Stacksteads Brass Band are a 4th Section band in the North West Area.

The North West Area 4th Section Champions in 2014 turned 150 years old in 2022, having competed in our first contest in over 20 years in 2013 we are well on the way to re-establishing ourselves in the brass band world.

Stacksteads Brass Band at the National Championships of Great Britain in 2014

In recent years we have also competed at the Whit Friday Marches, Buxton Festival, Brass At The Guild (Preston), Brass In The Wire (Warrington), Hardraw Scar Entertainment Contest and the Bolsover Festival of Brass but we pride ourselves on being primarily a concert band.

Musical director - MR. FRED BOWKER B.Ed LTCL ALCM Rochdale Man of the Year 2002

As a mature student Fred successfully completed the Band Musicianship Course at Salford College, under the watchful eye of Roy Newsome, culminating in a Batchelor of Education Degree (with Distinction) which he gained at the De La Salle College in Middleton, in affiliation with Manchester University.
Whilst at Middleton he was invited to take up the baton and led Middleton Brass Band to various successful contest results. In fact, he created history by being the first only Musical Director of a third section band to win the National Championship of Great Britain in the Royal Albert Hall.
On completion of his degree, Fred took up his first teaching post in Marklands Secondary School in Cresswell, Derbyshire as Head of Music and also Musical Director of the famous Cresswell Colliery Band, where he stayed for three years.
In 1987 he took the post of brass teacher with the Rochdale Instrumental Music Service. Within two years he was promoted to Head of Wind ,and in 1991 became the Acting Head of Service progressing to Head of Service in 1993, the post he held until 2011.
During this time as Head of Service he received the prestigious award of “Rochdale Man of the Year” 2002. This was in recognition of his contribution to developing and delivering youth music within the Borough. Whilst Musical Director of the Rochdale Youth Wind band and Concert Orchestra he has appeared in the National Finals of Music for Youth on many occasions, as well as other major national festivals.
Fred's legacy is that the Music Service can still boast of providing the opportunity and access to a breadth of musical activities for young people in schools within the Borough of Rochdale, with many taking up the opportunity of participating in one or more of the eighteen active performance groups in the Regional Music Centre to further their aspirations.
Fred took the reigns of Stacksteads Brass Band for a second time (after a previous stint in the 80s) in 2012, quickly working on re-establishing Stacksteads in the brass band world. In 2013, at their first area contest appearance in 21 years, Fred led the band to 6th place in the 4th section. Besting that just 12 months later by winning the area contest, making history again as this was the first area win in the band's 140+ year history, taking the band to the National Finals in Cheltenham in 2014 and gaining promotion to the 3rd section in 2015.


If you wish to book us for an engagement, interested in joining the band, or for any other matter, then please contact any one of the following people below

Musical DirectorFred Bowker B.Ed LTCL ALCM07501 774212Email Fred
ChairmanJoe Healey07842 691225Email Joe
TreasurerJeff Lusty07479 498717Email Jeff
Band SecretaryChris Faulkner07584 035112Email Chris
Contest SecretaryJack Eastwood07977 443956Email Jack
Social Media ManagerDaniel Chadwick-Email Daniel


Stacksteads Brass Band - A History

The present home of Stacksteads Band is the old Tunstead Co-op situated on the main road between Rawtenstall and Bacup in the Rossendale Valley. The Band was formed in 1872 and at this time the band was known as the Stacksteads Amateur Brass Band. A year later in August 1873 the Bacup Times reported that, “this young band is working hard to establish a name for itself in the musical world”. The band initially raised £50.00 to buy their instruments shortly after they disposed of these and bought new ones paying the total of £150.00 by instalments. In order for a band to be known as a PRIZE band it had to win the same quickstep (March) in consecutive years. Stacksteads band accomplished this when they won the Westhoughton Quickstep Contest three years in a row those years being 1907, 1908 and 1909. Following their win of 1909 they could then call themselves Stacksteads Prize Band. The band took part in competitions at Belle Vue and Crystal Palace. The first female to play in the band was Renee Amyes daughter of First Cornet player Kitchener Amyes.The band recently celebrated its 150th birthday in 2022 and in previous years has seen competition success throughout all the sections resulting in promotion to the Championship Section in the mid 1980s. However changes in personnel over the years led to the band withdrawing from competition and becoming a concert band, gaining a reputation for putting on some of the best concerts in the North West over the last few years.The band continues to go from strength to strength under the directorship of Mr Fred Bowker and look forward to an exciting future. A return to contesting in March 2013, after an absence of 22 years, saw the band competing at Blackpool in the North West Area contest where the band were placed a very creditable 6th in the 4th section. That same year a prize was also won at the Greenacres Whit Friday Contest and in September the band competed in the prestigious Hardraw Scar Entertainment Contest for the first time where they came 2nd in the B section and also won the trophy for the best Bass section.The following year the band recorded their first North West Area win in history as they topped the 4th section with their performance of "Three Spanish Impressions" by Alan Fernie. This win qualified the band for the National Championships of Great Britain in Cheltenham and also saw the band be promoted to the 3rd section in 2015.Among the regular line-up there are a number of experienced players who fill the principal seats and help the band to put on a thoroughly entertaining programme containing many solo items.