Contest Band

Discover more about our players and the type of events the Contest Band performs at throughout the year.

The Contest band enjoy performing at a wide range of local events each year, as well as travelling around the South West and into Wales for contests...


During the summer, we play at bandstands throughout Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. A brass band playing in a bandstand in the park is an archetypal British memory. We enjoy good audiences, who are often very knowledgeable about the music.

It's lovely to play in the open air and to hear the ripple of appreciative applause from the deck chairs at the end of each number. There is always time in the interval for band members to catch up with each other, over an ice cream and a cuppa.


The band performs all year round, providing live music for a mixture of public and private events. A very special event is the Annual summer concert at a local school, where the band plays among hundreds of children who sing along at the end of the performance.

We have an annual Christmas concert, where we also award trophies for various individual and sectional achievements in the band. Every year we play at a concert to remember the generosity of Philip Sawyer, a local philanthropist, who generously donated money to us to buy our own band room.

Nailsworth Town is twinned with Lèves, in France. Every few years, the bands of each town have an exchange, where the whole band travels to France to stay with local families and play together. It is a very special experience.


We play on Remembrance Day and at local Christmas events such as the carol service at Woodchester where there is often a 'real' Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus outside in a barn.


Contests are the lifeblood of the brass band world. They provide challenges that help us improve and play at our very best. Nailsworth Silver Band compete at the West of England Regional Finals of the National Brass Band Championships in Torquay every year. We also compete in the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association Contest, the South West Brass Band Association Contest and the Oxford And District Brass Band Association Contest.


A marching band is an amazing sensory spectacular. You can hear the rich music, often before you can see the band. We still have the marching bass drum that the original band used 100 years ago. It's sound isn't what it used to be, but it's a strong reminder that Nailsworth Silver Band has a tradition of marching that is still kept up today. Nailsworth Silver Band can be seen marching at the Gloucester Day Marches and at the ancient Randwick WAP festival.

Hear the views of some of our Contest Band members...

Ryan Morgan - First Trombone

"I've played in some of the top bands in the world, and at some very prestigious venues, but Nailsworth Silver Band is very close to my heart. They are such a welcoming and friendly bunch of people, striving to play something as well as it can be played. If you are looking for a band to join, you couldn't do better than Nailsworth Silver Band."

Shona McDougall - Solo Horn

"Standing up in front of an audience and performing sends shivers down my spine. I'm always a bit nervous beforehand but, once I'm up there, it's really exciting and great fun. It's really boosted my confidence, especially standing in front of people, giving a presentation, or doing something tricky for the first time."

Maxine Bell - Second Cornet

"I love everything about the band. I joined Nailsworth as an adult and a complete novice, never having played an instrument before. Now I'm playing and competing with the Contest Band. We get together every Monday night to enjoy mastering a new piece of music for a Competition, Concert or Fete with giggles and laughs along the way."

Rob Arthur - Second Baritone

"Playing in the Contest Band is great fun and quite challenging. I've been working hard to improve my sight-reading and loosen my fingers. It doesn't always go right, but it feels so good when it does. It's nice being part of a section, or rather three sections, because the baritones work together with the euphoniums and the horns. There's often a shared chord or rhythm between us. I love being consumed by rich beautiful music that I am actually part of producing."

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