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Regional Musicians top the bill at 2019 Brass in Concert Festival

Posted on 1 April 2019

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Young musicians from Bedlington and Ashington will kick off this year’s world-famous Brass in Concert Festival at Sage Gateshead.

The festival takes place over a weekend (this year it is November 16 to 17) and features the Youth in Brass in Concert Championship, the main Brass in Concert Championship, a World of Brass Gala evening concert as well as workshops and taster sessions.

The Youth Brass in Concert element is new to the festival, having made its debut in 2018 and will be complemented by taster sessions and other education events over the weekend. The full line-up of youth bands is yet to be announced but Brass in Concert can confirm that Houghton Area Youth Band will be competing.

Over the past three years Brass in Concert has worked with Music Partnership North to develop opportunities for young people currently playing brass instruments to perform at Sage Gateshead as part of Brass in Concert. Through funding received from Youth Music, Music Partnership North have developed school-based mini brass bands in south east Northumberland which meet at lunchtime or after school. Their involvement in Brass in Concert has grown from just one school in 2016 to eight in 2018. This year more than 100 young musicians will be involved in three days of workshops culminating in performances at the Brass in Concert Championship.

Jane Bushell, headteacher at Bedlington West End First School, said: “We were delighted that the miniband had the opportunity to participate in the Brass in Concert Festival last year. The children really enjoyed the experience and came back to school buzzing with all they had learned, seen and done.

“It definitely kept them interested in continuing with their brass instruments and they went onto compete in the Wansbeck Festival and the massed brass band event at Woodhorn Colliery Museum. Parents loved it too and they were thrilled that the children got to perform at such an iconic venue.”

The Brass in Concert Championship, sponsored by Yamaha and British Bandsman, sees the best brass bands from across the world competing for the coveted title of Brass in Concert Champions. The full line-up is yet to be announced but Brass in Concert can confirm that 36 times North of England Regional Champions Reg Vardy Band from Durham will be competing.

This year the recent winners of the Yorkshire Area Championship – Brighouse and Rastrick Band – will take centre stage at the festival. They will be joined by euphonium virtuoso David Childs during the gala concert ‘An Evening of Classic Brass’ on the Saturday night before competing in the 43rd Brass in Concert Championship the next day.

Brass in Concert Chairman, John Woods, said: “We are delighted that David Childs, to many the world’s finest euphonium player, will be appearing with Brighouse and Rastrick at this year’s Brass in Concert Festival.

“This year’s programme will be specially selected to feature classic brass band music, but with such virtuosity on stage we can expect a few gems in there too.

“We are in the final stages of securing the line-up for the Brass in Concert Championship and hope to announce this soon. We are very pleased to be able to present Youth Brass in Concert for the second time, building upon the inspiring performances by five young bands last year. Yet again it promises to be a memorable weekend, so please make sure you get the seat you want by booking early.”

Tickets for Youth Brass in Concert on Saturday 16 November are available from Sage Gateshead Ticket Office on 0191 443 4661 or online at, priced £12.00 and £6 (concessions).

Tickets for World of Brass in Concert featuring Brighouse and Rastrick and David Childs are £27.00, £18.00 and £10.00.

Tickets for the Brass in Concert Championship on Sunday 17 November are £33.00, £25.00 and £15.00. Booking fees will apply.



Notes to editor:

Schools involved in mini brass bands are:

First and primary schools:

Ellington First School

Mowbray Primary School, Choppington

Ringway Primary School, Choppington

Stead Lane Primary School, Choppington

West End First School, Bedlington,

Whitley Memorial Church of England First School, Bedlington


Secondary schools and academies:

Bedlington Academy

Meadowdale Academy, Bedlington