available to view here  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do but the  key additional paragraph 3.18 is:

Can I go to my hobby club / amateur musical group / other leisure activity?

It is  against the law to gather in groups of more than 6, where people are from different households or support bubbles. Some activities - such as those organised for under-18s - are exempt. In a COVID-19 Secure venue or public outdoor place, non-professional performing arts activity, including choirs, orchestras or drama groups can continue to rehearse or perform together where this is planned activity in line with the performing arts guidance and if they can do so in a way that ensures that there is no interaction between groups of more than 6 at any time.

If an amateur group is not able to ensure that no mingling takes place between these sub-groups of no more than 6 (including when arriving at or leaving activity or in any breaks or socialising) then such non-professional activity should not take place.

There is still a lot  of  preparaion for our band to go through before we are able to rehearse,  but we hope to  be rehearsing (and performing again) in the near future.

Details around the  latest advice can be found  through the link to Brass Bands England** below:


**Unite the Union Brass Band is a member of Brass Bands England (BBE), an organisation designed to support, encourage and promote the activities of brass bands. Statements issued by BBE are formulated with Pubic Health England (PHE).**

Lockdown Projects

During the lockdown period, with the band being unable to meet in person, we have taken advantage of technology to  create some lockdown projects and continue making music. We would like to offer our thanks to our MD John Davis for putting together "Slaidburn...from the top", and to  Voirrey Baker on cornet for putting the  videos for "International Workers' Memorial Day" and "Durham 2020" together.

Slaidburn...from the top

Our first lockdown project - we hope you enjoy our virtual performance. Thanks again to  John for putting this together.


International Workers' Memorial Day - 28th April 2020

An international day of rememberance for workers disabled, killed, injured or made unwell by their work. Thank you to Voirrey for putting this together.

Durham Miner's Gala - 11th July 2020

Starting in 1871, the Durham Miners' Gala or Big Meeting, is  one of the world’s biggest and most colourful celebrations of trade unions and community spirit.  While we are disappointed for the Gala  to have (understandably) not taken place this year, we hope to be back for the celebrations in 2021, and we hope you enjoy our  contribution to this years' virtual celebrations. Thank you to Voirrey for putting this together, and to our Chair Melissa Maddison for narrating.

National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain - 2012 Tribute

This weekend, the band should have been competing in the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, First Section Finals.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the contest had to be cancelled. While the band are disappointed not to be competing, we fully understand why the contest could not go ahead.

2020 would have been the 4th appearance of the band at the National Finals in the last 9 years. The previous 3 appearances all resulted in top 7 finishes - a standard we had hoped to maintain, preferably with some silverware travelling back to Yorkshire with us.

The 2012 appearance was a little bit special though - and we would like to dedicate our WINNING performance of Vivat! by Tom Davoren to our fellow competitors, bandsmen and friends around the world.

Complete with pictures of the band from 2012 - we hope you enjoy listening.
Stay safe, keep looking after each other and keep smiling.


(photo credits: Dave Leak, Judith Jones, and 4barsrest)

Meet the Band 

Although people have heard us perform at various events,  very few may have had an opportunity to talk to our members, so we thought that  we should take the opportunity during lockdown to introduce ourselves.   Below, are videos featuring members of the band as we answer questions about ourselves and our musical journeys - with some fun facts along the way. (We have even learnt some new things about each other).  

We would also like to say another big thank you to our MD John Davis for taking the time to put all of these videos together, and we hope you enjoy watching them.

Episode 1 - Steve Machin

Episode 2 - Becky Marsh


Episode 3 - Gemma Grayson

Episode 4 -  Maria Beazer

Episode 5 -   Arthur Cutts

Episode 6 - Voirrey Baker

Episode 7 -  David Leak

Episode 8 - James Eberlin

Episode 9 - Amber Lewis-Roberts

Episode 10 - Kate Salter

Episode 11 - Trevor Goodison

Episode 12 - John Grayson