Lancaster University

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Inaugural Brass Band Championship awarded almost £8,000

03/01/2011 10:20:43

ULMS Brass Band at the Whit Friday Marches in Saddleworth last year
ULMS Brass Band at the Whit Friday Marches in Saddleworth last year

The first ever University Brass Band Championship of Great Britain, was held at Lancaster University on February 19th.

The event was hosted by the University of Lancaster Music Society (ULMS) in association with the British Federation of Brass Bands. The contest has been awared £8,000 over two years by Arts Council England and Lancaster will also host next year’s competition.

Lancaster finished 7th with 123 points.

The competition was devised and organised by Lancaster students and brought together over 300 students from 13 higher education institutions including the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, York, Warwick, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bangor, Southampton, Keele, Huddersfield as well as Leeds College of Music and Brass United (the Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Manchester).

Each band performed a programme of 25 minutes each in front of two respected brass band judges - composer Alan Fernie and conductor Richard Evans. Categories included Best March, Best Solo and Most Entertaining Performance.

The President of ULMS Max Stannard said the National Lottery funding from Arts Council England will help ensure this becomes an annual contest.

“The funding for the competition allows us to host it this year and next.On the Sunday following the contest we held workshops in which professional conductors (such as Michael Fowles, or the North West Regional Championship, Fodens) worked with the bands in rehearsals. This also means we will be able to commission a brand new piece of music for the 2012 contest.”

He said the event aimed to change students’ perceptions of brass bands.

“This competition was a brilliant fun day out and gave people the chance to experience brass band music but with a light-hearted entertaining feel to it. We played a lot of music from films, musicals and even Disney songs.

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