About Ware Brass

Ware Brass is a traditional brass band and has been making music in the county of Hertfordshire for over 150 years, and so we are one of the oldest brass bands in the South of England. We are currently graded in the 2nd Section (the second division of the brass band league), and have a busy schedule of concerts throught the year.

Ware Brass always welcomes players to rehearsal, whether seeking to join or simply visiting the area and wanting to play with us for the evening. As we are a 2nd Section band, and play relatively challenging music, you will need to be of at least Grade 5 standard (ABRSM/Trinity). Rehearsal times and a map of where we rehearse can be found here.


There is evidence of a brass band or wind band in Ware dating back to the mid 19th Century, However, with the establishment of an association of bands in the London and Home Counties in 1895, this is the date more commonly used as the official formation of the original Ware Band.

It was the with the help of the Cooperative Society, as with many other brass bands, that Ware became an all brass band between the two world wars, and it was the Co-op that financed the first set of uniforms worn by Ware members (in fatc, they were the uniforms originally worn by the world famous CWS Manchester Band). Ware flourished throughout the 30s and 40s and this is when they became known as Ware Town Band. From around this time, and for the next twenty or more years, the band was led by the Carter brothers; first elder brother Ernie Carter who was succeeded by his younger brother Cyril in the 1950s. They were followed, in turn, by Alf Hulls and then Doug Lockerby in the 1960s.

In 1978 the band decided to drop ‘Town’ from its title and became known as Ware Brass. A year later, under the leadership of John Sharples, the band purchased a new set of uniforms, in a fetching deep blue, and these were to remain the band colours until 1999. With active support of the Ware Town Council the band purchased a new set of instruments, and with further help from local industry (and individual contributors) they purchased a new set of uniforms, at which point the  band ‘colours’ reverted back to green.

In 2001, the band appointed Kenny Durbin as Musical Director and he led the band to a significant number of successes in both the entertainment and National contest arenas. In the following three years the band was promoted from 4th to 2nd Section. In April 2006, the band appointed their current Musical Director, Phillip Littlemore. The band now concentrates on a programme of concerts and engagements rather than competitions, and has a well-earned reputation as one of the most outstanding entertainment bands in the South of England. Their only contest activity is the Regional Championships held in March annually. Ware Brass is currently the highest ranked 2nd Section band in the London & Southern Counties.

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