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Summer School success in Swansea

The International Brass Band Summer School is already taking bookings for 2014 following its outstanding 2103 course in Swansea.



The International Brass Band Summer School held at the University of Wales in Swansea, is already taking bookings from delegates for its 2014 week of world class music making.

This year players from Japan, USA, Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland and the length and breadth of the UK also enjoyed the wonderful weather in a part of Wales that overlooks the majestic panorama of Swansea Bay.


Course Director Dr Nicholas Childs led his team of tutors, which once again included performers with an international reputation for excellence, such Richard Marshall, Owen Farr, Brett Baker, David Childs, Joe Cook, Chris Turner, and Matt Routley.

The Black Dyke MD told 4BR that as always, the ethos of the course was to provide what he called, "the dream brass band holiday", and with such a line up of tutors, great weather and the outstanding facilities of the Swansea campus, he believes that was certainly the case once again.


"The aim of the course was to improve playing skills in an enjoyable environment with like-minded musicians," he said.

"And we do this by providing the opportunity to be taught by some of best brass players in the world."


During the week delegates enjoyed full band rehearsals, individual lessons, ensembles, and even the opportunity to practice solos with the outstanding pianist from the Royal Welsh College of Music, Chris Williams.

One highlight of each day was the evening solo recitals given by the brilliant tutors accompanied by Chris—and as Stefan Cooper who made the trip from Sweden told 4BR, to hear the tutors on such form was something of a daily inspiration too.

"The virtuoso performances were a real inspiration. And they did it with such fun too!"

Social time

Each day finished with the IBBSS social bar with great entertainment organised by well known conductor and raconteur Gareth Ritter.

There was even the opportunity for the delegates to produce their own version of Brass in Concert, where the 100 plus delegates were split into three bands to provide their own programmes that mimicked the premier entertainment contest.

And as Tom Davies from Doncaster told 4BR: “Everyone was a winner! I now have so many ideas to take back to my own band. Our concerts are going to be really exciting from now on!”

The aim of the course was to improve playing skills in an enjoyable environment with like-minded musicians. And we do this by providing the opportunity to be taught by some of best brass players in the worldDr Nicholas Childs

Conducting initiative

A new initiative this year was the setting up of ‘Conductor Workshops’, the first for beginners and intermediate level led by Brett Baker, and score reading and advance techniques by Nicholas Childs.

Gordon Willis from Leeds found that it had given him a bit of stick itch! "It was a great idea. I gained the knowledge to want to conduct my own band, and even purchased a baton!"

Have a break

The International Brass Band Summer School also caters for non-participating and non-residential visitors, and for those who want to take a relaxing break whilst others work hard every day, then the Swansea campus and the wonderful Gower coast off just the ideal place to visit in Summer.

Party time

The week concluded with a Gala Concert with over 300 local people enjoying star tutors and the individual and massed band items directed by Nicholas Childs — after which the end of course festivities began with a party to end all parties, as Tomo Kawakita, from Japan told 4BR: “It was a great summer school with great music, a fantastic concert and a final night to remember!”


The Summer School was made possible by the support of Besson Musical Instruments, British Bandsman, World of Brass, Trevada Music, Rath Trombones, Kapitol Promotions, with music provided by Prima Vista, Obrasso and Kirklees Music, and GK Design.

2014 deposit and information

A £20 deposit ids all that is required to reserve your place in next year’s International Brass Band Summer School to be held on 4th—10th August, 2014.

For further information email:

National trophies

2018 National Finalists confirmed

March 19 • The list of bands who will challenge for National honours in the autumn is now complete following the last round of 2018 Regional contests on the weekend.

Friary Guildford

Result: 2018 London & Southern Counties Regional Championship: Championship Section

March 18 • Frairy Guildford make it four wins in a row as they retain their top-flight title and are joined at the Albert Hall by Thundersley.


Result: 2018 London & Southern Counties Regional Championship: Fourth Section

March 18 • Bradwell Silver strikes gold to take Fourth Section title and head to Cheltenham alongside Regent Community Brass and Great Yarmouth Brass.


Result: 2018 North of England Regional Championship: Championship Section

March 18 • NASUWT Riverside makes it a North of England Area double as they head back to the Albert Hall as champions again with Reg Vardy in tow.

Black Dyke Band - Mirfield Parish Church

Thursday 22 March • Mirfield Parish Church, 38 Church Lane, Mirfield WF14 9HX

The Fairey Band - Ensembles from Bramhall High School

Friday 23 March • Bramhall High School. Seal Road. Stockport SK72JT

Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama Brass Band

Friday 23 March • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C 2DJ (opposite RESERVED) W1C 2DJ

The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - Boobs & Brass at Huddersfield Town Hall

Saturday 24 March • Huddersfield Town Hall. Corporation St,. Huddersfield HD1 2TA

Croydon Citadel Band - The International Staff Band of The Salvation Army

Saturday 24 March • The Salvation Army. Booth Rd. Croydon. CR0 1XY CR0 1XY

Hitchin Band

March 20 • BASS TROMBONE VACANCY - Hitchin Band (promoted to Championship as of 2019) are looking for a bass trombone player to fill our vacancy. We are a friendly and sociable band with a busy and varied concert programme throughout the year.

Milnrow Band

March 20 • 2nd EUPHONIUM and 2 FIRST CLASS CORNET PLAYERS. We have immediate vacancies for a 2nd Euphonium & 2 Cornet players (positions negotiable). We rehearse Mon/Thur 8pm-10pm in our own bandroom in Milnrow, situated just off J21 M62 and accessible via Metrolink.

Amesbury Town Band

March 20 • Players of any standard are always warmly welcomed especially some more solo cornets and a spare percussionists to help out existing players. We don't contest, so feel free to drop in, even if you just fancy a blow or want to try another instrument.

Stan Lippeatt

Conductor, adjudicator, tutor