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Take 5 — Highlights from the 2024 RNCM International Brass Band Festival

February 8, 2024
Five things that caught the imagination and gained deserved acclaim at the recent RNCM International Brass Band Festival in Manchester.


Right or wrong? — That thorny topic of trust

February 6, 2024
Brass band writer Christopher Thomas adds his thoughts on adjudication trust and integrity and how he believes we all have a part to play in its reform and modernisation.


4BR Interview — Air Specialist (Class 1) Alan Thomas

February 4, 2024
Former City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet Alan Thomas tells 4BR why swapping a civilian musical life for one in the RAF was one of the best decisions he has made.


Grading true excellence — What banding can learn from rugby league

January 24, 2024
Can brass banding learn from the radical approach of rugby league to evaluate the right levels of competitive success on and off the field of play.


Take 5 — Five early season events not to miss

January 22, 2024
Lots to look forward to in the early part of 2024, but these five events should top your 'not to miss' list .


Pause for thought — Time to trust our judges

January 17, 2024
In the first of a new series 4BR Editor Iwan Fox argues that it is time to pay the price of simply trusting the expertise of our judges.


4BR Hall of Fame — No. 28: Frank Wright MBE

January 10, 2024
Tim Mutum looks back on the life of the Australian musician who became one of the most important figures in the post war banding world in the UK.


From darkness to light — 4BR talks to Eliot Darwin

January 6, 2024
Conductor Eliot Darwin made the most important decision of all when circumstances beyond his control took a horrific turn in the wrong direction. Now though he is looking forward to the start of an exciting new chapter in his musical life.


4BR Band of the Year — The conductors and players

December 30, 2023
These are conductors and players that made the lasting impression on us throughout 2023.


2023 Christmas Quiz — Time to test your musical knowledge

December 26, 2023
We have a fantastic prize of a Besson Prodige Cornet and other goodies worth over £600 up for grabs if you can get the answers right to our musical quiz.


2023 4BR Awards — Long list nominees

December 14, 2023
The long list of nominees in each category of the 2023 4BR Awards have been announced.


Dropping the rules — 2024 RNCM International Brass Band Festival

November 15, 2023
There is a world class line up of performers, soloists, commissions, classic works and more as Artistic Director Dr David Thornton leads a new era for the global brass band showcase event.


Placards, protests and persuasion — Elite band forums and judges

November 7, 2023
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks at the potential for the resolution of issues that continue to vex the banding movement, but hold little interest to the wider musical world.


2023 National Championship of Great Britain — Take 5 talking points from the Albert Hall

October 25, 2023
There was plenty to discuss and debate after an intriguing National Championship Final in the heart of London.


2023 National Championship of Great Britain — Top 4 adjudications

October 24, 2023
This is what Dr Robert Childs, Prof Roger Webster and Dr Stephen Cobb thought of the bands that claimed the pre-qualification top four places at the Royal Albert Hall.


2023 National Championship of Great Britain — Preview

October 19, 2023
All bets are off this weekend, but Foden's may well still be the short priced favourite to emulate their famous predecessors.


2023 National Championship of Great Britain — Of Men and Mountains

October 18, 2023
Edward Gregson's generational work will finally be heard at a venue as imposing in scale as its own metaphorical inspiration.


An icon like no other — The Royal Albert Hall

October 17, 2023
Helen Varley takes a closer personal as well as professional look into why the Royal Albert Hall remains such an iconic venue.


A Good conversation — Colour Sergeant David Hamilton

October 16, 2023
As Mark Good finds out, the route to becoming a military musician was not a simple one for Colour Sergeant David Hamilton but he wouldn’t have had it any other way.


A critical mass of confidence — 2023 Brass Bands England Conference

October 11, 2023
Boldness, invention and cooperation could well be the keys to Brass Bands England's future ambitions after a display of collective confidence at its annual conference in Huddersfield.


2023 Cheltenham National Finals — First Section preview

September 14, 2023
A tale of architectural renaissance from the flames of London's destruction provides a dramatic test for the bands in search of the First Section title.


