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Brass Bands England Reveals Conference Line-up

The conference will take on the highly pertinent theme of Resilience and Sustainability, and aims to explore new ideas and highlight proven successes in building bands and banding communities designed to thrive as we emerge from the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Opening the conference is our keynote speaker, Arts Council England’s Chief Executive Officer, Darren Henley, highlighting in his address the importance of resilience at this crucial time. Following this will be a presentation from Amersham Band’s Chairman, Fred Harrison. Amersham Band has recently gone from strength to strength in creating a sustainable brass community, and Brass Bands England is delighted to invite Fred to share the band’s vision and experience with the conference attendees.

The first workshop of the day will be delivered by BBE’s own Dr Alex ‘Parky’ Parker, who will present an informative session on ‘Band Resilience’, giving bands the vital tools they need to analyse their finances and plan for the future.

The afternoon session kicks off with The Brass Band Conference Awards, which aim to give credit to those individuals and organisations in the banding world who have made an exceptional contribution to our community. The following awards will be announced:

  • Innovation Award

  • Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Social Impact Award

  • Brian W. Hicks Memorial Shield for Services to Youth

Winners have been nominated by the banding public and selected by the Brass Bands England Trustees. Each award winner will receive a memento to commemorate their achievement and these will be presented at suitable occasions after the event, Covid-19 allowing.

The final workshop of the day will be delivered by Art Council England Tech Champion, Syed Raham, who will present a session on Digital Marketing, focusing on building new audiences and advertising your events.

Once again, Brass Bands England will be opening up our online forum for a panel discussion on The Challenges of Building a Sustainable Youth Band, with invited guests from across banding, to be announced very soon.

The event will close with an address from Brass Bands England’s Chairman, Mike Kilroy. 


9:00 AGM
10:15 Introduction and Welcome from Brass Bands England’s CEO Kenny Crookston

10:30 Keynote Address from Arts Council England (ACE) CEO Darren Henley

10:45 Presentation by Amersham Band Chairman Fred Harrison

12:00 Band Resilience Workshop with BBE’s Dr Alex ‘Parky’ Parker

13:30 The Brass Band Conference Awards

13:45 Digital Marketing Workshop with ACE Tech Champion Syed Rahman

15:00 Panel Discussion ‘Challenges in Building a Sustainable Youth Band’ chaired by BBE’s Sarah Baumann

16:10 Closing Remarks from BBE’s Chairman Mike Kilroy


The Brass Band Conference 2020 is free to access for all, and Brass Bands England is actively encouraging anyone with an interest in banding to get involved. The full day’s events will be livestreamed on Facebook and Vimeo by Brass Questions can be posed to the hosts of any of the sessions via the comments sections or by sending in advance by this Google form The Brass Bands England Team encourages people with questions to send them in advance as a short video clip to be included in the stream. 


During the breaks between conference activities, Brass Bands England will be featuring a diverse range of creative lockdown videos created by member bands during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Preceding The Brass Band Conference will be the 2020 BBE Annual General Meeting, which will be held on a Zoom Webinar and begins at 9.00am. Member bands have already been given the details for the AGM and those wishing to attend online can sign up at this link The AGM is the only part of the day’s events that will not be live-streamed to Facebook or Vimeo, so anyone wanting to take part must register in advance.


BBE Chief Executive Officer, Kenny Crookston, commented: “We are looking forward to a very rewarding day on Saturday 19 September and would like to encourage everyone with the future of their band, and brass bands in general, wherever they are in the world, to spend at least part of the day with us. There really is something on the programme to add value to everyone’s banding experience and we are delighted with the response from those we have asked to be involved. The AGM, in particular, is a forum for all BBE members, organisational and individuals, to have their say on the future direction of Brass Bands England and the organisations and events in which we are involved.”

To register your place at The Brass Band Conference 2020 go to