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 with their conductor Phil Bailey 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. 


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

Our new A Band conductor will be joining us very shortly.


The following appeared on 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        

Interested in Playing a Brass Instrument?

We can provide an instrument and tuition.

A new Beginners class starts on September 5th at our Band Hall, Tugwell Field, Wantage.    Contact Eileen at

Forthcoming Events

Sunday, 30th August

  • White Horse Show - Uffington

Monday, 31st August

  • White Horse Show - Uffington

Saturday, 5th September

  • Aldbourne Carnival
    Mixed Band

Saturday, 19th September

Sunday, 20th September

  • Royal Air Force Association Parade
    'A' Band
    10:45am at The Beacon, Portway, Wantage

Saturday, 3rd October

  • Joint Concert 'B' Band and Abbey Brass
    'B' Band
    7:30pm at St Helens and St Katherines School Hall

Saturday, 17th October

  • Annual Concert
    7:30pm at The Beacon, Portway, Wantage

Sunday, 25th October

  • ODBBA Entertainment Contest
    Academy Brass
    at Woodstock

Saturday, 31st October

    Big Band
    7:30pm at The Beacon, Portway, Wantage

Saturday, 7th November

  • Remembrance Parade East Garston
    Youth Brass

Sunday, 8th November

  • Remembrance Parade - East Hanney
    'B' Band
    10:30am at British Legion Hall East Hanney marching to West Hanney Church with Service and Last Post
  • Remembrance Parade - Wantage
    'A' Band
    10:45am at The Beacon, Portway, Wantage

Saturday, 5th December

  • 'A' Band Christmas Concert
    'A' Band

Wednesday, 9th December

  • Mayors Carol Concert
    Mixed Band
    10:30am at Wantage Parish Church

Saturday, 12th December

  • 'B' Christmas Concert East Hanney
    'B' Band
    7:30pm at British Legion Hall - East Hanney

Support The Band

 Please visit our Support the Band page to see how you can help with our fundraising.

 We are very grateful for the kind support of our Sponsors 

Perhaps you would like to become a Patron or a Sponsor, if you are interested please click here for more information.

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