News Archive

Fivemiletown Contest Details and Draw
4th February 2014

The Brass Band League are excited to announce details of our upcoming entertainment contest to be held in the Valley Hotel, Fivemiletown on Saturday 1st March 2014.

16 bands have entered the contest with the first band due on stage at 10am. The running order will be

4th Section, 5th Section, Results
LUNCH
3rd Section, 2nd Section, Championship, Results

Competing bands will be notified of finer details in due course.

The draw is as follows:

Championship

1.1st Old Boys Silver Band
2. Murley Silver Band
3. Downshire Brass

2nd Section

1. Third Carrickfergus Band
2. Ballyduff Silver Band
3. Roughan Silver Band

3rd Section

1. Wellington Memorial Silver Band
2. Comber Silver Band
3. CWA Brass
4. St Mark’s Silver Band

4th Section

1. Dungannon Silver Band
2. Maguiresbridge Silver Band
3. Letterbreen Silver Band
4. Poyntzpass Silver Band
5. St Mary’s Silver Band

5th Section

1. Dynamic Brass

 

Festival of Brass 2013 Draw Available
3rd November 2013

The draw for the Festival of Brass entertainment competition was made at yesterday's BBL meeting.
Details are as follows:

Championship Section

1. *Laganvale (Metal Technology) Band
2. 1st Old Boys Association Silver Band
3. Murley Silver Band
4. Downshire Brass

*Laganvale requested draw No. 1. No objections were raised.

2nd Section

1. Lourdes Brass Band
2. Third Carrickfergus Band
3. Ballyduff Silver Band
4. Roughan Silver Band

3rd Section

1. Comber Silver Band
2. CWA Brass
3. Wellington Memorial Silver Band

4th Section

1. Dungannon Silver Band
2. Letterbreen Silver Band

5th Section

1. 1st Larne Old Boys Silver Band
2. Dynamic Brass

Youth Bands (Sunday morning)

1. Downshire Brass Youth Band
2. 1st Old Boys Youth Band
3. Laureldale Ensemble
4. Third Carrickfergus Junior Band

2014 Contest Dates Confirmed
8th October 2013

The dates for 2014 Brass Band League contests are as follows:

Solos & Quartets - Saturday 15th February 2014
Brass in Concert, Fivemiletown - Saturday 1st March 2014
Spring Festival, Strabane - Saturday 12th April 2014

Festival of Brass 2013 Update
8th October 2013

More details are now available for the forthcoming 2013 Festival of Brass which is being run in association with the School of Creative Arts at Queen’s University Belfast.

Now in its third year, the Festival will run at the university over the weekend of Saturday 23rd November and Sunday 24th November.

 A brief schedule of events is:

  • Saturday daytime – Entertainment Contest featuring 16 brass bands

  • Saturday evening – Gala Concert featuring The Cory Band

  • Sunday – Youth Band Contest, Youth Workshops & Masterclasses

The  workshops and masterclasses will be led by members of the Cory Band who can only be described as musicians who are well and truly at the top of their game.

Admission to the Entertainment Contest is £5, payable at the door.

Tickets for the Cory Band concert are now on sale. Please see here for more details.

An information letter for bands, including contest entry form, is now available from our Downloads page.

Please contact our secretary for more details.

Cory are Coming!
25th April 2013

The Brass Band League are delighted to announce that the world famous Cory Band will be performing a Gala Concert on Sunday 24th November in the Whitla Hall, Belfast as part of the Festival of Brass 2013.

More details to follow soon

Spring Festival at The Alley
20th April 2013

The Brass Band League returns to the Alley Theatre, Strabane on Saturday 27th April with their Spring Festival competition as part of the North West Music Festival.

18 brass bands will be taking to the stage on the day across 6 different sections with renowned composer, arranger, tuba player & educator Andy Duncan judging their performances.

Tickets are available at the door. Contact our secretary for more details.

