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Cooperation confirms Nationals withdrawal

Tuesday 7 September, 2021

The cooperation band has withdrawn from the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain amid continued concern over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following discussions among members and the organisation’s management team, the Glasgow band – a two-time winner at the Royal Albert Hall, having triumphed in 1990 and 1996 – has decided not to take part in the event, which is due to be held on October 2.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the cooperation band explained: “The band management’s first priority is the safety of the band members and the current COVID situation, which is getting worse by the day in Scotland and the rest of the UK, and the risks associated with travelling and taking part in the event, as well as the financial risks. These are all too great for us to expose the band and its members.

“The cooperation band does appreciate that it would be great to get back to some normality in life and return to banding as we all have known it but at this time, we don’t think it is safe enough.”

The statement continued: “Ideally, we would have preferred for the event to have been postponed until times were safer, or even cancelled, giving all bands the chance to rebuild and regroup without any pressures but we are not organisers of events such as this.

“We have timescales to keep to without incurring financial penalties, hence the reason for having to decide at this time.”

The cooperation band’s withdrawal makes it the latest Scottish band across the Championship to Fourth sections to pull out of this year’s National Finals, with Bathgate (First), St Ronan’s Silver (Second), Newland Concert Brass (Fourth) and Kilmarnock Concert Brass (Fourth) among those that have also withdrawn.