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Lancaster University came third at UniBrass, the annual ‘British University Brass Band Championship’, under the direction of co-musical directors, Chris Childs and Jonathan Parton. Brass United retained the championship title while Huddersfield University won first runner-up at the event held on Saturday of Week 15.
“Brass United is a conservatoire band and therefore in a league of their own. York are our closest competitors, and we were very happy to beat them this year,” said Rebecca Hardman, one of the 28 musicians in Lancaster’s band.
York University finished in fourth place at the championship. Brass United, which is made up of students from Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Manchester, was declared the winner for the ‘most entertaining’, the ‘best feature’ and the ‘best march’ prizes.
Another Lancaster band member, Sam Woodman, said that UniBrass is a “marvellous opportunity for university students […]. There are lots of competitions for youth bands and ‘adult’ bands, but this is our only opportunity to meet other university bands and compete.”
Derek Boradbent and Paul Andrews were the adjudicators at the competition. 13 university brass bands were judged on the quality of performance and entertainment value.
UniBrass 2012 was organised by the University of Lancaster Music Society (ULMS) in association with the British Federation of Brass bands. The full-day event was held in the Great Hall and was streamed live on the internet. According to Rhian Davies, who headed the organising committee, around 200 tickets were sold and almost 1,200 people had watched the event online.
On the organisation of the event, Davies said, “We have achieved higher standards than last year. Everything ran very smoothly and I am very proud of our achievement. [I] can’t wait until next year.”
She added: “we are already working on involving new bands for next year, with a special focus on student conductors as opposed to this year’s focus on composition.”