Articles & features: 2010 / International
There were a lot of brass band contests in 2010. 4BR provides the definitive list of the bands that took away the victors laurels all over the world.
ABBA Secretary C. Brian Buckley gives his response to Paul Andrews recent Wire in the Blood article on 4BR.
The discovery of a lost ledger charting 65 years of unique Foden's history has been found by Allan Littlemore.
It's time to get your thinking caps on and start to vote in the categories to see who you think has been the best of the best in 2010.
Who do you think should be awarded the accolade of 2010 Band of the Year, after a year in which the main prizes found themselves new homes?
Which conductor made the biggest impression on the collective consciousness in 2010? There were hundreds of them plying their trade for certain.
Which individual performer showed us their brilliance to best effect in 2010?
Which recordings made you want to replace the Spice Girls 'Greatest Hits' on your ipod with a brass band recording during 2010?
Which solo performer tickled your fancy in 2010 with their latest release?
So many bands to choose from, but so many bands that had years to remember - so which one deserves the accolade as Lower Section/Youth Band of the Year?
There was plenty of new talent on show in 2010 from players, conductors and bands, to composers, instruments and even new ways of presenting brass band contests.
Lots and lots of test pieces were performed in 2010 - some better than others it must be said. Which one was the best of the bunch though?
Perhaps the most difficult of all the categories to choose the best of all from. Which contest performance stood out for you in 2010 - and it may not have been a winner?
In 2010 the 4BR Special Award goes to an organisation that continues to lead the way forward in the new Millennium - the Scottish Brass Band Association.
Leading New Zealand musician and administrator, Kevin McMorran, provides an in-depth consideration into the current state of New Zealand banding.
4BR reveals the list of conductors and players who have made it into our 2010 Band of the Year.
4BR meets up with one of the brightest brass talents in Switzerland - and a young man who has a name with a familiar ring...
British Open Solo Champion Harmen Vanhoorne tells 4BR who he would want to invite around his dinner table... from Kim Clijsters to David King...
4BR's Chris Thomas talks in depth to composer Andy Scott.
After a decade of contesting battles, conductor Paul Andrews has seen the writing on the wall - and taken action. He believes things must change or others will follow suit...
An iconic band will represent the home nation at the European Championships - and Treize Etoiles are genuine contenders after a thrilling victory in Montreux.
The Swiss are ready for the Europeans - so take plenty of money and go and enjoy yourself.
4BR has flown to Switzerland to report from the 36th Swiss National Championships in Montreux, which take place at the stunning Stravinski Concert Hall at the Music and Convention Centre on the banks of Lake Leman.
Malcolm Wood sees Grimethorpe recover their magic touch at Brass in Concert to leave rivals in catch up mode once again.
Malcolm Wood enjoys a weekend of interest, intrigue and challenge at The Sage.
A gallery of some of the prizwinners captured by Steve Jack at Brass in Cocnert.
Steve Jack caught some of the lighter moments at Brass in Concert.
Steve Jack captured the fun and games at Brass in Concert on Saturday.
Steve Jack captured the action from the bands at Brass in Concert.
4BR was in Perth to witness Co-operative Funeralcare finally banish their mid season torpor to take the Scottish Open title in thrilling fashion.
4BR wonders if the age old debate over open adjudication may be getting closer to being resolved after an enlightening weekend of judgement in Perth.
There was plenty to enjoy with the four season starter in the Challenge Shield - as Johnstone confirming their claim to be the form band of the year.
Chris Thomas looks back on a fantastic day of youth band contesting and enjoyement in Perth on the weekend.
4BR had its camera trained on all the action at the Scottish Open Championship on the weekend.
4BR had the camera lens trained on all the action in the Scottish Challenge Shield in Perth on the weekend.
The X Factor meets Britain's got Talent - all that Brass in Concert is missing is the lovely Cheryl Cole...
4BR takes a closer look at what we can expect to see and hear from the 11 top bands at The Sage this year - and tries to work out who will win...
4BR looks forward to an exciting weekend of brass band contesting in Perth from those ever innovative Scots...
4BR previews an intriguing Scottish Open Championship - a contest full of invention and innovation - and even a mystic German...
4BR previews the new version of the Scottish Challenge Shield.
4BR looks forward to the flourishing Scottish Youth Championships which take place in Perth this weekend.
Dave Lea looks back on a highly impressive US Open in Chigaco, where Brass Band of Central Florida regained their entertainment title.
4BR Editor Iwan Fox finds out a little more about a very surprising Dutch band and its innovative ambitions - Altena Brass.
Brett Baker continues on his journey through Australia and New Zealand with some musical highlights and an encounter with a Manta Ray...
Malcolm Wood looks back at a British event boosted by Belgian brilliance in Dukinfield.
4BR talks all things musical with the man behind the most famous PLC brand in the brass band world.
4BR recalls the story of one of the worst pit disasters in history, and how it almost destroyed one of the most famous bands of the Edwardian era - Wingates Temperance.
