Abington Wind Band was formed in 1975 to fill a gap in the Northampton Music Scene. Dr. Richard Coles recognised that while existing orchestras and bands catered either for accomplished musicians or for children, there was a growing number of adults taking up instruments who would enjoy playing in a band for “adult beginners.” Playing in an ensemble with musicians of a similar or better standard helps all players to develop.
Initially, rehearsals were held in Dr Coles’ dining room, which not only imposed restrictions on the size of the Band but also caused a certain amount of distress to his neighbours! Eventually, the opportunity arose to hire St Gregory’s Parish Hall on a regular basis and after a while we were offered the facilities of the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust premises. The improved rehearsal venue also meant that the Band could welcome as guests more advanced musicians – especially from the County Youth Orchestras and Bands – and this has been of great benefit to the Band as a whole and to individual players in particular.
During the 1990s, conducting the band became very much a family affair, with both Monica (wife of Dick (Richard) Coles,) and then their daughter, Rachel, leading rehearsals, between them, with eventually Rachel taking over as Musical Director. Monica was the band president, until her recent death, and Rachel is now the deputy head of Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust.
The baton was handed over to Paul Egan, a local talented musician, teacher and instrument repairer, from 1995 – 2002 until he moved out of the area.
From 2002 until August 2021 Phillip Burditt, an experienced musician, composer and arranger, has been our Musical Director.
Paul and Phillip also jointly ran the weekend Wind Band courses held at Knuston Hall, which were originally established by Dick Coles for the benefit primarily of Abington Wind Band members. These were held biennially.
Abington Wind Band continues to give many concerts for charity around the county. Every summer Northampton Borough Council puts on a series of Bands in the Park concerts. We thoroughly enjoy our annual appearance on the bandstand in Abington Park.