FORMIDABLE FODEN'S - Full coverage from the 2021 National Brass Band Championships

Issue 6112

HOW TO IMPRESS - Amos Miller on flourishing in a conservatoire audition

COMPOSER CAST - Liz Lane on her fascinating early musical life

DEPARTURE - Cornet star Kirsty Abbotts leaves Carlton Main

2021 Nationals back with a bang

Sunday 26 September, 2021

After a COVID-enforced absence, the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain returned to the stage on September 18-19 with First to Fourth Section bands pitting their musical wits against each in The Centaur, Cheltenham. Though some qualifiers elected not to take part, those present were treated to a bustling weekend of action, supported by a dedicated team of officials and volunteers. Rob Tompkins looks back on the action. Images: Steve Jack & 4barsrest.


Arriving at the Cheltenham Racecourse on Saturday (September 18) was quite a moment. I wasn’t sure how I would feel but I was delighted to see bandspeople around and that the feeling of ‘contest day’ was very much in the air. We all knew this year things would be different but no-one was quite sure how different. Entering the foyer, everything looked the same and taking my seat in the press box, it felt like a normal contest, albeit with masks aplenty. We were reminded on a regular basis over the weekend that we should follow the guidance and on the occasions I went out of the hall I was very impressed by the way everyone was going about their day, keeping to the guidance at the same time.

It was great to be back and with 61 bands playing over the weekend, my pencil – and ears – were poised.


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Issue 6110 digital September 23, 2021