European Brass Band Festival provides great opportunities for young musicians

For the first time in 15 years, the European Brass Band Festival is coming to England, and bringing with it a plethora of opportunities for young performers and listeners.

From 28 April - 1 May, Birmingham will host a series of ticketed concerts and contests, alongside a completely free Outdoor Stage showcasing the full spectrum of what brass banding has to offer.

Organised by Brass Bands England, the national association for brass bands, their Chief Executive Officer Kenny Crookston commented: “With YouTube stars, military bands, workshops, contests and free outdoor performances, all alongside some of the very best bands from across Europe, each day of the Festival brings something new for young people looking to develop their musicianship or simply discover something new.”

A focus on career opportunities in music will begin at the Festival's opening concert on Thursday 28 April, with an inspiring mix of young talent and banding excellence as The Band of HM Royal Marines are joined by The National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. Under 16’s can attend for free with a paying adult and proceeds will go to initiatives supporting the development of young brass musicians.

On Friday 29 April, budding composers can be inspired by a trio of new works from Europe's best young composers, performed by the UK's most famous brass band. The Grimethorpe Colliery Band, who rose to international fame in the 1995 classic hit film Brassed Off, will premiere pieces for brass band from finalists of this year’s European Composers Competition.

On Saturday 30 April, the very best young brass players from across Europe will take to the Symphony Hall stage for the European Youth Brass Band Competition. Elland Silver Youth Brass Band will be representing England, with Wardle Academy Youth Band and Youth Brass 2000 also making a return as defending champions.

Across the festival weekend, make sure to venture outside the concert hall to visit the diverse range of performers on the free Outdoor Stage in Centenary Square. Performers will include The European Youth Brass Band, a collection of the finest young brass and percussion players from across the continent.

For those with fuel still left in the tank, Sunday 1 May will see the Festival close with a ground-breaking musical collaboration to remember, when YouTube star and collaborator with chart-topping musician, Louis Dowdeswell, will join forces with the world’s no. #1 ranked brass band, the Cory Band.

Photos by Lorne Campbell, Guzelian.

The European Brass Band Festival is four days of events celebrating the best of brass banding, including the European Brass Band Championships, from 28 April – 1 May in Birmingham. Tickets can be booked via the B:music website. Further information about the Festival can be found on the organiser's website, Brass Bands England.

Brass Bands England is the national association for brass bands. Representing over 550 bands across the country, it promotes and supports their work and shouts about the life-enhancing benefits of this vital part of our culture. Visit

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