Take 5
Five early season events not to miss

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

There are plenty of contests, concerts and events on the 2024 calendar worth taking a trip to enjoy - but these are our five that should top your wish list. 

RNCM International Brass Band Festival
Friday 26th – Sunday 28th January
RNCM Manchester

Without doubt the most important showcase event in the brass band calendar in the UK. 

This will be the first year it is curated by a collective team headed by Artistic Director Dr David Thornton, and there is little doubt that a new era is being marked.

His ethos of ‘dropping the rules’  to “encourage imagination, diversity, curiosity and openness”  builds on the deep foundations established by his predecessor Paul Hindmarsh, and with six superb elite level bands and a host of world class soloists and other attractions, it is a weekend that shouldn’t be missed.

It's a line-up featuring in performance order: Foden’s, Brass Band Treize Etoiles, Tredegar, Black Dyke,  Cory and Brighouse & Rastrick, as well as soloists Sheona White, Lionel Fumeaux, Matthias Hofs (above), Siobhan Bates, Brett Baker, Gary Curtin, Glyn Williams and Ellena Newton.

Add in performances from the Grimethorpe Youth Band, students at the RNCM, interviews and discussions and you get a packed weekend that certainly lives up to Dr David Thornton’s ambitious billing.

Find out more :



Norwegian National Championships
Grieg Hall
Friday 9th – Saturday 10th February

On the National Championships weekend the brutalist architecture of the Grieg Hall in Bergen is turned into the beating heart of Norwegian banding.

Even in reaching middle age (the first event took place in 1979) it still retains a rebellious sense of ambition and explorative musical vigour that stirs the blood.  

Where else for instance will you be able to get to hear a work entitled, ‘Jesus in Tibet’ alongside 'Where Angels Fly', 'Fraternity' and more in the top section as own-choice works, as well as 'Symphony of Colours' as the set-work and the usual plethora of exciting (and sometimes overly ambitious) own-choice selections in each division – First to Fifth. 

It’s gloriously eclectic, very often memorable, occasionally bonkers and always interesting. The beer is expensive of course, but the music making more than makes up for it.

Find out more: 

UniBrass Championships 
Warwick Arts Centre
Saturday 17th February

One of the great success stories of the current contesting movement in the UK – with students leading the way in doing what students do best: Enjoying themselves.

The sense of inclusion and diversity permeates the day – from the friendly competitiveness of the UniBrass Shield and Trophy contests, through to the Gala Concert, which this year will be provided by Foden’s Band and guest soloist James Fountain.

Each band provides a 20-minute set that mixes the serious as well as the playful which invariably act as something of a showcase for emerging playing, conducting and composing talent.

Find out more: 

Yorkshire Regional Championships
Huddersfield Town Hall
Saturday 2nd – Sunday 3rd March    

Regional favouritism aside from those who proudly proclaim their ‘Area’ is as equally important and exciting, there is still something about these championships that set it apart.

Perhaps it is the bluff Yorkshire pride that is worn like an invisible badge of honour by every band that takes to the stage, but it is hard to think of other ‘Area’ victories in English banding that are so keenly fought over – especially in the top section.

You get the feeling sometimes that being proclaimed Yorkshire Champion and claiming the local bragging rights is even more important than perhaps winning a National title itself.  

It makes for a great weekend finding out for yourself.

Find out more:

National Youth Championships of Great Britain
Dean Close School
Saturday 23rd March 

Revitalised and rejuvenated, the National Youth Championships head to Cheltenham this year with the promise of another great day of inclusive music making.

There is plenty to keep you entertained - with the Besson Prodige Showcase Section a non-competitive delight, packed with youngsters simply enjoying their experience of playing in front of a supportive audience.

The Yamaha Performance Section and World of Brass Championships Section open the door to competition – all with the overriding aim of increasing experience and encouraging the exploration of pathways to further encourage interest in banding in university and beyond.

Find out more:

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    


Sunday 14 July • Pemberton Old Wigan Brass Bands. Enfield Street,. Pemberton,. Wigan WN5 8DZ


Friday 19 July • Pemberton Old Wigan Band . Enfield Street,. Pemberton,. Wigan. WN5 8DZ

Barnsley Brass - Stephen Sykes, Principal Trombone of The Cory Band

Saturday 20 July • St Mary's Church, Kippax, Leeds LS25 7HF

Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Skelmanthorpe Band

Sunday 21 July • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW

Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Phoenix Brass

Sunday 28 July • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW

Dobcross Silver Band

July 15 • 2 x Cornet Players required. Positions are negotiable, excluding Principal as players are willing to move around. Experience preferred but all ages considered if ability can be demonstrated. Enjoyable rehearsals/great socials!

Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band

July 13 • Our welcoming non-contesting band, based near Maidenhead, Bracknell and Reading, seeks: . Solo Euphonium . 1st Horn . Percussion, kit and tuned: we have a lovely pair of timps! . Solo Cornet to complete the front-row line-up. 2nd Cornet

Newtown Silver Band

July 12 • Musical Director. Following the retirement of our current Musical Director after 40 years of loyal service the band is seeking a new Musical Director to take the band forward. We are a 3rd section band with a busy programme and enthusiastic members. .

Derek Renshaw

ABBA Member
Conductor, Band Trainer and Adjudicator.


 © 2024 4barsrest.com Ltd