News

Festival of Brass Line-up Announced

The Brass Band League are excited to announce the line-up for our forthcoming Festival of Brass.

In association with Queen’s University, Belfast we will present performances of 17 brass bands from across UK & Ireland on Saturday 24th November.

Each band will perform a mini-concert programme varying from 15-25 minutes with a panel of judges assessing each band’s performance on its musical and entertainment qualities.

Our first band will take to the stage at 10.30am.

Admission is £7.50 for adults with children going free. Admission is on a day-ticket basis with audience members permitted to come and go as they please throughout the day (tickets should be retained for re-admission)

Please get in touch via our contact us page if you have any queries

All Set For Spring Festival

The BBL look forward to returning to The Alley Theatre, County Tyrone on 21st April to present our annual Spring Festival Band Contest as guests of The North West Music Festival.

13 bands from across Northern Ireland will travel to sunny Strabane to compete on the day with each performing a major work of their choice. Renowned adjudicator Ian Brownbill will judge the performances and decide who will take home the vast array of trophies.

Our first band will be onstage at 11am with each performance lasting approximately 15-20 minutes.

This promises to be a fine day of music making.

Tickets are available from the theatre box office.

 

Report & Results: 2018 Brass in Concert Championship

 

Report & Results: 2018 Brass in Concert Championship

20 bands took part over two days in the recent BBLNI ‘Brass in Concert’ Championships in Fivemiletown, N. Ireland.

Friday Night

Held at the excellent Valley Hotel, the event has expanded in recent years to include a Friday night concert featuring local, non-contesting bands. This year saw seven bands play to a large audience – including, for the first time, two local school bands from Omagh Academy and Enniskillen Grammar.

Winners

Saturday, the main contest day, got off to a great start with some excellent performances in the Fourth Section. Despite the early start, there was a large audience to see Poyntzpass secure victory along with the ‘Most Entertaining Band’ award.

A fine rendition of ‘Home Again’ saw Poyntzpass also take the ‘Best March’ prize, whilst Letterbreen’s Nigel Armstrong took the ‘Best Soloist’ accolade with a secure performance of ‘Blue Moon’

Clean Sweeps

Wellington Memorial once again secured a clean sweep in the Third Section, continuing their excellent run of contesting performances over the last 2 years under the baton of Gary Proctor. They claimed ‘Most Entertaining Band’, the ‘Best March’ prize with their rendition of ‘Glorious Victory’ and the ‘Best Soloist’ prize with Graham McNamara’s horn solo ‘Goodbye to Love’.

A tightly fought Second Section saw defending champion Roughan reclaim their title under new conductor Stephen Crooks. They secured first place in both music and entertainment, took the ‘Best March’ prize with ‘The Cornish Cavalier’ and principal cornet, Andrew Gordon won best soloist.

Battle of the Bands

The day was rounded off by a cracking top section battle which really impressed adjudicators Alan Morrison and Frank Sweeney.

A moving rendition of the soprano cornet solo ‘On With the Motley’ gave Murley’s James Cooke his third ‘Best Soloist’ prize at this event in the last 4 years.

1st Old Boys took the best March Prize with ‘The Champions’, but it was Laganvale (Metal Technology) who took first prize overall, giving their conductor Stephen Crooks a personal double at the event. To cap things off, Laganvale were also adjudged the ‘Most Entertaining Band’ with their themed programme ‘Darkness into Light’ featuring music by Peter Graham, Ben Hollings and local composer, Brendan Breslin.

Thanks

An event spokesperson told 4BR: “The Brass Band League NI would like to congratulate all the prize-winners, and all competing bands for a fantastic day of music making and entertainment. Adjudicator Alan Morrison noted how the standard of both playing and entertainment programming had improved massively across all sections since he last adjudicated in N. Ireland some 9 years ago.

We also thank Greg Williamson and his team at the Valley Hotel for all their support, without which the event would not have been possible.”

Results:

Adjudicators: Alan Morrison (Music) & Frank Sweeney (Entertainment)
Music/Entertainment=Total

Championship Section:

1.     Laganvale (Metal Technology) Band (Stephen Crooks): 10/10=20

2.     1st Old Boys Association Silver Band (Stephen Cairns): 9/8=17

3.     Downshire Brass (Michael Alcorn): 8/7=15*

4.     Murley Silver Band (William Hill): 6/9=15*

5.     Third Carrickfergus Band (Brian Connolly): 7/6=13

*Music mark takes precedence

Most Entertaining Band: Laganvale
Best March: 1st Old Boys
Best Soloist: James Cooke (Murley)

Second Section:

1.     Roughan Silver Band (Stephen Crooks): 10/10=20

2.     CWA Brass (Ernie Ruddock): 9/8=17*

3.     Ballyduff Silver Band (William Hill): 8/9=17*
Most Entertaining Band: Roughan Silver Band
Best March: Roughan Silver Band
Best Soloist: Andrew Gordon (Roughan)

Third Section:

1. Wellington Memorial Silver Band (Gary Proctor): 10/10=20
2. Dungannon Silver Band (Boris Pinto): 9/9=18
3. . Dynamic Brass (Harold Whan): 8/8=16

Most Entertaining Band: Wellington Memorial Silver Band
Best March: Wellington Memorial Silver Band
Best Soloist: Graham McNamara (Wellington)

Fourth Section:

1.     Poyntzpass Silver Band (Bobby Davidson): 10/10=20

2.     Letterbreen Silver Band (Robert Wilson): 9/9=18

 

Most Entertaining Band: Poyntzpass Silver Band
Best March: Poyntzpass Silver Band
Best Soloist: Nigel Armstrong (Letterbreen)

 

Solo & Ensemble Competition 2018 Results

Brass Band League Solo & Ensemble Competition
17th February 2018
Malone Presbyterian Church Halls Belfast

Senior Section Adjudicator: Andy Williams
Junior Section Adjudicators: Bob Quick & John Houston

10 & Under Solo
  1. Alexander Wilson (unaffiliated)
  2. Kenan Kaya (Third Carrickfergus)
  3. Jamie Gorman (Third Carrickfergus)
12 & Under Solo
  1. Harrison Kirk (Downshire Brass)
  2. Owen Brannigan (1st Old Boys)
  3. Zeki Kaya (Third Carrickfergus)
12  & Under Ensemble
  1. 1st Old Boys Youth Band
Junior Band
  1. 1st Old Boys Youth Band
15 & Under Solo
  1. Jack Craig (Ballyduff)
  2. Hasan Kaymak (Comber)
  3. Andrew Milligan (1st Old Boys)
17 & Under Solo
  1. Mercer MacWilliam Hughes (1st Old Boys)
  2. Daniel Sharpe (1st Old Boys)
  3. Knox Wilson (Downshire Brass)
17 & Under Ensemble
  1. 1st Old Boys Youth Band
John Patton Trophy

(Awarded to most promising player in 10&under, 12&under, 15&under solo classes)

Jack Craig (Ballyduff)

Slow Melody
  1. Nathan Thompson (Laganvale Metal Technology)
  2. Claire Hueston (Third Carrickfergus)
  3. Kelly Kaya (Third Carrickfergus)
C Solo
  1. No Contest
B Solo
  1. Andrew Milligan (1st Old Boys)
  2. Cathryn Lynch (Downshire Brass)
  3. Daniel Sharpe (1st Old Boys)
A Solo
  1. Claire Hueston (Third Carrickfergus)
  2. Nathan Thompson (Laganvale Metal Technology)
10 Piece A
  1. 1st Old Boys
10 Piece B
  1. No Contest
Senior Ensemble
  1. Strabane Brass
  2. 1st Old Boys Youth
  3. Downshire Brass
B Quartet
  1. CWA Brass
  2. Wellington Memorial
A Quartet
  1. CWA Brass
  2. 1st Old Boys
  3. Downshire Brass

 

Brass in Concert Line-up Announced

The Brass Band League are delighted to announce the line-up for our upcoming Brass in Concert weekend in the Valley Hotel, Fivemiletown.

Over the course of the weekend we will feature 20 performances from some of Northern Ireland’s best brass bands.

On Friday 23rd February, our first band will take to the stage at 7pm. Line-up for the evening is:

Tempo Silver Band
Lisnaskea Silver Band
Enniskillen Royal Grammar School
Omagh Academy Brass Band
Ballyreagh Silver Band
Churchill Silver Band
Murley Silver Band

Saturday 24th will see 13 bands take part in an entertainment competition with first band onstage at 11am. Each band will each perform a mini concert programme with their performance assessed by a panel of judges on its musical and entertainment qualities. Bands taking part on the day are:

Letterbreen Silver Band
Poyntzpass Silver Band
Dynamic Brass
Wellington Memorial Silver Band
Dungannon Silver Band
CWA Brass
Ballyduff Silver Band
Roughan Silver Band
1st Old Boys Silver Band
Murley Silver Band
Downshire Brass
Third Carrickfergus Band
Laganvale (Metal Technology) Band

Both events are pay at door.

