The Werneth Concert Band was formed in April 1983, aiming to provide local wind and brass players with an opportunity to play together for their own enjoyment and that of the public. We are based in Romiley, near Stockport, England, holding weekly rehearsals in our own premises, The Allan Jones Performing Arts Centre, Unit 36, Chadkirk Mill. We give about five concerts a year at a range of venues locally, including the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music, as well as performing at festivals held by the British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles (BASBWE).
We are a true Community Band in that we accept all players of reasonable ability and are self-financing apart from occasional grants from local organisations, Stockport Council and commercial sponsorship for some concerts. We have over 60 members ranging from teenagers to over the 80s and with a wide spectrum of musical experience, from teachers and ex-professional musicians to many enthusiastic amateurs. We play a variety of music from the Symphonic Wind Band repertoire, ranging from arrangements of classical music, through selections from musical shows, to the light and popular.
Over the years we have commissioned various composers to write music for us, including "El Espiritu de Cataluñia" by Ray Woodfield, written for our tour of Spain in May 2000, A Werneth Celebration, written by Darrol Barry to commemorate the band's 25th anniversary in 2008, and 2 pieces commissioned for the band's 30th Anniversary - "Y Seren Ddawns (The Dancing Star)", by our own bassonist Nicola Renshaw, and "Fathom Five" by the renowned wind band composer Peter Graham. From time to time we also record some of our favourite pieces. We now have 3 CDs
Our ventures into competitive music have resulted in our appearance in the finals of the Boosey & Hawkes National Concert Band Festival on a number of occasions, the first being at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon, in 1987. Subsequently finals have been held at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and in 1993 and again in 1997 we received a Gold Award in the Community Band class and received a Silver Award on every other occasion we appeared in the Manchester finals.
We have also enjoyed a number of overseas tours to Germany, Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Jersey, playing in various venues and making links and friendships with local bands and musicians. Most recently in May 2013 we visited Cascais, near Lisbon, for the second time.
We are run by a committee elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. As well as the organisation of the musical activities the committee also organise social events for the band and its friends.
Since 2008 we have run a Swing Band, mostly made up of members of the Concert Band, playing swing and big band music from the 1920s to the present day. The band has proved extremely popular and a few numbers were included on the 2008 WCB CD, "A Werneth Celebration". In 2010 we also started a Youth Band, aimed at players under 18, and a Clarinet Choir, adding even more colour to the huge variety of sounds and styles already being produced by the musicians associated with WCB.
Our current committee members are:
Chair – Roger Pearce
Treasurer – Richard Markham
Secretary – Debbie Tunnicliffe
Musical Director – Jonathan Parkes
There is more information on our activities over 30+ years in our History Section