The Wantage Band

Even from the early days of the WSB we have had a very promising 'A' Band . From first contests in the Oxford & District Brass Band Association, they registered as a 4th Section Band, and have worked through the sections 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st to the dizzy height of the Championship Section.

Players have come and gone – but some have remained to become the backbone of The Wantage Band.
The present mix of youngsters and experienced players works well, bonded together by the enjoyment of playing good music to a high standard.



The Wantage Band's Achievement at the National Finals at The Royal Albert Hall

It’s every band’s dream to get to the Championship finals and play on the same stage as the world’s top brass bands – and Wantage "A" Band made it. 

Having won the Championship Section at the Regionals on Sunday 16th March 2014, the "A" Band competed in the Championships at the Royal Albert Hall on 11th October 2014.  They gained a fabulous 10th place out of 20 Bands.  A proud moment for us all. 



PhilBailey.jpg Phillip Bailey

Phillip Bailey was ‘Young Conductor of the Year’ in 1998; on moving to the Yeovil Band, they gained promotion into the Championship Section for the first time in the band’s history. Phil has also conducted Brighouse & Rastrick, Sovereign Brass and other leading bands.

Moving to Wantage in 2006 he has now taken the Wantage Band into the Championship section. A first-rate cornet player himself (having played with many top bands including the legendary Black Dyke Mills), Phil is Head of Music at the Community College in Leicester.


NEWS  - We are really sad to announce Phil's departure from the Band as he has decided to take a wonderful opportunity to work in China.

The following appeared in 4 Bars Rest:


Wantage MD Phil Bailey will be leading a prestigious new musical link between the Juilliard School in New York and a British International School in Shanghai. 

Wantage Silver Band MD Phil Bailey has secured an exciting new step in his musical career by taking a leading role in the development of a prestigious British International School in Shanghai.

Global link

Following a high profile international recruitment process, Phil was asked to fill the new role in China - one which will also see him linked to the world famous Juilliard School in New York - to write a new International Music Qualification for Key Stage 3, 4 & 5.

Unfortunately the globetrotting role means the end of his successful 10 year tenure as Musical Director of Wantage - a decade that has seen the band move from the midfield places in the First Section to victory in the Championship Section at the London & Southern Counties Regional contest.

That in turn led to their Albert Hall debut in 2014, where the band gained a very creditable top ten finish.

10 year target

Phil told 4BR: "When I started at Wantage I could tell that there was something special which just needed galvanising. We started that process and set the target of winning the Area in 10 years - something we managed a year early.

The band now has three strong contesting bands plus a flourishing Youth Band, Concert Brass and Big Band - and I hope I leave them in a very strong musical position to prosper in the future."

Wish him well

Eileen Sykes, Bandmaster of the Wantage Band added: "We have appreciated all the hard work and dedication Phil has given to the band and organisation over the last 10 years, and wish him and his family every success in this exciting new venture. We are very sorry to see him leave."

The latest career move came after the school in which Phil teaches consistently came top of the league tables for music in Leicestershire.

Too good

He added: "The chance to write an international qualification and work in both Shanghai and New York is very exciting, and I felt it was too good an opportunity for my family and I to turn down.

I also feel very sad to be leaving behind some wonderful colleagues and players, not to mention some fantastic friends."

Phil's last contest with Wantage was at the recent All England Masters International Championship in Kettering whilst his last concert with the band will be on the 18th July."

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About Us

Wantage Silver Band has been making music in Wantage, Oxfordshire and beyond since 1972.

Our Wantage Band are in the prestigious Championship Section and in October 2014 competed at the Royal Albert Hall at the Nationals.   Our 'B' Band promoted to Second Section in 2014, competed at the Nationals in Cheltenham in September 2014. In March 2015 they  won promotion to First Section as of January 2016.    Academy Brass,  formed in 2013, are our Fourth Section Band.  To complete WSB we have a Concert Brass, a Youth Brass, a Trainer Band, Beginners and the Big Band.


Hire A Band

Are you holding an event, party or perhaps a wedding?  It's easy to hire one of our marvellous Brass Bands and don't forget we have a fantastic swing Big Band also available for all occasions.  For more information click here)   

  "I went to a wedding recently where the Wantage Silver Band were  playing....... I would thoroughly recommend hiring them for your next event!" Kate, Oxford        

Want to Play a Brass Instrument?

 We can provide an instrument and tuition. Beginners classes are held weekly.    Contact Eileen at

Forthcoming Events

Sunday, 30th August

  • White Horse Show - Uffington

Monday, 31st August

  • White Horse Show - Uffington

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