The Wantage Silver Band is an amateur brass band organisation, based in the small market town of Wantage, Oxfordshire. The organisation currently comprises 8 bands, possibly making Wantage the largest brass organisation in the country. Click on the menu for more information about our bands.
Our Wantage Band is in the prestigious Championship Section and in October 2016 competed at the Royal Albert Hall at the Nationals, their second visit in two years. Concert Brass in March 2022 won promotion to First Section as of January 2023, they head to the National finals once again in September 2022 after being placed 3rd at the 2021 event. Academy Brass, formed in 2013, compete in the 4th Section. To complete WSB we have Community Brass, a Training Band, a Beginner band, the Big Band, a Percussion academy, and a Bavarian Oompah Band .
Currently, three of Wantage Silver Band's sections are active on the contesting scene, competing in the London and Southern Counties region. The Wantage Band graduated to the Championship section in 2007, Concert Brass gained promotion to the 1st Section from January 2023. Academy Brass, formed in 2013, currently contest in the 4th section.
WSB started as a junior band in 1972 with a few second-hand instruments, following the demise of an earlier organisation. An old photograph, taken in March 1973, shows the growing number of youngsters, some still without instruments, outside Charlton Church Schoolroom. Thankfully the band is now well supplied with good quality instruments, after obtaining a National Lottery award. Having been homeless for many years following the demolition of our first practice Hall in 2001, we raised funds to build a purpose-built Band Hall on Tugwell Field on the eastern outskirts of Wantage. This opened in 2013, but with the continuing expansion of the WSB organisation, an extension is now being built to provide a second hall and two tuition rooms. This extension will be available for Community use.
We provide entertainment to local audiences through concerts and open-air events such as summer fetes, and compete in county and national/area competitions. Occasionally we travel further afield for contests of particular interest, or for holidays combined with scheduled concert performances.
We also support local Civic events and lead parades for organisations such as Scouts/Guides and the Royal British Legion, for example. On other occasions you may see us involved in carnival processions, while local Churches may call on us to provide accompaniment for hymn singing at special events. We are also available for engagement at private parties and weddings, for example. Wantage Silver Band is a member of the Oxford and District Brass Band Association.
The organisation is very active in providing musical training to the young population of the area (and to adult beginners too!), offering a worthwhile pastime, sometimes leading to a lifetime involvement with music. As new trainees grow in experience, they ensure the future life and resource of the entire Band. We also provide tuition for absolute beginners, young and old.