2010 4BR Awards - 4BR Special Award - The Scottish Brass Band Association


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.

SBBANot for the first time, and not for the last, the Scots are leading the way in UK banding.

And their hard earned reputation for innovation and inventiveness was once more on display in 2010.

Long term future

From the ongoing work led by their inspirational Development Officer Alan Edmond, to the hosting of their first Conductor’s Course in Perth, the commissioning of a major new work from one of the UK’s leading young composer’s for their flagship contest, the ground breaking use of open adjudication and their organisation of the most vibrant youth championship anywhere in the banding world, they grasped immediate opportunities as well as planning for the long term future.

No wonder the Scottish Culture Minister took the opportunity to make a significant political announcement concerning arts and music funding at the Scottish Youth Championship in Perth in November. Hard-bitten politicians recognise a good thing when they see it.

It told you everything you needed to now just how far the Scottish Brass Association has progressed since the turn of the Millennium.


At that time SBBA recognised that it had to change if it was to survive, let alone flourish, in the 21st century. The blueprints were written and discussed, but whereas other organisations procrastinated on well meaning ideas, the Scots acted – and acted quickly, with authority.

The seed corn in youth development was sown throughout the country – and whilst some has fallen on barren ground, the vast majority, helped by an amazing legion of hard working conductor’s and teacher’s, has blossomed.

It was there for all to see at Perth – from the 19 ensembles who performed in the Novice Section to the brilliant Senior duo of West Lothian and Carnoustie - Scotland is now the powerhouse of youth banding in the UK – and most probably Europe.

Amazing success

The Scottish Youth Championships has become an amazing success story – bursting at the seams with young players all revelling in the opportunity to enjoy brass playing.  SBBA has been deliberately liberal and freethinking with rules and registration, leaving behind prescription and encouraging participation.

Now they have the most welcome of headaches – how to accommodate even more youngsters who wish to enjoy playing in a brass band.

SBBA deserves immense credit for the way in which they now organise, not just their flagship event, but also the way in which they support and encourage events the length and breadth of their country. 

The Scottish Solo Championships are growing year on year, whilst the first Conductor’s Course in Perth was a remarkable weekend of superbly organised enthusiasm and encouragement.


In 2014 the European Championships will be hosted in Perth – and you can well imagine just how successful they will be thanks to the commitment not just of the SNBBA Executive members, but the whole host of volunteers and inspired musicians that now take an immense pride in the work their Association is undertaking.

From top to bottom, SBBA has shown just what can be achieved when forward thinking individuals come together and work for the common good of the hobby they all love and cherish. 

They thoroughly deserve the 4BR Special Award.


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