Wonderbrass: creating a community through music

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Wonderbrass is a community big band founded in 1992. The band has been through numerous personnel, leadership, committee, musical and artistic changes but continues to be strong until today. Drawing inspiration from such collectives as AACM in Chicago and Loose Tubes in London, the band has developed a large repertoire of compositions, arrangements and improvisational practice in its mission to prove that ‘ musical excellence is not the exclusive property of professionals’, to quote from its aims and objectives. It has adapted to changing conditions in order to survive but retains a core philosophy that runs through its 19 year history, initially a philosophy shared by its instigators but latterly, in 2006, the band sat down and worked out its own priorities and preferred way of operating, creating a mission statement and a set of musical, social and administrative priorities. This paper focuses upon interviews conducted with current and former members of the band and seeks to establish their reasons for joining, aspirations both personal and musical through participation in the band as well as investigating notions f personal and musical identity, cultural capital and relationships with musical instrument, musicality and creativity as expressed through participation in Wonderbrass.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationN/A
Publication statusUnpublished - 1 Jan 1990
Event The 27th European Seminar in Ethnomusicology - Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen.
Duration: 15 Sept 201119 Sept 2011


Conference The 27th European Seminar in Ethnomusicology


  • community music
  • participatory musical structures
  • cultural capital.


Dive into the research topics of 'Wonderbrass: creating a community through music'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this