Colliery Band is delighted to announce the international entrepreneur,
businessman and philanthropist, Michael Watt will renew his sponsorship of the
band for a further three years following his commitment of financial support of
the past four years. He has enjoyed so much watching the band go from strength
to strength over the past few years that he’s been involved as the band’s sponsor.
along with many other ventures, is co-owner of the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club
in Frith Street, London, and he is an executive trustee of the Ronnie Scott’s Charitable
Foundation. The band have already benefitted from Michael’s financial
support over the last 4 years and he wishes his involvement continues to go
from strength to strength as he has renewed his sponsorship for the next 3
years and into the foreseeable future.
Michael’s love of music was born in the jazz clubs of America
when, as a young man, he worked in the oil drilling industry and then into
sports broadcasting. His support for music is diverse, from Broadway and West
End shows and previously a music school in South Africa to the National Jazz
Orchestra of Great Britain, the main sponsor of baroque choral ensemble, The
Sixteen, to a prestigious, historic brass band in the North East of
England, the Easington Colliery Band. These are but a few of his
ventures; his support of music groups is many, including the provision of free
instruments to disadvantaged children.
working-class background and social conscience saw him sponsor the Durham
Miners Gala during its financially troubled times in the 1990’s and he is
pictured on the Durham Miners Association banner alongside Anthony Wedgwood
Benn. The Gala is now a massive musical spectacle celebrating the heritage of
the former north east coal mining communities.
New Zealand Government, the country of Michael’s birth, have recognised his
contribution to international philanthropy by awarding him the prestigious
honour of the Order Of New Zealand.
Colliery Band has served the village and surrounding mining communities since
it was founded in 1915 and this has continued to the present day, even after
the devastating colliery closure in 1993, when the band suddenly became self
supporting. The ECB headquarters is the only building left of the Colliery in
the village, the pay office, built in 1899 when the first shaft was sunk. The
genuine interest he shows in the Band, and its mining heritage and history,
makes this a very special, and personal arrangement for him. He loves to spend
time with the band whenever he is visiting the area or when the band is on its
spokesperson and veteran bass trombone player, Jeff Bryant said, “to have
Michael Watt on board has been a tremendous boost for this brilliant band and
our recent contest successes and high profile professional concerts have shown
what impact he is having with his financial and business support”