From the stirring melodies of 'Land of Hope and Glory' to the iconic 'Rule, Britannia!' and 'Jerusalem,' the Black Dyke Band symbolises the heart and soul of British musical heritage.This June, the Cooper Associates County Ground is set for an unforgettable evening of music, patriotism, and pure joy as Somerset County Cricket Club celebrates the Last Night of the Proms. Renowned for their mesmerizing performances, the band will play throughout the evening whilst accompanied by guest soloist, Nicholas Watts.

The Black Dyke Band has performed worldwide, from Carnegie Hall in New York to the Sydney Opera House, and has regularly appeared on radio and TV. They have also performed at many music festivals, such as the BBC Proms, the Lucerne Festival, and the Aldborough Festival, including two appearances on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival to open the Legends Day. With performances that have consistently captivated audiences, the orchestra are now bringing their unparalleled talent to Somerset CCC this month on June 22

At the heartbeat of the band’s success is current director and trustee, Paul Billing, who explained the significance the orchestra has had on his life. 'As a brass musician, I've known of the band and its excellence all my life. I've been actively involved as a past chairman and currently as a trustee and director for almost twenty years.' The Black Dyke Band is the most recorded band in the world, with almost 400 recordings, and growing every year. In October 2020, the band’s recording of music by John Rutter became the first brass band to reach No.1 in the classical music chart. Despite having been involved for over two decades and enjoying the orchestra’s profound success during that time, Paul and the group have had little time to rest on their laurels with 2024 so far having kept them very busy. 'Apart from a hectic concert schedule, we have recorded a new CD with John Wilson, the music director of the Sinfonia of London. The band is incredibly busy with two visits to Switzerland, the Aldeburgh Britten/Pears Festival, a concert tour of Japan, and performances at the Royal Albert Hall and Symphony Hall, Birmingham. 'And of course, there's a visit to Taunton to come!'

Great British Life: The event will be held at Somerset County Cricket Club. The event will be held at Somerset County Cricket Club. (Image: Ben Warren)

With origins dating back as far as 1816, the band is steeped in heritage and possesses a rich history, having experienced success throughout its more formative years. Recently however, the Yorkshire-based group have been recognised on a regional and global scale, after winning the Yorkshire Regional Championships four times in a row between 2020 and 2024. It is also the most successful contesting band in the world, having won the European Championships thirteen times, most recently in 2015 – but Paul is keen to reassure that despite the classical nature of the band, looking forward into new areas is paramount. 'We are always innovative in our concert planning and aim to reach new audiences, especially those who have never heard a world-class brass band! We love playing in the West Country, and our performances on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury and its Abbey Extravaganza were terrific. However, the crowds at Somerset County Cricket Club are rightly renowned for creating the country's best atmosphere!”

Amongst all the action at Somerset CCC during 2024, this will undoubtedly be one of the many highlights of the summer. The band will be performing at the Cooper Associates County Ground on Saturday, June 22 poised to provide an unforgettable evening’s entertainment. Tickets start at £18 and hospitality packages are also available.