Penicuik Silver Band

BAND HISTORY


8.  WILLIAM ALLISON

The Band Committee still kept on the lookout for a professional conductor.   They found one in the person of William Allison.   From 1911 when Mr. Allison was appointed, the Band entered on a new lease of life.   From the very start his enthusiasm was reflected in the working of the Band Committee and the bandsmen, each one working wholeheartedly

together and backed by generous supporters.   The work of George Logan as Secretary and Alex Allen, the President, were particularly noteworthy during Allison's period as conductor.

 

When Allison was contacted by Penicuik Band he was solo cornet player with Polton Band.   Here indeed was a great brass bandsman.   He was born in Bradford, Yorkshire on 4th September 1881.   At the age of six he commenced to learn the cornet under the tuition of his father who was bandmaster and founder of Bellevue Band.   At the age of eight he joined Bellevue Band on 3rd cornet.   Two years later he succeeded his brother Louis as solo cornet and was much sought after by other bands.

 

In 1892 he settled as soprano cornet with Rutland Mills, but after a year as soprano he was asked to take solo cornet.   In 1895, aged 14, he was engaged as principal cornet with Dewsbury Old Band, where he gained considerable experience.   It was in 1898 that he came to Clydebank Band as solo cornet.   Clydebank was Scotland's premier band at that time.   One of the first contests in which Clydebank took part after Allison joined them was the Championship of Scotland, where young Allison won the Gold Medal for cornet.   He stayed four years with Clydebank and then returned to Yorkshire as solo cornet with Louchwaite Band.   However, owing to the indifferent health of his family, combined with tempting offers from Clydebank, he returned there as bandmaster and solo cornet.

 

During 1905 he had the unique experience of winning 21 first prizes in 21 successive solo competitions.   His combined winnings consisted of three silver cups, three cornets and over forty gold and silver medals.   This then, was the man Penicuik Band were fortunate in having as conductor.

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