Published on October 30th, 2018 by gavin

Brass Bands England Open Doors to Student Bands

Brass Bands England (BBE) has announced that, for the first time in the organisation’s history, it is to offer a method of membership dedicated to student bands. The offer has been developed in conjunction with the UniBrass Foundation, the charity that exists to support the development of university banding and is the custodian of the UniBrass Contest.

Commenting on the initiative, BBE Chief Executive Officer Kenny Crookston told A4B: “Supporting the UniBrass Foundation’s activities is a key element of the development of banding in the UK and the success we aim to promote in our community’s future. This deal allows BBE to both continue to expand our historical support of UniBrass and help the university bands directly.”

The deal will see university bands eligible for membership of BBE for the same price as youth bands, but with the additional benefit of a £25 discount on entry to the UniBrass Contest, to be held next year at Bangor University on Saturday 2 February.

Alex Parker, BBE Partnership and Development Manager said: “Brass Bands England and UniBrass have worked together for many years, with BBE funding the adjudicators at recent events and supporting the original Arts Council England bid to launch the event in 2011. In addition to the continuation of this support the new deal will mean that all of BBE’s services, like the new insurance savings it provides, can now be accessed by all the university bands taking part.”

Andy Straiton, Chair of the UniBrass Foundation told A4B: “The UniBrass Foundation has enjoyed a close working relationship with BBE over the last few years and this new deal will help support the continually developing world of student brass bands. I sincerely hope university bands take up the opportunity to use all of BBE’s services to help develop the band, both musically with schemes like the artistic development programme, but also commercially, with member benefits such as the insurance savings provided by BBE’s new scheme.”

Alex continued: “I’m immensely proud to be involved in the announcement of this deal in collaboration with an organisation I am very passionate about, but most of all I’m delighted that we can roll out all of our services to the student bands that are now a key element in the brass band landscape and act as the link between youth and adult banding. We are also looking at ways to take the offer given to student bands further and already have several ideas in the pipeline.”

Bands wishing to take up membership should visit

Membership also includes access to all of BBE’s services and discounts such as affiliate membership of Making Music, which can give bands big savings on insurance. Other benefits include access to the members’ area on the new BBE website, where bands can advertise their own concerts and events, advertise for vacancies and be listed in the membership directory, as well as qualifying for discounted attendance at BBE’s training events and support for applications to Arts Council England and other funding bodies.

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