DMA Brass Band Project - Music of the Miners' Gala

by Philippa Smith in South Hetton, England, United Kingdom

Total raised £3,158

raised so far

+ est. £194.50 Gift Aid



Bringing the music of Durham Miners' Gala to those near and far by recording a CD full of the days traditional, joyous and reflective music.

by Philippa Smith in South Hetton, England, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 12th January 2021 we'd raised £3,093 with 58 supporters in 56 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

Any donation is greatly welcomed! It would be great if we could surpass our initial target! Every contribution will help towards keeping our band safe, and together, throughout the uncertain future of live music and concerts.

About the band

The Durham Miners’ Association Brass Band (DMA) is a Second Section band formed in September 2009 by the amalgamation of Broughtons Brass Band and Hetton Silver Band. The name reflects the longstanding association that Broughtons Brass Band had with the Durham Miners’ Association and previously the Durham Area National Union of Mineworkers. We currently have 37 dedicated and active members of the band varying in age, the youngest being 13 years old.


Why are we Crowdfunding?

On average, the band perform at 25 concerts and 5 contests annually.

In previous years, the band has toured Belgium, France and Germany, visiting communities with similar coal mining heritage to that of ours, and have had the privilege of playing at the Menin Gate service in Ypres ...


... and had the rare privilege to have been invited to play in Cologne Cathedral.


2020 started well for the band! In March we qualified for National Finals, due to take place in September at Cheltenham Racecourse. Unfortunately, like most things, the finals were cancelled.


Throughout lockdown, we decided to keep our spirits high and have some fun creating numerous lockdown performance videos which have been shared and viewed far and wide! We even made it onto the radio!

Usually, a highlight of the year is being able to march on behalf of the Durham Miners’ Association at the Durham Miners’ Gala. 2020 was to be the Gala's 149th anniversary but due to the global pandemic, this too was cancelled.


Our Project

Knowing how much joy and entertainment the Miners' Gala brings to the thousands who flock to the streets of Durham, we would like to record a CD filled with Gala classics. This will allow those from far and wide to enjoy the sounds of the day, whilst  also commemorating 150 years of the Gala.

We anticipate that the choice of music will be carefully selected to reflect the different stages of a bands journey through the Gala, from the early morning start at Redhills with a rousing march, entertaining the crowds in Durham Market Place with good old sing-alongs, to remembering those who worked and died in the mines in the reflective Miners Service in Durham Cathedral.

Help us go one step further and make this an inclusive, local community project! 

Due to Covid-19 and multiple lockdowns, our community has seen a rise in unemployment and a lack of available work, especially for those in the arts and entertainment sectors. Therefore, we would like to try and make a difference to some of our local entrepreneurs by offering the opportunity for a local artist, poet and sound technician to be a part of the overall CD production.

All donations are greatly appreciated to try and make this project a success!

Due to minimal fundraising opportunities this year, producing this CD will use a substantial amount of the bands funds. As well as conductor fees and transportation hire for percussion and larger instruments, we anticipate costs to be:

  • Professional recording (sound technician and equipment) - £900*
  • Artwork design and cover printing - £500*
  • Production of 500 CD's - £700

*Opportunity for local artist to be involved 

Never been to Durham Big Meeting? Here is what it's all about ...

Every year, on the second Saturday in July, more than 200,000 people march in Britain’s1605203882_picture1.jpg biggest celebration of trade union and community values – the Durham Miners’ Gala. The Gala is not like a normal trade union march. In fact, it has no start time, no finish time and no one place of assembly. Traditionally, the colliery bands would march through their villages starting early in the morning and then make their way to Durham from all directions and, in the main, that tradition remains today.The procession can take three to four hours to pass the main focal point of the County Hotel due to the huge numbers attending and the frequent pauses at the hotel. However, a wonderful atmosphere of street theatre is created there making the occasion more a fiesta than a march.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, The Durham Miners' Gala was unable to take place on the second Saturday in July 2020. However, we hope it will return in 2021 for its 150th anniversary.

About Save Our Brass Bands

Brass bands exist in every corner of the UK, with over 30,000 people of all ages and standards taking part in weekly activity – rehearsing, performing and providing entertainment for their local community.

But we risk losing this forever.

Brass Bands saw their main source of income disappear in an instant when they ceased being able to perform in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Months later, we still don’t know when normal performances will be able to take place. A significant loss in income over the Summer months, paired with necessary expenditure needed to make rehearsal spaces Covid compliant means that many Brass Bands are in a perilous financial situation.

Without urgent support, we could lose our nation’s amazing Brass Bands. Please help us to make sure they survive this crisis and will be there to be enjoyed by future generations.


Please donate, share this page widely and do what you can to help us to make sure our Brass Bands survive this crisis.


This project offered rewards

£20 or more

Music of the Miners' Gala (2021)

Your chance to receive a copy of the CD that this Crowdfunder Project is towards. As an extra thank you for donating, select the option below to have your name credited within the CD booklet.

£2 or more

The First Noel - Christmas Track Digital Download

Receive a digital download of this traditional Christmas carol, with a twist. Please remember to provide us with your email address when completing your donation.

£10 or more

Jubilation CD (2015)

Recorded by the Durham Miners' Association Brass Band at Redhills (the Pitmens Parliament) and includes traditional brass band pieces, hymns, featured soloists and feel good music.

£10 or more

"Christmas" CD (2018)

A must-have stocking filler for your friends and family (or yourself) "Christmas with the Durham Miners' Association Brass Band" includes festive classics such as The First Noel, Sleigh Ride, Frosty The Snowman and White Christmas.

£50 or more

A Song for You

Let us entertain you with a lockdown style video recording of the band playing your favourite song, hymn or Christmas carol. Or surprise a loved one with an extra special rendition of "Happy Birthday"! To request your favourite song before donating, contact us at [email protected]

£100 or more

Small Band Hire

A select group of DMA Band players will come and entertain you and your guests with a 1 hour concert for your occasion. T&C's Apply: Venue must be no more than 20 miles from Durham, subject to band availability and any Covid-19 restrictions at the time of concert. Got a question? Contact [email protected]

£300 or more

Full Band Hire

The DMA Band will perform a full concert, consisting of two 45 minutes sets, for you and your guests. T&C's apply: Venue must be no more than 20 miles from Durham, subject to band availability and any Covid-19 restrictions at the time of concert. Got a question? Contact [email protected]

£2 or more

*Win a Luxury Christmas Hamper*

*Draw on 19th Dec* Be in the chance of winning a large, luxury Christmas hamper, to be at your door in time for Christmas! Included in the hamper are items such as: Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, biscuits for cheese, jams, chutneys, sauces, pate, coffee, hot chocolate, marshmallows, Christmas tea, sweet biscuits, nuts (packed separately), sweets & chocolates. You can enter the raffle either via this crowdfunder page, or by post (see update)

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