Our History

Banding in Kidlington has a long history, with references in local newspapers going back to at least 1840. The current band was formed by the merger of two local bands in 1992; prior to this date we set out separate band histories. 

Our website sets out some of the key points in our history, but a full history of brass bands in Kidlington up to around the 1960s (it is still a work in progress) is also included as a pdf below. This has been researched by David Taylor, which he started during our 125th anniversary year in 2017.

If you can add to this information we would be very interested to hear from you.

We also have histories for Kidlington Silver Band and Oxford Concert Brass

Kidlington Concert Brass

Kidlington Concert Brass was formed in 1992 by the merger of the century-old Kidlington Silver Band with Oxford Concert Brass. This happened when both bands found themselves short of players and in the lower reaches of the Championship section, Oxford Concert Brass after many successful years there (including two London and Southern Counties area titles in the 1980's) and Kidlington Silver Band after a rapid rise through the sections under the leadership of Terry Brotherhood. As Kidlington Silver owned their own purpose-built band hall, and Oxford Concert had to rent rehearsal space, the merged band made its home in Kidlington, initially being known as 'Oxford Kidlington Brass', before adopting the name of a new sponsor, Morrell's brewery, as 'Morrell's Concert Brass (Kidlington)'. With the loss of sponsorship in the late 1990s, the band adopted its current name.

After the transitional years around the merger, during which the band was reclassified into the newly formed First Section, two successive high finals placings in that section saw the band return to the top division in 1994, a return that coincided with the appointment of Catherine Underwood (née Greenwood) as MD. Under Catherine the band re-established an enviable reputation in the Championship Section over the next two decades, including a National Finals appearance at the Albert Hall in 2001, after a memorable qualifying performance of Philip Wilby's 'Jazz'.

A video is available on YouTube of Morrells Concert Brass performing in St James' Park, London on 16 August 1998.

1999 was a memorable year for the band, featuring involvement in a production of 'Brassed Off' at the Wycombe Swan Theatre in July and a tour to Bonn in Germany in August, one of Oxford's twin towns.

In 2009 the band hosted the accomplished Chicago Brass Band from America's second city. Under the direction of Chicago's MD, expatriate Briton Colin Holman, the combined bands presented a concert at the Exeter Hall in Kidlington and travelled to compete in the Whit Friday marches. After a few poor area contest results, the band were relegated to the First Section in 2011; successive strong results in that section culminating in a victory in March 2013 on Gareth Wood's 'Brass Triumphant' see the band return to the Championship Section in 2014. 

In 2013 the band went on tour for the first time in 14 years to Edinburgh. During the tour the band played in a joint concert with Dalkeith and Monktonhall Brass Band and performed at the Glenkinchie Distillery and Edinburgh Castle.

The band returned to Edinburgh in 2019 for a second tour, this time performing at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the National Mining Museum Scotland, and The Falkirk Wheel.

In 2023 the band was proud to became a charitable incorporated company, registration number 1202333.

The following have served as conductor:

Jeremy Wise (1992-93)

Keith Wilkinson (1993)

Vaughan Bower (1993-94)

Catherine Underwood (1994-2010)

Barry Wassell (2005-06)

Dave Barringer (2008-09)

Duncan Wilson (2010-19)

Ben Ruffer (2017-19)

​Trevor Jones (2019-2020)

​Duncan Wilson (2020 - 2023)

Jonathan Pippen (2023- present)