Great response brings success to virtual Picnic in the Park

An innovative approach and wonderful support made sure the Durham County Brass Band Association (DCBBA) 'Picnic in the Park' event was enjoyed across the globe this year.

  The annual Picnic in the Park event is one of the most popular competitions in the North East banding calendar

Although the restrictions imposed by the current Coronavirus pandemic saw the annual Durham County Brass Band Association (DCBBA) 'Picnic in the Park' contest cancelled this year, the organisers certainly came up with an inventive ay to ensure people could still enjoy the sounds of brass bands in action.


The event is usually held in the grounds of Houghall College on the outskirts of the city of Durham, but due to situation the association called on its supportive members to submit a video performance instead.

The initial idea came from Helen Douthwaite-Teasdale, and after contacting the bands through social media channels with the help of Association Secretary, Jo Wright, it was soon obvious that there was support for the initiative.

Bands then submitted performances over the next four weeks of old contest and concert performances, social distancing videos, and even an entire performance from last year's event!

Blown away

Jo told 4BR: "We were completely blown away by the enthusiasm and encouragement bands were showing to get their videos entered. It was a fantastic response."

In total, 32 videos were submitted by 12 Association bands with volunteer Matthew Hunt tasked with piecing them together to be premiered across the day of the contest on Sunday 5th July for the banding world to enjoy in the Association's own Facebook page.

We were completely blown away by the enthusiasm and encouragement bands were showing to get their videos entered. It was a fantastic responseDCBBA

Showcase talents

Jo added: "The aim of the event was never to replicate the contest but to showcase the talented bands we have across the association. We are all so proud of what was achieved for this virtual event to be so successful."

The videos in four separate parts will remain on the association YouTube channel which can be accessed by going to the DCBBA page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/529102373905800/

Become a supporter and help make our future secure.

4barsrest continues to be a proudly independent voice. There are no paywalls to overcome to be able to enjoy what we do to keep our journalism at the heart of the brass banding world. Support us with a one-off donation or subscribe from just £2.50 per month.

Support us    

Chappell gains place in Cornish National Music Archive

August 4 • The brass band career of conductor Albert Chappell has found a place in the newly created Cornish National Music Archive.


A minor bit of high profile national radio coverage

August 4 • A quintet performance of Bach's famous 'Toccata' gets a bit of air time on Classic FM...


Music can play pivotal role for school children in post Coronavirus future

August 4 • An article in the Times Education Supplement argues that music can make a huge positive impact on well being for children as they prepare to return to school.


First chords of return in Wales?

August 4 • Members of Brecon Concert Band were able to enjoy an open air rehearsal this week — but there is still no sign of concert halls reopening in Wales.

Black Dyke Band - Swiss Nationals Gala Concert

Saturday 19 September • KKL, Europaplatz 1, 6005 Luzern, Switzerland 6000

The Marple Band - Marple Band Autumn Concert

Friday 16 October • Marple Methodist Church, Church Lane, Marple SK6 6AY

The Marple Band - Marple and Hawk Green Bands Concert Compstall

Saturday 7 November • St Pauls Church, Compstall Rd, Compstall, Stockport, Cheshire SK6 5HU

Contest: Swiss National Championships

Saturday 28 November • Stravinski Hall, Montreaux. Claude-Nobs 5, 1820 Montreaux, Switzerland 1820

Contest: Swiss National Championships

Sunday 29 November • Stravinski Hall, Montreaux. Claude-Nobs 5, 1820 Montreaux, Switzerland 1820

Crewe Brass

July 26 • Due to relocation Crewe Brass require a top quality Bass player to complete our line up, Position negotiable withe the MD, Matt Pithers on 07921 062732. Enquires for other positions are welcome to apply in strict confidence.. .

The Marple Band

July 20 • The Marple Band were promoted to 1st Section at the start of 2020. We are looking for Basses Eb and Bb, front row cornets and second row cornet to join our friendly band. If fancy a change of scene and think you have what it takes to play, see below.

Foss Dyke Band

July 19 • Foss Dyke would like to invite applications for MD. You will have a very pro active committee to support you, and the band currently has only 1 empty chair, with well attended rehearsals. The bandroom has just had a complete refit, Covid ready.

Ian Holmes

BA (hons), PGDip (RCM), ARCM, ALCM
Conductor, piano accompanist and educator


 © 2020 4barsrest.com Ltd