A Woking-based band that has wowed the national championships is marking its 40th anniversary with a special concert at the end of the month.

Friary Brass Band’s celebration features Tom Smith, principal cornet with the renowned Brighouse and Rastrick Band, as guest soloist.

He will contribute to an evening of music ranging from classics by Bach and Borodin to much-loved numbers by Lionel Ritchie and Whitney Houston on Saturday, September 30.

Taking its name from its initial sponsors, Guildford’s Friary Meux brewery, Friary has had many highlights since it was formed in 1983. It is the only southern band to have won the First Section National Championship title in 2010, and has progressed to become the leading band in the south of England. 

Currently ranked within the top 30 in the world, Friary has held the London and Southern Counties Champion Band title for seven years since 2015 and has appeared in the national finals at the Royal Albert Hall in London eight times since 2013.

Its gigs have included concerts on the QE2 ocean liner, at the British Grand Prix and at major rugby internationals at both Twickenham and Wembley stadiums. 

The band earlier this year passed its conductor’s baton from long-serving Chris King to Nigel Taken, who says he is looking to build further on the progress made.

Band chairman Dave Wicks commented: “It’s a real privilege to play in Friary. We’ve come a very long way over the band’s 40 years with some notable milestones and are keen to achieve more successes.  

“I’d like to pay particular tribute to Chris King and to my predecessor, Nigel Stevens, both of whose guidance helped Friary become the band it is today. Our anniversary concert will be a fantastic evening and Chris King will return to conduct some items.”

The concert takes place at 7.30pm at Trinity Methodist Church, Brewery Road, Horsell. Tickets are £12, concessions £10, under-16s free if accompanied by an adult who has purchased a full-price ticket. A small booking fee applies to all prices. Book at www.ticketsource.co.uk/friarybrassband