After missing out on their original coronation performance due to bad weather, a concert band is now going to deliver an event of royal proportions.

“We were all bitterly disappointed when the rain came hammering down on coronation day,” said Ann Smith, drumkit player and committee member of Bicester Concert Band.

“So we thought we should dedicate our summer concert to the coronation instead.” She added.

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Having been in rehearsal once a week since January, the ensemble will be holding its royal recital at St Edburg’s Church, on Saturday July 8 at 3pm.

This is a collaborative event with the OYAP Trust, an organisation that empowers young people through an appreciation for the arts.

The trust, based at the old St Edburg’s School in Cemetery Road, will follow up the concert with a royal themed play.

Under the baton of conductor Wendy Marks, a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music, the 40-member band will be delighting guests with a full programme of songs including Crown Imperial, Hope and Glory and Zadok the Priest.

The group will also play a medley of hits from Grease, and Queen’s epic Don’t Stop Me Now.

Mrs Smith said the band were especially disappointed at not being able to play Zadok the Priest on coronation day, because it’s played at every coronation.

Mrs Smith said: “The band has been around a long time. We’ve grown. When I first joined there were about 15 members, and numbers were dwindling.

“We have lots of members from the outskirts of Bicester too, there are lots of smaller bands around the area but none that play wind instruments, so we tend to attract people who want to play them.

“We expect a reasonable standard of playing from newcomers, but ultimately we’re a community band, we’re here for people to come along and have fun.”

Mrs Smith also said the band is searching for tuba and trumpet players.

“We had about 50 people at our last Christmas concert, and we’re hoping for a bigger turnout at this summer event.” She said.

Adding: “We believe we’re bringing something completely different to Bicester, a big afternoon of entertainment, rather than people just being ‘played at’.

“People like to feel they have come out and had a good time.”

Tickets for the event can be found on Eventbrite, here: Or, Mrs Smith said people are welcome to get tickets on the door paying with either cash or card.

She said: “We wanted to keep the cost of tickets down to encourage families to come along, it’s important for young people to hear musical instruments.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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