In April 1983, Allan Jones, who was then Assistant Co-ordinator of Manchester Education Committee’s Music Service and a Romiley resident, decided there were not enough opportunities for local amateur musicians beyond brass bands and a small number of seats in orchestras. As a result of discussions with his friend Arthur Bowden, the pair decided to host a meeting to assess whether there was sufficient interest in starting a wind band in the local area.
40 years and hundreds of concerts, let alone overseas tours, collaborations with choirs, soloists and other bands along with regular charity busking in local pubs, supermarkets and in the precinct in Romiley at Christmas, the comment that “it wouldn’t last” made when the band was first formed has been proven resoundingly incorrect.
Since the 30th Anniversary in 2013 the Band has changed significantly. The Band moved from Werneth School, where it had rehearsed for many years, to premises in Chadkirk Business Park in Autumn 2014, before sadly Allan passed away in early 2015. Allan’s legacy of encouraging the Band to make music in the local community continues, with Jonathan Parkes hired as Musical Director in 2016. Jonathan has embraced the “dress up for the second half of the Christmas Concert” instruction like no other! He has also challenged the Band with The Snowman, playing alongside a showing of the film, as well as extending the Band’s repertoire further. Recently members have enjoyed playing days, working with professional tutors to improve playing both in instrumental sections and as a whole ensemble.
The band currently has nearly 60 players, with new members joining regularly. The recent tour to Wales gave Werneth the opportunity to collaborate with the fantastic voices of Côr Meibion Colwyn again, and make friends with the Menai Bridge Band, a superb brass band that, it is hoped, will make a return visit in the near future.