SBBA postpones Scottish Festival of Brass

The changes in Coronavirus pandemic regulations and guidelines means a postponement of the Scottish Open, Band Supplies Challenge and Scottish Youth Championships.

  Perth Concert Hall will not be filled by the sound of brass bands this November.

The Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA) has taken the decision to postpone its Scottish Festival of Brass, which was due to have taken place at Perth Concert Hall in November.

They have informed 4BR that it is in response to the latest Coronavirus guidelines and legislation that has been brought into force.

Health priority

SBBA President Carrie Boax told 4BR: "SBBA has at all times been driven by the current official guidelines throughout this pandemic and prioritises the health and wellbeing of its members.

Consequently, SBBA is reiterating its message that the suspension of brass band rehearsals and engagements should remain in place until such time the Scottish Government advice changes to allow public gatherings of numerous people in enclosed spaces without the requirements for physical distancing."

Difficult decision

The event, which traditionally takes place over two weekends, features the championship level Scottish Open, the Band Supplies Scottish Challenge and the Scottish Youth Brass Band Festival.

The difficult decision to defer the events until a later date was taken at SBBA Events Committee meeting.

Sense of sadness

Carrie added: "In a year in which COVID-19 has devastated so many lives in so many ways — personal, family, work, academic, social, sport and leisure — this postponement may not be a big deal to a lot of people, but it was to be the last big occasion in a calendar of events to mark our association's 125th anniversary.

As a result there is a real sense of sadness in taking this decision as it means 2020 will probably come to an end without any live organised brass banding activities in Scotland since March."

She continued: "The Scottish Government announcement that it is re-tightening the rules regarding public gatherings — cutting down the number of people who can meet in groups to just six from only two households — means that any return to normal banding would appear to be off the cards for some time to come."

there is a real sense of sadness in taking this decision as it means 2020 will probably come to an end without any live organised brass banding activities in Scotland since MarchSBBA President, Carrie Boax

New initiatives

Despite the decision SBBA continues to look at providing innovative initiatives to keep the banding movement engaged and promoted.

The success of the virtual concert by the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland in August has shown that there are further possibilities to explore in holding a similar event for youth bands who would have been taking part in the Scottish Youth Brass Band Festival.


SBBA education officer John Boax added: "It's important that we try to keep our young musicians connected during this period of time, so we are working with Creative Scotland and their Youth Music Initiative in an attempt to keep the Scottish Youth Brass Band Festival alive by putting on an alternative online event.

We will be contacting those youth bands who had indicated their willingness to participate in the festival to see if there is any interest in staging a virtual event."

If any youth bands would like to take part, they can also contact SBBA at sbbaeducation@gmail.com

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