No Scots at elite European level in Ostend

There will be no Scottish representation in the Championship Section at the forthcoming European Championships in Ostend.

  Scottish champion Co-operative Funeralcare will not be representing Scotland in Ostend.

For the second time in five years there will be no elite level Scottish representation at the European Brass Band Championships.

It follows the news that the 2016 Scottish Champion Co-operative Funeralcare Band did not take up its invitation to compete in Ostend in May as the nation's representatives following the passing of the December 1st 2016 deadline.

Very difficult decision

Band Manager Martin Stack told 4BR: "It was a very difficult decision for us to make, and only reached after a great deal of consideration of the financial impact and our current aims and objectives.

At this time it was an event that we could not afford to attend and we notified the European Brass Band Association accordingly."

Invite declined

It is understood that the Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA) subsequently invited 2016 Scottish Championship runner-up Whitburn, but due to the time limitations and budget costs, they too subsequently declined.

In a press statement they said: "We asked SBBA for clarification over Scotland's representation last June, but we heard no more until late December, by which point making travel arrangements had become considerably more challenging.

Our Musical Director Nicholas Childs was keen for us to take part, but after taking players' availability into account and looking at the medium-term budget, the trip to Belgium had unfortunately become impossible for us."

Challenge and Development bands

Scotland will however be represented in the Challenge Section contest by 2016 Second Section champion Coalburn Silver, while the Scottish Borders Youth Band will take part in the Development Section of the European Youth Brass Band contest.

In a press statement SBBA President, Carrie Boax said: "Co-operative Funeralcare received the 'official' invitation from EBBA on 10th October 2016 with 1st December deadline in line with all other invited bands from across the European countries.

The entry form and entry fee is always returned to EBBA and all correspondence for any of the EBBA events is communicated with the bands and the organisers (EBBA) directly.

It was a very difficult decision for us to make, and only reached after a great deal of consideration of the financial impact and our current aims and objectivesCo-operative Funeralcare Band Manager Martin Stack.


She added: "SBBA is grateful this year of the support we have received from EBBA to ensure a Scottish senior band participates in the European Championships and I am delighted that Coalburn has worked hard to make it happen.

We wish the band every success and know that the experience will be one to be savoured, especially when some of our young NYBBS players will be given the opportunity to share the stage with the very best bandspeople in the world!"

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