University to host second brass band championship

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Lancaster University will be, for the second time running, hosting the national University Brass Band Championship on Saturday, Week 15 (February 18th).

13 university brass bands will be competing for the championship title as well as awards for best march and best soloist.

“Some of the highlights will include Brass United, a joint band from the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester University who were last year’s winners and are comprised of some of the finest young brass players in the world,” said Christopher Osborn, one of the officers of the championship organising committee.

He added, “The soloist prize is always hotly contested with some virtuoso playing from many top players. Marks are awarded for both musical ability and entertainment value [which] leads to some extraordinary performances including Huddersfield’s rendition of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ complete with singers and fake Freddie Mercury moustaches last year.”

Each of the participating bands will take the stage in Lancaster’s Great Hall and perform for 25 minutes. The Bangor University brass band will open the championship which will start at 9.30am. Throughout the day other university brass bands, including those from Southampton, Oxford, York, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Cambridge will take part in a series of performances.

Last year’s champion, Brass United will deliver the closing performance with an original composition called “Lord of My Youth”, followed by the declaration of winners. “Lord of My Youth” is written by Marcus Venables from Toronto, Canada. The piece was selected for the championship through a competition in September 2011 which had received 22 entries from all over the world.

The performances are open to the public and general admissions costs £5 for adults. There will be free admissions for children under 12 years old. Tickets to the show, which are currently on sale on the event website (unibrass.co.uk), will also be available at the event.

The championship, which was first held in February 2011 in Lancaster, saw the host finish seventh out of 12 participating bands. The Lancaster brass band is hoping to break into the top five at this year’s championship.

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