For 117 years, the British Bandsman magazine has been a part of the brass band community in Great Britain. The Salvation Army has announced, in a press release from the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland Territory, that they have purchased the venerable publication. The magazine will be owned by the Army’s publishing arm, Salvationist Publishing and Supplies Ltd. (SP&S).
Brass bands have been a strong element of the Salvation Army’s internal culture for 125 years, beginning with a streetcorner quartet in 1878 and now including thousands of musicians worldwide. For many years, the Army took a cautious and insular approach when dealing with the “outside” banding scene, not allowing Army musicians to use music published by non-Army sources and not selling Army-published music to other groups. In recent years, this has rapidly changed, and the Army is now a central player in the brass band community. The purchase of the British Bandsman magazine furthers the effort to further the process of integrating Salvation Army music into the mainstream of the brass band world.
The British Bandsman brand name will be expanded beyond the scope of the magazine, according to Trevor Caffull, Managing Director of SP&S, as quoted in the press release: “We have ambitious plans not just for the development of the magazine, but also for the further development of the British Bandsman brand in other guises. It’s important, whilst respecting and affirming a quality of tradition, that we look forward and develop a vision that enables us not just to keep pace, but also to lead in the area of brass band journalism.”
Press Release, United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland Territory