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Crumbs of comfort and understanding — 2020 BBE Conference keynote speech

September 22, 2020
Arts Council England's CEO Darren Henley's address at Brass Bands England's 2020 Conference was well meaning but uninspired - offering crumbs of comfort at a time when banding needs much more than aphorisms and sound bite cliches.


Take 5 — A quintet of great Spectrum recordings

August 25, 2020
Five of the very best recordings of Gilbert Vinter's iconic test-piece.


Coronavirus rehearsal return? — No need to be Amber Gamblers

August 18, 2020
The latest guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has not given a realistic green light for a return to rehearsals - even if the option is now there...


COVID-19 latest — Brass Bands England pandemic guidelines

August 15, 2020
Brass Bands England has published in full its sector support advice for bands in England. If you are thinking of making a return to rehearsal, then they ask that you read this in full and understand its implications.


4BR Hall of Fame — No.11: Betty Anderson

August 8, 2020
Tim Mutum looks back on the life of a pioneering musician whose achievements amounted to much more than a historic entry in the contesting record books.


Take 5 — A quintet of judges to persuade into the box

August 1, 2020
Can the brass band movement once again persuade leading figures from a different professional musical hinterland to step into the confines of the adjudicator's box?


Alexander the Great — The last of the Victorian triumvirate

July 23, 2020
On the centenary of the death of Alexander Owen, 4BR looks at the life and legacy of one of the greatest figures in the history of the brass band movement.


Testing, testing — London College of Music exams

July 21, 2020
4BR takes a close look at the exams for brass students that are being offered by the London College of Music.


Beyond the horizon — Commissioning a new post Covid-19 future?

July 19, 2020
Would an independent Brass Band Commission be able to offer a plan for a sustainable long term future for banding in the UK?


4BR Hall of Fame — No.10: Albert Chappell

July 9, 2020
A mainstay figure of the banding movement - whose influence in helping bands and players fulfil their potential was based on his insightful musicality and disciplined work ethic.


Follow the science — How brass bands can return to pandemic safety

July 3, 2020
Beware the claims of quack doctors, pseudo-science, divine interventionists, oddballs, confidence tricksters and criminals and trust in proper research - its the only answer to get us back playing safely...


Take 5 — A quintet of composers to persuade to write for brass bands

July 2, 2020
With a need to reach out to a wider audience in the post Coronavirus era, can the brass band movement persuade any of these high profile composers and arrangers to write for us?


The Pharaoh's Curse? — The tale of Tutankhamun's trumpets...

June 21, 2020
When Howard Carter found 'wonderful things' in the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922, they included two trumpets that seemingly had a curse of their own...


Time to end our self-isolation — Banding's need for greater diversity and social inclusion

June 16, 2020
It may be finances that are the pressing concern at present but it is an investment in greater diversity and social inclusion that holds the key to the future for the banding movement.


4BR Hall of Fame — No.9: Norman Ashcroft

May 31, 2020
The player's player principal cornet - a wonderful musician whose modesty and unassuming personality ensured he was revered by all who performed with him.


What price brass band democracy? — Can we afford post COVID change in the UK?

May 29, 2020
4BR Editor Iwan Fox wonders what price individuals would be willing to pay to secure a sustainable, democratically robust brass band movement in the UK...


Brass on the Mind — Mental Health in the Bandroom: Part 3

May 25, 2020
Tabby Kerwin looks at the importance of awareness and education on mental health issues within the brass band movement - this time with the emphasis on the adjudicator.


After COVID-19 — New norms in a very different reality

May 18, 2020
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks towards the light at the end of the long Coronavirus tunnel and wonders what the new destination will be like when we eventually get there...


4BR Hall of Fame — No.8: Eric Bravington OBE

May 9, 2020
A musician whose loyalty and talent made a significant mark in both the banding and orchestral worlds.


Take 5 — The most underrated European Championship set-works

May 4, 2020
We pick five of the most underrated test-pieces used at the European Championships since 1978 in the hope that they will be resurrected to be used once more...


Take 5 — The most significant own-choice performances at the European Championships

May 2, 2020
We chose five of the most significant own-choice performances given at the European Championships since the first event in 1978...


Regional restructuring — A template for debate...

April 29, 2020
4BR Editor Iwan Fox offers a template for discussion and debate to try and solve the problem of achieving a balanced regional structure in UK banding in the future...


4BR Hall of Fame — No.7: Violet Brand MBE

April 27, 2020
A remarkable woman who combined two hugely influential professional careers that made a significant impact.


It's the economy, stupid — How Bill Clinton will get us back contesting...

April 21, 2020
Forget the musical pipe-dreams and desires, it will be an understanding how the finances of brass banding really work that will eventually see the movement return with long term sustainability.


Heroism and Hollywood — Brass bands and the sinking of the Titanic

April 16, 2020
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks at how the urban myths surrounding brass bands and the sinking of the Titanic have lasted for over 100 years.


The shape of things to come — The right time for a debate on a new National structure?

April 11, 2020
Does the current enforced break from contesting give banding in the UK the chance to look at the shape required for a healthy national banding structure...


Brass on the Mind — Mental Health in the Bandroom: Part 2

April 4, 2020
Tabby Kerwin looks at the importance of gaining awareness and education about mental health issues within the brass band movement - this time with an emphasis on the role of the conductor.


