The Greater Manchester Police Band has been in existence in various forms since 1877.
A group of serving officers came together to play at the funeral of a police officer, and decided to continue performing together. They formed a military-style wind band and played police and community events around the Manchester area.
Through the amalgamation of Salford Police with the City of Manchester Police in 1968, and the creation of Greater Manchester Police in 1974, the band played on. The 35 serving officers undertook engagements all over the country on behalf of the force.
The band was briefly disbanded in the 1980s but was reformed a couple of years later by several of the previous members (including current serving volunteer, George Pinnington). Membership was opened up to volunteer musicians in order to strengthen numbers, and is the basis of the band today.
Our band has grown and evolved over the years, and we now have over 50 volunteers including serving and retired police officers, police support staff, professional musicians, teachers, civil servants, and many more. We're united by our love of music and wanting to perform and entertain people and communities.
We now have several professional-standard ensembles that play at a huge range of community and police events throughout the Greater Manchester area and beyond.
Our highly-acclaimed symphonic wind band consists of around 40 players, and performs a diverse repertoire, including classic wind band music, hits from musicals, popular music and much more. The wind band also encompasses our marching band who undertake high-profile parades and public ceremonies.
The Big Band was formed in 2005, allowing us to expand our repertoire and perform for different audiences and events. Consisting of 20 volunteers, including several vocalists, we perform classic big band music from the swing era and popular music through the decades, including disco hits and modern favourites.
We also have several smaller ensembles, including a Dixie Band, saxophone quartet, a ceremonial brass fanfare ensemble and a five-piece jazz group.
Our aim is to make a difference in communities through music. All our ensembles play frequently at many GMP events, formal civic ceremonies, private and corporate functions, as well as supporting a huge range of community events. The band is in great demand, and our volunteers give up their free time to perform, and are proud represent the force in communities.
We perform at lots of fundraising events; since 2012 the events that we have supported have cumulatively raised in excess of £600,000 for lots of local and national good causes.