All Change at Wantage

It’s been six years since Paul Holland first took the baton at Wantage Silver Band and in that time much has been achieved: promotion to the Senior Cup and Grand Shield, new personnel, podium finishes at several contests, many initiatives during the pandemic as well as being an instrumental part in the start of some successful concert series.

With the ambitions of the band colliding with Paul’s increasingly busy schedule, the band are wishing for a change in direction and to a find a Musical Director who can continue to build on the success and enthusiasm of its members.

The band is aiming high and working hard. It’s in a good place to cope with a change of leadership. Paul is a fantastic conductor and musician and on behalf of the band I want to thank him for everything he has done over the years.” (Sam Wyne – Band Chair)

The band have so much to thank Paul for and he will of course remain very good friends with the organisation coming along to guest in rehearsals, workshops and other activities. Over the years he has become part of the family and this era of the band’s development will have a very memorable part to play in their history.

I am sorry to be leaving Wantage but realise that they are a band that require a full time musical director to help them push further forward. In recent times I have spent less and less time on the concert and contest stage with them and now is a good time to effect some change for both of us as my commitments home and abroad continue to pull me into various projects and collaborations that I do not wish to relinquish. I leave with many positive memories of an organisation at the heart of their community and know they will continue this good work into the future.” (Paul Holland)

Paul’s final official engagement with the band is on Saturday 10th June – a joint concert with the successful Hampshire Harmony in Basingstoke.

The band are delighted to announce the appointment of Chris King as their new, full time, Musical Director. The band have admired Chris’ work over the years and are looking forward to him starting with the band on Sunday 18th June.

I’ve known players in the Wantage organisation for years, and when chatting recently about being at a crossroads in my banding life, it seems that the stars have aligned, and I am truly delighted to be coming to their leading band as their full-time MD. I firmly believe in the work that organisations like this are doing in their communities, and this is my key motivation for joining the team. Also, I think the band and I are a natural fit, and I have so many ideas and projects in mind for them that…, well…, I’m very excited!” (Chris King)

This is an excellent move for the band and a very exciting appointment indeed. I can’t thank Paul enough for everything he has done with the band over the years but this will provide more consistency for the band. Chris is fantastic in front of a band and I know that the band are excited to work under his influence. As well as being a great conductor, Chris’ arrangements are pure genius and I’m looking forward to working with him on bringing great programmes to life!” (Gav Clemons – Bandmaster)

Chris has ambitious plans for the band and he will no doubt have a huge impact across the whole organisation. With its impressive nine band setup, there is so much for the organisation to be proud of, especially in these trickier times, and this, the start of a new era, is a very exciting for the organisation indeed.


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