Butlins reveals Contest Music set-works

Top flight bands get a triptych choice of Heaton, Sparke or Venables, whilst its a case of the classics in the other sections at Bultins next January.

  There promises to be a great weekend of action at Butlins next eyar

The Butlins Mineworkers Festival has announced the set-works that will face competitors at their championships held at their Skegness Resort in January 2018 (12th-14th).

Top section trio

In what they say they hope will be the 'most spectacular weekend of competition and entertainment to date', the own-choice element has been retained in the Championship Section.

The bands will have the option between the classics of Wilfred Heaton's 'Contest Music' and 'The Year of the Dragon' by Philip Sparke, or 'Concerto For Brass Band No.1' by Canadian composer Marcus Venables.

Although the first two have been performed extensively over the years, it is the first time Venables' 12 minute work has been chosen for a major championship after winning first prize in the Scottish Brass Band Association composition competition in 2013.


"We believe that our choice of three set-works will be favourable to the Championship Section bands and the audience alike", Contest Advisor Stan Lippeatt said. "'Contest Music' and 'The Year of the Dragon' need no introduction whilst we are sure 'Concerto No.1' will quickly become a favourite addition to the repertoire."

Stan also revealed that as in 2017, in addition to the overall top prize of £10,000, £1,000 and a trophy will be awarded to the winners of the Saturday own-choice discipline, with £1,000 plus trophy for the Sunday entertainment element.

Adjudication system

The entertainment discipline will continue to have four adjudicators; two music adjudicators (sat together) giving 50% of the marks and two entertainment adjudicators (sat together) also giving 50% of the marks. As last year, the entertainment element marks will take precedence in the event of an overall tie.

Festival Director, Steve Walker explained to 4BR: "As was proved in 2017, the simple marking system ensures that in the opinion of the adjudicators, the best band will win the overall first prize.

Our continued emphasis on the Sunday entertainment content is in response to the general consensus of opinion from our guests with whom we have a constant dialogue.

Competing bands are not required to come with bespoke new programmes. A well played entertaining programme that the audience enjoys is sure to score highly."

He added: "We believe that the Butlins Festival to be a unique event in the banding calendar and remind bands interested in competing in the 2018 that this is not an invitation event. Bands from all sections are welcome to apply on a first come first served basis."

Section tests

In the other sections, Peter Graham's 'Renaissance' will test the First Section contenders, with the Second Section bands faced with stern test in 'Variations for Brass Band' by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Another Vaughan Williams composition, 'Overture to Henry V' will have to be overcome in the Third Section with Fourth Section bands facing Gustav Holst's 'Second Suite in F'.

The winning bands Sections 1 — 4 will take hone £2000, with podium prizes £1000, £700 and £500.

As was proved in 2017, the simple marking system ensures that in the opinion of the adjudicators, the best band will win the overall first prizeFestival Director, Steve Walker


The increasingly popular Butlins Youth Band Festival with a prize fund of £2,300, will take place on Sunday January 14th and applications for the Unregistered and Youth Sections are invited to Brian Eggleshaw, Butlins Contest Administrator, 27, Dutton Avenue, Skegness, Lincolnshire (PE25 2HR) or brian.eggleshaw@gmail.com

Due to limited venue capacity for the entertainment competition, no day visit tickets are issued for Sunday 14h January, with access only for guests choosing to stay on the resort. Day visit tickets are available for Saturday 13th priced at £28 per adult, £20 per child 2-14, with under 2's free.

Competitors who are not resident must purchase a day visit ticket to gain entry on Saturday 13th.

Set Works:

Championship Section: 'Contest Music' (Wilfred Heaton); 'The Year of the Dragon' (Philip Sparke); 'Concerto No 1 for Brass Band' (Marcus Venables)
First Section: 'Renaissance' (Peter Graham)
Second Section: 'Variations for Brass Band' (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
Third Section: 'Overture to Henry V' (Ralph Vaughan Williams)
Fourth Section: 'Second Suite in F' (Gustav Holst)

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