4BR Hall of Fame — No.6: Arthur Stender

March 31, 2020
The Australian cornet star who rivalled Harry Mortimer for virtuosity on the stage, but who was the most unassuming figure off it.


Learning from the results of history — From Edinburgh 1886 to the Midlands 2020...

March 25, 2020
Mistakes have always been made at brass band contests, but surely the time has come for a 21st century approach that works for everyone...


2020 Regional Championships — North of England - As it happened

March 15, 2020
All the action from the 2020 North of England Regional Championships - as it happened.


2020 Regional Championships — West of England - As it happened

March 15, 2020
All the action from the 2020 West of England Regional Championships - as it happened.


2020 Regional Championships — Yorkshire - As it happened

March 8, 2020
All the action from the 2020 Yorkshire Regional Championships - as it happened.


2020 Regional Championships — Scotland - As it happened

March 8, 2020
All the action from the 2020 Scottish Regional Championships - as it happened.


2020 Regional Championships — Midlands - As it happened

March 8, 2020
All the action from the 2020 Midlands Regional Championships - as it happened.


2020 Regional Championships — Wales - As it happened

March 1, 2020
All the action from the 2020 Welsh Regional Championships - as it happened.


2020 Regional Championships — North West - As it happened

February 23, 2020
All the action from the 2020 North West Regional Championships - as it happened.


2020 Regional test-pieces — Tales of heroes and human spirit

February 20, 2020
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks at the five works that will test the bands in their bid to qualify for the Cheltenham and London National Finals.


2020 Vision — What future direction for the Nationals?

February 19, 2020
4BR Editor Iwan Fox looks at the potential for a change in the future direction of travel for the Regional and National Championships of Great Britain...


4BR Hall of Fame — No.5: Leonard Lamb

February 16, 2020
A conductor whose record stands proudly with the finest conductors of his generation, but is now somewhat largely forgotten...


2020 Norwegian National Championships — As it happened

February 9, 2020
All the action from the 2020 Norwegian National Championships - as it happened.


You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off! — Has sheer volume become boring?

February 11, 2020
Is the shock and awe approach to the top end of the the dynamic spectrum in danger of sucking all the vibrancy and warmth out of what was once brass banding's renowned and richly admired tonality?


A timely reminder of inclusivity and excellence — 2020 RNCM Festival

February 4, 2020
Under the artistic direction of Paul Hindmarsh the RNCM Brass Band Festival in Manchester once again led the way in the pursuit of an all inclusive approach to the art of brass band music making.


125th anniversary — SBBA set to celebrate landmark throughout 2020

January 29, 2020
The Scottish Brass Band Association reveals busy schedule of celebratory events and initiatives at its annual general meeting.


Brass on the Mind — Mental Health in the Bandroom

January 21, 2020
Following her presentation to the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators, Tabby Kerwin looks at the importance of gaining awareness and education about mental health issues within the brass band movement.


2020 Butlins Mineworkers Championship — As it happened

January 12, 2020
All the action from the 2020 Butlins Mineworkers Championship - as it happened.


4BR Hall of Fame — No 4: Bram Gay

January 9, 2020
One of the most influential musical polymaths of the banding movement and a pioneer who helped bring brass band entertainment to the television age.


Beyond the Score — Yamaha inspires through holistic star approach

January 8, 2020
Yamaha stars inspire over 150 brass band players as they look to provide performance foundations on which to build a life long enthusiasm and passion for brass banding.


2020 Butlins Mineworkers Championship — Preview & Predictions

January 7, 2020
Like New Year resolutions, Butlins is an event that needs to be taken seriously by bands if they wish to really live up to their easily made self-promises..




The Marple Band - Marple Band Autumn Concert

Friday 16 October • Marple Methodist Church, Church Lane, Marple SK6 6AY


The Marple Band - Marple and Hawk Green Bands Concert Compstall

Saturday 7 November • St Pauls Church, Compstall Rd, Compstall, Stockport, Cheshire SK6 5HU


The Marple Band - Marple Band Family Christmas Concert

Friday 18 December • Marple Conservative Club, church Lane, Marple, SK6 6AY


Contest: Butlins Mineworkers Festival

Saturday 9 January • Roman Bank, Ingoldmells, Skegness PE25 1NJ


Contest: Butlins Mineworkers Festival

Sunday 10 January • Roman Bank, Ingoldmells, Skegness PE25 1NJ


Amesbury Town Band

September 30 • Players and beginners of any standard are always warmly welcomed especially some more solo cornets and a spare percussionists to help out existing players. Feel free to drop in even if you just fancy a blow or want to try another instrument. After Covid!


Redbridge Brass

September 28 • Redbridge Brass have vacancies for first class players: EUPHONIUM. The band rehearses on:. . Monday and Thursday evenings (8 -10pm). . at:. . Former Ingrebourne School,. Taunton Road,. Harold Hill, Essex,. RM3 7YT


Haverhill Silver Band

September 27 • Haverhill Silver Band invite applications from BBb Bass players to complete our post - lockdown line up.


Michael Bennett

BSc, RNCM (Perf)
Performer, Composer, Arranger, Teacher


               

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