Band may fold before it reaches centenary

PUBLISHED: 13:56 25 October 2007 | UPDATED: 12:57 04 May 2010

WICKEN Coronation Band – due to celebrate its centenary in four years time – is in danger of folding. Despite recruiting several new players and a new bandmaster at the beginning of the year, the band s future is now hanging in the balance. It desperately

WICKEN Coronation Band - due to celebrate its centenary in four years time - is in danger of folding.

Despite recruiting several new players and a new bandmaster at the beginning of the year, the band's future is now hanging in the balance.

It desperately needs euphonium, cornet and base players to swell its numbers from 16 to 25.

And its bandmaster, who left for a three month job placement in China, looks unlikely to return.

Chairman Robert Peacock, who has played trombone for 50 years and been a member of the band for the last 18, said: "We don't want to see the band go and we are doing everything we can to keep it going.

"All bands are struggling. It seems to be one of those things. Youngsters don't seem to take up music at schools and they have so many activities that something has got to give."

Band assistant publicity officer, Cedric Palmer, added: "Wicken is very unique in having sustained a band for almost 100 years and it is certainly an achievement not only for the band but for the village itself.

"However, for the band to collapse so close to its 100th birthday would surely be a travesty."

He added that over the years the band has brought Wicken much recognition and supported a number of events including the annual fete, Armistice Day and church harvest festival.

Mr Palmer warned that Christmas concerts would disappear and members would no longer be able to raise funds for charity and local organisations.

"Should Wicken Coronation Band cease to exist the effects could prove more dramatic in the long term and it must be seen how important a part this band plays and how vital it is to keep it alive," he said.

A decision on the band's future will be taken at its annual meeting in January.

INFO: Anyone interested in joining as a member or bandmaster should contact Robert Peacock on 01353 723804.

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