Muker Silver Band
Muker Band have been making music together for over a hundred years in Muker, a village in picturesque Swaledale - one of the most northern of the famous Yorkshire Dales.
A strong sense of local identity and family loyalty has enabled the Band to survive despite Muker's tiny population. Although never a serious contestor, the band maintains a busy calendar of public appearances, and performs a wide repertoire of music both ancient and modern.
In January 1897, the Rev. James Cooke, vicar of Muker in Swaledale, chaired a public meeting in the village institute which decided to form a brass band to mark Queen Victoria's impending Diamond Jubilee. A working committee, consisting mainly of local farmers, raised £52 by public subscription to establish the band. They purchased a set of second-hand instruments, and hired the leader of the neighbouring Gunnerside band to teach the novice bandsmen to play. Four months later, the Band played it's first public performance in the village market place.
Since that time, Muker Silver Band has successfully survived the challenges of war, population movement, and social change and maintained the tradition of village music-making established a century ago. The Band, who recently celebrated their hundredth anniversary is now one of the last surviving bands in Swaledale and Wensleydale in Yorkshire. A strong sense of local identity and family loyalty has enabled the Band to survive despite Muker's tiny population. The great majority of the players (whose ages range from ten to seventy) still hail from within a few miles of the village.