Welcome to the Unite the Union Band “Life in lockdown” news page.

Here you can find all the latest news about the band during the lockdown period, including updates on the band’s lockdown projects and our  ‘Meet the Band’ series.

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)


For all bands, Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for Unite the Union Band, whether we are out carolling in small groups (inside and out!), or performing full band concerts. Unfortunately Christmas 2020  will not see the band out and about performing as we would like to, however, that hasn't stopped us  trying to bring a bit of festive cheer   albeit in a  virtual and socially distanced manner.   

Thank you again to our fantastic MD John Davis who  put all of these videos together! 

First up, we have a short carol  for you: Away in a Manger

Our second offering  features our good friends from the Bel Canto Choir. For a number of years, the band has   been invited to join Bel Canto at their Christmas concert at St Margaret's Church in Swinton.  As  the concert was unable to take place this year, we though t it only appropritate to join forces for a joint  virtual Christmas project.

Please enjoy our second video: O Come, All Ye Faithful

Our third video is a little bit different, and a little bit special, but perfect for Christmas Eve. Featuring members of the band, their children and  a special appearance by Karen Reay from Unite the Union NEYH,  we hope you enjoy our reading of:

T'was  the Night Before Christmas

Before our final Christmas offering, from  all of us at  Unite the Union Brass Band, we hope you all  have a joy filled,  healthy and safe Christmas, and a  prosperous New Year. See you in 2021!

We Wish You  a Merry Christmas

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