Visitors and traders alike had a wonderful day at the BrassEx exhibition last Saturday. The event, devised by Sheffield-based Foundry Studios, and supported by BBE’s Rachel Veitch-Straw, aimed to offer information, ideas, and support for all things brass, as well as developing collaboration opportunities, offering studio tours, and supporting the "Music for All - Learn to Play Day" initiative. Spearheaded by Loxley Silver Band, the Learn to Play Day stall attracted eager non-players – and eager players wanting to try a different instrument. “We had a baritone player who fell in love with the flugelhorn” reported Stuart Young of Loxley. “I hope we haven’t inadvertently caused a dilemma!” On the trade stalls, Your Logo Here’s Lloyd Shipp was pleased with the atmosphere. “The guys at the Foundry have been immensely supportive, they’ve really gone out of their way to make us comfortable. I’ve had been some interesting enquiries, both brass and workwear focused, and I’ve got a few other plans afoot as a result.” Young people had the most fun – they were wowed by the 72 channel mixing desk and Foundry Studios’ “walk through” of a recording session. The lovely ladies of Boobs and Brass had been recorded the previous Saturday and provided the beautiful demo sounds. Winners of the popular draw to win a day’s recording package worth £1,099 were local band Unite the Union, with plans already being made for a themed album. Unite’s M.D, John Roberts, was one of the day’s speakers, enthralling the audience with a mix of information and anecdotes. Brass Bands England were on hand to talk to the bands and offer funding support. This pilot event was a great first step by the studio towards their bigger agenda of providing industry support to bands - Brass Ex is planned to be an annual brass extravaganza and will grow from its bijou beginnings. Watch this space!