WBCB have been members of BASBWE since its’ formation and have taken part in a number of their events over the years. These have included regional festivals in Bristol and Exeter plus a Colston Hall concert with the opportunity to accompany Don Lusher being the most memorable.
In 1985 the band had the great honour of being invited to perform a concert at the BASBWE National Conference which that year was held at Bristol University. This was an immense learning curve for all as we had the privilege and never to be forgotten experience to work with the late John Paynter (of NorthWestern University, USA fame). We were chosen to give the first performance of Gordon Jacobs’ last composition for wind, his Ballad for Band. The concert programme also included Holsts’ Hammersmith. The memory of trying to find deps from the conference delegates for a Sunday morning concert still abound as does the bank loan to pay for the concert post prandial celebrations! The encouragement from BASBWE guru Tim Reynish over many years has been greatly appreciated.
1996 was a significant year for the band as we were invited by Contemporary Music for Amateurs (whose unfortunate acronym is COMA), to give a concert at that summers Cheltenham International Festival of Music. The chosen works were by Scottish composers Edward Maguire (Sirocco) and William Sweeney (The Viking Longship). We chose to include Guy Woolfendens' Gallimaufry. Whilst the concert did not attract a big audience at the University of Gloucestershire Park Campus, it was good to meet with Eddie Maguire who not only made the long trip from Scotland to be there but explained his work in some detail to both band and audience. It was gratifying that our progress had been recognised and led to us being involved in one of the UK's most prestigious music events.
Later that year the band had the honour of accompanying the late Don Lusher OBE in Gareth Woods' Dance Sequence at a Colston Hall concert promoted by BASBWE. The great man was in his 70s at the time of this concert and still playing as well as ever. Our programme also included the Shostakovich Folk Dances. Local school bands also featured as did Bristol Concert Wind Band (Chris Harris) and the Avon Fire and Rescue Band (Percy Mann) in some massed items.