BERLIN BOUND - Isobel Daws secures place at Karajan Academy

Issue 6125

SCOTTISH FUNDING - SBBA receives Creative Scotland award

CONTEST CANCELLED - West of England Regionals off

CURTAIN RISING - RNCM Festival set for take-off

PUSHED BACK - Australian Nationals postponed

British Open postponed again

Tuesday 4 January, 2022

The 2021 British Open Championship has been postponed for a second time, amid concern over the continued spread of COVID-19.

Originally scheduled for September 2021, the event had been rescheduled to Sunday, January 23, 2022 – but is now facing a further delay as the numbers of the population testing positive for COVID-19 continues to rise.

Following discussions with the competing bands, B:Music management at Symphony Hall and the composer of the test-piece The World Rejoicing, Edward Gregson, the organisers of the British Open made the decision to postpone. The 168th British Open is now due to take place on September 10, 2022 – around three years since the contest was last staged.

A spokesperson for the British Open Championship commented: “We have been carefully monitoring the position regarding the British Open to be held on January 23 and have also maintained ongoing contact with the competing bands.

“Obviously, as contest organisers, we feel strongly, as bands and the brass band community do, that the ability for all of us to return to a situation of normality where we can enjoy music making and contesting safely is something we embrace and look forward to.

“However, the recent increase in the number of COVID cases and effect of the new variant is such that in order to ensure the safety and well-being of the bands, audience and indeed our own team we feel we had to make the decision to reschedule the January 23 event.”

The spokesperson cited the restrictions on bands being able to prepare and rehearse, and the risk of key band members testing positive and having to quarantine, saying it “would impact the integrity of the British Open standards and quality of performance which is required to do justice to the UK contest premiere of The World Rejoicing, as well as the bands affected”.

He continued: “Alongside these key considerations, we are also very mindful of the uncertainty of the current situation and the need to provide as much notice as possible in terms of travel and hotel arrangements for those attending, as well as ensuring that the contest day is an enjoyable one for our audience.”

Reflecting on the news, Edward Gregson told British Bandsman: “While I’m obviously disappointed, it’s perfectly understandable in the current situation. All we can hope is that with the new date restored to its rightful place at the beginning of September, we shall meet up and enjoy this highlight in the brass band calendar.”

Those who purchased tickets for the postponed September 2021 and January 2022 contests will be able to use their ticket for the rescheduled event. Ticket holders should wait to be contacted by the B:Music box office regarding the new date, and the refund process, should they not be able to make the new date. A small number of tickets are remaining and are available from B:Music Box Office at Symphony Hall.

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Issue 6121 digital December 16, 2021