The Kirkintilloch Band

Making music since 1890
Registered Charity SC0324238

About image
The Kirkintilloch Band   -   Musical Director  -  Hedley Benson
Teaching and performance of Brass Music since 1890

The Kirkintilloch Band was formed in 1890 with funds provided by public subscription and is still a self supporting organisation.
Their first contesting appearances were in the 2nd Section Championship in 1898 and 1899. However it was not until around 1948 that their contesting prowess came to light. The band progressed through the sections in the 1950s and 60s. They made their debut in the 1968 National Championships in the Royal Albert Hall.

Over the years many Conductors and Musical Directors have influenced the musical direction and teaching at Kirkintilloch, Hugh Forbes, Tommy Learmouth, David James, Peter Wilson, Charles Keenan, Matt Siddell, Alex Fleming, Selmer Simonsen, Jim Smith, Steve Bastable, Paul Drury, Alan Fernie, Richard Evans, Nigel Boddice, Russell Gray, Garry Cutt, Frank Renton, Luc Vertommen, Philip McCann, Alan Ramsay, Craig Anderson, Paul Holland, Chris King, Dave Roberts, Ray Munday, Craig Roberts, Gareth Bowman, Raymond Tennant, Willie Tennant. Eoin Tonner and many others.

The appointment of Prof. Walter B Hargreaves as Musical Director marked a turning point in the band’s history when it won the Scottish Championships in 1984 and 1985 under his guidance. ‘Kirkie’, as they are known in the banding fraternity, won the Scottish Championship in 1990 and 2002 conducted by Frank Renton. Success at the Scottish Championships meant further appearances in the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall and to the band competing in the European Championships in Copenhagen (1985), Wales (1986) and Rotterdam (1991) Luxembourg (1995) Bergen (2003) and Stavanger (2008)
In 2001 they won the Grand Shield Contest in Blackpool conducted by Alan Ramsay, which qualified them to take part in the British Open Championships for the first time in their history.

In September 2004 Steve Bastable conducted the band at the British Open Championship when they were place 4th; this was undoubtedly the bands best result since its formation in 1890. In 2007 under the leadership of Nigel Boddice they once again became Scottish Champions. In the 2008 Championships Selmer Simonsen was engaged to conduct the band and they were place 2nd and again runner-up in 2009. It the 2008 British Open the band where placed 5th conducted by Selmer Simonsen. In 2013 they again had a very successful year with 2nd place ant the Scottish Championships and the Grand Shield in Blackpool with Conductor Phillip McCann. Then followed representing Scotland at the British Open and The National Championships in London’s Royal Albert Hall.
In 2019 the band gained promotion back to the Championship Section after a year in the 1st Section which they won in 2019.

The Kirkintilloch Band has never had the backing of a sponsor, members pay for all trips and visits to Contests in various parts of the UK and Europe.
  • Kirkintilloch, Scotland, United Kingdom
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 Musical Director  -  Hedley Benson
Hedley Benson’s appointment as MD marks a new era for the band.   The band have studied the success of various bands who have followed the model of a single conductor in overall charge of the band’s musical development and have been searching for the right candidate for this role.   A band spokesperson commented “we are delighted to have Hedley take on this role with the band.   Throughout our discussions we were so impressed with his drive and enthusiasm which, together with his undoubted musicianship marks the beginning of an exciting new period for the band both on the contest and concert stage.”
Hedley is from Pudsey, West Yorkshire. He began playing the cornet aged 8 with the
Hammond's Sauce Works junior band and went on to play for many other Yorkshire bands
before moving to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. Following on from this he
completed a MMus at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. Shortly after graduating Hedley
won the position of principal trumpet with the Porto Symphony Orchestra where he spent 5
happy years before moving back to the UK to take up the position of principal trumpet with
Northern Ballet. In 2008 Hedley was appointed co-principal trumpet with the BBC Scottish
Symphony Orchestra. He is a busy freelancer most recently playing guest principal with the
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony
Orchestra and the Fairey Band. Hedley is a keen chamber musician, soloist and advocate of
brass bands. When not involved in music Hedley can be found standing in the middle of a river
fly fishing, running or trying to keep up with his two young children!
Hedley said “I'm delighted to renew my association with The Kirkintilloch Band. After playing principal cornet with the band many years ago it's great to join this thriving, energetic outfit at the helm as MD.”


