Take 5 — A quintet of 2020 highs and lows

December 30, 2020
Five highlights and five low points from the past 12 months in the banding world...

2020 4BR Awards — The Nominations

December 28, 2020
The long list of 4BR annual award nominations that will be considered by our panel of judges has been released.

Take 5 — A quintet of the best 'Resurgam' recordings

December 5, 2020
With news that banding could rise again in the not too distant future, 4BR Editor Iwan Fox picks five of the best recordings of Eric Ball's masterful work.

Blah Blah Blah — How banding needs planning not upbeat rhetoric to secure the future

December 1, 2020
The post-Covid banding future may be on the horizon, but banding needs to plan for it and not rely on misplaced good intentions.

A message for our time — Do it the safety way...

November 19, 2020
How a 1976 musical combination of the National Coal Board, Max Bygraves and Grimethorpe Colliery Band could well help bands return safely to rehearsals in the future.

4BR Hall of Fame — No.13: Percy Code

November 16, 2020
Tim Mutum looks back on the life and career of an Australian musician whose influence should be remembered for much more than an iconic cornet solo.

The colossal gamble? — Grimethorpe's 1985 Granada Band of the Year victory

November 13, 2020
4BR looks back 35 years ago with Alan Morrison and Steve Sykes to Grimethorpe Colliery Band's victory at the Granada Band of the Year contest - one inspired by a very particular kind of musical genius.

Take 5 — A quintet of great Fireworks displays

November 5, 2020
Remember Remember the 5th of November - with five great recordings of Elgar Howarth's iconic pyrotechnic test-piece.

A new dawn in Wales — Could Welsh banding be looking at a much sunnier future?

October 27, 2020
Does the establishment of a new national representative body for Welsh banding offer more than just another false dawn of optimism?

Take 5 — A quintet of great Cloudcatcher Fells recordings

October 23, 2020
Five of the best recordings of John McCabe's iconic work inspired by the majesty and natural beauty of the Lake District.

Envy backs no viable argument — Why Culture Recovery Fund awards should inspire others

October 18, 2020
The last thing we need at this moment in time for the brass band movement is to start being envious of the success of others...

4BR Hall of Fame — No.12: Trevor Walmsley DFC

October 17, 2020
Tim Mutum looks back on the life of an outstanding musical professional whose life encompassed two very different spheres of battle...

When damaged trumpets won the National — 1945's Epic Occasion of firsts

October 16, 2020
There may not have been any National Championship at the Albert Hall this year, but when it does return will it make the same media impression the 1945 event did?

Tacet agreement? — MPs of all sides fail to mention the plight of brass bands in debate...

October 15, 2020
MPs from all parties recently had the opportunity to debate arts spending during the Coronavirus - but none managed to mention the challenges faced by any brass bands in their constituencies...

A virtual future of banding benefits? — Reflecting on the Cory Online Championships

October 14, 2020
4BR talks to Cory MD Philip Harper to find out what he thinks the future may hold as banding takes exciting steps into a virtual reality.

Crumbs of comfort and understanding — 2020 BBE Conference keynote speech

September 22, 2020
Arts Council England's CEO Darren Henley's address at Brass Bands England's 2020 Conference was well meaning but uninspired - offering crumbs of comfort at a time when banding needs much more than aphorisms and sound bite cliches.

Take 5 — A quintet of great Spectrum recordings

August 25, 2020
Five of the very best recordings of Gilbert Vinter's iconic test-piece.

Coronavirus rehearsal return? — No need to be Amber Gamblers

August 18, 2020
The latest guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has not given a realistic green light for a return to rehearsals - even if the option is now there...

COVID-19 latest — Brass Bands England pandemic guidelines

August 15, 2020
Brass Bands England has published in full its sector support advice for bands in England. If you are thinking of making a return to rehearsal, then they ask that you read this in full and understand its implications.

4BR Hall of Fame — No.11: Betty Anderson

August 8, 2020
Tim Mutum looks back on the life of a pioneering musician whose achievements amounted to much more than a historic entry in the contesting record books.

Take 5 — A quintet of judges to persuade into the box

August 1, 2020
Can the brass band movement once again persuade leading figures from a different professional musical hinterland to step into the confines of the adjudicator's box?

Alexander the Great — The last of the Victorian triumvirate

July 23, 2020
On the centenary of the death of Alexander Owen, 4BR looks at the life and legacy of one of the greatest figures in the history of the brass band movement.

Testing, testing — London College of Music exams

July 21, 2020
4BR takes a close look at the exams for brass students that are being offered by the London College of Music.

