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

No London bands heading to National Finals

Saturday 28 March, 2020

There will be no bands from London and the Southern Counties at the 2020 National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, organisers of the Regional contest have confirmed.

In a statement issued to bands, Kevin Williams and Phil Doe (secretary and chairman of the London and Southern Counties Regional committee) also said that there would be no contest in 2020 as the original event had been formally cancelled. Promotion and relegation will be suspended for 2020, with bands expected to enter the same section for 2021 as they did this year.

The pre-2020 contest grading tables will remain unchanged, meaning the next three years points cycle will comprise the results from 2018, 2019 and 2021. Entry fees, meanwhile, will be refunded to band secretaries over the coming weeks.

The statement continues: “We would like to thank all bands for their patience since we cancelled the Regional contest on March 13, which was a decision we took in advance of government and BBE advice in order to ensure everyone’s safety at our event.

"The committee is all volunteers, a large proportion of whom were also expecting to play at the contest, and have exactly the same concerns as everyone else, such as our own health and that of our family and friends. We were acutely aware that we needed to find a solution for a way forward and thought it best to take our time and agree at the fairest decisions for all of the 81 bands that had entered the contest. We know that some of these decisions won’t sit well with everyone but our role is to be impartial and to treat every band with equal respect and consideration, irrespective of their status and grading.”

The statement concluded: “We trust that the bands accept this solution in the spirit in which it is intended. Two weeks ago we’d never heard of self-isolating and social-distancing but hopefully we can all look forward to resuming our banding in the near future.”