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

Still time to enter Butlin's

Tuesday 5 October, 2021

The Butlin’s Open Brass Band Festival is preparing to welcome bands and supporters to the Skegness Resort in January, with entries still open for bands looking to put a spring in their step early in the new year.

The competitions are to take place on the weekend on January 7-10, 2022, with the early bird discount extended through to the final deadline of October 23, reducing the entry fee to £75, with a further £25 reduction available for BBE members. Organisers are also reminding bands that Butlin’s is an “open” contest and entries are not by invitation only.

Entries for all sections are now being processed through the Brass Bands England website. To enter, bands should visit bbe.org. uk and select Butlin’s Open Brass Band Festival via the site’s Events section.

The test-pieces for 2022 are: Championship: Paganini Variations (Phillip Wilby); Sections One to Three: own-choice test-piece; Section Four: A 20-minute entertainment programme, with open adjudication. Championship (test-piece), First, Second and Third sections remain closed adjudication. Awards and prize money remain the same as in 2019, with the addition that the winner of the Entertainment element of the Championship Entertainment Contest will now receive an invitation to the following year’s Brass in Concert at Sage Gateshead.

The £10,000 top prize in the Championship Section remains the biggest prize in brass banding worldwide, with £2,000 each going to the winners of Sections One to Four.

Meanwhile, Butlin’s has announced significant changes to the format of its youth and solo and ensemble events, also due to take place at Skegness during the Festival. The Youth Band and Debut Section (formerly Junior Ensemble) contests will now be entertainment based, with age categories closer reflecting those in operation at the National Youth Brass Band Championships and other youth band events. Similarly, the categories in the British Open Solo and Ensemble Championships have also changed, with quintets now also able to take part in the event and soloists no longer restricted to slow melodies or air varies.

Festival director, Steve Walker, commented: “We are really excited to be able to host our Brass Band Festival again and would like to encourage as many members of the brass band community as possible to come and join us. If your band is looking for a first event in a long time then there may be no better choice than Butlin’s.”

Steve concluded: “Solo and small ensemble contests have been important to brass banding for many years and we are very keen to inject new energy into this aspect of the genre, which has perhaps been neglected somewhat in recent years in the wider sense. We hope that the new format appeals to everyone, but to those players who have formed small ‘lockdown’ groups, why not come along to Skegness in January and let the rest of the banding world hear the fruits of your efforts?”

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Issue 6111 digital September 30, 2021