|Werneth Concert Band played a free concert in Marple Memorial Park as part of the Open Gardens in Marple weekend.|
It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase pieces the band have been playing over the year, including pieces that we played in concerts on our summer tour to Llandudno and Anglesey, as well as recent concerts in Compstall and Romiley.
Fortunately the sun shone on the band and the public who stopped to watch the concert, with some people staying for the whole two hours and others staying for one or two pieces before continuing their day, possibly visiting the Open Gardens!
More photos from the event can be found in the photo gallery, elsewhere on this site.
|On Sunday 18th June, Werneth Swing Band visited the beautiful village of Portmeirion to play in their stunning surroundings.|
The event was organsied by Swing Band Lead Alto player Peter, who had originally planned for the band to perform in 2020 - one of many Swing Band gigs that were wiped from the diary by the pandemic.
Despite the long postponement, it was fantastic for the Band to play in such an interesting venue, with the accoustics of the valley the village is located in meaning the music was audible throughout the village, with visitors commenting on how beautiful it was to explore the unique architecture with our swing music playing in the background.
|Following a Gold Award at the Regional National Concert Band Festival in November, WCB were invited to perform at the National Finals in April this year.|
Unfortunately Jonathan was taken ill a few days before the Finals, so with less than 18 hours before the band were due to take the stage at the Royal Northern College of Music, euphonium player Roger Pearce stepped in to conduct the band!
Roger did an outstanding job with such short notice and the Band were awarded a Gold, with the adjudicators commenting “your quality of ensemble is a standout feature of your performance today”.
Roger, however, is no stranger to stepping in to conduct the band in National Finals—exactly 30 years ago he performed the same service, deputising for Allan who was 12,000 miles away in Australia when the Band were due to perform at the National Concert Band Festival Finals in April 1993.
The band enjoyed the same success in the 1993 finals under Roger’s guidance as they did in 2023 adding a National Gold to their Regional award.
|In 2023, local community wind band, Werneth Concert Band, are celebrating 40 years of playing and performing in the local area.|
Originally the brainchild of musical director Allan Jones, who lived in the area, and his friend Arthur Bowden, the band came to life with an advert issued in April 1983 inviting amateur musicians of all abilities and ages to come together at the Hatherlow Church Hall, Romiley, with a weekly subscription for rehearsals of 50p!
The Band played their first formal concert performance at Romiley Forum Theatre just seven weeks after the first rehearsal, alongside guests the Cheshire Police Band, and premiered their first commissioned piece of music “…..”. In this year the Band’s Anniversary concert on June 10th will be held at St Chads Church, Romiley, and include the premier of a newly commissioned piece, ”5 Narrow Escapes” by Glossop-based composer Daniel Whibley, based on boats passed on the much-loved canal walk from Romiley to Marple.
40 years on from the original meeting, WCB now has its own premises, nestled in Chadkirk Business Park, and plays concerts in the local area on a regular basis. They also continue to support the community by fundraising for charities selected by the band each year. In recent years, this has included support for The Wellspring, Papyrus - Young People’s Suicide Prevention, Just Drop In (Macclesfield), The Christie, and this year for The Cherry Tree Project, a youth-led community group based in Romiley, for whom over £700 has been raised to date!
To celebrate this special anniversary, the Band have a number of events lined up, starting with a successful Anniversary dinner held at the Hazel Grove Golf Club, which reunited past and present members of the band, along with their supporters. The band has also always prided itself also on its playing tours abroad and at home, with trips over the years to destinations from Jersey and Ireland to Spain and Portugal and this Bank Holiday May will see a mini tour to Wales continue the tradition. April will also see the band take part in the National Concert Band Festival finals at the Royal Northern College of Music, having achieved a Gold Award at the Regional NCBF event in November.
With members aged between 18 and 87, the band continues to thrive under the musical direction of Jonathan Parkes, and looks forward to enjoying music in the community for many years to come!