The St Austell Sax-Horn Band was formed in 1838 under the patronage of J.S. Graves Swale. In the early 1900s the band was reformed as the St Austell Territorial Band and in 1912 the band changed its name to the St Austell Town Band before competing in the first West of England Bandsman’s Festival (Bugle Contest).
The band moved from its first rehearsal room (The Drill Hall) to new premises at the Old Mill in Trenance in 1923 where it stayed until the outbreak of war in 1939 when it was dis-banded. The band competed at the Crystal Palace on three occasions in 1927, 28 and 29.
In 1943 the band was reformed under the baton of Mr C Baker rehearsing in a converted bakery on West Hill, the bands first contest success came when they won the 2nd Section of the West of England Finals.
1948 saw another name change for the band when it became the St Austell Silver Band and following a difficult period throughout the 50’s the band was promoted to the Championship Section in 1962.
In 1968 the band purchased its own premises and opened the St Austell Band Social Club where the band is currently based. The club boasts two bars and permanent rehearsal/teaching rooms for the band and School of Brass.
Throughout the 70’s the band had many successes on the contest stage including 2nd place at the WD and HO Wills contest in 1972 and 5th place at the National Finals in 1973.
In 1979 Albert Chappell was appointed as the Musical Director of the band which began one of the most successful periods in the bands history. Contest wins included the Yeovil Entertainment Contest and The Pontins Championships. In 1974 the band performed in the Royal Albert Hall for the evening concert following the National Championships.
Throughout the 80’s the band was conducted by several well known personalities in the brass band world including Ken Dennison, Derek Greenwood, David Loukes and Mike Cotter.
In 1990 the St Austell School of Brass was formed offering free music tuition to young people; this led to the Youth Band becoming one of the best in the country at time with over 100 people learning brass instruments with the organisation.
Conductors over the last 20 years have included Leonard Adams, Mike Faro, Denzil Stephens, Gwyn Price, Melvin White, Stephen Sykes, David Loukes, Dr Roy Newsome, Gareth Pritchard and Richard Evans. In 1999 the band became winners of the French Open Contest held in Amboise under the baton of Frank Renton.
In 2005 the band qualified for the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall and, drawing number one, premiered John Pickard's Eden. Another success of recent years was the West of England Bandsmen's Festival in 2008, when the band was awarded the Royal Trophy and special awards for Best Bass Section, Best Soprano Player, and Best Cornet Player. In 2010 a third place at the regionals ensured a promotion back up to the Championship Section for 2011.