Friday ticket £5 / Saturday ticket £7.50 / Combined Ticket for Both Events £10 / Children go FREE

Timings and Junior Section Draw for 2018 Solos & Ensembles

The BBL’s ever popular Solo & Ensemble competition will take place next Saturday, 17th February in Malone Presbyterian Church Halls, Belfast.

Start time for both Junior & Senior sections on the day will be 9.30am.

With 175 entries across Junior and Senior sections, the event promises to showcase the talents of brass musicians from across Northern Ireland.

We are now able to publish timings for the day along with the draw for the Junior Sections. Due to closed adjudication, the senior section draw cannot be published online and will be emailed directly to secretaries of competing bands.

Please note that timings are approximate. Competitors should allow for withdrawals and be prepared to be called early.

Timings are available here

Junior Section draw is available here.
**Any known withdrawals are marked “W”.

Stellar Line Up for FTBBSS.com

 

Fermanagh/Tyrone Brass Band Summer School is looking forward to its seventh event in Northern Ireland.

FTBBSS.com gives participants the opportunity to perform, learn and socialise with some of the best brass players and educators in the business.

We’re pleased to announce the Guest Artist for 2018 is Kathleen Gaspoz. Kathleen is without doubt a ground breaking musician, recently becoming the principal cornet of the famous Brighouse and Rastrick Band. The first female principal cornet in the band’s 136 year history!!

Alongside Kathleen on cornet we have the charismatic Mr Brian Taylor who brings a fantastic wealth of experience to the line up. With Artistic Advisor Owen Farr taking lead on the Horns we welcome new to the team local man Mick Marshall from the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on Trombone. James McLeod will put the Euphs & Baris through their paces while Musical Director and Co-founder of FTBBSs.com Mr Les Neish brings the band together for the end of course concert.

We strive to bring you a fantastic experience at a small cost of £20 for the three days music making. It will include rehearsals, sectionals, Q&A sessions, masterclasses and recital. This all takes place in a relaxed atmosphere with a particular highlight being the Fantastic Phairgrylls BBQ on the Friday evening also to include the NEW LIVE QUIZ.

If you’re travelling to the Summer School from further afield why not make your trip into a mini-break. We have links with many local B&B’s & hotels and will happily assist you in this.

This fun, relaxed course is open to all ages and all abilities. Just turn up, pick a seat and away you go!

Course dates: Thursday 19th July – Saturday 22nd July 2018.

For more information please go to FTBBSS.com / on Facebook or contact Stephen Crooks on 07857708664

James McCabe CD Release

 

Former Co-Principal cornet of the Black Dyke Band and Northern Ireland native, James McCabe’s  first solo CD entitled ‘Blessings’ is now available.  Sales of the CD are in aid of the Tanzanian Christian Farm Development Fund- a children’s home for babies and young children. (www.tcfdt.org)  The home is run by John and Pauline Tuff from Cullybackey, County Antrim who moved to Tanzania in April 2013 and are now looking after 25 children (and counting!).  Funds are required to finish a new building and support the development and education of the children there.

The music on the CD features Belfast Salvationist composer David Catherwood on 2 tracks with arrangements of popular gospel tunes such as ‘Come Thou fount of every blessing’ and ‘When He Cometh’.  Variations on Rule Britannia and James’s own arrangement of Bonnie Mary of Argyle are also included amongst classical music of Faure.

The front cover features Irish artist Ricky Darling, who, like James has been out to mission projects supported by Northern Ireland folk in Tanzania.

A promotional video is available for viewing at  www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZlpaCs3TY4

The CD is available to purchase from James’s website address:   www.james-mccabe.co.uk

Festival of Brass 2017 – Report and Full Results

1st Old Boys’ Silver Band

The Brass Band League (NI) returned to Queen’s University Belfast on Saturday 25th November to stage their ever popular Festival of Brass contest in the University’s Whitla Hall.

Strong Start

Warrenpoint Silver, despite being the only band in the 4th section, got the day off to a strong start with a varied programme which saw music from Germany, Ireland, Mexico, France and Russia.

Closely Fought

Wellington Memorial Silver Band

The closely fought 3rd section saw defending champions Wellington Memorial reclaim 1st place with their young flugel player Lauren Stewart taking the Best Soloist prize for her classy performance of Magh Seola. Dungannon Silver claimed the Best March prize for Robert Allmend’s Europe Mars.

Clean Sweep for Lourdes

Irish contenders Lourdes Brass Band achieved a clean sweep in the 2nd section, top placed for music and entertainment, Best March for Voice of the Guns and Best Soloist for their principal cornet Mark Newman’s simply lovely rendition of Langford’s classic arrangement off My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose

Long-time Champions

1st Old Boys’ Youth Band

Next up were the youth bands. Despite a strong performance, challengers Downshire Brass Youth were unable to snatch the title from long-time champions 1st Old Boys’ Youth Band who once again claimed 1st prize with their principal horn Daniel Sharpe taking the soloist prize for Untold Story and their performance of Rimmer’s Slaidburn claiming the prize for Best March.

Rousing Close

After a short break the Championship bands brought the day to a rousing close. 1st Old Boys senior band followed in the footsteps of their not-so-senior counterparts to claim 1st prize along with awards for Most Entertaining Band and Best Soloist for Alan Haworth’s performance of his own arrangement of Delilah. Third Carrickfergus took home the prize for Best March for Rimmer’s Cross of Honour.

The Brass Band League would like to take this opportunity to thank Michael Alcorn and the team at Queen’s University Belfast for the huge amount of effort they put in to hosting the event. Also, our music adjudicator Leigh Baker and our 2 entertainment adjudicators Paula McHugh and Meaghan Lyons who were both engaged at very short notice due to unforeseen circumstances.

The Brass Band League would also like to offer their congratulations to all prize winners and thanks to all participating bands for a fine day of music making.

Results in Full

Music/Entertainment=Total

Championship Section

Adjudicators: Leigh Baker (Music) & Meaghan Lyons (Entertainment)

1. 1st Old Boys Silver Band (Stephen Cairns) 10/10=20
2. Laganvale (Metal Technology) Band (Stephen Crooks) 9/9=18
3. Third Carrickfergus Band (Brian Connolly) 8/7=15
4. Downshire Brass (Michael Alcorn) 7/8=15

Most Entertaining Band: 1st Old Boys Silver Band
Best March: Third Carrickfergus Band (Cross of Honour)
Best Soloist: Alan Haworth (1st Old Boys’ Silver Band)

Second Section

Adjudicators: Leigh Baker (Music) & Paula McHugh (Entertainment)

1. Lourdes Brass Band (Michael Alcorn) 10/10=20
2. CWA Brass (Ernie Ruddock) 9/9=18
3. Comber Silver Band (Wesley Thompson) 8/8=16

Most Entertaining Band: Lourdes Brass Band
Best March: Lourdes Brass Band (Voice of the Guns)
Best Soloist: Mark Newman (Lourdes Brass Band)

Third Section

Adjudicators: Leigh Baker (Music) & Paula McHugh (Entertainment)

1. Wellington Memorial Silver Band (Gary Proctor) 10/10=20
2. Dungannon Silver Band (Boris Pinto) 9/9=18
3. Dynamic Brass (Harold Whan) 8/8=16

Most Entertaining Band: Wellington Memorial Silver Band
Best March: Dungannon Silver Band (Europa Mars)
Best Soloist: Lauren Stewart (Wellington Memorial Silver Band)

Fourth Section

Adjudicator: Leigh Baker (Music & Entertainment)

1. Warrenpoint Silver Band (Mark Newman) 10/10=20

Most Entertaining Band: Warrenpoint Silver Band
Best March: Warrenpoint Silver Band (Aces High)
Best Soloist: Maurice McCabe (Warrenpoint Silver Band)

Youth Bands

Adjudicators: Leigh Baker (Music) & Paula McHugh (Entertainment)

1. 1st Old Boys’ Youth Band (Jacklin Bingham) 10/10=20
2. Downshire Brass Youth Band (Michael Alcorn) 9/9=18

Most Entertaining Band: 1st Old Boys’ Youth Band
Best March: 1st Old Boys’ Youth Band (Slaidburn)
Best Soloist: Daniel Sharpe (1st Old Boys’ Youth Band)