facebook twitter rss vimeo


2018 Spring Festival test pieces announced

'The Triumph of Time', 'Diadem of Gold' and 'A Kensington Concerto' will provide the tests to be overcome at the Spring Festival in Blackpool next May.

Spring Festival
  Who will get their hands on the trophies and qualification places at Blackpool next year?

The set-works that will be used at the 98th British Open Spring Festival on 12th May 2018 at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool have been announced.

As has become the custom in recent years, a recently performed British Open work will be utilised for the Grand Shield.

The Triumph of Time

Peter Graham's 'The Triumph of Time' will provide a stern test for the bands wishing to get to gain one of the two qualification places to Symphony Hall.

Commissioned by Prof Nicholas Childs for Black Dyke to perform at the 2014 European Championships, it was subsequently used at the British Open in 2016, as well as around the banding world since. Once again, the opening introductory segment featuring chiming bells will not be required.

Two other popular works will also be used at the Senior Cup and Senior Trophy respectively.

Diadem of Gold

Frank Wright's arrangement of Guillaume Balay's 'Diadem of Gold', first heard at the National Championships of Great Britain in 1953, and subsequently at the British Open in 1977, will test the bands in the Senior Cup.

Originally known as 'Ouverture Caractéristique', it was wrongly attributed to an anglicised non-de-plume of G. Bailey, a mistake that has perpetuated since. Balay, a remarkable cornet player, composer and conductor succeeded Gabriel Pares as the Head of Music of the Republican Guard in Paris in 1911. He died in 1943.

A Kensington Concerto

To complete what promises to be a popular selection, is one of Eric Ball's later contest works -'A Kensington Concerto', which will be heard in the Senior Trophy.

First performed in 1972 at the National Brass Band Championships in London, it is a touching homage the what the composer called '…that gay company of friends, now scattered, who in times past met annually in the Royal Albert Hall, London, on the occasion of the National Brass Band Championships.'


The Triumph of Time (Peter Graham)

Diadem of Gold (G. Bailey arr. Frank Wright)

A Kensington Concerto (Eric Ball)

Our congratulations go the bands who have already qualified to compete in the Senior Trophy in the three contests this autumn with further opportunities for those wishing to compete at Brass at the Guild and the Welsh OpenBritish Open

Qualification routes

The interest from bands wishing to gain entry to the qualifying contests for the British Open remains as popular as ever, with qualification routes now open through the Bolsover Festival of Brass, Wychavon Festival of Brass, Fife Charities, Brass at the Guild and Welsh Open.

A British Open spokesperson told 4BR: "Our congratulations go the bands who have already qualified to compete in the Senior Trophy in the three contests this autumn with further opportunities for those wishing to compete at Brass at the Guild and the Welsh Open early next year."

Further information:

British Open website: www.thebritishopen.net


Project findings highlight inexcusable lack of female compositions

June 20 • Figures compiled by a new report show that 95% of classical music concerts only feature works by men.


SBBA continues to sow seeds for sustainable grass roots future

June 20 • The Scottish Brass Band Association is helping to strengthen the grass roots future of banding with investment in youth.


Report & Result: 2018 Morley March & Hymn Tune

June 20 • Yorkshire Imps prove to be march wizards amid the contest traffic as they claim the honours, the money and the silverware at the popular Morley contest.

Denis Wick

All that glitters...

June 20 • John Packer Ltd has a fantastic range of golden Denis Wick mutes ready to be played...

Tredegar Town Band - Mussorgsky meets Mozart

Wednesday 20 June • ROYAL BIRMINGHAM CONSERVATOIRE, Birmingham City University, 200 Jennens Rd, Birmingham. B4 7XR

Black Dyke Band - Halifax Choral Society

Saturday 23 June • Victoria Theatre, 2 Fountain St, Halifax HX1 1BP

The Marple Band - The Marple Band presents Music from Musicals

Saturday 23 June • Stockport Grammar School. Buxton Road. Stockport SK2 7AF

Elland Silver Band - Elland Silver Band

Saturday 23 June • Blackley Blackley Church Prospect View Elland HX5 0TD

York Railway Institute Band - Dan Thomas - Euphonium

Saturday 23 June • Central Methodist Church. St Saviourgate. York. YO1 8NQ YO1 8NQ

Amington Band

June 20 • Amington band are looking for a Soprano player! We're a friendly, hard working bunch and welcome you to join us as we plough headfirst into a varied schedule of concerts and contests. We rehearse on Mondays & Wednesdays from 8-10pm in our own band room.

Witney Town Band

June 19 • A friendly 4th section band based in West Oxfordshire require Front row cornet and Second Horn. We rehearse from 7:30 - 9.30pm pm every Tuesday at Witney Methodist Church, High Street, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 6HG. .

Torbay Brass Band

June 19 • Torbay Brass Band is looking for trombone and cornet players to join their current set up. We are a friendly hard working group who really would welcome such players into our fold. So if you are looking to join a band or returning to playing....?

Darren R. Hawken

PGdip, BMus(hons) PGCE, dipABRSM, LRSM
Conductor, Arranger, Teacher, Adjudicator, Band Trainer