The New Mills Old Prize Band is the inheritor of a proud tradition going back 200 years. Its origin lies in a brass and reed band formed in 1812 by Timothy Beard and it is one of the oldest brass bands in continuous existence in the UK.
The New Mills Old Prize Band is inextricably linked to the Beard family. Timothy Beard the founder of the band, was one of five children and two of his brothers, John and Stephen, were to join him in the band.
Excelsior is based on the hymn tune ‘Ransom’ believed to have been composed in 1838 by Timothy’s brother Stephen Beard. I have taken this hymn tune and composed a concert fanfare utilising the main melodic material from the original hymn tune.
The title of the piece comes from the bands original motto “Excelsior!”