2023 National Championships of Great Britain — Second Section preview

September 14, 2023
From three notes to three lakes is the challenge to be met by the bands tackling Philip Sparke's ever inventive test-piece if they are to claim the National title.


2023 National Championships of Great Britain — Third Section preview

September 13, 2023
A ghostly reminder of the human cost of both necessity and bureaucracy faces the bands in the Third Section on Sunday morning.


2023 National Championships of Great Britain — Fourth Section preview

September 13, 2023
A jaunty celebration of the historic links between England and Australia will test the contesting health of bands on Saturday morning.


2023 British Open Championship — Chapper's top Bands and Stars

September 12, 2023
Photographer Craig Chapman and his colleague Connor Redmond were at the British Open to take plenty of great 'Sand and Stars' images.


2023 British Open Championship — Take 5 talking points from Symphony Hall

September 12, 2023
There was so much to enjoy about the 169th British Open Championships - and plenty to talk, opinion and discuss about too...


2023 British Open Championship — Podium place adjudication remarks

September 11, 2023
This what the judges had to say in their written remarks about Foden's, Valaisia and Tredegar's performances of 'Sand and Stars' at the British Open on the weekend.


2023 British Open Championship — Preview

September 8, 2023
The heat will be on in more ways than one at Symphony Hall as 18 bands look to become British Open Champion.


2023 British Open Championship — Take 5 from 25 years at Symphony Hall

September 7, 2023
Five memorable winning performances from the 25 years that the British Open Championship has been held at Symphony Hall.


2023 British Open Championship — Test piece review

September 6, 2023
Thierry Deleruyelle's 20th century lineal celebration of the spirit of human resilience reaches the 1930s with 'Sand and Stars'.


Beating the bullies — Brass band lessons from fact and fiction

August 28, 2023
From films to festivals - the brass band movement should take note of what happens to conductors who abuse their position of power.


4BR Hall of Fame — No. 27: Gordon Langford

August 25, 2023
Tim Mutum finds out more about the man who changed his name to help change the way brass bands performed to the public.


Take 5 — It's all bubble and squeak to me...

August 19, 2023
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks at five great works inspired by the myths and tales told by the ancient Greeks...


Revolutionary cooperation — Is it time for a vanguard of band representation?

August 14, 2023
Can bands cut themselves free of a self-made Gordian Knot of apathy and distrust and get someone to represent their thread of views with contest organisers?


Garden Memories — How a farm house find helped Jim Shepherd recall Black Dyke glories

July 10, 2023
The legendary Jim Shepherd was reminded of his decade long tenure at Black Dyke each time he stepped into his garden...


4BR Hall of Fame — No. 26: Arthur Butterworth

July 7, 2023
Almost a century after his birth Tim Mutum finds out more about a composer who remains an intangible enigma to the brass band movement.


A question of Succession — How Logan Roy has pinpointed a brass band predicament

June 29, 2023
Every organisation needs to be prepared for a transition of long term power and influence - although it is not always a decision that works out for the best.


2023 Whit Friday — Images from the day

June 9, 2023
Some of the memorable images taken by bands and put on their social media at this year's Whit Friday contests in Tameside and Saddleworth


Take 5 — A quintet of Ninths

May 31, 2023
Five recordings of Gilbert Vinter's 'Variations on a Ninth' that should be added to any brass band collection.


Marching into the future — Whit Friday preview

May 29, 2023
Malcolm Wood looks forward to the atmosphere and action that will be on show around the famous Whit Friday venues in Tameside and Saddleworth this year.


2023 European Championships — Solo, Challenge & Youth events

May 2, 2023
There are also European titles up for grabs in the Solo, Challenge and Youth Sections in Malmo.


2023 European Championships — Event preview

May 1, 2023
A wonderful city, impressive venue, great music and fantastic bands. There should be something for everyone to enjoy in Malmo then as the European Championships head for a new musical outpost.