Beyond the horizon — Commissioning a new post Covid-19 future?

July 19, 2020
Would an independent Brass Band Commission be able to offer a plan for a sustainable long term future for banding in the UK?

4BR Hall of Fame — No.10: Albert Chappell

July 9, 2020
A mainstay figure of the banding movement - whose influence in helping bands and players fulfil their potential was based on his insightful musicality and disciplined work ethic.

Follow the science — How brass bands can return to pandemic safety

July 3, 2020
Beware the claims of quack doctors, pseudo-science, divine interventionists, oddballs, confidence tricksters and criminals and trust in proper research - its the only answer to get us back playing safely...

Take 5 — A quintet of composers to persuade to write for brass bands

July 2, 2020
With a need to reach out to a wider audience in the post Coronavirus era, can the brass band movement persuade any of these high profile composers and arrangers to write for us?

The Pharaoh's Curse? — The tale of Tutankhamun's trumpets...

June 21, 2020
When Howard Carter found 'wonderful things' in the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922, they included two trumpets that seemingly had a curse of their own...

Time to end our self-isolation — Banding's need for greater diversity and social inclusion

June 16, 2020
It may be finances that are the pressing concern at present but it is an investment in greater diversity and social inclusion that holds the key to the future for the banding movement.

4BR Hall of Fame — No.9: Norman Ashcroft

May 31, 2020
The player's player principal cornet - a wonderful musician whose modesty and unassuming personality ensured he was revered by all who performed with him.

What price brass band democracy? — Can we afford post COVID change in the UK?

May 29, 2020
4BR Editor Iwan Fox wonders what price individuals would be willing to pay to secure a sustainable, democratically robust brass band movement in the UK...

Brass on the Mind — Mental Health in the Bandroom: Part 3

May 25, 2020
Tabby Kerwin looks at the importance of awareness and education on mental health issues within the brass band movement - this time with the emphasis on the adjudicator.

After COVID-19 — New norms in a very different reality

May 18, 2020
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks towards the light at the end of the long Coronavirus tunnel and wonders what the new destination will be like when we eventually get there...

4BR Hall of Fame — No.8: Eric Bravington OBE

May 9, 2020
A musician whose loyalty and talent made a significant mark in both the banding and orchestral worlds.

Take 5 — The most underrated European Championship set-works

May 4, 2020
We pick five of the most underrated test-pieces used at the European Championships since 1978 in the hope that they will be resurrected to be used once more...

Take 5 — The most significant own-choice performances at the European Championships

May 2, 2020
We chose five of the most significant own-choice performances given at the European Championships since the first event in 1978...

Regional restructuring — A template for debate...

April 29, 2020
4BR Editor Iwan Fox offers a template for discussion and debate to try and solve the problem of achieving a balanced regional structure in UK banding in the future...

4BR Hall of Fame — No.7: Violet Brand MBE

April 27, 2020
A remarkable woman who combined two hugely influential professional careers that made a significant impact.

It's the economy, stupid — How Bill Clinton will get us back contesting...

April 21, 2020
Forget the musical pipe-dreams and desires, it will be an understanding how the finances of brass banding really work that will eventually see the movement return with long term sustainability.

Heroism and Hollywood — Brass bands and the sinking of the Titanic

April 16, 2020
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks at how the urban myths surrounding brass bands and the sinking of the Titanic have lasted for over 100 years.

The shape of things to come — The right time for a debate on a new National structure?

April 11, 2020
Does the current enforced break from contesting give banding in the UK the chance to look at the shape required for a healthy national banding structure...

Brass on the Mind — Mental Health in the Bandroom: Part 2

April 4, 2020
Tabby Kerwin looks at the importance of gaining awareness and education about mental health issues within the brass band movement - this time with an emphasis on the role of the conductor.

4BR Hall of Fame — No.6: Arthur Stender

March 31, 2020
The Australian cornet star who rivalled Harry Mortimer for virtuosity on the stage, but who was the most unassuming figure off it.

Learning from the results of history — From Edinburgh 1886 to the Midlands 2020...

March 25, 2020
Mistakes have always been made at brass band contests, but surely the time has come for a 21st century approach that works for everyone...

2020 Regional Championships — North of England - As it happened

March 15, 2020
All the action from the 2020 North of England Regional Championships - as it happened.

2020 Regional Championships — West of England - As it happened

March 15, 2020
All the action from the 2020 West of England Regional Championships - as it happened.