4BR meets up with a 9 year old cornet playing percussionist with a very big future ahead of himself.
4BR will be in Chicagoland for the US Open Brass Band Championships - a North American contest with international flair.
4BR takes a look at the cast list of entertainers lined up for our enjoyment this weekend at the Dellora Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles, Illinois.
4BR asks leading banding personalities to tell us what 5 proposals they would like to see implemented if a banding revolution is to be kickstarted in the UK...First up is Sandy Smith
Black Dyke's principal trombonist has been in Australia and New Zealand of late - and he reveals that a musician's life is not always full of glamour and glory...
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks forward to a revived event with an international flavour in Dukinfield.
4BR looks forward with Paul Hindmarsh to the 2011 RNCM Festival of Brass, which will see the sensational performers of the Venezuelan Brass Ensemble join some of the UKs leading bands to provide a weekend of outstanding music making next year.
4BR's Chris Thomas talks with one of the great compostional voices for brass as he celebrates his 65th birthday with a retrospective release of some of his finest works.
Memories of 1988 came flooding back at Pontins on the weekend - and that may be its biggest problem for the future...
Glyn Williams showcased all his talents in leading Marsden to victory at Pontins...
Homework and dark edged playing gave Jackfield the First Section title on Darrol Barry's new work..
The judges knew what they were looking for in the Second Section - and Haydock was the band that gave it to them to take the first prize.
Uppermill certainly likes coming to Pontins - with another two and half grand picked up for their fourth consecutive win at the event.
Hazel Grove make it six wins out of six in 2010. No wonder they should start to bottle their contest winning ingredients...
Steve Jack was around and about at Pontins on the weekend recording the highlights from Saturday's contests.
Lots more images from the Pontins contests on the Saturday at Prestatyn, courtesy of Steve Jack.
Steve Jack was around and about at Pontins on the weekend to record the action from the 2010 Championships.
More gallery images of Sunday's contest day at Pontins from Steve Jack...
Scottish brass band conductors took a well designed step into the 21st century in Perth under the guidence of Roger Webster and his team of tutors...
There was plenty for the delegates on the SBBA Conducting Course to enjoy on their recent weekend at Perth University.
Iwan Fox looks forward to the fun and games to be found at Pontins this weekend in Prestatyn. Never mind Brahms and Liszt - what about Bavarian Stompers and Liszt...
Iwan Fox takes a closer look at the prospects of the competing bands at the Harry & Margaret Mortimer Championship contest on Sunday at Prestatyn.
Malcolm Wood looks at the prospects of the competing band in Sections 1-4 this weekend in Prestatyn.
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks back at a day of high drama at the Royal Albert Hall.
There was more cut and paste jobs on view at the Royal Albert Hall than could be found at a Mayfair plastic surgery clinic...
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks back at a weekend when a little bit of history repeated itself...
4BR looks at the time line that started in Australia in January 1957 and ended at the Albert Hall in October 2010...
Malcolm Wood provides the answers to the number crunching at the Royal Albert Hall on the weekend...
Gallery of images taken by Ian Clowes of the bands drawn 1 - 10 at the Royal Albert Hall
Gallery of images of the bands drawn 11 - 20 at the Royal Albert Hall.
Ian Clowes was out and about taking some brilliant gallery images of the 2010 National Finals.
The Royal Albert Hall is the venue for what could turn out to be an Australian inspired day of drama...
With Black Dyke chasing a historic hat trick, can any of their 19 rivals stop them from doing it?
4BR looks at the records of the 20 bands that will take to the stage trying to win the title this weekend.
4BR looks at the records of the 20 conductors trying to add a National title to their CV this year to see if they are really as good as their record suggests.
4BR takes a look at a short work inspired by a huge country in Martin Ellerby's 'Terra Australis'.
Martin Ellerby is the composer of the set work this year.
These are the three men in the box the bands will have to impress this weekend.
The sweet taste of success came to Friary Guildford at Harrogate on the weekend with a performance of stature to create a bit of banding history...
There were plenty of psalms of praise and celebratory alleluias on the way home to Wales for newly crowned National champion Tylorstown on the weekend...
Delph took the late night honours at Harrogate - just in time to catch last orders for a celebratory meal at the local Bamboo Garden take away..
There is only one way to play a winning hand in banding as in poker - even off the number 1 draw as Hazel Grove under Nigel Beasley showed on the weekend.
4BR Editor Iwan Fox reflects on a weekend when memories of a terrible time in Torquay resurfaced once again.
Banding dad, Iestyn Davies reflects on the drawn-out finale to the lower section banding year. He finds discontent but also possible solutions amongst the punters and players.
Images from the Second Section National Finals at Harrogate taken by Steve Jack
Selection of images of the First Section National Finals at Harrogate taken by Steve Jack
Images of the Fourth Section National Finals at Harrogate taken by Steve Jack
Images of the Third Section National Finals at Harrogate taken by Steve Jack
Images of the First Section National Finals at Harrogate taken by Steve Jack
Images of the Second Section National Finals at Harrogate taken by Steve Jack.
These are the the only people the bands have to really impress on the weekend.
4BR takes a closer look at the 21 bands hoping to leave Harrogate sipping a wee dram or two of celebratory Royal Mile inspired whiskey...
There is a real Scottish flavour to the music in the Fourth Section, but which band will be celebrating with a wee dram or two come Sunday evening?
4BR takes a close look at the bands trying to turn a pretty pattern into a prize winning Chinese takeaway.
One band will be celebrating with a Chinese take away from Harrogate on the weekend - courtesy of Philip Harper's bit of musical crockery.
4BR takes a closer look at the 17 bands hoping to be signing celebratory alleluias on Saturday evening.
One band will be singing celebratory 'Alleluias' on Saturday at Harrogate...
4BR finds out more about the 18 bands battling it out for glory in the First Section.
Can a win here be the start of a succesful diversion to the Championship Section to emulate last year's winners Tongwynlais Temperance?
Forget the sepia tinted days of old at London - Harrogate has something better to offer than Raymond's Revue Bar, despite the blue rinses and cream tea image...
Multi talented, multi instrumentalist James Stretton gives us the lowdown on his top 10 invited dinner guests...
4BR puts the 2010 British Open champion under the spotlight to find out more about them and whether or not we think they can take their remarkable form of 2010 into 2011 and beyond.
4BR has teamed up with Normans Musical Instruments, and the newly crowned 2010 British Open champion Tredegar, to find out more on how to make the best use of three of the most popular pieces of portable recording equipment on the market.
There was plenty of high class action from many of the bands captured by Ian Clowes on the day at Symphony Hall
The conductors gave their all to be the one standing on the shoulders of the others on the weekend...
Tredegar created their own piece of British Open history at Symphony Hall, but there were more than a few surprises for the other competing bands on the weekend.
There was plenty of very individual style as well a substance on show with Peter Graham's set work oon Saturday.
As lasting images of the British Open go, none could beat the sight of the late night admirers at the winner's hotel...
This is what the William Relton, Nigel Boddice ME and Ronald Holz thought of the top four bands at Symphony Hall.
4BR meets up with a very talented 15 year old trombonist, who is already making a name for himself at the top level of banding.
4BR looks at some of the issues surrounding the 158th British Open Championships this weekend at Symphony Hall.
17 bands line up at Symphony Hall on Saturday but there can still only be the one winner...
4BR looks at the records and form guide of the 17 runners and riders hoping to win the famous Gold Trophy.
4BR looks at the track records of the 17 men at the British Open - all of whom are hoping to find a place on top of the television for a Mortimer Maestro reminder of their triumph.
Chris Davies looks in detail at this year's test piece and finds that Peter Graham has produced a corker...
Peter Graham is one of the brass band movements finest composers - and with a record to prove it too.
In a joint collaboration, 4BR has teamed up with Steven Mead to trial a new criteria based adjudication system. Steven tells 4BR more about about it, and how it works...
Four top brand valve oils are given a test by 4BR to find out which one we think offers the best value for money.
In a new feature to 4BR, we ask Jim Prior, Normans top technician and all round repair boffin, to come up with the solutions to the usual set of troublesome questions that seem to effect brass players and their beloved instruments
4BR talks amongst other things to one of the UK's most talented composers about music, Black Dyke, Pink Floyd, football and even the Wizard of Oz and waccy baccy...
The German instruments makers Schreiber & Keilwerth launched its York brand in a blitz of hyperbole. Just three years later it all ended in disaster... 4BR investigates the story...
Was the remarkable Gracie Cole the first female to play with Grimethorpe in a contest - some 68 years before Sheona White? 4BR looks at the intriguing story of the great female pioneer.
4BR talks to C. Brian Buckley to find out more about the self catergorisation process instituted by the Assocation of Brass Band Adjudicators.
Brian Eggleshaw reports from the recent Ironbridge Festival in Shropshire, where brass bands played their part in a celebration of all things iron.
Iwan Fox looks back at a decade that started with such hopes for the iconic contest but almost ended up like the last elephant at its famous zoo - dead and buried.
It's not just traditional bands that wish to make a mark in the wider musical world - Groves Brass is a brass quintet with very specific aims and objectives. 4BR talks to the group to find out more about them...
The multi talented Mr Cai Isfryn tells 4BR just who he would have around his dinner table for a good night out and chin wag. It's an interesting mix..
Political analyst Iestyn T Davies argues that a cash crisis at Arts Councils should prompt a rethink amongst the banding community - and not just in Wales.
4BR finds out a little bit more about one of the banding movements rising star players - 13 year old cornet player Smain Mokrane of the Market Rasen Band.
2010 New Zealand Band Championships 7-11 July, 2010 Dunedin
4BR Editor Iwan Fox reports from the Brass Band Summit Conference held in Birmingham on July 3rd, where the brass band movement took one small, but highly significant step into the 21st century.
4BR images from the Brass Band Summit Conference held in Birmingham.
After seven long years in hiding, the Fairey magic is rediscovered back in a garden in a northern town...
The English National has been a bit of a Carry On this year - although there are hopes that the contest won't go down the Khasi...
Images of the 2010 English National Championship held in Preston.
Images of the 2010 English National Championship held in Preston.
Dr Roy Newsome and wife Muriel conclude their holiday in Oz.
Has the chance of an English success story at a major championship been dealt another kick in the nuts? Preston may give us all the painful answer.
Just the 9 bands, but still only one place up for grabs. 4BR looks at the contenders this year for the trip to Montreux in 2011.
Eden made a huge impression back in 2005 at the National Championships - and this is what the 4BR Editor Iwan Fox thought of it then - and he hasn't changed his mind half a decade later.
Dr John Pickard is the man behind one of the most fearsome test pieces of the 21st century.
These are the three men in the box who will be looking to find something of note behind the musical fig leaves of Eden.
Dr Roy Newsome and wife Muriel continue their adventures in the land downunder.
Dr Roy Newsome enjoys the sun, sea and surf in Australia.
4BR Editor Iwan Fox reflects on Black Dyke's impressive Brass Symposium - a modern take on traditional brass band values.
Images from the 2010 Black Dyke Brass Symposium that took place at the Gandhi Hall at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Images from the Sunday at the 2010 Black Dyke Symposium at Leeds Town Hall.
Roy Terry braved the heat, the wine and lovely surroundings of Amboise in the Loire Valley to hear Brass Band Rijnmond make it a hat trick of wins at an increasingly popular French Open.
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks forward to an intriguing weekend of music making in Leeds, where Black Dyke joins forces with poet Ian McMillan for their annual Brass Symposium.
Trombone virtuoso Derek Southcott provides an experts insight into the thorny old question of mutes.
The Mount Charles Band certainly enjoyed their trip to the Grenland Festival recently - even though they had doubts that they may not return...
Never mind the name - Co-operative Funeralcare is in a pretty good state of contesting health...
It may be a brand new venue, but the Masters still retains its ability for old fashioned debate...
Ian Clowes of Goldy Solutions was on hand to capture the prizewinners in action and receiving their awards at Kettering.
Ian Clowes of Goldy Solutions was on hand to capture all the bands in action - from 7th place down to 22nd...
Malcolm Wood looks back at a Whit Friday tinged with tragedy and asks whether or not an unique event is in danger of losing its traditional appeal because of anti social behaviour.
Paul Hindmarsh reports from the Scottish Brass Band Association Open Forum held in Livingston, where a number of future challenges were discussed.
Malcolm Wood looks forward to another great day of banding in Tameside and Saddleworth this Whit Friday - waeather permitting of course.
The Masters opens a new chapter in its history this weekend. So does the innovative pioneering spirit of the contest still remain in place?
If you are looking for a sure fire bet for a winner for Sunday then pop along to the Lighthouse Theatre on Friday night and ask for some help...
4BR looks at the 22 bands that will battle it out for glory in Kettering on Sunday.
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks at the history of one of the great classics of the brass band repertoire.
With the Masters heading to its new home in Kettering this weekend, 4BR looks back at some of the significant dates that gave the contest its brilliant highs and controversial lows.
You need a little bit of luck to succeed at the Spring Festival - some you make and some you don't.
The Welsh take control of the Grand Shield as Tredegar and Tongwynlais triumph on Rococo Variations.
The last man standing on Saturday was Woodfalls, with a fine win on a potent test piece.
The floodgates opened in the Spanish Hall on Saturday, but it was Beaumaris who was left high and dry in winning the Senior Trophy in fine style.
Selection of photographs by Ian Clowes of Goldy Solutions from this year's Spring Festival Contest
Selection of photographs by Ian Clowes of Goldy Solutions from this year's Grand Shield Contest
C Brian Buckley reports from a summit meeting in Wales, as the causes of banding decline in the Principality are discussed.
Peter Denton puts forward his personal views on the need for a representative national brass band body and how it can be achieved.
4BR looks back at the inaugural Great Northern Spring Brass Arts Festival to find out if it lived up to its very long name...
There are some stark banding realities to be played out on the Golden Mile this weekend.
20 bands are just one step away from the big time and Symphony Hall. But which two will overcome Gregson's majestic set of variations?
There is a lot resting on the shoulders of individual players on Philip Sparke's test piece - but which bands will be able to slay his awesome dragon?
A classic test piece will test 20 bands of varying quality in the Spanish Hall on Saturday.
4BR takes a closer look at the three test pices being used this weekend - from ornate rococo homage and fire breathing dragons to a mass drowning by a spurned princess.
Selection of photographs from this year's European Brass Band Championships in Linz.
Selection of photographs from this year's European Brass Band Championships opening ceremony and EBBA Conference.
Selection of photographs from this year's European Youth Band and Gala Concert of the European Brass Band Championships.
Selection of photographs from this year's European Solo Competition.
Selection of photographs from this year's B Section of the European Brass Band Championships
Selection of photographs of Brass Band De Waldsang, Brass Band Nord Pas de Calais, Concord Brass and Bon Accord from this year's European Brass Band Championships
Selection of photographs of Brass Band Buizingen and Valaisia Brass Band from this year's European Brass Band Championships
Selection of photographs of Brass Band Oberosterreich and Black Dyke from this year's European Brass Band Championships.
Selection of photographs of Cory and Eikanger bands from this year's European Brass Band Championships.
Selection of photographs from this year's presentation ceremonies of the European Brass Band Championships
Is it a tale as yet untold to come for Cory, and Dr Robert Childs in particular, as they sealed their place in the European history books in Linz.
It was a game of two halves in Linz - from the basis of Cory's victory to the battle for personal glory by possible future contenders.
There was home country delight in the B Section, but the same problems remain for an entertaining, but essentially flawed contest.
Three outstanding soloists provided wonderful entertainment as a curtain raiser to the Euroepan weekend, with an engaging winner in Glen Van Looy.
There was plenty of other things going on at the European in Linz - from culture to adjudication and sun baked press hacks.
There was plenty to enjoy in Linz, even if the feeling remains that the whole event is perched at something of a crossroads.
Selection of photographs from this year's Set Work Section of the European Brass Band Championships
Selection of photographs from this year's European Brass Band Championships
Selection of photographs from this year's European Brass Band Championships from Day 2.
Selection of photographs from this year's European Brass Band Championships from Day 2.
Selection of photographs from this year's European Brass Band Championships
Selection of photographs from this year's European Brass Band Championships
There is plenty to enjoy in Linz but some things may be better diplomatically left alone
The European Brass Band Championships head to their furthest ever point East this year, and the delightful city of Linz on the banks of the River Danube.
There is plenty going on this week in Linz.
As 10 top bands head for Linz, it seems the European experience is still evolving - but some old favourites still hold sway...
10 top class bands will take to the stage at the Brucknerhaus on Friday and Saturday all hoping to become the 2010 Champion Band of Europe.
4BR has been listening to the latest work from the pen of the innovative Thomas Doss - and his fascinating 'Spiriti'.
4BR has a look at the selections made by the bands to showcase their abilities to try and become European Champions.
There is a second tier contest taking place in Linz this weekend that could prove to be right up someone's alley if they win...
Two very interesting composers have produced the set works to be played in Linz this weekend.
4BR has a look at the six men in the box this year for both the Championship and B Section contests.
All you need to know from the names of the winners to the number of performances of Eric Ball's works to be used at the contest since 1978. Go on - bore your friends to death...
4BR was in North Carolina for the North American Championships, where Fountain City claimed the title was a fourth consecutive year. Pat Herak and Tim Jameson report.
A selection of photos from the Training Section of the 2010 National Youth Brass Band Championships.
A selection of photos from the Junior Section of the 2010 National Youth Brass Band Championships
A selection of photos from the Premier and Intermediate Sections from the 2010 National Youth Brass Band Championships
Selection of photographs from year's Advanced Section at the National Youth Brass Band Championships
There was a touch of Welsh class in the Premier Section, where MD Gwyn Evans may have to be locked away in future if anyone is to stop Gwynedd & Mon County from winning year after year.
The remarkable Carnoustie won the Advanced Section in some considerable style - but the rest of the field found the musical challenge of the day a bit beyond them.
The fantastic Elland Band make it a 'Double' at the RNCM on Sunday - and their adventures in brass are just starting...
There may have only been three competitors, but there was plenty to enjoy in the Junior Section - especially with the winners.
There was a great start to the day in Manchester, even if the parents may have needed an extra hour or two in bed..
There were plenty of opinions, views and debate at the BFBB AGM - just not enough people from the banding movement...
4BR put forward 10 questions at the recent BFBB AGM. These were the answers that came up.
4BR puts forward 10 questions to be asked and answered at the British Federation of Brass Bands Annual General Meeting this weekend.
Malcolm Wood looks forward to the spotlight falling on the best youth bands in the land this weekend, as the National Youth Championships take place at Manchester's RNCM.
4BR has a look at the five sections and the competitors for this year's event at the RNCM.
Conductor John Roberts tells 4BR just who he would have around his dinner table for a good night out and chin wag. It's an interesting mix..
4BR spends a day with the talented young players of the National Youth Band of Great Britain as they work hard and enjoy themselves on their Easter Course in Taunton.
A selection of photos from the A Grade section of the 2010 Australian Championships
Just like the Jules Rimet Trophy, the brass band world once had a World Cup - and Pickles the dog has never found it since it went missing. 4BR looks back at a very peculiar tale...
The Australian National Championships take place in Hobart, Tasmania this weekend. 4BR provides a preview as bands from all over the huge country battle for glory.
4BR looks at some of the bargains around to help players through the short April evenings of band practice...
4BR's Chris Thomas talks to one of the UK's leading young composers - Gavin Higgins.
Four talented youngsters took the opportunity to adjudicate on 4th Section bands at the Yorkshire Regional Championships. Here's what they thought and the results they came up with...
Was the series of 2010 Regional Championships a success? 4BR takes a final look back over the highs and lows of the qualification contests.
A surge of musical power saw Reg Vardy regain their title on the weekend.
Richard Evans was in his element on Saturday leading Barton Town to glory on a reminder of a bygone era.
The Dolphin Centre was certainly Cockerton's Kingdom on Saturday morning.
Not even a fire alarm going off could stop Ferryhill's performance winning off the number one draw.
The joy of qualification for Harrogate was there for all to see on Sunday as the music of Saint-Saens was a hit once more.
Something moved in Swansea on Sunday - about 25 miles east from its usual epi-centre to the Sirhowy Valley and the home of the new Welsh champion.
There were the usual problems on the moors in Wales, but two bands showed a mastery of Holst to get to Harrogate.
Familiar ground for the competitors here, but it was two bands from outside Dragon country that booked their tickets to Harrogate.
The operatic tradition is alive and well in Wales - thanks to some brilliant youngsters from Goodwick...
They are still dancing in the streets of Crwbin after a splendid French inspired victory in the Fourth Section.
It was a bit of a one horse race at Stevenage as Redbridge did a passable impression of Shergar to win their Area at a canter.
Everyone was in need of a break in the First Section as Friary Guildford set an early marker that few others had any hope of matching.
Four contrasting movements brought 17 different takes on Philip Harper's test piece, with a cracker from East London slaying the Welsh dragon to take yet another title.
A refreshing bit of 'Labour & Love' tested the bands in the Third Section, with some pretty good efforts getting the nod for Harrogate from Derek Broadbent.
Some French style came in handy in the Fourth Section where a trio of chic performances headed to Harrogate.
Selection of photographs from year's Yorkshire Regional Championships
The memories came flooding back for Co-op at Glenrothes - and nearly as good as 1990 they will be too in a few years time...
A top drawer performance took the title in Scotland and took Lochgelly back to the top tier of banding via Harrogate in September.
The bands drew plenty of inspiration from Wales with the winners enjoying their trip to the Principality like long lost Celtic cousins...
Plenty of hard labour, but not a lot of love interest made for a hard grafting winning performance from Kilmarnock Concert.
Plenty to enjoy on a great test piece and a fine winner in Glenrothes as Dumfries head for Harrogate as champion.
Six years of hurt was put behind them at the weekend as Virtuosi GUS once again claimed the bragging rights in the Midlands.
Never believe the statistics they say as Langley upset the form book to take the First Section title.
There was a model performance from Tintwistle to take the Second Section title on Philip Harper's exciting Welsh Dragon test piece.
Somtimes the clue isn't in the title - athough for Porthywaen, being crowned Third Section winners is.
24 bands produced a fine contest, despite the occassional queries on volume from the box. Shipston Town though pushed out all the right organ stops to become champion.
Foden's as Mike Tyson? They certainly knocked out the opposition like him in his prime at the Winter Gardens on Sunday to claim a fifth consecutive North West title.
Freckleton proved to be a bit of a myth buster as they took the First Section title from the number 1 draw on Sunday.
There were more important things to concern people on Sunday, but eventually there was good news both on health and banding issues as Diggle took the title.
There was a quite outstanding winning performance in the Third Section as Delph delivered a first class bit of labour with a wonderful love interest to take the title.
From last to first for Hazel Grove as Nigel Beasley's band take the Fourth Section homours at a boomy Spanish Hall.
A first major win for Paul Holland and Flowers as the Torquay curse strikes yet again...
Two clear cut qualifers in the First Section as Gustav Holst's work did the bands no favours at all.
A proud Englishman with a Welsh name produced a cracking account to take the Second Section title and head to Harrogate as champion.
Listeners were sentenced to some hard labour and little love interest in the Third Section, but were rescued from their toil by two good quality qualifiers from Sidmouth and Bream.
A great atmosphere, a great piece and a great win for a cracking band as Test Valley head for Harrogate as champions.
Forget the northern media attention one of the biggest brass band contests takes place in Stevenage this weekend.
12 bands line up to see if they can produce an authentic bit of English Heritage to claim a place at the Royal Albert Hall.
Not much green and pleasant land inside the M25, so how will these bands get on with Holsts bucolic portrait of a long lost English countryside..
Which of these 17 bands will be able to be inspired by the weird and wonderful world to be found at the other end of the M4 motorway?
14 bands will look to get just the right mix between hard graft and that loving feeling to get to Harrogate.
There will be plenty of great music to enjoy from the 17 bands as they look to tickle a French fancy to get to Harrogate.
A warm welcome, bungee jumps and open air markets - and the bands are doing rather well too. No wonder people are smiling a lot more up here in Darlington.
