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Take 5: Early season must see events

4BR picks out five must see events in January and February to consider putting in your weekend diaries...

  Five early season must see events to book into your weekend away diary

If you want to enjoy five very different musical experiences in the first two months of 2017 then why not put these in your diary and book yourself an away day trip.

1. Butlins Mineworkers Championship

Friday 13th January — Sunday 15th January

A contest weekend to blow away any lingering festive cobwebs of lethargy that may still be in your banding system — and not just because a cold wind is sure to chill your maracas as you make your way to the various resort venues to listen to the entertainment.

Once inside there is plenty to keep you warm — from the contests with their big prize jackpots to the late night revelry that will put a smile on your face. Still pack your thermal undies though…

More information:


2. RNCM Brass Band Festival

Friday 27th January — Sunday 29th January
RNCM, Manchester

The most important brass band showcase in Europe. Under the superb curatorship of Artistic Director Paul Hindmarsh, the RNCM Festival in Manchester continues to be the driving force behind pushing brass banding into the mainstream musical consciousness.

This year six top class bands will provide three days of music making that will see repertoire that numerous world premieres, superb featured soloists, timely retrospectives and a triple celebration of three outstanding composers for the medium.

More information:

Tickets: http:/­/­www.rncm.ac.uk
By Phone: 0161 907 5555

3. Norwegian National Championships

Friday 3rd February & Saturday 4th February

Everyone should take the opportunity to experience how the Norwegians celebrate, as well as showcase their National brass banding identity — at least once in their lifetime.

This is brass band contesting for the 21st century; vibrant, transparent and communal. It is also brilliantly organised. Forget the price of a pint of beer and fly in to Bergen to enjoy a National Championship like no other: The playing at all levels is a wonderful mix of the brilliant and at times the absolutely bonkers.

More information:


4. Action Medical Research Entertainment Championship

Winter Gardens
Sunday 12th February

If you are looking for a guaranteed brass band boost in the arm in 2017 then make sure you head to the famous Winter Gardens in Blackpool for this fantastic event.

The brilliant youth bands, who have been working their socks off all over the festive period, provide the type of entertainment that deserves to top the bill at this old mecca of fun and games — with an amazing mix of outstanding playing and eye-popping choreography.

More information:

For tickets, ring: 01253 625252

5. UniBrass Championships

Harrogate International Conference Centre
Saturday 18th February

Another huge dollop of brass band fun and feverish activity — and that's just on the contest stage. The best and the brightest give up their studies on everything from nuclear physics to media studies for a weekend to maintain their love for brass banding amid an atmosphere of keen, but friendly rivalry. The bar takings will be astronomical.

Superbly organised, and all topped off with a chance to work and hear the all conquering Cory Band in action (thankfully, they won't be competing).

More information:


Lyndon Baglin

Legends of Brass: Lyndon Baglin

July 17 • In the first of a new video interview series, 4BR Editor Iwan Fox meets the legendary euphonium player Lyndon Baglin.


What a Pity...

July 17 • Fulham Brass to take part in a major theatre production that starts off normally but soon descends into complete madness...


Blidworth mark anniversaries

July 17 • Blidworth helps commemorate anniversaries of different kinds — but with equal poignancy.


New signing at Strata Brass

July 17 • Yorkshire National finalists add to their foundation base with new signing.

Roberts Bakery Band - Bluedot Festival

Saturday 21 July • Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre. . The University of Manchester. . Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 9DL

Medway Band - Higham Church Annual Prom

Saturday 21 July • St. Marys Church. 1 Abbey Farm Cottages . Church Street. Higham. Rochester . ME3 7LS

Lofthouse Brass Band - Oxenhope Railway Station

Sunday 22 July • Oxenhope Railway Station, The Railway Station, Station Road, Haworth BD22 8NJ BD22 8NJ

Tendring Brass - Opening Night Concert of the Frinton Mission 2018

Saturday 28 July • Greensward,. Frinton on Sea,. Essex CO13 9DN

Lofthouse Brass Band - Filey Bandstand

Sunday 29 July • Filey Bandstand, The Crescent, Filey YO14 9JS YO14 9JS

Worthing Silver Band

July 17 • Worthing Silver Band are a lively band looking to increase their numbers. We are looking for back row cornets, 2nd horn, 2nd baritone, Eb + Bb bass. We perform a selection of concerts and we are the organisers of Brassbandathon. Look us up for more info.

Witney Town Band

July 17 • A friendly 4th section band based in West Oxfordshire require Front row cornet, percussion and second Horn. We rehearse from 7:30 - 9.30pm every Tuesday at Witney Methodist Church, High Street, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 6HG. . .

West Somerset Brass Band

July 17 • We have vacancies for a 1st baritone player and front row cornet although we would be delighted to hear from any brass player or those wishing to learn an instrument. We are based in Watchet, West Somerset but players come from a wide radius to us

Sandy Smith

Conductor, teacher, adjudicator and arranger