Band information imageBand information image
Rehearsal Details

Our normal rehearsals are The Kirkintilloch Band   -
Wednesday & Sunday 7.30 pm -
Band Hall address 17a Old Mill Park industrial Estate, Kirkintilloch, Glasgow G66 1SS

Kirkintilloch Youth Band - Tuesday 6-8 pm  Contact 

Kirkintilloch Kelvin Brass - Monday & Thursday 7.30 pm

Brass o' scotland image
1.   March 'Moray Firth'
2. Flower of Scotland
3    The Wee Cooper o' Fife soloist John Stark
4    Amazing Grace
5    Ecossaise - Bryan Kelly
6    My Love is Like a Red Red Rose 
7    Loch Lomond]
8    Intrada Song and Dance
9     Song
10   Dance
11   The Wee Macgregor
12   The Love of my Life Solo Piper Donald MacPherson
13   Scottish Rhapsody
14   Eriskay Love Lilt
15   Land of the Mountain and the Flood
16   Skye Boat song Medley   with Piper
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Summon the Heroes CD  £5 including postage from

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First lp imageFirst lp image
First LP recorded The Kirkintilloch Band in Concert recorded in 1986 in the Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow
Listen to two tracks on Player 4

  • Kirkintilloch, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • Kirkintilloch, Scotland, United Kingdom
First recording imageFirst recording image
First Recording of The Kirkintilloch Prize Silver  Band, recorded in the Adam Smith Hall, in Kirkcaldy, Excerpts from Elijah arranged by Drake Rimmer. Scottish Championships  1965?  band Conducted by Hugh Forbes

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Willie Tennant image
Willie Tennant first joined The Kirkintilloch Band in 1937 playing Tenor Horn; he played his first concert with the band in Woodhead Park, Kirkintilloch in the summer of 1938.
He was forced to give up playing for a time because of Diphtheria, but rejoined the band in 1942 under the Conductor at that time Tommy Learmouth, this time on Cornet and then he moved to Flugel Horn.
Willie took part in his first contest in 1948 in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, in June 1949 he was called up for National Service when he joined the staff band of the Royal Army Service Corps, and while serving, played concerts in London’s Royal Albert Hall on two occasions. He also played with the Aldershot Town Band when serving in the Army. He rejoined Kirkintilloch in June 1951, the same year they won their first 3rd section Championships in the Adam Smith Hall in Kirkcaldy, the band were conducted by Hugh Forbes.  Willie then moved on to Euphonium when the band took part in the National Finals in Manchester in 1952.
He has served in all the administration posts over the past 70 years and was first appointed Secretary in 1952 at the age of 23, he then moved to Stirling in 1954. In 1958 he stopped playing for a time to take up a youth training course, he then went on to play with Bo’ness & Carriden band from 1959 till 1960, then rejoined Kirkintilloch in 1961.
He moved to the Paisley area in 1963 and continued his involvement with The Kirkintilloch Band, or Kirkintilloch Silver Band, as it was known then. When he was made redundant from the Linwood Car Factory he took up a post of Brass Instructor with Lanarkshire Schools until his retirement in 1994.
Over the years Willie has conducted Kirkintilloch Senior and Junior Band and had great success, in particular at Solo and Quartet Contests, winning the Junior Quartet Championships in 1971 and the Senior Quartet Championships in the 1980’s, he was also responsible for the teaching of a number of successful solo performers.
He moved from Secretary to Treasurer in 1986 and finished playing in the senior band that year and took over the training of the Junior Band. Up until this time he had played in every contest Kirkintilloch Band had entered, apart from one during his national service, and he has a number of Championship Medals from 3rd, 2nd, and Championship Sections.
Since 1954 Willie has travelled thousands of miles just to be involve with The Kirkintilloch Band, a devoted servant to the band in his many fundraising activities over the years, and it’s true to say if it was not for Willie Tennant there would be no Kirkie Band.
He became involved with the formation Kirkintilloch Kelvin Brass in 1994, this came about because of the number of players Willie had taught over a long number of years moving on to other bands, there needed to be a base for all his hard work in Kirkintilloch.
Kirkintilloch Kelvin Brass has moved up the ranks from 4th section to Championship Section.  It was a great honour when Kelvin Brass won the National 3rd Section Championships in 2000, when they performed in the London’s Royal Albert Hall.
On this occasion it was a proud day for Willie in Particular as at the age of 70 he was playing Eb bass and his son Raymond was conducting, Willie gaining his first National Championship Medal at 70, not bad!
Willie Tennant has taught hundreds of young people over the years, some playing with other bands, some now teaching or performing music, and others have stayed with the Kirkintilloch organisation.
In 2001 Willie was presented with the Diploma of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, recognising 64 years of dedication and teaching of young people.
Willie was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scottish Brass Band Association in 2008, he  also received the 50 year life members medal in 1994.
Willie was Honorary President of The Kirkintilloch Band organisation which incorporates Kirkintilloch Kelvin Brass,  Kirkintilloch Youth Band.
His two sons Ronald and Raymond now earn their living from brass music and responsible for the very successful Band Supplies company.
The success of any band depends on loyal faithful servants with a commitment like Willie Tennant has had over the past 92 years,  he was been ably supported by his late wife  Margaret, sons Ronnie, Raymond, Scott and daughter Arlene.
Peter Fraser
May 2021