A Brass Band Advent Calendar: 13. Knight Templar

George Allan’s evergreen contest march

For many listeners of brass band music, some brass bands are recognisable by their choice of contest march. You could be sure that Fodens Band will be playing The President on Whit Friday. Brighouse and Rastrick for some listeners is shorthand for Ravenswood in that department. As for Black Dyke Band, there is only one answer. Yes, it is George Allan’s most recognisable contest march.

What do we have here? In our video clip isn’t Queensbury’s finest musical export. Even Mr Magoo could fathom that one out.

Yes, that is Brighouse and Rastrick Band who are playing Knight Templar, as seen at the Dobcross Whit Friday Band Contest. George Allan’s piece is inspired by the Knights Templar. They were founded in 1119 and active until 1312. As a Catholic military order, they were pretty influential and funded a wealth of building projects. A bit like The Peel Group, though with red crosses, horses, shields and religious clout. It is also where the London suburb Temple Bar takes its name from.

Since Black Dyke Band popularised the use of Knight Templar, several other brass bands have had a stab at the contest march. It works pretty well as a concert item as well as a favoured contest march for First Section and Championship Section bands. As we have seen in this clip, Brighouse and Rastrick Band put in a wonderful performance.

For tomorrow’s piece, an awesome overture awaits us. All will be revealed on the 14 December.

S.V., 13 December 2018.

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