UniBrass - this year's story

The inter-university brass band contest of Great Britain – UniBrass – marked its fifth anniversary on 14th February, with 17 bands taking part. The University of Manchester Brass Band claimed the title of UniBrass 2015 Champions at Warwick Arts Centre, beating out holders Huddersfield. Manchester won with a set inspired by UniBrass’ partner charity, Brass for Africa, as well as taking prizes for ‘Most Entertaining Band’, ‘Best Solo Feature’ (awarded to Illiam Quane) and ‘Best Student Conductor’ (Jonathan Evans). Other prizes on the day went to Huddersfield for ‘Best Percussion Section’ and ‘Best March’, to Lancaster for ‘Most Improved Band’ and ‘Best Student Composition’ to Keele’s Jacob Ashworth, for ‘The Penguin Hop’. UniBrass Organising Committee Chair Alex Parker said “With exemplary performances from nearly 900 participants UniBrass showed the great work University bands do with opportunity across the spectrum of abilities.” Lancaster’s student TV group, LA1:TV were on hand all day, filming the event and providing an online live stream which reached an audience of over 8000 people. Videos are now available to watch on the UniBrass YouTube channel: unib.co.uk/youtube The contest also marked the beginning of UniBrass’ collaboration with Besson Instruments and the Cory Band as education partners, with members of Cory leading free public workshops, with the workshop attendees performing on the main stage in a lunchtime gala concert. The morning after the main contest also provided an opportunity for members of the student bands to attend workshops led by Cory MD Philip Harper and band members Owen Farr and Chris Thomas. The day finished off with a social, with Huddersfield’s brilliant band Betrunken Wurst providing the entertainment. Next year’s contest will take place on 20th Feb 2016. See Unib.co.uk for more info or follow on facebook.com/unibrass or Twitter @UniBrass