‘TOUR DE BRASS’ puts Bands in Spotlight for Yorkshire Festival

A special Yorkshire Prom featuring the world famous Black Dyke Band is the highlight of a weekend of concerts showcasing brass bands for the Yorkshire Festival 2014 – the first ever arts festival to precede the Tour de France in its 111 year history.

The Prom, at York Barbican on Sunday 22 June, is the grand finale of the Tour de Brass, a series of nine regional concerts in locations that are on, or close to, the two routes that the Grand Départ will take when it passes through Yorkshire on 5th and 6th July.

Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com

Presented by Brassed On York Ltd as part of the official Yorkshire Festival programme, the bands taking part in the Tour de Brass range from the top Championship Section to village bands. The line-up includes three Yorkshire bands that have recently qualified for the final of this year’s National Brass Band Championships: Elland Silver Band, Ripon City Band and Black Dyke Band conducted by Dr Nicholas Childs.

The regional concerts, which take place over the weekend of Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 June, are daytime, open-air free concerts in the bands’ own locales and also include performances by Hebden Bridge Band, Hade Edge Band, Knaresborough Silver Band, Otley Band, Leyburn Band and Muker Silver Band (in Richmondshire). In addition, Brassed On York is supporting a ticketed evening concert to mark the 20th anniversary of Elland Silver Youth Band in Brighouse on Saturday 21 June.

"Brass Bands England are tremendously pleased to see this fantastic series of events - wonderful to see Brassed On York, City of York and so many Yorkshire brass bands working in collaboration. We'd love to hear from other bands taking part in the Yorkshire Festival, or staging performances inspired by the Grand Depart. Stannington Brass Band in Sheffield is one example, with a Yorkshire-themed concert - see here., and the Sheffield Brass Network have a Massed Brass event planned to follow on from the festivities"  Rachel Veitch-Straw of Brass Bands England

The Black Dyke Yorkshire Prom will be compèred by David Hoyle, presenter of the popular BBC Radio Leeds/BBC Radio York Sunday afternoon show Yorkshire Brass, and will have a Proms-style second half featuring music with a Yorkshire connection. It stars Yorkshire poet Ian McMillan – ‘the Bard of Barnsley’ - reading his poem Brass, about a romance in a colliery band, set to music by Philip Wilby. The programme will also feature a special brass-band arrangement of the Yorkshire Festival song, The Big Wide, by David Lancaster. The talented Yorkshire Youth Brass Band, representing the cream of young brass musicians and percussionists from across Yorkshire, will also take part in the concert.

Black Dyke Band 2014pixlrd

Tickets for the Prom, which starts at 7.30pm, cost £13.50 (under 16s £5). There is also a special VIP package available at £33.50 (private reception at 6.30pm, including Champagne, nibbles and a chance to meet the band, Nicholas Childs, David Hoyle and Ian McMillan). Tickets are available from the York Barbican box office,  tel 0844 854 2757 or book online at www.yorkbarbican.co.uk (booking fee applies).

Details of venues, bands and times for the Tour de Brass concerts will be on the Brassed On York website, www.brassedon.org and the Yorkshire Festival website, www.yorkshirefestival.co.uk..

Brassed On York Ltd is also presenting a programme of free brass band concerts in York over the weekend in partnership with the York Festival of Food and Drink. Ten bands – including Championship Section Shepherd Group Brass Band and National Finalists York Railway Institute Band and Wetherby Silver Band – will perform throughout the day on Saturday 21 June in the Food Festival Entertainment Marquee in Parliament Street and the Coppergate Shopping Centre, while Sunday 22 June sees the entertaining New York Brass Band playing the Food Festival Entertainment Marquee from 2.00-4.00pm.

Kate Lock, director of Brassed On York Ltd, said,

‘The fact that the two stages of the Grand Départ go through the heartland of “brass band country” was what inspired us to expand our Brassed On York festival beyond York and into the more ambitious ‘Tour de Brass’ for 2014.

We are thrilled to be able to showcase the variety, versatility and talent that marks out our brass bands as being among the best in the business as part of the Yorkshire Festival – and we can’t wait to host the very first Yorkshire Prom with the famous Black Dyke Band!

Black Dyke, which is based at Queensbury, is one of the oldest and most famous bands not just in Britain but in the world. Some of the other bands we are presenting also have roots going back 100 or even 150 years, and all of them have this incredible legacy and link with Yorkshire communities and industries. Brass bands are the real deal in terms of home-grown culture and have some phenomenally talented musicians.

As well as the traditional sound that people love, they also play modern arrangements of everything from pop to musicals and lots of them are attracting young people. It’s that combination that keeps brass music fresh, fun, exciting and entertaining to audiences of all ages.’

Henrietta Duckworth, executive producer of Yorkshire Festival 2014, added:

‘Yorkshire Festival 2014 is a brand new arts festival over 100 days long celebrating the world-class artistic  endeavour and imagination of our county's multi-faceted creative communities. Across art-forms and spaces, everyone is invited to be part of the festival, to engage, explore, and  enjoy. Only in Yorkshire 2014 can you witness the Grand Départ; only in Yorkshire Festival  2014 can you experience the inspired new commissions and events of this new festival.’

Yorkshire Festival 2014 runs from 27 March to 6 July 2014. Nearly 50 events have been selected to be officially part of the Festival which will also include hundreds of fringe events.

Visit www.yorkshirefestival.co.uk or find Yorkshire Festival on Facebook or follow Yorkshire Festival 2014 on Twitter - YFest2014