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Gregson's anger at rogue recordings

Friday 19 November, 2021

Renowned composer Edward Gregson has hit out at the production of illegal recordings at live brass band events after rogue videos of one of his latest works gained thousands of views online.

The esteemed composer spoke out after mobile phone-quality recordings of The World Rejoicing from the recent Netherlands Brass Band Championships surfaced on YouTube, including a video showcasing the performance from the winning band, Soli Brass. The video was eventually taken down after days of email exchanges between Gregson and the internet giant, but not before it had been viewed more than 5,300 times.

Speaking to British Bandsman about the situation, Edward Gregson said: “It really is getting out of hand and YouTube seems unwilling to do anything about it. It seems, rather like the big tech companies’ inability to deal with sexual and racial abuse on their platforms, that they would rather shrug their shoulders and say it’s not their fault. One only hopes that international action will eventually hold them to account.”

Edward continued: “In my case, the whole point of not allowing any performances to be posted free on the internet, was that each country would have their premieres without the work having been heard by many people. That is now not the case.”

The unofficial recording came to prominence in spite of streaming of the Netherlands Brass Band Championship, which was undertaken by

Martin Gernon, managing director of, commented: “It is more than frustrating when we have paid good money to obtain recording licences for these criminals, and they are criminals, to think it is OK to make recordings and distribute wherever they wish. It needs to stop.

“It is piracy and the onus is on event organisers, in the first instance, to enforce this via rigorous stewarding.”

Martin continued: “If we look at our own UK contests, Youtube is riddled with rogue and illegal recordings of band performances. We informed a contest in 2018 that there was an illegal recording of Cory’s winning performance of A Brussels Requiem by Bert Appermont – it is still on Youtube today and has had more than 165,000 views. There are many more recordings of a similar nature.

"If organisers, once they are made aware of this, do nothing to protect the rights of composers, bands and arrangers, then we have lost the battle. If we see future such activity, we will sue; it is theft and piracy and has to stop.”

The prevalence of cameras in mobile phones means that unofficial recordings from brass band contests often surface online following major events, with cursory searches yielding shaky videos from many of the major contests on the international circuit.

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Issue 6117 digital November 18, 2021