facebook twitter rss vimeo


Scots let down by Tattoo decision

The Scottish Brass Band Association and the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo at odds over cancelled National Youth Band trip to Canada...



Contradictory statements have been issued between the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo (RNSIT) and the Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA) over the alleged cancellation of a proposed trip by the National Youth Band of Scotland to participate in the world famous Canadian festival in 2016.


It follows the issuing of a statement from SBBA that said that the RNSIT had withdrawn its invitation to the National Youth Band of Scotland to perform at the 2016 event on grounds of cost.

The SBBA press statement (21st December), reported that "...the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland's (NYBBS) invitation to perform at the 2016 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo has been withdrawn."

It added: "A phone call was received by Carrie Boax, SBBA President, on Friday night, December 18th, from Jim Forde, a producer of the Tattoo, who said the event could no longer afford for NYBBS to attend."

Extremely disappointed

It went on to quote Carrie Boax, SBBA President saying: "We are extremely disappointed to hear that NYBBS will be unable to perform at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo.

Preparations for the trip were at an advanced stage and our talented musicians were looking forward to doing their country proud on the international stage.

We are extremely disappointed that RNSIT has withdrawn its offer, but discussions are already well underway regarding alternative arrangements to ensure our NYBBS members receive the musical experience they deserve in 2016.

Members of the SBBA Executive have contacted NYBBS members to keep them fully updated. Any fees and expenses which have been paid to date will be fully reimbursed."

Strongly denied

However, this opinion of events has been strongly denied in a statement issued on behalf of the RNSIT by Assistant Director Craig Roberts, in which he outlined their understanding of the time line and decision process involved.

He states: "Though discussions had been entered into with SBBA (re: the potential participation of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland in the RNSIT), no official invitation for NYBBS to perform in the 2016 Tattoo had been issued, or received by SBBA.

As was explained to SBBA representatives — the final line up of Tattoo performers is discussed and confirmed at the annual Production Meetings, held in late November, with formal invitations being issued to confirmed participating groups thereafter."

Preparations for the trip were at an advanced stage and our talented musicians were looking forward to doing their country proud on the international stageCarrie Boax, SBBA President


He added: "The SBBA President was informed in writing on November 12th that issues had been raised over the participation of the NYBBS in the Tattoo.

Confirmation that the band's participation would not be possible in 2016 was then issued, following the official RNSIT Production Meetings, on November 23rd.

Included within the latter communication however was the invitation for a small group of administrative/musical staff to visit the Tattoo in 2016 (together with a smaller group of NYBBS musicians if desired/possible) in order to experience the full requirements of participation in the RNSIT and to discuss with the Production Team featuring the full National Youth Band in a future edition of the show, plus the health & safety requirements, risk assessment and chaperoning arrangements that would be mandatory for that.

A response to the latter is still yet to be received."


4BR understands that SBBA is resolute in its opinion that they were expressly given an official invitation to take part in the event and feel deeply let down — leaving them to have to cancel proposed fund-raising activities.

In contrast, the RNCIT stated that '...it looks forward to continuing its good relations with brass bands worldwide, and to welcoming many additional brass bands & brass band musicians to Canada, Nova Scotia and the RNSIT in future years."

Hardaw Scar

Hardraw Scar open for entries

February 18 • One of the most famous open air brass band contests in the world is open for entries.

Brass quartet

Final chord call for A4 Quartet composer competition

February 18 • There are just a few days left to get you entry in if you want to get your work performed by the award winning A4 Brass Quartet.


Radio: Sounds of Brass

February 18 • More great music with a taste of Cornwall from Philip Hunt


Report & Results: 2018 UniBrass Trophy

February 17 • The students of the Royal Northern College of Music retain their hold on the UniBrass Trophy

Foden's Band - Patrons Concert

Tuesday 20 February • Sandbach School. Crewe Rd, Sandbach CW11 3NS CW11 3NS

Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Chamber Ensemble

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

Milton Keynes Brass - "Blow away those Winter Blues"

Saturday 24 February • The United Reformed Church. High Street. Newport Pagnell MK16 0FH

Elland Silver Band -

Saturday 24 February • All Saints Church Savile Road Elland HX5 0NH

Marshfield Band - Marshfield Male Voice Choir

Saturday 24 February • Marshfield Community Centre. Hayfield. Marshfield SN14 8PG

The Corsham Band

February 20 • Having now been promoted to the 2nd Section for the forthcoming Contest season, the band are now looking for an experienced Front Row Cornet Player to join our friendly and enthusiastic team.

Waitakere Auckland Brass Band

February 20 • Ever fancied moving to New Zealand? Waitakere Auckland Brass is looking for players to join their ranks. Our friendly band meets twice a week at our Auckland band room. We have an exciting year ahead so get in touch and find out more.

Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band

February 19 • A friendly non-contesting community band within easy reach of Maidenhead, Bracknell and Reading, we look forward to an exciting year under our new MD, Steve Block, and urgently need cornet players, front and back row, as well as baritone and BBb bass.

Christopher Houlding

Conductor, Performer, Educator