Integra Brass was formed in September 2012 by Craig Mann. Originally a twelve piece ensemble, the group has since expanded and currently comprises a line up of fifteen players. All of the Integra musicians are members of North-West bands, including Bolton (Hoover), Farnworth & Walkden, Eagley, Coppull & Standish, Stretford and Fodens.
For the first two years, the ensemble rehearsed at Wharton United Reformed Church, Little Hulton, and performed its debut concert there in November 2012. Wharton amalgamated with Cleggs Lane Methodist Church in November 2014 and Integra moved to the Cleggs Lane site.
In terms of repertoire, Integra Brass is a versatile ensemble, with music genres including Latin, Swing and Funk regularly appearing in concerts. 2015 proved to be a successful year, as the group toured with their “Sinatra Spectacular” show, celebrating the centenary of Frank Sinatra. This took the form of an entire evening of Sinatra’s best-known songs, accompanied by video clips of his live performances.
Integra undertook its biggest challenge in August 2014, when the entire ensemble visited Pembrokeshire, South Wales, and performed three concerts in as many days. Concerts venues included the picturesque Tenby Harbour, the brand new Regency Hall in Saundersfoot, and the magnificent St Mary’s Church in Tenby, where the group joined forces with Tenby Male Choir for a sell-out concert that received a standing ovation. The tour proved to be such a success, that another visit was organised for the following year.
The ensemble recorded and released its debut CD in 2015, which marked the culmination of three years of hard work, and was designed to showcase the versatility of repertoire that has made Integra Brass so successful in such a short space of time.