A brief history of the Corsham Windband Association


1981 - The Beginning

The Corsham Windband Association began life as the Corsham  School Windband under the direction of Sonia Blandford in March 1981.

1982 - Jargeau

In April 1982, the Band had its first tour of Europe; the people of Corsham’s twin town – Jargeau, played host and the Band enjoyed excellent hospitality. We performed at numerous concerts and were treated like superstars by the local people.

This was to forge a solid and affectionate relationship, which still exists today. The band continues to undertake trips to Jargeau on a  regular basis.


Tours and Festivals

To compliment the tours, the Corsham School Windband were  entering music festivals and winning! Individual members were also beginning to gain musical recognition, the Associated Board of the  Royal Schools of Music theory and practical examination results  were and continue to be of an extremely high standard. As a result of the musical education given and encouraged by the Windband association several of our musicians have entered higher education and have since gained degrees and diplomas in music; some have  gone on to become professional musicians and many contribute to the CWA as adults.

1984 - A registered charity

In 1984, the Band became a registered charity, the Corsham Windband Association. The Windband Association entered its tenth year with a history of successful performances and tours. Parents continued to offer full support and the Corsham Windband  Committee, elected annually at the Association’s AGM, continued to be a source of labour, guidance and leadership. From 1982 to 1991  various bands, choirs and orchestras from France, Germany, Norway, Scotland and regional bands from England were able to  visit due to the hospitality offered by Association Members and  their families.


1991 - 1996

Between 1991 and 1995 the Youth Concert Band toured Scotland, Norway and Germany, participating in concerts at Glasgow, Mandal, Kristiansand, Cologne and Durschied.

Musical experiences have been enhanced by joint concerts with  groups from America and Canada. The Wayzata String Orchestra  from Minnesota and the Cheekataga School Windband from  Buffalo were young musicians of a high standard and joint concerts proved to be a memorable and educational experience..

1996 - First trip to Strasbourg

In 1996 the YCB were invited to perform at the International Windband Festival held in Strasbourg (France). This prestigious  event featured 3000 musicians from the world of amateur music making. Our performance was outstanding and we gained 1st place in the third section. This event was repeated in 2000 where we were placed 3rd in the second section.


1996 - 2007

In 1996 and 1999 the Windband Association participated in 2 of the Worlds Largest Orchestra Events where both events were  recorded in the Guinness Book of Records.

2001 was a year of celebration that marked the 20th Anniversary  of the Association. The first event was a celebratory Ball held at Grittleton House, followed later in the year by 2 special concerts.  Aurora High School, a band from Canada came over especially to  perform with us. During that year a weekend in September was put aside to record our own CD named ‘There and Back’. The recording  proved to be a fine illustration of the achievements of the Association over the past 20 years. In 2007 the Association ran a  successful trip to Spain, playing at engagements and sightseeing near Barcelona.

2008 - 2011

At a local level, we continue to win prizes at the Mid-Somerset Festival and British Symphonic Windband Association regional  events. In 2008, Spectrum Band were invited to play at the  National Concert Band Festival in Warwick, along with the top  wind bands in the UK. The Association also holds concerts each year at which all Bands perform. However, the greatest testimony to the achievement of the Association is the social impact on the  lives of its members. Within a small community there are  hundreds of children and young people who have enjoyed the  magic of playing a musical instrument. Families have formed  lasting relationships with people in the local community,  America, France, Germany and Norway.

In 2011 we celebrated our 30th Anniversary with a weekend of  performances culminating in a concert held at Corsham School.  All three bands performed to a large audience and many older  ex-members returned to join the YCB to create the Anniversary Band, playing pieces ranging from those by Holst and Elgar to Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Lionel Richie.


2014 - A second trip to Strasbourg

In 2014 we undertook a trip to Strasbourg, where we linked up with a local band through contacts we have there.

2021-2022 - 40th Anniversary

This year, in March 2022 and delayed by one year because of the COVID pandemic, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the  founding of the original Corsham School Windband which  eventually became the Corsham WIndband Association. The main event was a grand concert which took place at Corsham School on Saturday 19th March. It was attended by very many current but also past players including some of the original players who are now in  their 50s and who came from around Britain and abroad to be there!