The Band – A Brief History

The band in rehearsal in 1980The band was originally formed in 1976 under the snappy name of the East Sussex County Youth Symphonic Wind Orchestra. The band was linked to the East Sussex County Music Service based in Lewes and provided an opportunity for young musicians in the area to regularly rehearse and perform public concerts.

Jonathan Bailey became musical director of the band in 1977 and instantly brought a relaxed and easy-going atmosphere to rehearsals. Martin Forward joined the band in 1980, two days before going on tour with them to West Germany. Even then, Jonathan was busy juggling various musical ventures, flying out to Germany to join the tour, having been playing in the pit for the Tommy Steele show in London.

In 1987, the band became an independent organisation reflecting the wider age range of our members and our desire to perform public concerts throughout the whole year.

Each year at the end of the summer season the band undertakes a weekend tour, to either Europe or a part of the UK. In recent years we have been to Wavre in Belgium, Dorset (twice) and Bordeaux in France. These short tours are an enjoyable opportunity to play for different audiences and for the members of the band to take a short break from routine with a friendly group of like-minded people.

Click on an image below to see a gallery of early photos of the band