top of page



The Brass Bulletin #4

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

Friday 28th January 2022

Competitions, premieres and the claiming of a prestigious position in the Berlin Philharmonic - here's this week's top stories from the banding world!

So grab a brew (or a tipple, it is Friday after all!) and dive into this week's edition of The Brass Bulletin!



International Success for Isobel Daws

West of England Regionals Cancelled

Welsh Open to Go Ahead

Harper Transforming Futures with New Work

Weston Conductor's Competition

Whitburn Celebrating 150 years

Flora Brass Growing New Talent

Free VAT Advice for Brass Bands


International Success for ISobel Daws

Trombone superstar, Isobel Daws, has won the prestigious Karajan Academy position at the Berlin Philharmonic.

The Karajan Academy was founded to provide an exclusive platform for graduate musicians to receive the best preparation for starting a career as a professional musician and quite a few of the current musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic are former Academy students.

Isobel has already proven herself as an outstanding musician, with many soloist awards to her name and this new international opportunity is an incredible achievement, with Academy places being highly sought after.

Isobel will be moving to Berlin in four weeks and explained that she is 'excited (but very scared)' about the move, in her announcement on social media, where she also thanked her teachers and received many a deserved congratulatory message from the banding community.

I would like to take this opportunity to say congratulations to Isobel and best of luck in your new musical adventure (not that you need it!) - enjoy!


West of England regionals Cancelled

It was announced this week that, unfortunately, the West of England Area Championships, which were due to take place on the 12th & 13th March in Torquay, have been cancelled.

The WEBBA were forced to cancel the event due to the venue (the Riviera International Conference Centre) having to remain as an NHS vaccination centre.

It is understood that WEBBA were told that the venue would return to normal use at the end of February 2022, meaning that the event could go ahead, but the decision was reversed without much prior notice and the venue is to continue being used as a vaccination centre until mid-summer.

Although alternative venues have been explored as a replacement, due to the short time frame and any suitable venue either being booked or not financially viable, WEBBA had to reluctantly cancel the event.

If individuals do have suggestions for feasible alternatives, they should contact association representatives to explore the option further.


Welsh Open to Go Ahead

It isn't all doom and gloom on the contest front, as with Covid-19 restrictions being reversed to the lowest level in Wales, the 24th Welsh Open Contest will be going ahead.

The entertainment contest will take place at the Riverfront Theatre in Newport on Sunday 20th February 2022.

The day's proceedings will begin at 11 am, with Dr. Robert Childs adjudicating and a separate entertainment prize to be awarded by David Francis (writer of the Brass Notes column).

Competing Bands:
  • AW Parker (Drybrook)

  • BTM Band

  • Brunel Brass

  • City of Cardiff (M1)

  • Ebbw Valley Brass

  • Filton Concert Brass

  • Forest of Dean Brass

  • Lewis Merthyr

  • Markham & District

  • Parc & Dare

  • Pontardulais Town

  • SW Comms

  • Tonguinlais Temperance

  • Tylorstown

Tickets for the event can be purchased here.


Harper Transforming Futures with New Work

Image by Ian Clowes - Goldy Solutions

The Cory Band's Musical Director and well-known composer/arranger, Philip Harper is set to conduct a premiere of his new work for orchestra and choir.

The piece is called 'Transforming Futures' and will be performed by the students of the Centre for Music, University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol Orchestra and UWE Bristol Singers.

The premiere of Philip's new work will form the centerpiece of a special concert held at the UWE Bristol Centre for Music on Wednesday 16th March at 8pm.

The piece will feature a libretto by Ellie Potts, a Creative and Professional Writing Student at the university.

'Transforming Futures' is dedicated to the story of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, one of the most prolific engineers in history, who is closely linked to Bristol through his design of the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge.

The piece will help to celebrate the launch of the university's ambitious strategy for 2030 (also called Transforming Futures), by telling Brunel's story, the impact he had on Bristol and how we can be inspired to work together to build a better future.

Find out more about this event and the piece here.


Weston Conductor's Competition

Six talented conductors will be competing in the NYBBGB Weston Conductor's Competition on Saturday 29th January at De Montfort School, Evesham.

The Finalists
  • Chris Binns

  • Anna Beresford

  • Leon Franzten

  • Derrick Morgan

  • Enyi Okpara

  • Lewis Wilkinson