Wantage continues to develop new relationships and this time a familiar, local face has joined forces with the championship section band as it looks forward to a busy year of exciting engagements.

Newbury based composer, musician and educator, Florence Anna Maunders, is no stranger to Wantage Band having worked closely as colleague with some of the personnel in the bands strong line up.

As part of her new work with the organisation, the award-winning composer is now playing percussion with the band and has also taken on the newly formed Wantage Percussion Academy as their Musical Director, filling the shoes of Cory Band percussionist Steve Jones.

As well as this, the winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize in 2022 has been commissioned by the band, with generous funding from the Friends of Newbury Spring Festival, to compose a new work for the band to premier at their concert in this year’s festival at Newbury’s Corn Exchange on Thursday 18th May.

The band are delighted to have been invited to perform at such a prestigious and recognised music festival just down the road from their base.

Florence is currently writing for Tredegar Town Band and her music for brass band, most recently performed by Fulham Brass Band, has been featured on BBC Radio 3. The band are looking forward to working on first drafts of the piece in the coming weeks and collaborating with Florence to come up with something unique and inspiring which will be a great addition to the brass band repertoire.

“I’m utterly delighted to have been commissioned to compose a new piece with the exceptional players of Wantage Band. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to collaborate on something new and amazing which I’m sure is going to be an absolute sensation when it’s premiered at Newbury Spring Festival later this year. It’s always a pleasure to work with familiar and enthusiastic musicians, and to have a premiere in my hometown – normally I must travel to somewhere like New York, Amsterdam or London!” says Florence.

Associate MD Jon Pippen adds “It’s a real privilege for all of us at Wantage band to have the opportunity to work and collaborate with such a celebrated and decorated composer as Florence. The commissioning of new music for brass and the development of our music and movement is so important and this project puts us at the cutting edge. I am personally very much looking forward to working on the music and it’s development in the coming months and presenting the premiere at the Newbury Spring Festival in May.”

Florence will next appear with the band at their concert on Saturday 4th February at the Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot with Besson Cornet Artist Dewi Griffiths and guest MD Ian Porthouse.

Tickets can be purchased at www.cornerstone-arts.org/whats/wantage-band-concert-cornet-soloist-dewi-griffiths-0  

 BACKGROUND

 Founded 50 years ago in 1972, Wantage Silver Band is recognised as one of the largest brass band organisations in the United Kingdom.

The organisation currently consists of nine bands including three contesting bands (fourth, second – rising to first section in 2023 and championship section), a non-contesting community band, a beginner/trainer/youth band, a big band, a percussion academy and even an oompah band!

The entire membership work with talented musical directors to rehearse and perform music all over the country in concerts, events and competitions.

Please visit www.wantageband.org for more information and the band’s Facebook page for regular updates www.facebook.com/wantagesilverband 

 CONTACT

 Sam Wyne – Personnel Manager/Trustee

Tel: 07842 779 617

Email: samwynemusic@gmail.com

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