Conductor Vacancy at Dungannon
12th March 2013

Dungannon Silver Band have a vacancy for a conductor. The band rehearses on Tuesday nights 8-10pm. Should you be interested in this vacancy please contact

Philip Williamson on 0-7-7-9-2 1-4-7-1-7-7-9

or

David Leonard on 0-7-7-6-1 9-1-1-5-6-0
or DavidLeonard[@]gmail.com
(without the [ ] brackets)

 

Fivemiletown 2013 Draw Available
6th February 2013

The draw for the upcoming Brass in Concert contest at the Valley Hotel, Fivemiletown was made at the recent BBL council meeting on Saturday 2nd February. The day's proceedings will commence at 9:30am. Details of the draw are as follows:

4th Section

1. Maguiresbridge Silver Band
2. St Mary’s Silver Band
3. Warrenpoint Silver Band
4. Dungannon Silver Band
5. Letterbreen Silver Band

 3rd Section

1. St Mark’s Silver Band
2. CWA Brass
3. Comber Silver Band
4. Wellington Memorial Silver Band

2nd Section

1. 3rd Carrickfergus Band
2. Ballyduff Silver Band
3. Roughan Silver Band

Championship Section

1. Laganvale (Metal Technology) Band
2. 1st Old Boys Association Silver Band
3. Murley Silver Band
4. Downshire Brass

 

Festival of Brass 2012 Draw Available
3rd November 2012

The BBL are pleased to confirm that the draw has now been made for the upcoming Festival of Brass Entertainment Contest to be held on 24th November in the Whitla Hall, Belfast in association with the School of Creative Arts at Queen's University.
The day's proceedings will commence at 1pm. Details of Draw / Running Order are as follows:

5th Section

1.1st Larne Old Boys Silver Band

4th Section

1. Dungarvan Brass Band

3rd Section

1. St Mark's Silver Band
2. CWA Brass

Youth Bands

1. Laganvale Youth Band
2. Third Carrickfergus Junior Band
3. Laureldale Ensemble
4. Downshire Brass Junior Band
5. 1st Old Boys Youth Band

2nd Section

1. Lourdes Brass Band
2. Third Carrickfergus Band

Championship Section

1. Laganvale (Metal Technology) Band
2. Downshire Brass
3. 1st Old Boys Silver Band

2013 Contest Dates Confirmed
8th July 2012

The dates for 2013 contests were confirmed at yesterday's BBL meeting. Dates are as follows:

Solos & Quartets - Saturday 16th February 2013
Brass in Concert, Fivemiletown - Saturday 2nd March 2013
Spring Festival, Strabane - Saturday 27th April 2013

Vacancy at Wellington Memorial
8th July 2012

Wellington Memorial Silver Band are currently seeking to recruit a Principal Cornet player. Enquiries should be directed to band secretary Patricia Gibson on 0-7-7-9-9 4-9-7-4-5-4 or patriciagibsonband [@] gmail.com
. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.

Comber Brass Scholarship Scheme
8th June 2012

Comber Silver Band is pleased to announce the introduction of a scholarship scheme to help develop the talent of local brass players.  Under the scheme, 2 people will have the opportunity to have free lessons for a year, provided by the Band’s conductor, Wesley Thompson.  Those selected will have the opportunity to play with the Band, to further develop their skills.

Although no playing qualifications are required to apply for a scholarship, it is expected that successful candidates will be already playing at around grade 6 standard.  An open night will be held in Comber Primary School, at 8:00 pm on Wednesday 13th June.  This will provide interested individuals, and family and friends, the opportunity to hear the Band, meet the conductor and members, and to find out more about the scheme.

Contact the band’s website for details www.comberbrass.co.uk

or the band’s secretary Cara Jane Smyth at info@comberbrass.co.uk

 

Comber Brass - Composer in Residence
24th May 2012

Comber Silver Band is delighted to announce the appointment of Andrew Thompson as its first Composer in Residence.   Andrew is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.  He has a wide musical background, from his role as a classroom teacher to church organist and playing clarinet, saxophone and piano as a soloist and in jazz bands, function bands, theatre orchestras and various other ensembles.  Although he never trained as a percussionist, he has played percussion in contest winning performances with both Comber Silver Band and the First Old Boys’ Band, including a performance which won the best percussion prize in the top section of the Brass Band League Championships.

The Band’s conductor, Wesley Thompson commented, “I am looking forward to working with my son in developing new concert repertoire for the Band and for our junior band, Laureldale Brass Ensemble.  He has grown up in a brass band family and, whilst he would not regard himself as a “brass bander”, he has a good understanding of brass band scoring and a good understanding of me, and the way I want the Band’s programming to progress.  I have been impressed by arrangements he has done for various ensembles and by his original compositions for choir, and I am pleased that this opportunity to further develop and showcase his talent as a composer has become available.

Band Chairman, Lawrence Balhaam, said, “We are excited by this new partnership and we look forward to working with Andrew in producing compositions and arrangements that will be enjoyed by Comber Silver Band, Laureldale Brass Ensemble and our audiences”.

