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2013: August

Our views on standing up and being counted, support not control and in praise of a sense of adventure.

Stand up and be counted  

With the anticipated last rites soon to be performed on the British Brass Band Registry, the time has come to finally resolve the question of why the banding movement in the UK needs a registry of players.

Having a Brass Band Players Registry is one thing: Having one that has no function other than being a list of names is quite another.

It is the one asset the banding movement has to democratically underpin its financial future – from the National Finals to a local association solo & duet contests, yet distrust and petty jealousies have blinded us to the simple fact for far too long.

Hopefully, no longer.

Kapitol Promotions has announced (Dec 2012) that it will set up of a Brass Band Players Registry Advisory Body that incorporates elected representatives from the six English regions plus representatives of the major brass band competitions.

It will have a remit decided by the organisation itself, as will the agenda, for the development of English brass band registration and the modernisation of its purpose and function through liaison with its Welsh and Scottish counterparts.

With far too many brass band contests surviving on a life support mechanism that sucks money directly from competing bands, whilst at the same time turning a blind eye to the damage caused by allowing borrowed players to undermine competitive integrity, the need to formulate a blueprint for future functional as well as financial stability had become the most urgent imperative.

The responsibility to decide how it is done has been promised to those democratically elected. 

As soon as the last rites are administered, the time will have come for those wishing to seek that responsibility to stand up and be counted.

What do you think?
Send an email to: comments@4barsrest.com 


Support not control

It’s not often an incoming chairman of any brass band organisation makes such a positive impression as that of Mike Kilroy at the recent AGM of Brass Bands England.

His single statement of intent: “I see Brass Bands England as being a supportive not controlling interest”, may well have far reaching consequences for the organisation – and all perhaps for the good.

A new sense of realism has dawned on BBE, which may well see the timely culling of a few sacred controlling cows, to be replaced by a proactive support network aimed at providing long term benefits for bands great and small throughout England.

Already, things are being done and problems addressed with positive messages being heard from bands and organisations that have been given support by BBE and its Liaison and Development Officers.

The new ethos – perfectly summed up by BBE’s new Chairman in his opening remarks is already being felt.

Long may it continue.

What do you think?
Send an email to: comments@4barsrest.com 


In praise of a spirit of adventure

Cory’s forthcoming tour to Australia is one heck of a commitment, yet it is just the latest in a historic line of ambitious musical undertakings that have long been part of our brass banding culture.

It may not quite have the truly epic sense of adventure as was the case with the pioneering trips of Besses o’th’ Barn and Black Dyke well over a century ago (as well as the reciprocal trips from the likes of the Australian Newcastle Steel Works band in the 1920s), but in many ways it is just as risky. 

It has taken a tremendous amount of organising with no absolute guarantee of success, although with 11 concerts in just 12 days, the Cory players (and a few guests) will certainly be working their socks off to ensure the Australian public gets full value for its concert going dollar.

Let’s hope that in return the Australian banding public appreciates their spirit of adventure and supports them fully too.

What do you think?
Send an email to: comments@4barsrest.com 



Lofthouse Brass Band - Mayor's Annual Charity Concert

Monday 23 April • Ossett Town Hall, Market Place, Ossett WF5 8BE WF5 8BE


Regent Hall Concerts - Clarendon Brass Ensemble

Friday 27 April • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


Egremont Junior Band - Egremont Town Band and Workington Town Band

Friday 27 April • Workington CA14 3AW


Wotton and District Silver Band - Tom Hutchinson

Saturday 28 April • St Mary's Church, Wotton Under Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 7LS


Black Dyke Band - Lincoln Cathedral

Saturday 28 April • Minster Yard, Lincoln LN2 1PX


Silver Spectrum Wind Band

April 24 • Brass Players wanted for established Sheffield based wind band. MD George Morton.. Rehearsals Mondays 7:30 to 9:30 pm. We enter the NCBF festival where we have gained many gold awards and on one occasion a platinum.. Wind players also welcome to apply.


The Corsham Band

April 24 • With a solid result in our first year in the Second Section at the Regional Contest, the band are now looking for an experienced Front Row Cornet Player to join our friendly and enthusiastic team.


Hathern Band

April 23 • Hathern Band are looking for a PRINCIPAL EUPHONIUM to join their Championship Section Band. This position has become vacant because the present player wishes to retire. We are looking for a committed player to fill this key seat. www.hathernband.co.uk.


David A. Stowell


Conductor and composer