Brass Bands England Connections, Creativity and Collaboration

 City Success for Sheffield Brass Network. Ten Sheffield area bands, supported by Brass Bands England’s Senior Liaison Officer, Rachel Veitch-Straw, have been quietly building connections with each other and with the “movers and shakers” in their city. Connecting under the banner of Sheffield Brass Network, the group’s first success was in creating a working party and shared project in the lead up to the Tour de France Grand Depart. Now two opportunities are available thanks to work by key members of two of the bands in the network. In Spring 2016, bands will be able to participate in a celebration of brass as part of Music in the Round’s annual May Festival, which in 2016 takes Beethoven as its inspiration. Ideas for brass bands’ involvement include a shared performance of great Beethoven-inspired arrangements and uplifting pieces from the brass band repertoire, filling one of the city squares with sounds of brass and Beethoven. There may also be the possibility of “pop-up” performances around Sheffield town centre. The Brass Network has the M.D. of Woodhouse Prize Band, well-known brass band photographer David Morris, to thank for the connection with the festival. In a second opportunity, bands are invited to be part of a year-long celebration of Sheffield and its heritage – past, present and future! Bands will be encouraged to collaborate with other local performance or arts groups and to perform in new – and perhaps unusual – venues. Loxley Silver Band’s Stuart Young, who brought the Sheffield celebration opportunity to the Brass Network, said “We can’t say too much at present as we are waiting the official launch of the project but there will be exciting chances for bands to work with new people and play to new audiences – at the least!” Both projects at their simplest offer bands exposure, publicity, and something new, but each also carries the chance of funding and financial support. Brass Bands England will be on hand to help bands gain the maximum benefits from these city collaborations. To contact your regional Liaison Officer: Yorkshire & Humberside, North, North West: Midlands and South West: East Anglia, London & Southern Counties: