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Thrupenny heroes — Letters to a young brass band fan...

October 17, 2018
A remarkable personal collection of brass banding history shines a spotlight on an era when even the greatest stars connected directly to their fans...


2018 National Championship of Great Britain — Championship Section - As it happened

October 6, 2018
All the action from the 2018 National Championship of Great Britain Championship Section - As it happened.


2018 National Championship of Great Britain — Championship Section preview & prediction

October 5, 2018
20 bands line-up at the Royal Albert Hall all looking to become National Champion - but only one will be able to hold the iconic trophy aloft by its Handel...


2018 National Championship of Great Britain — Test piece review: Handel in the Band

October 4, 2018
Kenneth Downie may have shown that he has something in common with Jurgen Klopp when it comes to creating something to test the mettle of the best opponents in the world...


The Wee Professor — The pocket Scottish genius who made his mark on banding posterity

October 3, 2018
Tim Mutum looks back on the career of Walter Hargreaves, almost 50 years to the day after winning the first of his two National titles...


Selling tradition in the digital age — Can 'The British Bandsman' magazine prosper on-line?

September 25, 2018
After 131 years in print, 'The British Bandsman' will now be published digitally. Can a historic brand make its mark in the internet age or will it struggle to remain relevant and read?


2018 National Championship of Great Britain — First Section - As it happened

September 16, 2018
All the action from the 2018 National Championship of Great Britain First Section - As it happened


2018 National Championship of Great Britain — Second Section - As it happened

September 16, 2018
All the action from the 2018 National Championship of Great Britain Second Section - As it happened


2018 National Championship of Great Britain — Third Section - As it happened

September 16, 2018
All the action from the 2018 National Championship of Great Britain Third Section - As it happened


2018 National Championship of Great Britain — Fourth Section - As it happened

September 16, 2018
All the action from the 2018 National Championship of Great Britain Fourth Section - As it happened


2018 British Open Championship — As it happened

September 8, 2018
All the action from the 22018 British Open Championship - As it happened


2018 National Championship of Great Britain — First Section preview & prediction

September 14, 2018
Someone's prescribed destiny may well come true in Cheltenham on Sunday evening - although thankfully they won't have to pull a sword out of a stone to prove worthy of winning the First Section title.


2018 National Championship of Great Britain — Second Section preview & prediction

September 13, 2018
Stephen Bulla's powerful rhapsodic reflection on the military interventionist age we live in will prove a stern test of character for the bands looking to claim victory in their own National battle.


2018 National Championship of Great Britain — Third Section preview & prediction

September 12, 2018
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks at a work of youthful personal reflections that will need careful consideration by the bands in the Third Section if they are to lift the National title.


2018 National Championship of Great Britain — Fourth Section preview & prediction

September 11, 2018
4BR Editor Iwan Fox takes a closer look at the test awaiting the 18 competitors in the Fourth Section this weekend - and wonders which band will come out on top to join the Cheltenham hall of fame...


2018 British Open Championship — Preview & Prediction

September 6, 2018
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks forward to the 166th British Open Championship at Symphony Hall - and wonders who could perhaps come out on top on 'A Brussels Requiem'.


2018 British Open Championship — A Brussels Requiem

September 5, 2018
Bert Appermont's personal exploration of the emotions unleashed by unfathomable acts of evil presents the bands at the British Open with a challenge of gratifying optimism.


A decade of conducting inspiration... — Allan Withington reflects for 10

August 30, 2018
Allan Withington reflects on 10 years of his celebrated conducting course - just before he heads to his next musical destination.


A long goodbye to love — A personal story of a tenor horn return

August 29, 2018
Marie Bedford put away her tenor horn to take accountancy exams - but 22 years later the holiday sound of a brass band persuaded her back to her first love...


O Happy Band! — Why mixing brass bands and political satire may never be a success

August 16, 2018
A prime time television series about aviation expansion, big business interests, venal politicians, bureaucracy and a brass band. A recipe for a biting modern day political satire or a terrible 1980s sit-com...?


4BR Time Team — American Presidents and Japanese crepe paper

August 9, 2018
Two concert snapshots from over a century ago shed an intriguing light on musical tastes and future destinies...


Britten and Brass — King Arthur - Scenes from a radio drama

August 8, 2018
Music by one of the 20th century’s greatest composers, Benjamin Britten, will be performed as a test-piece for the first time at the First Section National Finals in Cheltenham in September.


The last page — Is the end of the contest day programme nigh?

July 31, 2018
With three major British contests looming on the horizon, Tim Mutum wonders if the days of the treasured contest programme are numbered.


What's in your bag? — A starter kit guide for percussionists

June 23, 2018
In the first part of a new series, Cory principal percussionist James Andrews gives young players some tips on what things they need to get for their kit bag when they first get started...


Per Mare, Per Terram — Marine life meets Low Brass lovers in Portsmouth

June 15, 2018
HMS Nelson in Portsmouth recently held a fantastic day of inspirational low brass teaching and playing where Les Neish, Simon Minshall, David Childs and Robbie Harvey took command of the musical troops.


Don't look back in anger — How memories of Britpop should give us a kick up the backside

June 11, 2018
A less than cool perception of what brass bands have left to offer an ageing generation of Oasis and Blur fans may in fact be the perfect stimulus to reach out to the new generation of pop obsessed youngsters...


2018 Whit Friday contests — Preview of the Tameside and Saddleworth events

May 24, 2018
The main brass bands candidates will be joined by a ballot paper full of representatives around the Whit Friday constituencies of Tameside and Saddleworth this year.


World Cup memories — When England's hopes rested with Kevin Keegan and Leyland Band...

May 22, 2018
There was a time when England went to World Cups with high hopes of success, a bubble permed captain and a tournament anthem featuring a brass band accompaniment...


2018 British Open Spring Festival — Grand Shield - As it happened

May 12, 2018
All the action from the 2018 British Open Spring Festival Grand Shield - As it happened


2018 British Open Spring Festival — Senior Trophy - As it happened

May 12, 2018
All the action from the 2018 Spring Festival Senior Trophy - As it happened


2018 British Open Spring Festival — Senior Cup - As it happened

May 12, 2018
All the action from the 2018 Spring Festival Senior Cup - As it happened


2018 British Open Spring Festival — Preview and predictions

May 10, 2018
4BR looks forward to the action at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool on Saturday - the arterial gateway to potential British Open glory.


2018 European Championships — Championship Section - As it happened

May 5, 2018
All the action from the 2018 European Championships - Championship Section - as it happened.


2018 European Championships — Challenge Section - As it happened

May 5, 2018
All the action from the 2018 European Championships - Challenge Section - as it happened.


2018 European Championships — Solo competition - As it happened

May 3, 2018
All the action from the 2018 European Championships - Solo competition - as it happened.


2018 European Championships — Youth Section - As it happened

May 6, 2018
All the action from the 2018 European Championships - Youth Section - as it happened.


2018 European Brass Band Championship — Introduction and Schedule of events

May 2, 2018
The Netherlands hosts the European Championships for a sixth time - with a wonderful welcome assured in Utrecht, the beating heart of the country.


2018 European Brass Band Championship — Championship Section preview & prediction

May 1, 2018
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks forward to a Championship Section contest of musical excellence that nobody should take for granted.


2018 European Brass Band Championship — Championship Section own-choice works

April 30, 2018
4BR Editor Iwan Fox takes a closer look at the own-choice selections of the Championship Section competitors in Utrecht.


The greatest brass band entrepreneur of all — The rise and fall of John Henry Iles

April 29, 2018
The remarkable life of John Henry Iles took in brass bands, world wide amusement parks, honours from Kings and countries - and even a short cricket career with the great W G Grace...


Expert advice — A question of fine tuning?

April 28, 2018
Alan Morrison provides a clear guide for young and inexperienced conductors on how to identify and tackle the perennial problems of poor tuning and intonation.


2018 National Youth Championships of Great Britain — Contest preview

April 21, 2018
An early barometer test at Warwicks Arts Centre shows signs of encouragement for the incoming CEO of Brass Bands England...


Alpine Reflections — Brass band contesting to the outside world

April 19, 2018
Colin Bowman is a respected local sports journalist but a novice to the world of brass banding - so this is what he thought about his experiences of a Regional contest day at Stevenage following his band Brighton & Hove City.


Taking more than 4 bars rest — The importance of good mental health

April 14, 2018
Cornet player Liv Appleton recalls her battle to understand and then overcome the crippling effects of anxiety, stress and self doubt.


Red or Green? — EBBA faces the final choice on the Palanga question

April 10, 2018
The countdown is on for 2020, but a new sense of musical optimism and organisational detente could well inform the green or red light decision of EBBA.


2018 London & Southern Counties Championships — As it happened

March 18, 2018
All the action from the 2018 London & Southern Counties Championships - As it happened.


2018 North of England Regional Championships — As it happened

March 18, 2018
All the action from the 2018 North of England Regional Championships - As it happened.


2018 Welsh Regional Championships — As it happened

March 18, 2018
All the action from the 2018 Welsh Championships - As it happened.


2018 London & SC, North of England & Welsh Regional Championships — Previews & Predictions

March 15, 2018
4BR looks forward to the battles for qualification places at Stevenage, Durham and Swansea this weekend.


2018 West of England Regional Championships — As it happened

March 13, 2018
All the action from the 2018 West of England Championships - As it happened.


2018 Midlands Regional Championships — As it happened

March 13, 2018
All the action from the 2018 Midlands Regional Championships - As it happened.


2018 Scottish Championships — As it happened

March 13, 2018
All the action from the 2018 Scottish Championships - As it happened.


2018 Scottish, Midlands and West of England Regional Championships — Previews & Predictions

March 8, 2018
Bands will be taking to the stage in Perth, Bedworth and Torquay this weekend to try and book their places at the National Finals. 4BR casts its eye over the contenders to come up with the famous kiss of death predictions...


2018 Yorkshire Regional Championships — As it happened

March 4, 2018
All the action from the 2018 Yorkshire Regional Championships - As it happened.


