Swansea University band blows its own trumpet as it joins showcase of best bands in the UK

The Swansea University Musicians’ Society Wind Band is celebrating after being invited to take part in the UK’s largest wind band & big band festival next year.

The National Concert Band Festival’s (ncbf) annual event showcases the best bands in the UK in each of the ncbf’s different classes. The Swansea University band will join 44 other bands (over 2,000 players) from across the UK who have been invited to take part in the two-day music festival on 8/9 April at the Warwick Hall & Bridge House Theatre, Warwick.

SU Wind Band practising larger




The 40-strong Swansea University student musicians’ society band was selected for the showcase event after taking part in a regional event in Cheltenham in November. In recent seasons 120 bands – representing some 5,000 players take part in the ncbf regional festivals – they range from age 8 to 80.

The SU Band joined a collection of bands from across the South-West region with people from all the different classes competing. Every group gets rated individually based on their own performance by experts who award Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.

The band were delighted to be presented with a Gold award following the regional event as it is the first time the Swansea University’s “Open Wind Band” had entered the Festival. They were able to enter the competition this year because they have improved so much in the past four years as a result of the hard work by Will Bennett, the conductor of the band. Also the band benefitted from a set of percussion instruments in September, funded by the University.

SU Wind Band with award

The Swansea University Musicians’ Society Wind Band has been running for around 9 years and consists of a wide array of instruments, including woodwind and brass instruments, and their newly-acquired percussion section.


The Musicians’ Society will be joining bands from other Universities such as the Oxford University Wind Orchestra, Imperial College Big Band and the University of Warwick Big Band as well as bands from England and Scotland at the National Festival in April.

SU Wind Band reps with VC

 Will Bennett, the conductor of the band said: 

"I'm immensely proud of how far the band has come especially over the last three years. I am so grateful to have such dedicated players without whom these achievements wouldn't be possible. I think I can speak on behalf of the band when I say that we are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the band at such a high level and represent Swansea University at the 2017 National Concert Band Festival."

  • For more information about the Swansea University Musicians’ Society go to https://www.swansea-union.co.uk/mysociety/Musicians/ or contact musicians@swansea-societies.co.uk . Follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat  - accounts are all SuMusicians

  • Created over 30 years ago the National Concert Band Festival (ncbf) has developed and grown in size and prestige until now it is recognised as the largest, and most active Festival for wind instrument musicians who play in wind bands or big bands throughout the UK. Find out more: http://www.ncbf.info/

  • The 2017 National Concert Band Festival (ncbf) Warwick event will include workshops, demonstrations, performances by musicians from the Army Guards Bands and also the Royal Marines plus a Gala Concert on the Saturday 8th April from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. 

Picture 1: The Swansea University Musicians’ Society Wind Band rehearsing.

Picture 2: The Band with their Gold Award.

Picture 3: (l-r) Chris Wilson (the Students’ Union Societies and Services Officer), Vice Chancellor Professor Richard B Davies, Tom Ormsby (Musicians’ Society President) and Will Bennett (Conductor of the Wind Band).

Pictures to be accredited to Rebecca Thomas, Swansea University.