Wantage Silver Band

Extension Appeal

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The Wantage Silver Band is one of the largest in the country – and is receiving great acclaim nationwide, as an example of how bands should be run. The Band policy is that anyone of any age can be provided with an instrument and taught how to play just for a modest subscription – and Wantage now has several bands: a Junior Band; a Training Band; Community Brass who play just to entertain; and three contesting bands who play in the 4th, 2nd and Championship sections in National competitions.

There is also the very popular Wantage Big Band, the Wantage Quartet, an ‘Oompah’ Band; and recent developments include the formation of the Wantage Percussion Academy, directed by Steve Jones, percussionist of the World's No.1 band, Cory; and from September 2021, the Wantage Organisation is taking over the Oxfordshire Youth Brass Band. These two groups both require an additional evening practice and increase the urgency in completing the Extension!.

The Wantage Silver Band organisation has demonstrated its benefits to the local community, both in providing a good affordable hobby open to everyone, and a source of musical entertainment at Concerts, Services, Fetes, Parades etc. Many former members have gone on to pursue careers in music.

All this activity – and the important classes for new beginners – means that the present Band hall, opened in 2013, is already too small; and plans have been drawn up for a large extension (Eleanor Turner - Chair)

The second Hall will also facilitate Community use; the present hall is only used by a Ukelele group, school science projects during holidays, and as a Polling Station because the band’s extensive array of percussion has to be transferred to the Band Van for other activities. The new hall is much larger and band equipment can be moved out of the way; and whereas the present Hall has a carpet floor, the new hall will have a vinyl floor enabling use by a wide range of community activities. Additionally, the complete building will be ideal for music workshops and courses and can act as a music hub for the Wantage Area.

Appeal for Funds

Construction of the present Band hall, with its overheads in carpark, path, lighting, and services, cost around £300k. The Band has demonstrated its financial viability by transforming, in just seven years, a debt of £75k, incurred to complete the hall, to a surplus of £150k which will be put towards the appeal.

The estimated cost of the extension is £450k as much of the same infrastructure will be shared. Donations are welcomed both large and small! Wantage Silver Band is a Registered Charity, No. 1123767, and donations made by UK tax payers allow the band to claim gift aid at 25%. In addition, the donor may attract tax benefits.

The extension includes a large performance/rehearsal hall, social areas and storage areas. We had hoped to include this second hall as part of the original building but funds didn’t permit at the time. Plans are shown below: