LIVING THE DREAM - B&R bari star Amy Ewen chats to BB

Issue 6140

END OF THE ROAD - Jeans' tenure at GUS comes to a close

CONCERT REVIEW - Tredegar shines at Newbury Spring Festival

SADLY MISSED - Richard Evans laid to rest

BIDDING FAREWELL - Stephen Allen says goodbye to Lancaster British Brass Band

Kenny Crookston: At the heart of the action

Monday 28 March, 2022

The 2022 European Brass Band Festival is rapidly approaching, welcoming some of the continent’s finest bands for several days of intense music making. A COVID-enforced rejig saw England chosen to host this year’s showpiece event, which will take place in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall from April 28 until May 1. As the festival approaches,

British Bandsman editor Mark Good speaks to BBE’s chief executive officer, Kenny Crookston, about the preparations for the prestigious festival. The 58-year-old, from West Lothian, also reflects on his lengthy career in banding, which has seen him rise to a key leadership role in England’s sector-support organisation.


“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” So goes the well-trodden quote but, while the sentiment is understandable, even the most satisfying of occupations are not entirely without their more trying moments. For Kenny Crookston, though, it seems entirely apt.

The 58-year-old sits at the heart of a team at Brass Bands England that has steadily grown over the past couple of years. It’s just as well, too, as the organisation has become ever-more involved at the coalface of banding in England and beyond.

BBE’s increasingly prominent role seems to have jarred with some, seemingly worried at the prospect of being knocked from their mini ‘perch’ as BBE has gained in strength and influence. It’s about time, too. That the country which gave the world brass bands had been without a serious association with the teeth and standing to effectively act in bands’ interests was nothing short of embarrassing. That’s not to say it won’t get things wrong from time to time, but there is a sense of cohesion and direction that was previously missing from the English banding scene.

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Issue 6133 digital March 24, 2022