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UniBrass: Band Camp - led by David Thornton

 Registration is closed for this event
UniBrass Presents “Band Camp”, a new exciting playing and social experience for university students, or anyone 18-25 not studying at university.


General booking for this event has now closed. If you are interested in attending please make an enquiry to For information on concert performances during the week please visit the BBE Events page.

This year has been without a “normal” UniBrass contest, so to finish the year with a blast of brass The UniBrass Foundation are presenting a week long music and social banding experience from 25-30 August near Sheffield, incorporating the bank holiday weekend.

As this is UniBrass, there will also be plenty of opportunities both to socialise, and to discover the highlights of Sheffield with planned visits to local sights, nightlife and attractions. There will even be the chance to perform in some too! Evening activities to socialise with friends both new and old will be a prominent feature.

Who is it for? 

UniBrass Band Camp is for any brass or percussion players aged 18-25 at the time of the workshop. This includes school leavers about to start university, or those aged 18-25 but not studying at university.

Anyone older than 25 but currently studying in higher education is also welcome to attend.

Course Tutors

Band Camp’s musical director will be David Thornton (Grimethorpe Brass Band Musical Director and Head of Brass at the RNCM). He will be joined by Steve Jones (Cory band), Brett Baker (Black Dyke), Sam Fisher, and BBE Brass Foundations specialists Helen Minshall, Paul McLaughlin and Sheila Allen. You'll get the chance to work with a variety of tutors throughout the week.


You'll be part of the 'National Universities Brass Band' and your performances will be:

  • A final formal concert at Sheffield Cathedral
  • Outdoor gig at Sheffield's bustling Barkers Pool Square, the site of City Hall
  • Unique Performance opportunity at Hathersage Swimming Pool, a beautiful 1930s outdoor pool in the heart of the peak district park
  • Informal concert at Hesley Wood Scout Camp for locals and those staying at the site
  • World premiere of a brand new piece for brass band, Revolution by John Frith


Alongside performances and time with tutors, there will be three dedicated workshops during the course, including non-banding workshops. These will be:

  • Bavarian Oompah band workshop, followed by a trip to The Original Bierkeller Sheffield
  • Special Musical Guest still to be announced for a one-off music-making workshop with a twist
  • David Thornton’s “Mystery Session”, sure to include lots of hints and tips to succeeding in the world of brass!

Social activities

Social activities will include archery, axe throwing, climbing wall, and raft building. Plus a BBQ, nights out, and a trip to Sheffield's famous Bierkeller club.

Where will we stay?

The base for the course will be Hesley Wood Scout Activity Centre, White Lane, Chapeltown, Sheffield S35 2YH.

There are 2 options for accommodation, bunk house (shared dormitories between 2-8 beds) or camping. If you are camping you will need to bring your own tent and sleeping equipment. If camping you will be able to store instruments in our onsite rehearsal room.

If booking as a group please make individual applications to reserve a space, you will be prompted to include your group booking details in the information form you will be sent in your booking receipt.

Rooms will be allocated on arrival but we will endeavour to keep groups together. If camping as a group please ensure you bring sufficient equipment for your group accommodation needs.

Most meals are included within the price. There are also self-catering facilities available on site and a supermarket within walking distance.

Getting there

Travel to the course is very easy, with multiple options.

By car: the site is very close to J35 of the M1 and parking is available on site

By public transport: Chapeltown Train Station is just a short ride from Sheffield's main train station and is within walking distance (although we can arrange collection if you have camping equipment/heavy instruments to carry).

How much does it cost?

£190 for bunkhouse accommodation. If you choose to camp the cost is reduced to £160. Most meals are provided.

You can choose to pay the full cost now or split your payments. Instalments are split into an upfront £60 payable now and the balance payable by 1 August 2021.

There may be some additional cost of transport depending on your own option choices during free time.


The UniBrass Foundation are in constant communication with our partners at Brass Bands England to ensure the safety of all participants and will follow all guidelines in place at the time of the event.

All bookings include a maximum £10 non-refundable deposit in the event of cancellation of Band Camp due to Covid restrictions. If possible, we will return these funds, however, there may be some costs associated with preparing for the event that are unrecoverable. We therefore reserve the right to retain up to £10 per person to cover these costs.

Book Now!

This event has limited places remaining so please book now via the Register Now button below to avoid disappointment.

Booking closes at midnight on Sunday 25 July. Full payment is due by Sunday 1 August.

This event is hosted by The UniBrass Foundation with support from event partners Brass Bands England and funding from Arts Council England and Ecclesfield Parish Council.


August 25th, 2021 12:00 PM through August 30th, 2021 5:00 PM
Hesley Wood Scout Activity Centre
White Ln
Sheffield, SYK S35 2YH
United Kingdom
Phone: 01226771015
Event Fee(s)
Full Payment - Bunkhouse accommodation £190.00
Full Payment - Camping accommodation £160.00
Deposit - Bunkhouse accommodation £60.00
Deposit - Camping accommodation £60.00
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