Lancaster University

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Inaugural Brass Band Championship awarded almost £8,000

01/28/2011 09:54:41

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, held at Lancaster University, has been awarded almost £8,000 over two years by Arts Council England.

The event in the Great Hall on February 19th is being hosted by the University of Lancaster Music Society (ULMS) in association with the British Federation of Brass Bands.

The competition has been devised and organised by Lancaster students and will bring 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 will perform a programme of 25 minutes each in front of two respected brass band judges - composer Alan Fernie and conductor Richard Evans - with winners in several categories including 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.

“We will have ample funding for the competition to take place this year and next. It also means that on the Sunday following the contest we can hold workshops in which professional conductors (such as Michael Fowles, or the North West Regional Championship, Fodens) will work 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 will be a fun day out and give people the chance to experience brass band music but with a light-hearted entertaining feel to it. We play a lot of music from films, musicals and even Disney songs and in some of the pieces, there will be choreography such as standing up and moving around to make it more entertaining, as well as a bit of humour.”

The all day contest will be streamed live on LUTube TV via the competition’s website.