 

Lurgan SA Band Hosts James Fountain
28th March 2012

Lurgan Salvation Army Band will celebrate its 120th Anniversary in style with the help of some very special guests. 
The Northern Irish band is hosting a celebration concert on Saturday 5th May at 7.30pm in Lurgan Citadel, Union Street, Lurgan.
 
They will be joined by Grimethorpe Colliery Band’s co-principal cornet James Fountain who will be soloing in Northern Ireland for the first time since joining Grimethorpe last year.  James and the band will be sharing the programme with local choir, Capriccio, and their musical director, Pat McAlinden.  The band will also welcome Major John Mott, retired Bandmaster of The Salvation Army’s Household Troops Band, to compere the evening.  The Major, a former Corps Officer (Minister) at Lurgan, will also lead Sunday services with the assistance of the band & James.
 
A band spokesman said, “This is a big celebration year for the band and we are really looking forward to sharing in the weekend with our special guests.  We have been fortunate to accompany high quality soloists, such as Kevin Ashman & John Starkes, in recent years and we count it a privilege to accompany James. He comes to us with a huge, well-earned reputation and we know he will delight the audience with his solos.  It’s also a pleasure to welcome Capriccio Choir who have been guests at Lurgan before.  They will add a great deal of contrast to our programme.  Major John Mott is no stranger to us at Lurgan and, with his history in Salvation Army banding, he was the perfect person to lead the weekend.”
 
Tickets for the evening are priced £5.00 and can be purchased from Band Secretary Peter Johnston, 028 3832 7088.

Brass in Concert (Fivemiletown) 2012 Results
26th February 2012

Results for the Brass in Concert entertainment contest held at the Valley Hotel in Fivemiletown are here

Solos & Quartets 2012 Results
14th February 2012

The BBL Solos & Quartets competition took place on 11th February 2012 in Malone Presbyterian Church Halls, Belfast. Although slightly down on last year, there were still a fantastic number of entries with 122 in Junior Sections and 69 in Senior Sections. Particularly encouraging was the number of young musicians competing in the senior sections, with many being awarded prizes. Dr Windsor Hylands noted the high quality of many of the performances. A particular vote of thanks was offered on the day to all of the accompanists who worked extremely hard before and during the event and also to Downshire Brass who provided the catering and helped to prepare the venue.

Results are here

Fivemiletown Draw Available
5th February 2012

The draw for the Fivemiletown contest was made at yesterday's BBL Delegates meeting. 18 bands will compete on the day. Details of the draw are as follows:

5th Grade / Unaffiliated: 1. Kilskeery Silver Band
4th Grade: 1.
Letterbreen Silver 2. Dungannon Silver 3. Warrenpoint Silver 4. Poyntzpass Silver
3rd Grade: 1.
CWA Brass 2. Comber Silver 3. St Mark’s Silver 4. Wellington Memorial Silver
2nd Grade: 1.
Ballyduff Silver 2. Roughan Silver 3. Templemore Silver 4. 3rd Carrickfergus Silver
Championship: 1.
Strabane Concert Brass 2. 1st Old Boys Silver 3. Downshire Brass 4. Murley Silver 5. Laganvale Silver

 

Entry Forms for Spring Festival Now Available
15th January 2012

Entry forms for the upcoming Spring Festival contest on 31st March are now available on our Downloads page

Festival of Brass Recordings Now Available
11th January 2012

For a limited time, the recordings made at the Festival of Brass are now available for download from the

Brass Band League website. Click here for more details.

Sounds of Brass Online Radio Programme
4th January 2012

Please tune in on Monday 9th January at 8pm to www.strabaneradio.com to hear Sounds of Brass with Paddy Band. Programme will focus on Brass Band music both national and local with reference to brass in other areas such as classical, jazz, rock and pop music. Look forward to your company and any feedback you would like to provide about the show.

Paddy McGarrigle (Strabane Concert Brass)
 

QUB Festival of Brass Draw Available
5th November 2011

The BBL are pleased to confirm that the draw has now been made for the upcoming Festival of Brass Entertainment Contest to be held on 26th November in the Whitla Hall, Belfast in association with the School of Cultural Arts at Queen's University. Details are as follows:

Youth Bands

1. 1st Old Boys Youth Band

4th Section

1. 1st Larne Old Boys Silver Band

3rd Section

1. CWA Brass
2. Lourdes Silver Band
3. Comber Silver

2nd Section

1. Templemore Band
2. Third Carrick Band

Championship Section

1. 1st Old Boys Silver Band
2. Downshire Brass

 

Solos & Quartets 2012
10th October 2011

The annual Brass Band League Solos & Quartets competition is set to run again on 11th February 2012 at The Paton Halls, Malone Presbyterian Church, Belfast. The event has become an outstanding success in recent years and is now recognised as one of the largest of its kind in the UK.