2018 Yorkshire Regional Championships — Preview & Predictions

February 28, 2018
It won't just be the bands hoping for the kindly intervention of an omnipotent presence this weekend in Huddersfield to help them get to the National Finals.


2018 North West Regional Championships — As it happened

February 25, 2018
All the action from the 2018 North West Regional Championships - As it happened.


2018 North West Regional Championships — Preview & Predictions

February 22, 2018
The first Area contest weekend of the year sees a Sunday battle for qualification at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.


4BR Interview — Lance Sergeant David Lockwood

February 21, 2018
4BR Editor Iwan Fox catches up with Lance Sergeant David Lockwood, bass trombonist of The Band of the Irish Guards to find out more about a musical life that has always been linked by family to the Corps of Army Music.


Tour tales — Travel, music, workshops and the Alps

February 18, 2018
Jonathan Sproule, Principal Euphonium of The Band of the Welsh Guards recalls a memorable tour trip to Germany.


Amersham - 175 not out — Cricket, banding and raising £400,000 for the future

February 16, 2018
4BR Editor Iwan Fox finds out more about the remarkable history and ambitious future plans of the Amersham Band.


4BR Spotlight interview — Matt Ford

February 14, 2018
Malcolm Wood talks to the renowned Big Band singer Matt Ford whose inventive musical collaboration with Foden's Band has created more than just ‘Memories of Christmas’.


2018 Norwegian National Championships — As it happened

February 11, 2018
All the action from the 2018 Norwegian National Championships - As it happened.


2018 Norwegian National Championships — Pragmatism keeps Norway at arms length

February 8, 2018
There will be plenty of great things to enjoy in Bergen this weekend - but its an inbuilt sense of pragmatism that keeps the Norwegians ahead of their rivals...


McQueen's Instrument Repairs and Renovations — A Triumph of Time

February 7, 2018
The renowned instrument repairers help restore all sorts of things to past glories - from the Premiership Trophy to a 103 year old euphonium.


Brass Bands England — No more promises of jam tomorrow

January 31, 2018
April sees a new financial dawn for Brass Bands England. So can the organisation finally deliver on its promises?


Time, taste and technology — The demise of Listen to the Band

January 21, 2018
4BR Editor Iwan Fox wonders if the killing off of Listen to the Band is more a reflection of the insularity of the brass band movement than the attitude to change of the BBC.


2018 Butlins Mineworkers Festival — As it happened

January 14, 2018
All the action from the 2018 Butlins Mineworkers Festival - As it happened.


2018 Butlins Mineworkers Festival — Preview & Predictions

January 11, 2018
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks forward to a weekend of keen contesting battles in Skegness as Butlins and the UK banding movement continues to enjoy their early season symbiosis.


4BR Time Team — The fragile paper trail that led back to Besses in Blackpool in 1909

January 5, 2018
A chance discovery of a delicate piece of crepe paper falling from the covers of an old book has revealed a 109 year old snapshot of concert life on an Easter Sunday with Besses o' th' Barn Band under the great Alex Owen.


4BR Spotlight interview — Rob Westacott

January 3, 2018
Malcolm Wood talks to Brighouse & Rastrick Band Chairman Rob Westacott, to find out more about his new role with the 2017 National Champion and what 2018 has in store for him following his decision to finish competitive playing.


4BR Soapbox — Will 2018 confirm Eikanger's total dominance?

January 1, 2018
EEb tuba player, conductor and 2017 BrassFest UK organiser Rob Tompkins gives his personal view on the banding world and whether Eikanger can still carry all before them in 2018?




Gresley Colliery Band - Byrkley Park - Christmas Open Evening

Thursday 18 October • Byrkley Drive, Rangemore St, Burton upon Trent DE13 9RN DE13 9RN


Besses o' th' Barn Band - Celebration Concert

Friday 19 October • Shaw Playhouse 2. 2 Newtown Street, Oldham Ol2 8NX


Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Northern College of Music Brass Band

Friday 19 October • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street Opp. RESERVED. London. W1C 2DJ


Woodfalls Band - Wellstead Community Choir

Saturday 20 October • Chandlers Ford Methodist Church. Winchester Rd, Chandler's Ford, Hants SO53 2GJ


South London Fellowship Band -

Saturday 20 October • The Salvation Army. Conway Street. Hove BN3 3LA


Markham Main Colliery Band

October 18 • Markham Main Colliery Band I n Doncaster are looking for a baritone player. Rehearsals Tuesday and Friday nights in our own band room. Instrument provided if required.


Amesbury Town Band

October 18 • Players and beginners of any standard are always warmly welcomed, especially some more solo cornets, Eb horns and a spare percussionists to help out existing players. Feel free to drop in even if you just fancy a blow or want to try another instrument


Bedford Town Band

October 18 • Bedford Town Band (London and SC) has vacancies for a front row cornet and a soprano cornet. We are a friendly, ambitious and sociable band with a good balance of concerts and contests planned throughout the year.


Mike Sheppard

B.A. (Hons) Music
Composer, conductor, teacher, author