We are a community wind (or concert) band consisting of brass, woodwind and percussion players. We play a range of music from classic concert band pieces including marches and favourites from the “Last Night of the Proms” to film scores and television music, musicals, Disney and contemporary arrangements for concert band by composers such as Philip Sparke and Jay Bocook. We regularly add new music to our library.
Neil Brownless has been Musical Director of Abingdon Concert Band since September 2013. Under his baton the band have performed a range of themed concerts, a performance of The Snowman accompanying the film live, two Gold performances at the National Concert Band regional and national festivals, seven world premières and 12 virtual performances.
Neil first picked up the baton whilst studying Mathematics at Portsmouth University where he was Co-Musical Director of the university Big Band and Assistant Conductor of the Wind Band from 2010-2011. In 2020 Neil completed a Master’s degree (with distinction) in Brass Band Conducting at the Royal Welsh College of Music, under the tutelage of Dr Robert Childs, becoming only the second person to complete the degree.
Neil is in demand as a conductor of brass bands and had a successful period as Musical Director of Towcester Studio Band from 2014-2019, winning six competitions and receiving six podium placings in that time. He has also had short stints covering the Musical Director positions of Olney Band, Daventry Brass and Cathays Brass. Neil has guest conducted many other bands including, more recently, Woodfalls Band, Goodwick Brass, City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith) Band, Kidlington Concert Brass, Oxfordshire Youth Wind Orchestra and many more!
When not conducting, Neil enjoys playing trombone, euphonium and tuba with brass bands, big bands and orchestras. He has also turned his hand to composing and arranging and has a selection of pieces published by TradeWinds, Pennine Music and Sheet Music Plus.
Previous musical directors include Anthony Sadler and more recently Philip Burditt and Stephen Bell.
History of the band
The Band was formed in 1977 as Abingdon Military Band and while the name was later changed the formation of instruments remains the same as that found in modern military bands. Over the years the Band has given around 200 public performances in and around the Abingdon on Thames area, just south of Oxford.
These performances have included fetes, concerts and charity events. For the last three years we have been pleased to be joined by Wesley Smith for our performances as part of the Abingdon Festival.