2023 European Championships — Own Choice selections

April 30, 2023
From Madmen and Horrowshows, William Byrd and Gabrielli, inner darkness, parallel lives, catharis, global rejoicing and much, much more as the elite contenders take their inspirations to claim the European title....


2023 European Championships — Here comes the sun...

April 29, 2023
4BR Editor Iwan Fox takes a close look at 'Aurora' - the Championship Section test-piece that could provide the sign to conquer rivals for one band in Malmo...


4BR Hall of Fame — No. 25: Maurice Murphy

April 10, 2023
Tim Mutum looks back on the career of the player who provided the world with "the voice of a hero".


Of Men and Mountains — Gregson's neglected masterpiece returns at last

March 31, 2023
4BR talks to composer Edward Gregson about his composition to find out more about its abandonment and long overdue return to the Royal Albert Hall.


Think of a number — The Regional Championships need urgent help

March 28, 2023
471 may seem an impressive figure, but the statistics behind it reveal a different truth.


Live — 2023 National Youth Championships of Great Britain

March 25, 2023
Coverage of the 2023 National Youth Championships of Great Britain live from Stockport Grammar School


Keeping good vision — Brass musicians and the risk of Glaucoma

February 21, 2023
4BR talks to the experts at Allegro Optical to find out more about the risks of glaucoma.


Answering health questions — How the Covid-19 break has renewed Norwegian banding

February 16, 2023
The return of the Norwegian National Championships has seen the banding culture take a positive look at battling middle age lethargy.


4BR Hall of Fame — No. 24: Geoffrey Brand

February 15, 2023
Tim Mutum looks back on the life of one of the most dominant figures of the second half of the 20th century banding movement.


2023 RNCM Brass Band Festival — Praise, plaudits and possibilities for the future

February 8, 2023
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks back at a memorable RNCM Brass Band Festival, as well as examining what the future may hold for the person that takes over its artistic direction...


A postcard Stamp to Grimethorpe — Jack Stamp and his love for British brass bands

January 26, 2023
A slow burning catalyst appreciation of the sound of British brass bands has linked American composer and conductor Jack Stamp with Grimethorpe Colliery Band.


Still aiming high — The GUS Band at 90

January 6, 2023
Tim Mutum tells the story of the GUS Band which was formed in 1933 with lofty ambitions.


Take 5 — Not to miss early season treats

January 5, 2023
Our quintet of not to miss musical attractions in the first three months of 2023.




London Central Fellowship Band - The International Staff Band in Cambridge

Saturday 24 February • Wesley Methodist Church, Christ's Pieces, Cambridge CB1 1LG


Contest: North West Regional Championships

Sunday 25 February • Winter Gardens Complex, Church Street, Blackpool FY1 1HU


Contest: Midlands Regional Championships

Saturday 2 March • Corby Business Academy, Gretton Road, Corby NN17 5EB


Haverhill Silver Band - Waterbeach Brass - Spring Concert

Saturday 2 March • Histon Baptist Church, Station Road, Histon, Cambridge CB24 9LQ


Contest: Yorkshire Regional Championships

Saturday 2 March • Corporation Street, Huddersfield HD1 2TA


Mereside Brass

February 20 • Mereside Brass (Rudheath, Northwich) are looking for a FRONT ROW CORNET, position negotiable. We are a friendly 4th Section band restarting contesting this year and with a sensible calendar of jobs and band social events. Come and give us a try!


Haverhill Silver Band

February 19 • Play Bb (or Eb) bass and want to compete at the Spring Festival and Whit Friday? . . Due to work commitments, Haverhill Silver Band (L&SC Champions 2022) have a vacancy for a talented Bb or Eb bass player to join us after the areas.


London Central Fellowship Band

February 16 • We are currently recruiting a back-row cornet player, a Solo Cornet player, a Tenor horn player and a percussionist.


Alwyn Green

LRAM, LTCL
Conductor, composer, arranger, adjudicator, teacher and soloist


               

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