Penicuik Silver Band



John Ord Hume commenced his duties on 25th February 1899.   This was a red letter day for banding in Penicuik as Mr. Hume also gave much of his free time to help the Salvation Army Band.


Hume seemed to be all that any forward looking brass band needed.   He may at once be claimed as a typical Scotsman, being of Scottish parentage and was born in Edinburgh in January 1863.   At the age of 13 years he joined Her Majesty's 64th Regiment, and from that time his career as a musician commenced. He soon became solo cornet player of the regimental band although just a boy, and he studied harmony and instrumentation from an early age.


The Ord Humes were a musical family, his brother James being a prolific writer and in great demand as a contest adjudicator, whilst David was a first class pianist and vocalist.


As a cornet soloist, John Ord Hume had few equals.   He had a rich mellow tone, very powerful and a wonderful compass.   He also had great experience as teacher. and conductor of brass bands.   Previous to becoming teacher of Penicuik Band, he was in great demand as an adjudicator at contests, two of which were the largest ever held in England.   Pieces that he composed are still going the rounds today.


This then is the man who in 1899 took over Penicuik Band, with great things expected of him..


Penicuik Instrumental Band - 1899


One thing that he emphasised was that failure on the part of the bandsmen to practice at home created great difficulty for the teacher.   That was said 80 years ago and bandmasters have been echoing the same words every year since then.


Under Hume the Band entered for a contest.   This was their first contest and it was held at Armadale on Saturday, 19th August 1899.   The Band were unsuccessful on this occasion but their enthusiasm was not diminished.   It was a sad day for Penicuik when Hume announced that he was leaving to take up an appointment at Inverness, but a year later he returned to Penicuik and resumed his old position.


In 1896 the Midlothian Brass Band League had been formed.   The idea was to foster a good relationship between the bands in the county and make bands strive to play better.   Mr. Ord Hume once remarked, "If there were no contests there would be no good amateur brass bands.   It has brought up the standard of taste as well as that of execution."   It was this league that Penicuik Band joined and, under Mr. Ord Hume, were successful in winning a place in the first three.   It must have been difficult for Penicuik to hold such a prominent teacher as Hume, and so it proved when, in August 1902, he left to take up an appointment with Edinburgh Postal Band.

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