Worsley Concert Band has a rich history of over 40 years.
The band started life in September 1974 under the name of the B.O.C. Concert Band, and under the leadership of Mr Jim Cooke. Originally there were only 9 members of the band but this soon swelled to 25 over the next few months. Even from this small beginning, there were regular concerts in and about the Swinton area and by the early 80’s the band were playing at many different venues during the year. By the end of the 1980’s, the band were even hired to serenade newlyweds on their wedding days!
The highlights of the 90s were the 20th & 25th Anniversary concerts in front of a 500 strong audience, which led to the making of two band videos. The start of the new millennium led to a big change for the band. They were no longer sponsored by B.O.C. and because of that had to change their name. After a great debate they became The Moorside and Wardley Concert Band, and changed rehearsal venue to a community centre in Swinton, where they still meet. In this time came the semi-retirement of Jim Cooke, the band’s long-time leader, to the cornet benches, whilst Richard Hart, formerly of the clarinet section took over the role of conductor.
2004 saw yet another name change for the Band, when they became the Worsley Concert Band. The year 2007 saw conductor Richard Hart with a change of job meaning he was no longer able to attend band so Jim Cooke once again took over as the regular conductor. Jim Cooke took his long overdue retirement in 2017, when Chloe Flanagan took the position of conductor. In 2019, Chloe welcomed her second child to the world, and decided to step back from the band to focus on her family.
Royal Northern College of Music graduate Rhiannon Harrison took over as musical director and the band attended the National Concert Band Festival for the first time in November of 2019, where they achieved a silver award. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the band has gone online, producing weekly rehearsals via YouTube for members to play along with at home. This led to multiple bands across the UK and EU asking if they could also join in, and so for 2020 and 2021 the Worsley Concert Band family has grown to include people all over the place, not just Lancashire!