Cold Ash Brass was founded in April 2003 by a small group of local Brass players determined to put the fun back into their Brass-Banding. We soon found out that we were not the first Cold Ash Band, the original one folded in about 1930. We have found some of the older villagers who remember the original Band, though to date we have been unable to re-sign any of the original musicians!
From its formation, the Band quickly grew to 18 members, and made its debut public performance at the Cold Ash Show in August 2003. Since then we have performed around the area, in Victoria Park Newbury and at Newbury Show, at St Marks School fete and Thatcham's Festival of Arts and Leisure, in Thatcham Carnival and with the Cold Ash Mummers in the local pubs at Christmas time.
Thatcham Town Council have been strongly supportive, engaging the band for Civic Events and for the Thatcham Remembrance day parade. Cold Ash Parish, Newbury Town Council, Greenham Common Trust and Awards for All have all enabled us to put the Band on a strong financial footing, so that we now have all the latest Brass Band arrangements and a pool of instruments available to play them on.
The Band has grown steadily since then and we now have a very healthy membership, ranging in age from our teenage contingent to at least one who admits to being over 50! We have players in every section of the Band, but we always welcome new players, particularly that rarity a BBb Bass player.
In March 2008 the Band competed for the first time in the London and Southern Counties Regional qualifiers of the National Brass Band Championships finishing a remarkable 3rd out of 23 bands in the fourth section - a major achievement for a debut appearance. This qualified Cold Ash to represent the area in the prestigious National Finals in Harrogate. Since then the band has gone from strength to strength gaining promotion to the third section in 2010.
Our current musical director, Jemma Johnstone, joined us in 2012. Under her leadership we won our first contest in 2014 at SCABA Autumn Contest. Our next venture saw us placing second at the regional contest meaning another place in the national final.