Adjudicators on the day have been confirmed as world renowned Tuba player Les Neish for Senior Sections and well known local teacher and musician John Houston for Junior Sections.

Guidance notes, entry form and syllabus are available from our Downloads page - click here

Festival of Brass at Queen's University
23rd September 2011

The BBL are very pleased to announce that the inaugural Festival of Brass entertainment contest in association with The School of Creative Arts at Queen's University Belfast will run on Saturday 26th November 2011 in the Whitla Hall, Belfast. The contest will feature several local brass brands who will entertain audiences throughout the day.

Entry forms are now available here

Dates Confirmed for 2012 Contests
5th June 2011

Following yesterday's BBL Delegates Meeting in Laganvale Bandroom, the dates have now been set for the Solos & Quartets, Fivemiletown Brass in Concert and the Spring Festival contests.
Please see our events page for more details.

UKBBA - Have Your Say
17th April 2011

UK Alliance

The Working Group for a new UK-wide banding body has prepared a proposal for a UK Brass Band Alliance. Now they need to know what you think.

Download the full proposal by clicking here

Bands and band supporters are encouraged to discuss the proposals and either provide feedback to the BBL in time for the next meeting in Laganvale Bandroom on 7th May or directly to the next meeting of the working party at consultation@UKBBA.org

At a final meeting on 2nd July, probably in Birmingham, open to all who wish to attend, there will be a presentation and discussion of the proposals, which will be amended to take into account any feedback received.

 

Running Order for Solos & Quartets
6th February 2011

The BBL are now in a position to offer a running order and approximate section start time for next Saturday's Solos & Quartets competition. Please note that these timings do not allow for withdrawals or breaks. All players should be in the correct hall and ready to play when required. Where applicable, registration cards should be available to be checked. All remaining un-returned trophies must be handed to a member of the BBL executive before 9:30am on Saturday.

Click here for approximate running order

Fivemiletown Draw Now Available
6th February 2011

The draw for the Fivemiletown contest was made at yesterday's BBL Delegates meeting.
Details are as follows:

Championship: 1. 1st Old Boys Silver Band 2. Laganvale (Metal Technology) Band 3. Murley Silver Band
2nd Grade: 1. Downshire Brass 2. 3rd Carrickfergus Band 3. Templemore Silver Band 4. Roughan Silver Band
3rd Grade: 1. St Mark's Silver Band 2. Wellington Silver Band 3. St Mary's Silver Band 4. CWA Brass
4th Grade: 1. Dungannon Silver Band 2. Maguiresbridge Silver Band 3. Poyntzpass Silver Band
5th Grade / Unaffiliated: 1. Kilskeery Silver Band


Now Accepting Entries for Spring Festival
1st February 2011

Entries for the annual Brass Band League Spring Festival are now being accepted.
The event is scheduled for 2nd April and will once again be held at the Alley Theatre in Strabane. The adjudicator on the day will be Colin Hardy.
Invitation letter and entry form available here in pdf format and ms-word format

European Youth Brass Band
16th January 2011

Congratulations are in order for Rachel Gibson from Wellington Memorial Silver Band and Amber MacLennan from Third Carrick Silver Band who have been selected by the European Brass Band Association to represent Northern Ireland at the European Youth Brass Band. They will be heading to Switzerland in April to rehearse and perform with the band.

Record Solos & Quartets Entry
8th January 2011

There will be busy times ahead on 12th February when the annual Brass Band League (NI) Solos & Quartets competition takes place in the Paton Halls at Malone Presbyterian Church, Belfast. There is once again a record entry and adjudicators Bob Quick (Juniors) and Mike Hannon (Seniors) have a long day ahead of them.

New Junior Band Section at Spring Festival
8th January 2011

The Brass Band League are pleased to announce the creation of a new Junior Band Grade at this year's Spring Festival. The section will be own choice with music selection being entirely up to the band in question.

Own Choice at Spring Festival
5th December 2010

Following a vote at the December BBL Delegates meeting, bands will be playing an Own Choice piece at the 2011 Spring Festival.