2020 Regional Championships — Yorkshire - As it happened

March 8, 2020
All the action from the 2020 Yorkshire Regional Championships - as it happened.

2020 Regional Championships — Scotland - As it happened

March 8, 2020
All the action from the 2020 Scottish Regional Championships - as it happened.

2020 Regional Championships — Midlands - As it happened

March 8, 2020
All the action from the 2020 Midlands Regional Championships - as it happened.

2020 Regional Championships — Wales - As it happened

March 1, 2020
All the action from the 2020 Welsh Regional Championships - as it happened.

2020 Regional Championships — North West - As it happened

February 23, 2020
All the action from the 2020 North West Regional Championships - as it happened.

2020 Regional test-pieces — Tales of heroes and human spirit

February 20, 2020
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks at the five works that will test the bands in their bid to qualify for the Cheltenham and London National Finals.

2020 Vision — What future direction for the Nationals?

February 19, 2020
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks at the potential for a change in the future direction of travel for the Regional and National Championships of Great Britain...

4BR Hall of Fame — No.5: Leonard Lamb

February 16, 2020
A conductor whose record stands proudly with the finest conductors of his generation, but is now somewhat largely forgotten...

2020 Norwegian National Championships — As it happened

February 9, 2020
All the action from the 2020 Norwegian National Championships - as it happened.

You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off! — Has sheer volume become boring?

February 11, 2020
Is the shock and awe approach to the top end of the the dynamic spectrum in danger of sucking all the vibrancy and warmth out of what was once brass banding's renowned and richly admired tonality?

A timely reminder of inclusivity and excellence — 2020 RNCM Festival

February 4, 2020
Under the artistic direction of Paul Hindmarsh the RNCM Brass Band Festival in Manchester once again led the way in the pursuit of an all inclusive approach to the art of brass band music making.

125th anniversary — SBBA set to celebrate landmark throughout 2020

January 29, 2020
The Scottish Brass Band Association reveals busy schedule of celebratory events and initiatives at its annual general meeting.

Brass on the Mind — Mental Health in the Bandroom

January 21, 2020
Following her presentation to the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators, Tabby Kerwin looks at the importance of gaining awareness and education about mental health issues within the brass band movement.

2020 Butlins Mineworkers Championship — As it happened

January 12, 2020
All the action from the 2020 Butlins Mineworkers Championship - as it happened.

4BR Hall of Fame — No 4: Bram Gay

January 9, 2020
One of the most influential musical polymaths of the banding movement and a pioneer who helped bring brass band entertainment to the television age.

Beyond the Score — Yamaha inspires through holistic star approach

January 8, 2020
Yamaha stars inspire over 150 brass band players as they look to provide performance foundations on which to build a life long enthusiasm and passion for brass banding.

2020 Butlins Mineworkers Championship — Preview & Predictions

January 7, 2020
Like New Year resolutions, Butlins is an event that needs to be taken seriously by bands if they wish to really live up to their easily made self-promises..

Hathersage Band - Hathersage Village Spring Concert

Saturday 13 April • Hathersage Methodist Church, Main Road, Hathersage S32 1BB

Newstead Brass - Raising for the Roof

Saturday 13 April • Hill Methodist Church, The Hill, Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottingham NG17 8JS


Saturday 13 April • St Andrew's Methodist Church. The Stow. Harlow CM20 3AF

Dobcross Silver Band - Middleton Band

Sunday 14 April • Dobcross Band Club. Platt Lane. Dobcross OL3 5AD

The Hepworth Band - Brass & Cream Tea

Sunday 14 April • St David's Church Holmbridge. Woodhead Road, Holmbridge, Holmfirth HD9 2NQ

Mereside Brass

April 12 • Mereside Brass (Rudheath, Northwich) are looking for a FRONT ROW CORNET and a EUPHONIUM player. We are a friendly 4th Section band restarting contesting this year and with a sensible calendar of jobs and band social events. Come and give us a try!

Chelmsford Silver Band

April 12 • Bb Bass and solo horn players. We are a friendly, active and non-competition band established 75 years performing regularly in Chelmsford and Essex. Rehearsals averaging 28 players are on Wednesday evenings at The Broomfield Methodist Church Chelmsford.

Long Melford Silver Band

April 11 • Long Melford Silver Band currently has vacancies for Bb and Eb Basses. We are a friendly non-contesting band in south Suffolk under the baton of Musical Director Frankie Ayers.

Jenny Gartside

Bsc Hons
Jeweller, brass band themed jewellery and pin badges


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