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It follows the issuing of a statement from SBBA that said that the RNSIT had withdrawn its invitation to the National Youth Band of Scotland to perform at the 2016 event on grounds of cost.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Brass Band of Scotland's (NYBBS) invitation to perform at the 2016 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo has been withdrawn."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."
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We are extremely disappointed that RNSIT has withdrawn its offer, but discussions are already well underway regarding alternative arrangements to ensure our NYBBS members receive the musical experience they deserve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."
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."