RONG ON RIGHT PATH - BB shines a light on one of the rising stars of Norwegian banding

Issue 6062

BACK IN BUSINESS - Boost for bands in England as rehearsals resume

STAGE SET FOR CORY CONTEST - Draw made for online championship, with international flavour

BBE to welcome diverse range of speakers at 2020 conference

Tuesday 8 September, 2020

The 2020 Brass Bands England conference may be going online but the event still promises a packed day of action, welcoming a range of distinguished speakers.

Taking place on Saturday, September 19, this year’s conference is centred around the themes of resilience and sustainability, aiming to explore new and existing ways of helping bands thrive as they continue to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opening the conference is keynote speaker, Arts Council England’s chief executive officer, Darren Henley, who is due to highlight the importance of resilience in the present climate. Also presenting will be the chairman of Amersham Band’s, Fred Harrison. The organisation has undertaken a lot of work in its efforts to create a sustainable brass community and so should providing fascinating insight for online delegates.

Also preparing to address those in attendance online will be BBE’s Dr Alex Parker, who will present a session on band resilience, giving bands the tools they need to analyse their finances and plan for the future.

The afternoon kicks off with the Brass Band Conference Awards, which aim to give credit to those individuals and organisations in the banding world who have made an exceptional contribution to the banding community. Among the awards are prizes for innovation, lifetime achievement, social impact and the Brian W Hicks memorial shield for services to youth. Winners have been nominated by the banding public and selected by the Brass Bands England trustees. Each award winner will receive a memento to commemorate their achievement and these will be presented at suitable occasions after the event, COVID-19 allowing.

The final workshop of the day will be delivered by Art Council England tech champion, Syed Raham, who will present a session on digital marketing, focusing on building new audiences and advertising events. The event will close with an address from BBE chairman, Mike Kilroy.



9am: AGM
10.15am: Introduction and Welcome from Brass Bands England’s CEO Kenny Crookston
10.30am: Keynote Address from Arts Council England (ACE) CEO Darren Henley
10.45am: Presentation by Amersham Band Chairman Fred Harrison
Noon: Band Resilience Workshop with BBE’s Dr Alex ‘Parky’ Parker
1.30pm: The Brass Band Conference Awards
1.45pm: Digital Marketing Workshop with ACE Tech Champion Syed Rahman
3pm: Panel Discussion ‘Challenges in Building a Sustainable Youth Band’ chaired by BBE’s Sarah Baumann
4.10pm: Closing Remarks from BBE’s Chairman Mike Kilroy

The Brass Band Conference 2020 is free to access for all, and Brass Bands England is actively encouraging anyone with an interest in banding to get involved. The full day’s events will be livestreamed on Facebook and Vimeo by Brass Questions can be posed to the hosts of any of the sessions via the comments sections or by sending in advance by this Google form. Questions in advance are welcome, submitted as a short video clip.

Preceding the Brass Band Conference will be the 2020 BBE Annual General Meeting, which will be held on a Zoom Webinar and begins at 9am. Member bands have already been given the details for the AGM and those wishing to attend online can sign up at: The AGM is the only part of the day’s events that will not be live-streamed to Facebook or Vimeo, so anyone wanting to take part must register in advance.

BBE chief executive officer, Kenny Crookston, commented: “We are looking forward to a very rewarding day on Saturday, September 19 and would like to encourage everyone with the future of their band, and brass bands in general, wherever they are in the world, to spend at least part of the day with us. There really is something on the programme to add value to everyone’s banding experience and we are delighted with the response from those we have asked to be involved. The AGM, in particular, is a forum for all BBE members, organisational and individuals, to have their say on the future direction of Brass Bands England and the organisations and events in which we are involved.”

Register for the conference here.