40th Anniversary

40th Anniversary
Type of post: Band news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Sarah Pannell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Sun, 2 Apr 2023
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!