The Brass Band Conductors’ Association’s (BBCA) 2024 Conducting Competition is now open for entries. The annual competition is the BBCA's flagship event and is open to conductors at all levels, from anywhere in the world. Candidates are asked to submit their video entries by the close of Thursday 11 April for shortlisting, from which 10 semi-finalists will be invited to take part in the final competition day at Eccles Town Hall on Saturday 15 June.
Speaking of the event, BBCA Chair, James Holt, commented: “I’m delighted the Association is launching the conducting competition once again. From its return in 2021 the event has grown year on year and now attracts an international entry field with a vast array of conducting experience. I am very keen to be able to provide opportunities for the development of conductors and thrilled that we will be inviting the winner to work with a leading conductor as part of the prize this year.
The BBCA is keen to offer opportunities to all conductors and this competition provides a wonderful platform to work with some of the UK's finest bands as well as receiving personalised feedback from experts in the field of conducting. It’s a great opportunity to gain feedback on your conducting skills and previously this has been a platform from which people have launched their careers in conducting. I encourage as many conductors as possible to enter this competition, and look forward to seeing you at the final in Eccles.”
Candidates submit their video entries for shortlisting by the BBCA panel for an invite to the live semi-final. Those who reach the final competition day will conduct a 15-minute rehearsal of the top-ranking Hammonds Band on a section of the set pieces, closely observed by two adjudicators. Five conductors will then progress to the final, which will consist of a rehearsal and performance of a concert item as part of the evening’s gala concert.
All semi-finalists will receive feedback from the adjudication panel on their conducting skills. Non-shortlisted BBCA members will receive audio feedback on their videos.
Prizes for the event will include presentations to the top three finalists, a prize for the best UK-based participant, and a prize bundle for the winner including a year’s free BBCA membership, a cash prize of £200, and the opportunity to work in rehearsal and performance with a leading conductor and a championship brass band. There is also a prize for the best UK-based entrant. Last year’s winner, Matthew Ryan had the opportunity to work with Russell Gray and the Foden’s Band in their National Championship preparations, and to conduct them at the Regent Hall on the eve of the Finals.
Listen to Russell Gray as he passes on his tips for preparing videos for conducting competitions.
The cost of entry into the competition is £50 for the video entry round, with an extra 20% discount for BBCA members. For those chosen to go through to the semi-final a further payment of £50 will be required, with BBCA members again eligible for a 20% discount. Anyone joining the Association when entering will be entitled to the discounted entry price. All funds raised go directly to support the competition.
Entry is open now via the events page.
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