There is the prospect of a real ding dong battle at the Dolphin Centre to round off the weekend, as Reg Vardy looks to reclaim its domestic bragging rights over its rivals.
Just the seven bands here to battle it on an old classic, but a few tasty morsels of Moorside could be on the menu.
Plenty of similarities between South Wales and the North East, so what will the bands here make of the Kingdom of Dragons?
Its back to the yellow pages of history in here as the bands shed hard labour perspiration in search of loving inspiration to get to Harrogate.
The welcome sight of a dozen bands taking to the stage here shows that Philip Sparkes test piece has been a cracker.
There may be a thin veneer of polish covering Welsh banding, but it is buffed up well from success of late.
Can anyone challenge Cory for the title on English Heritage? If they do, they can claim to be unofficial World Champions...
Plenty of valleys and vales to take inspiration from in Wales, as seven bands look to take a trip to Harrogate via a tricky Moorside test.
No excuses that the bands won't know what this piece is about. So which of these 12 will be breathing contesting winning fire then?
It used to be a real Labour heartland in South Wales before Tony Blair messed things up. So which one of these bands can fly the old red flag and get to Harrogate.
The Welsh quite like all things French even though they beat them at the rugby this year
Subjective opinions and hard nosed decisions - whichever way you look at it, Brighouse were Kings of Bradford.
There was plenty to talk about in the First Section as Meltham & Meltham Mills found a walk on Moorside very much to their liking.
Knottingley enjoy their bit of Dragon slaying to gain a trip to Harrogate with a Police escort in tow...
Two fine performances took the chance to show off their Labour & Love skills to book their places at Harrogate in September.
A great test piece and some great playing made for a highly entertaining 4th Section contest - won by a French fancy of a band.
The Midlands has plenty to offer this weekend for players and supporters alike although we all miss the dodgy burger van at the back of the old Burton Town Hall dont we?
There is no place in the UK quite as full of English Heritage as the Midlands...
Its never good to try and second guess an adjudicator but after Bradford a few will be wondering just how they go about it here...
A well matched field of bands should enjoy a bit of Dragon slaying on the weekend.
An excellent venue plays host to an old time classic on Saturday morning.
Its like a return to the good old days - a Fourth Section packed with bands and a piece of porcine magic to play too.
As always there is always a warm and friendly atmosphere down in Torquay - and they have plenty to smile about too...
Can Camborne overcome the never ending curse of the defending champion and become the first band in well over a decade to retain their West of England title?
A strong line up of 14 bands all aiming to make the most of a very difficult classic work and gain a long coach trip to Harrogate.
15 bands will set their musical sights on Harrogate by finding inspiration from over the Severn Estuary.
A big field of 15 bands and a big old test of musical character on Labour & Love to overcome if they are to get to Harrogate.
As always there is a fantastic turn out of contenders all looking to book a place in Harrogate courtesy of some tasty French variations.
The one thing bands in these parts enjoy doing is competing against each other so Sunday should be a great day of domestic battles then
Can Foden's retain their title and create even more history of their own at the Winter Gardens?
Which pair of bands here will really get to grips with a classic test piece to head to Harrogate in September?
The North West has plenty of strength in depth at this level, so which one of these bands can gain a bit of inspiration from the music of the Principality and win through to Harrogate on Sunday?
Whoever gets through here could well be one of the favourites come Harrogate itself, but they first have to work out the winning formula from a bit of Labour & Love.
A great line up of bands on the Sunday all set for a real battle on a French fancy to get to Harrogate.
Scotland is a world leader when it comes to organising brass bands - all it needs now is for the bands themselves to come up with the right results too.
An appreciation of English Heritage should go down well here in Scotland
A Downland Suite may not evoke images of the Scottish Highlands, but if played well by any of these bands it can be just as beautiful.
The Scots need to put one over the Welsh and this is their chance to do just that if they are to get to Harrogate.
They know a thing or two about hard work and even love in these parts and they need to be experts at both if they are to get through to Harrogate.
Just six bands make it to the starting blocks here looking to improve their French inspired variations to get to Harrogate.
The 2010 National Championships of Great Britain kicks off in Bradford on the weekend - just 140 days since Black Dyke became 2009 champions at the Royal Albert Hall.
A great contest in prospect as Rothwell Temperance look to defend their title on 'English Heritage'.
The bands that want to try and make it to Harrogate will have to overcome one heck of a test with the classic 'A Moorside Suite'.
Which of the 11 bands here can find a bit of Celtic inspiration to get them to Harrogate?
12 bands will look for a bit of love interest amid the hard labour in Percy Fletchers testing old work.
A healthy turn out of bands this year attracted by a fine work from Philip Sparke and the chance to be on the BBC?
4BR has a closer look at the five regional test pieces - covering close to 100 years of compositional history.
Malcolm Wood reports from the RNCM on a night when bucket loads of character and talent saw Matthew White become an extraordinary BBC Young Brass Soloist winner.
Not even a health and safety scare could put a dent in Elland's winning performance at Blackpool's Opera House. Malcolm Wood donned a hard hat to enjoy all the action...
