Malmesbury Concert Band, formerly known as Malmesbury Town Band, was founded in 1859.
The history of the Band is rather sketchy but the following has been gleaned by Tony Fleming from other publications, the internet and from the more recent minute books that remain together with the, much appreciated, recollections of Annie Law.
This early, undated photograph shows emblazoned on the bass drum the slogan ‘founded 1859’ and it shows it as having woodwind (well one clarinetist anyway) as well as brass instruments. Later it metamorphosed into a brass band until 1996.
In 1874 the Band led 5 wagon-loads of children to a picnic at Eastcourt House, the country residence of Walter Powell, the local member of parliament and philanthropist. The children had tea in a tent, a roundabout was provided and they all had the freedom of the garden and vinery.
In 1877 the Band were again leading the procession that marched through the town to meet the first train to Malmesbury. They played again at the launch of Walter Powell’s balloon, Eclipse at the Cross Hayes in the middle of town in 1881.
They were early risers in Victorian times; in 1886 they roused the town for the Sunday School outing by playing through the streets between 5 and 6 am!
The band has continued to play an active part in the town life; they have been a feature of Malmesbury Carnival, playing in the procession and giving concerts for the last 50 years or more. They now work closely with the Malmesbury Music Academy.
In November 2009 they celebrated their 150th Anniversary with a concert in the town hall.
For more information please go to the Marlmesbury Concert band website.