Cambridge University Brass Band was established in 1987, as an entirely student-run and self-funded university society. Originally formed by a collection of passionate brass players who knew each other from playing in other ensembles, the first rehearsals began in 1987 in Churchill College, under the direction of John Bailey. Since its early days, the band has enjoyed large membership, and has attracted high quality brass players from all over the country. The society's aim was, and remains, to promote the unique music and musicianship enjoyed in a traditional brass band, and the band enjoys a good reputation in the university and local community. After a number of years, our rehearsals moved to Wolfson college, of which both our Senior Treasurer and honorary President are senior members, and we enjoy a healthy relationship with the college bar!
The band plays in regular concerts during term-time at university events in and around Cambridge. You'll also find us playing Christmas carols outside the Guildhall, and links with local churches and societies allow regular performances in the surrounding communities. The highlight of each year is the annual tour, which the band undertakes during the Easter holidays. In previous years we have travelled all over the country to places including Norfolk, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Oxfordshire, Bournemouth, and North Wales. 2016 saw the band visit Cologne in our first ever continental tour.
Notable events in our thirty year plus history include the very first of our annual tours, to Ratby in Lincolnshire in 1993; our (very occasional) attempts to compete in the Whit Friday marches; the series of annual varsity concerts with Oxford University Brass Band which took place between 2007 and 2010, and restarted in 2017; and participation in the UniBrass contests founded at Lancaster University, in which we have thrice been awarded Most Entertaining Band.
We also have an alumni society called Friends of CUBB, or FoCUBB, who organise or are involved in many events throughout the year. These include the FoCUBB pub crawl in Michaelmas term, and regular playdays where alumni can get together for an afternoon of music-making. Many FoCUBB members from throughout the band's history attend our Annual Dinner in Easter term, and recent alumni often also return for the annual tour. This means that the band continues to be a strong and active community even long after leaving university.