4BR looks at some of the best bargains to be had this February...
30 years ago a very curious contest took place in Wales. It is a tale of intrigue, duplicity, shabby politics and even shabbier people. And at its centre there was a crook called Robert D. Alexander.
Stalwart trombonist Ian Buckley tells 4BR just who he would have around his dinner table for a good night out and chin wag...
With the debate on the future of original brass band music riding high, we thought it was high time to highlight ten composers who we feel could have a serious part to play in new band music in the next few years.
It's Valentine's Day in Blackpool on Sunday, but which youth band will leave the Winter Gardens blowing victory kisses to their supporters and fans?
Just a flavour of the action from Norway's National Championships in Bergen's Grieghallen.
There was so much to enjoy about Bergen this year - despite the snow and the smell...
Manger return to the top of Norwegian banding - thanks to agnostic adjudication and some X rated playing...
There was a commanding win in the 1st Division as Sandefjord took an impressive setp back to the Elite Division of Norwegain banding thanks to a 100% conductor's record.
As always there was plenty to enjoy in the lower divisions - from Orskog, Bjorsvik and Fla to name just three...
The first major National Championship takes place this weekend in Norway. 4BR will be there to find out who comes top in Bergen.
4BR will be in Bergen to listen to the very best bands in Norway battle it out to see who will represent them at the 2011 European Championships. Can Eikanger make it three in a row?
4BR casts its eye over the 12 bands hoping to make the step up and join the Elite bands in Norway this weekend.
Another promising contest in store in the Second Division with 13 well matched bands all hoping to do enough to gain another step up the Norwegian promotion ladder.
There is plenty to look forward to in the Third Division - especially as the bands usually have a taste for the classics of the banding repertoire.
The foundation base of Norwegian banding continues to grow - now with 24 bands taking part with their eclectic own choices.
Who has won what and when since the Norwegian Nationals started in 1979.
4BR looks forward to the cross border skirmish in Yeovil for what promises to be an entertaining Wales versus England weekend.
Chris Thomas looks back over the highlights of the 2010 RNCM Festival of Brass.
It may not be to everyone's taste but Butlins certainly understands the brass band culture.
Desford take their fourth Butlins title - but victory wasn't as clear cut as the record books may suggest...
It's two years since innovation and invention became the brass band buzz words here - so did the 2010 contenders do the entertainment business?
A Scottish flavour in the First Section, but it was a Midland band who left Skeggy to toast their victory with a wee dram or two.
No doubt about the winners in the Second Section as East London once again came up trumps in Skegness.
A diamond edged performance gave the Third Section title to Delph and their young MD on the weekend.
There was a touch of the Roman epic about Dronfield's victory in the Fourth Section.
Youth Brass 2000 retained their Butlins title, but the Youth Contest was an absolute delight for everyone concerned.
4BR takes a forensic look at Paul Lovatt-Cooper's latest test piece. Is it a first class journey to some of the great global destinations, or just a clever musical pastiche of Whicker's World?
Never mind the weather and the economic climate, Butlins will once again provide a warm welcome to an ever growing number of bands.
Which band can mix and match their test piece to their entertainment skills to claim the Butlins title this year?
11 bands take to the stage on Saturday and Sunday hoping that their mix of city sleeplessness and X Factor entertainment will gain them the seven grand top prize.
Which of the competing bands will be able to capture the musical nuances of the Outer Hebrides to take the First Section title?
A well matched field will have to get in touch with their folk music roots if they are to take the Second Section title.
Which of the bands can unearth a diamond of a performance to take the Third Section title on Saturday.
A Roman inspiration for glory in the Fourth Section as Leigh Baker's test piece provides the battleground for the 13 gladiator bands.
There is sure to be plenty to enjoy at the Youth Championships on Sunday afternoon - with six cracking bands providing the entertainment.
These are the men in the box this year in Skegness.
Artistic Director Paul Hindmarsh leads us through what's in store at the RNCM Festival of Brass later this month.
4BR looks at some of the post Christams bargains to be had in the January sales...
A contest that profit shared, had open adjudication, pre draws, free bandsmen tickets and took place at the Albert Hall? So why did the WD & HO Wills Contest only last 4 years?.
C Brian Buckley reports from the AGM of the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators, where new leadership and plenty of test piece homework were on the wintery agenda.
These X Factor people and events could well provide the reading on the barometer of the brass band movements general good health in 2010.
The 4BR Headmaster has been writing his 2009 end of term reports on the 20 top ranked pupils in the 4BR school.
Hucknall & Linby Brass
Hucknall & Linby Brass - 3rd Section Midlands Champions, Butlins Runners Up, Leicester Open Champions, Bolsover Entertain...
Greenfield Whit Friday Contest
Venue: Greenfield, Saddleworth, Oldham. OL3 7DB
Regent Hall Concerts Sam Rapley Jazz Ensemble
Venue: Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street - opposite BHS. London . W1C 2DJ