The Brass Band
The village of Wadhurst lies in East Sussex, on a ridge of the beautiful undulating landscape of the Sussex Weald, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Close to the Kent border near Tunbridge Wells, a brass band has prospered in the village since the late 1800’s.
In 1897/1898 a special appeal was started to raise funds for the launch of Wadhurst Brass Band. A subscription list was published and a total of £62 4s 6d was collected and Wadhurst boasted a thriving band right up to WWII when it became defunct. However, brass bands still thrive in East Sussex and Wadhurst Brass Band is no exception with its regeneration in the 1950s.
The present band owes its’ life to Algy Hoare. Algy has been involved with brass bands and their music since he was a tot and as a teacher at the Secondary School, now Uplands Community College, he introduced brass lessons in the 1950’s. He formed a school band in 1957 and he and his players became great ambassadors for the school. Success led naturally into the “Youth Band” in 1974, that evolved in 1983 into the “Wadhurst Brass Band” that we know today. The band developed a friendly and welcoming style in which players both young and old were able to develop their musicianship. Wadhurst Brass Band is a group of friends, from all walks of life, who share a love of music-making and entertaining local communities. We continue to attract talented players and welcome players of all abilities. We are particularly proud of our growing training band L-Plate Brass.
In 1998, Algy handed his baton over to Ken Rich whose association with brass bands goes back over 50 years. Ken has conducted since 1965 and taught many a young person to play brass instruments. Paul Gardiner took over in 2003 and his youthful enthusiasm further enhanced the reputation of the Band. In January 2007 Ken Rich took up his baton once more as the Band’s Music Director until finally passing it back to Algy in January 2009.
We give three concerts in Wadhurst; Spring, Autumn and Christmas each year and we frequently play for church services where the acoustics can add a special poignancy. A busy summer outdoor programme means that fetes and festivals feel just right with the mellow tones of brass.
Summer venues throughout East Sussex and West Kent have included Hever Castle, Chartwell, Chevening House, Penshurst, Tonbridge Castle and the bandstands at Eastbourne, Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells Pantiles, together with local fetes in East Sussex villages. All are perfect backdrops on a summer’s day, to introduce overseas and home visitors to the very English sound of a brass band. Have a look at our links page to find more information on our favourite venues and lots more.
Our repertoire varies over the summer to include light classical, themes from film, musicals and TV and of course traditional brass band music.