The organisers of the Welsh Open Contest have announced a new contesting link with the British Open Championship.
The event now joins Brass at the Guild Hall, the Wychavon Festival of Brass, Bolsover Festival of Brass and the Fife Charities Band Association Open in offering an automatic invitation to a band to compete in the Senior Trophy at the Spring Festival in Blackpool.
A Welsh Open spokesperson told 4BR: "We are delighted that in 2018 we can now offer our competing bands a wonderful opportunity to secure a place at the Spring Festival — just three steps away from competing at the most prestigious brass band contest in the world.
We are very grateful to Martin and Karyn Mortimer for enabling our contest to become part of the qualification ladder, which shows that the British Open continues to reach out to ambitious bands."
A British Open spokesperson added: "We are also delighted to make this official connection with a Welsh contest that is popular with competing bands and audiences alike. We look forward to offering a warm welcome to the successful band in the Senior Trophy."
The contest schedules and entry forms for 2018 Welsh Open Championship are now available for bands wishing to take part.
Generous prize fund
First held in 1998, the contest has become the traditional season opener for Welsh banding, although the contest itself is open to bands from all over the UK.
With a generous prize fund, excellent organisation and a packed audience at the Pavillion Theatre in Porthcawl, it promises to be another highly successful contest day on Saturday 17th February.
The contest is open to all nationally graded Championship and First Section bands, with a first prize of £1,000 up for grabs alongside the magnificent CISWO Challenge Trophy.
The defending champion is Tongwynlais Temperance, who re-claimed the title last year under the baton of Christopher Bond.
The contest is open to all nationally graded Championship and First Section bands, with a first prize of £1,000 up for grabs alongside the magnificent CISWO Challenge Trophy4BR
Schedules and entry forms are now available from Contest Organiser, Dean Evans at: