Our history - The 70s and 80s

The 70s

The Corps had been enjoying the results of excellent Competition Work, winning all of the Major Championships both in Britain and overseas. Much travelling was involved and many thousands miles recorded whilst carrying out engagements.


The Corps for the first time among bands of a similar ilk started to pioneer the development of choreography in displays with figures of eight and contra-rotating circles. “A nice variation on the usual marching and concert formations other bands performed.”


Always looking to improve its musicality, the band purchased keyboard bell lyres, and split the trumpets into first second and third harmonies to achieve a better blend of sounds. The biggest surprise and major turning point in the Corps history came in 1973, when Mr Joe Rose & Mr Alf Cleugh, happened to come across a band with a different sound in the unlikely setting of Highfield Road Football Ground.


When both Mr Rose & Mr Cleugh heard the American type band from Germany playing at the City match, they couldn’t believe their ears. The sound was entirely different for the E Flat instruments. After the match they met with the bandmaster of the band at the Godiva Hotel where they were staying and after that meeting it was decided that they would order samples of the G-F’s, as they are called sent from Getzen in America.


When the sample trumpets arrived from America, and old friend of the Corps, Mr Nobby Clarke, once a member of the state trumpeters, helped in sorting the instruments out. The set of valve trumpets were purchased with the help of the city council and were the first of their type in Britain. Once again the School of Music was a pioneering force.


The 80s

After continuing the good work and after 4-5 years of playing the set of valve trumpets, the Corps was invited to take part in the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York in 1983. The Corps was the first non-American marching band to be invited. The visit was hosted by our namesake City, Coventry Connecticut. The Coventry Connecticut band made the return trip to the UK hosted by Coventry the following year. We have built strong bonds of friendship around Europe and the States.


Over this period the corps continued with competitions all over the Country living up to expectations along with visits to France, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Holland and Lichtenstein, which then became a regular summer tour of Europe.


The Corps then decided to renew the percussion instruments and in 1986 purchased a set of Yamaha Marching snares, bass drums, quads & trios and again was the first band in the UK to have these instruments imported from America.