Report & Results: 2020 Brass Band League online solo contest

There was a fantastic response from entrants in taking part in the Brass Band League Northern Ireland online solo competition — and plenty of fantastic playing on show too.

  The under 12 winner was trombonist Oliver Quinn

Although there have been cancellations to some Brass Band League of Northern Ireland (BBL) events this year, with member bands also having to face a stop to rehearsal activity, a recent online solo competition has proved to be a great success.

After consultation with bands to see what the organisation could do the BBL decided to hold the online event.


With an inclusive, informal ethos, the main aim was to encourage people to get their instruments out and get playing.

A four-minute time limit was set for performances but competitors could play any piece they wanted, accompanied or unaccompanied.

Entries were split into four classes: 12 and under, 13-15, 16-18 and 19 and over, with the competition open to all brass performers, regardless of whether they were a member of a band or not.

Impressed judges

The adjudicators, Gael Haslett and Robin Clinton for the 12 and unders, Laura Salt and Martin Wall (13-15), Bob Quick and Rachel Bingham (16-18) and James MacCafferty and Brendan Breslin (19 and over group) were certainly impressed by the performances, whilst the organisers were delighted to receive a total of 52 entries.

Entries were broadcast on the Brass Band League Facebook page from 19th to 27th November with the results revealed a day later. All competitors received a certificate alongside adjudicators remarks in electronic format.

12 and Under:

Adjudicators Gael Haslett and Robin Clinton had plenty to be impressed by with 14 entries to review. A splendid rendition of Jock McKenzie's 'Tarantella' saw Oliver Quinn take first place with Kenan Kaya coming runner-up with a lovely rendition of 'Londonderry Air'. Hollie Hamilton and Rebekah Sharpe tied for third playing 'Rule Britannia' and 'The Well is Deep' respectively.

13-15 Class:

Kenan's big brother Zeki took the honours with a mature performance of John Hartmann's classic 'Wiederkehr'. Owen Brannigan was runner-up with a fine rendition of the second movement from Jacques Casterede's 'Sonatine', with Sophie Hueston in third with a lyrical take of 'On My Own'.

16-18 Class:

Louise Bell claimed the title with a beautiful rendition of William Himes' 'All That I Am'. Andrew Milligan's super performance of 'Rondo' by Capuzzi/Catelinet saw him come runner-up with Peter Alcorn's multi-track take on Weather Report's 'Birdland' securing third.

19 and Over Class:

There were no less than 25 high quality entries for adjudicators James MacCafferty and Brendan Breslin to separate in the premier class.

However, it was Kelly Kaya's classy performance of William Rimmer's 'Carnival of Venice' that saw her take the title to add to her recent success sin the Foden's online solo event.

Tom Black's emotive rendition of Cadillo's 'Core 'Ngrato' saw him take the runner-up spot with Hannah Calderwood's classy performance of Larsson's 'Love Cannot Fail' gaining third.

Worthy of mention by the adjudicators was Paul Wilson's 'chocolatey' performance of Dave Brubeck's 'Stereogram No 3' and Kevin Teer's 'Forgotten Oath' by Lucy Pankhurst.

Wonderful support

BBL spokesperson Amber MacLennan told 4BR: "As organisers it has been wonderful to see the support given by the competitors and in particular from the younger players, which was amazing.

We hope that the event has helped to inspire everyone to get their instruments out and get playing again. Everyone was fantastic and should all be very proud of themselves."

Amber added: "The BBL would like to say a massive thank the adjudicators for giving up their time and energy, Bob Quick for giving us the idea to run the event and Kevin Teers and the IABCB for all of the help and support."

All solo videos will be available to view on the Brass Band League Facebook page until 6th December at: Brass Band League NI | Facebook

As organisers it has been wonderful to see the support given by the competitors and in particular from the younger players, which was amazingBBL spokesperson Amber MacLennan


12 and under:

Adjudicators: Gael Haslett & Robin Clinton
1. Oliver Quinn
2. Kenan Kaya
3= Hollie Hamilton
3= Rebekah Sharpe


Adjudicators: Laura Salt & Martin Wall
1. Zeki Kaya
2. OwenBranningan
3. Sophie Hueston


Adjudicators: Bob Quick & Rachel Bingham
1. Louise Bell
2. Andrew Milligan
3. Peter Alcorn

19 and over:

Adjudicators: Brendan Breslin & James MacCafferty
1. Kelly Kaya
2. Tom Black
3. Hannah Calderwood
4. Paul Wilson
5. Kevin Teers

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    

Reg Vardy

Reg Vardy provides musical cheer to support charity work

January 17 • The Reg Vardy Band has helped to raise nearly £1300 to assist the wonderful work of the local Pact House charity in providing essential help to families over the Christmas period.


Multi million pound investment at home of famous Welsh band

January 17 • The home of one of the world's most famous brass bands is hoping to attract a £50 million investment to open its gates to 400,000 visitors a year.


Ultimate Big Band Toolkit launched

January 17 • Louis Dowdeswell and Callum Au launch a fantastic new guide to help players understand and perform in the Big Band genre — with 10% off for 4BR readers too!

Hepwroth Band

Hepworth starting to close in on fund raising target

January 17 • The Hepworth Band has been working hard to raise funds to help secure its musical future in the heart of its village.

Black Dyke Band - Brighouse & Rastrick, Huddersfield Town Hall

Saturday 27 March • Corporation St, Huddersfield HD1 2TA

Contest: 100thSpring Festival

Saturday 8 May • 97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL

Contest: Whit Friday March Contests

Friday 28 May • Saddleworth & Tameside OL3

Contest: 168th British Open

Saturday 11 September • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA

Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Saturday 18 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Race Course, Prestbury, Cheltenham GL40 4SH

Chadderton Band

January 17 • Chadderton Band is a very friendly non contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are looking for players of any age and ability on all sections of the band + EUPH Drums. Please come along to one of our rehearsals give us a try.

Foss Dyke Band

January 1 • Front Row Cornet vacancy still up for grabs. Come and join Foss and enjoy our newly refurbished band room with newly appointed MD David Dernley. Foss Dyke are a 1st Section Band with a moderate contest and concert schedule.

Alan Widdop

Conductor, Brass teacher, Adjudicator (ABBA)


 © 2021 4barsrest.com Ltd