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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:


Ian Williams

Williams memory at Brangwyn Hall

March 18 • There may be a keen battle for glory today in Swansea, but people will take time to remember one of the finest players to grace the Brangwyn Hall stage.

Brangwyn Hall

The return of Johnny Sop

March 18 • The lure of playing at the Welsh Regional Championships has been too much for one of Welsh banding's most respected players.


Expansion leads to great deals at EuphoniumStore

March 18 • There are lots more fantastic deals to be had at Steven Mead's EuphoniumStore — but you had better be quick...


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

March 17 • Sandhurst Silver strike gold as they head to Cheltenham as champions alongside qualifiers Amersham

Contest: London & SC Regional Championships

Saturday 17 March • Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ

Contest: Welsh Regional Championships

Saturday 17 March • Brangwyn Hall, The Guildhall, Swansea SA1 4PE

Contest: North of England Regional Championships

Saturday 17 March • The Gala Theatre, 1 Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA

Black Dyke Band - Victoria Hall, Bolton

Saturday 17 March • 37 Knowsley St, Bolton BL1 2AS

Contest: London & SC REgional Championships

Sunday 18 March • Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage SG1 1LZ

Wakefield Metropolitan Brass Band

March 17 • Musical Director due to work commitments, the Wakefield Metropolitan Band seeks applications for this position. 1st section band with a 5th place at the areas. We require someone with the drive and ambition to take us to the next level is this you ?

Walsall Brass Band

March 17 • WALSALL BRASS BAND are looking for Cornets, 1st Baritone, 2nd Euphonium, Bb Bass and Percusion.

Cheshire Constabulary Band

March 17 • We are urgently looking for a Tenor Horn, Cornet and snare drummers (for our Corps of drums). Smart friendly well run band with varied engagements, just one rehearsal a week. Open to all walks of life ( you do not need to work for the Police!)

Ian Porthouse

Cornet soloist, clinician, conductor and adjudicator