Report of the 17th Mid-Winter Brass Workshop @ West Buckland School 2015

Over 100 brass musicians of all ages (11 to 70+ years) and grades have just enjoyed a fabulous weekend of music making at the 17th Mid-Winter Brass Workshop, organised by the South West Brass Band Association, and held at the West Buckland School, North Devon.  Under the experienced and friendly guidance of Tutors Paul Cosh, Chris Davis and Chris Jeans, the delegates from the outset sight read the music of Paul Lovatt-Cooper, Alan Fernie, Jonathan Bates, Leigh Baker, Dave Collins, Philip Harper and Christopher Bond, and it was amazing to witness the End of Workshop Concert containing such mature and excellent sounding music after only 12 hours of tuition.

The Association’s President, Sue Richards, presented the Goff Richards’ Memorial Awards to sisters, Alina Nuta, for her leadership & excellent solo playing, and Cathryn Nuta as the most improved player.

Comments from the delegates included - “choice of Tutors was brilliant” “choice of music great” “thoroughly enjoyed every minute” “Tutors superb making the music so interesting to learn encouraging all to work hard” “was well worth the long trip from North Yorkshire” “the Tutors were excellent, the food and refreshment wonderful” “thank you to all concerned for another professionally presented Workshop” 

The SWBBA Executive wish to sincerely thank Arts Council England, Taw & Torridge Coaches and Westcott & Son Co-operative Funeralcare, for their support. 

The Association continues its Education and Training Programme with a Trombone Workshop on Saturday 21 November 2015, and then with a provisional booking for the 18th Brass Workshop on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February 2016. 

Brian Elliott


South West Brass Band Association


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Press Release


A busy 2015 looms ahead for the management team (Executive Committee) of the South West Brass Band Association. 

The busy year follows with the Annual General Meeting on Sunday 29 March at the Okehampton Conservative Club commencing at 10.30am. 

The Weston-super-Mare Own Choice Contest is on Sunday 17 May at the Winter Gardens Pavilion, with John Woods as contest administrator 01934 750700 / .  The year continues with the Exmouth Brass Band Festival on Saturday 5 September; the 69th Annual Championships in the Riviera International Conference Centre, Torquay, on Saturday 7 November (with adjudicators from Europe); and concluding on Saturday 21 November with a Trombone Workshop with Chris Jeans.

Details of all events from the Secretary, Brian Elliott, on 01752 892056 / or .

Brian Elliott

Secretary, SWBBA


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Statement from John Woods (Administrator) for

Weston-super-Mare Own Choice Contest 2015

Forward Planning required!

Band Secretaries are encouraged to add Sunday 17th May 2015 to their diaries for Weston Super Mare Own Choice Contest at the Winter Gardens promoted by the South West Brass Band Association.


2015 will see the event celebrate its 47th year, although Vice Chairman John Woods stresses that the future of the event is now very much in the hands of the banding community.


After detailed negotiations with the operators of The Winter Gardens we have now agreed a commercial rent that has been endorsed by the SWBBA Executive Committee - however the calculations are finely balanced, therefore to ensure future visibility we do need the support of bands and their supporters in entering and buying tickets and programmes.  It's a great day out by the sea for families and we are grateful to bands that make the journey from as far afield as Leicestershire, Oxford, Bedfordshire and Wales.  In a critical attack on local bands, John goes on to say that their support too is vital - the reality of the situation is that without an entry field of 30 bands the contest is no longer viable and will have to cease.


Records show that in the last 4 years over 60 different bands have entered the event.  This is an opportunity for conductors to select a piece that gives an important mix of being a challenge for players but also to play to their strengths.  The variety of test pieces chosen makes for an interesting and entertaining day.


John is determined that the event should reach its 50th anniversary and with the support of Weston Brass, who support us on the day with stewarding and are now helping to engage with the local business community, we remain optimistic.


Schedules and entry details will be available towards the end of the year from John Woods and the SWWBBA web site.







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