Middleton band are set to celebrate 140 years of music making with an exciting international collaboration with Neo Brass. Neo Brass is a British style brass band based in Japan. The band, which has members from all over Japan, are travelling 5800 miles to share the stage with Middleton band and Middleton Youth band on the 9th July at Heywood Civic Centre. Middleton band are delighted to welcome the spectacular Neo brass, conducted by former Middleton band member, Miss Hiroe Tada. Hiroe played the cornet with Middleton band for a number of years whilst studying music to master’s degree level at Salford University. Hiroe also played with many prolific championship section bands before moving back to Japan and founding Neo Brass. Middleton band is also proud to have a former member of Neo Brass currently playing Euphonium in the band. Miss Mayo Aita joined the band in September 1014 whilst she studied music at Salford University. This ambitious collaboration will feature the first live performance of ‘Perseverance’, a specially commissioned piece by renowned composer Mr Andrew Baker for the 140th year. ‘Perseverance’ takes its name and essence from both the original name of the band and also the sheer determination over the years to keep making music despite the odds. ‘Perseverance’ also features as the title track on the bands 140th year CD, also entitled ‘Perseverance’. Middleton band was originally formed by a group of six Middleton lads in 1876, when they purchased a one key flute and a drum, founding the Middleton Perseverance Drum and Pipe Band. 140 years on, the band is going from strength to strength. They have enjoyed many successes, notably becoming national champions in 1983 and 2007. To ensure the on-going future of the band, Middleton formed their very own youth band in 1996. This foresight has proven to be very successful in providing the community with the completely free opportunity for any young person to become a proficient brass musician, whilst also ensuring a succession of young players to move into the main band as they progress. The youth band itself has recently enjoyed success at the National Youth Band Championships where they received a bronze award. Both Middleton band and Middleton youth band continue to entertain and support the local and wider community through regular performances across a range of functions and events. Both bands also enjoy larger scale events in collaboration with other prolific and world-class groups such as Neo Brass! The 140th celebrations will culminate at Middleton Arena on 1st October, where the band are holding a celebratory reunion event for all members and associates past and present to celebrate the success of the band over the years.