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Take 5: Early season must see events

4BR picks out five must see events in January and February to consider putting in your weekend diaries...

  Five early season must see events to book into your weekend away diary

If you want to enjoy five very different musical experiences in the first two months of 2017 then why not put these in your diary and book yourself an away day trip.

1. Butlins Mineworkers Championship

Friday 13th January — Sunday 15th January

A contest weekend to blow away any lingering festive cobwebs of lethargy that may still be in your banding system — and not just because a cold wind is sure to chill your maracas as you make your way to the various resort venues to listen to the entertainment.

Once inside there is plenty to keep you warm — from the contests with their big prize jackpots to the late night revelry that will put a smile on your face. Still pack your thermal undies though…

More information:


2. RNCM Brass Band Festival

Friday 27th January — Sunday 29th January
RNCM, Manchester

The most important brass band showcase in Europe. Under the superb curatorship of Artistic Director Paul Hindmarsh, the RNCM Festival in Manchester continues to be the driving force behind pushing brass banding into the mainstream musical consciousness.

This year six top class bands will provide three days of music making that will see repertoire that numerous world premieres, superb featured soloists, timely retrospectives and a triple celebration of three outstanding composers for the medium.

More information:

Tickets: http:/­/­www.rncm.ac.uk
By Phone: 0161 907 5555

3. Norwegian National Championships

Friday 3rd February & Saturday 4th February

Everyone should take the opportunity to experience how the Norwegians celebrate, as well as showcase their National brass banding identity — at least once in their lifetime.

This is brass band contesting for the 21st century; vibrant, transparent and communal. It is also brilliantly organised. Forget the price of a pint of beer and fly in to Bergen to enjoy a National Championship like no other: The playing at all levels is a wonderful mix of the brilliant and at times the absolutely bonkers.

More information:


4. Action Medical Research Entertainment Championship

Winter Gardens
Sunday 12th February

If you are looking for a guaranteed brass band boost in the arm in 2017 then make sure you head to the famous Winter Gardens in Blackpool for this fantastic event.

The brilliant youth bands, who have been working their socks off all over the festive period, provide the type of entertainment that deserves to top the bill at this old mecca of fun and games — with an amazing mix of outstanding playing and eye-popping choreography.

More information:

For tickets, ring: 01253 625252

5. UniBrass Championships

Harrogate International Conference Centre
Saturday 18th February

Another huge dollop of brass band fun and feverish activity — and that's just on the contest stage. The best and the brightest give up their studies on everything from nuclear physics to media studies for a weekend to maintain their love for brass banding amid an atmosphere of keen, but friendly rivalry. The bar takings will be astronomical.

Superbly organised, and all topped off with a chance to work and hear the all conquering Cory Band in action (thankfully, they won't be competing).

More information:


Flowers Cheer

Results: 2018 Butlins Mineworkers Championships: Championship Section

January 14 • Flowers bloom again in Skegness as David Childs leads them to Butlins title.


Results: 2018 Butlins Mineworkers Youth Section & Junior Ensemble

January 14 • It's Butlins joy for 3BA Brass and Shirland as they take the Youth and Junior titles in Skegness

Eccles Borough — Butlins 2108

Results: 2018 Butlins Mineworkers Championships: Sections 1-4

January 13 • Butlins titles and big money payouts for Eccles Borough, Haydock, Hoover Bolton and Stamford Brass as the 2018 contesting year gets underway in Skegness.

Yamaha Neo

Yamaha launch new Neo and Custom euphonium

January 13 • The Butlins Mineworkers Festival heralds the UK launch of the brand new Neo and Custom euphonium from Yamaha.

Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Wind Soloists

Friday 19 January • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE

The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - EYMS Brass Band at Hull City Hall

Saturday 20 January • Hull City Hall. 67 Carr Lane,. Kingston upon Hull HU1 3RQ

Wantage Silver - Gary Curtin

Saturday 20 January • Reading Central Salvation Army RG1 7JR

Black Dyke Band - Morley Town Hall

Saturday 20 January • Morley Town Hall, Morley, Leeds LS27 8DX

The Hepworth Band - Soprano Sarah Ogden

Sunday 21 January • Christ Church, Sude Hill, New Mill, Holmfirth HD9 7BL

The Corsham Band

January 16 • 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.

Marshfield Band

January 15 • CONDUCTOR WANTED: We are a 4th section standard non-contesting band from the village of Marshfield near Chippenham. We perform at a variety of events in the region throughout the year and are seeking a new committed local conductor to lead us.

Matlock Band

January 15 • Matlock Band (Midlands 3rd section) Requires Solo Trombone player for regional competition and beyond.

Dave Collins

BA (Hons) (Dunelm) I, FSCO
Composer and Arranger