The Somme Memorial Flute Band was formed in September 1998 and is based in Bangor, Co. Down. The band aims to promote and encourage the advancement of flute band music with particular emphasis on traditional corps of drums style. In so doing, it also provides a social outlet for its members, their family and friends.
The name taken by the band was adopted after some deliberation, and after the discarding of potential names linked to local landmarks. There is a simple wish to respectfully remember those who had fallen on the Somme in the Great War.
The Somme Memorial is commonly classed as a melody flute band. However, this classification is not strictly accurate. While the band mostly plays straight melody on traditional orange and other tunes, the bands playlist includes a number of full marches in which two parts are played to give the band a fuller sound. Along with the 1st bb flute part, the F flute part is usually played. The idea is to provide a good counter-melody, or else harmony.
The Band is a marching corps of drums and therefore at the best on the road. In 2002, th band won best band at the County Down Junior Annual Parade in Banbridge and also Bangor Districts Best Band trophy at the Twelfth of July parade in Newtownards. In addition to traditional Orange and Black Institution parades, the band is engaged by the Royal British Legion, whiten its music is heard by people who many not watch the former parades. Feedback received indicated that the band is providing a positive image for traditional flute band music.
The Band practices each Thursday night in Bangor Orange Hall and is keen to find and develop new members and runs a learners’ class.