The Beginning

Warrenpoint Silver Band was formed in 1950 when members of the local flute band thought they would like a change. The inaugural meeting took place in September of that year and by Christmas time they were playing carols. Within three years they had won a North of Ireland Bands Association contest. Mr W.J.T. Gordon was the band’s first conductor serving for almost twenty five years. A former member of 55th Old Boy’s Band, Mr. Gordon was a real brass enthusiast. He was conductor for what was the band’s most successful period 1967-1968. In that time they won the NIBA third grade, followed that with the Brass Band League contest victory and in June ’68 won the Entertainment Cup at Monaghan festival and the Style and Appearance Cup at Newry Festival.

The Conductors

Over the years there have been only 6 conductors in front of the band. Mr Jack McKnight was its second conductor, followed by Mr. Maurice McCabe, a member of the band. In the eighties Mr. Leslie Carson was in charge being succceded by Mr. McKnight who returned for his second spell. In the mid nineties Mr. John Dalzell came of of the ranks to conduct. In April 1999 Maurice McCabe returned for his second term as conductor. He joined the band in 1963 (when he was very young!) and played until 1968 when he was with the Ligoniel Band. Belfast. In November 2005, Maurice resigned as conductor with eighteen-year-old Colin McCabe, Maurice’s nephew taking up the baton on a temporary basis. When he moved to Edinburgh to continue his studies the Band appointed Mr Alan Graham in October 2006. Alan is also conductor of Hamilitonsbawn Silver and Wellington Silver bands.

At the end of 2009 the band thought it the time was right for a re-think and re-grouping. Coming into the 60th year it is important to ensure that the band survives and committees were formed to deal with recruitment and the celebrations. Maurice McCabe took up the baton again for January and February and the band performed well in Portadown. Mr Stephen Murray, Principal Cornet with Drogheda Brass approached the band and after two weeks of trial the band appointed him as Musical Director. Stephen found the travelling weekly from Drogheda too much and after taking the band to the NIBA contest with an extremely difficult piece had to give up the baton. It fell to Maurice to rescue the situation and once again he is now the conductor.

The Future?

We need new members of all ages and ability particularly Cornet, Bass and percussion players.