Why enter the BBCA Conducting competition? An observer’s view from player Mike Kilroy | Brass Bands England

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Why enter the BBCA Conducting competition? An observer’s view from player Mike Kilroy

Mike Kilroy and other players in Hammonds Band being conducted by Kyle Blakc
Wednesday, 6 March, 2024

The Brass Band Conductors’ Association's (BBCA) Conducting Competition is open to conductors at all levels, from anywhere in the world. After an initial video shortlisting process, 10 semi-finalists will be invited to take part in the final competition day at Eccles Town Hall.

On the day, the semi-finalists will conduct the renowned Hammonds Band in a 15-minute rehearsal of a section of the chosen test pieces watched by two experienced conductors/adjudicators to see which five will get through to the final.

The BBCA caught up with Mike Kilroy to gain his thoughts on the competition from his vantage point playing principal euphonium with the Hammonds Band:

“Having played in the past two years’ competitions with the band, I have found it fascinating to see the different approaches and techniques demonstrated by the competitors. Initially, I thought that 15 minutes would be too short for the competitors to demonstrate their skills. However, this was not the case. It is more than enough time for people to show their conducting technique and musicality.

The Hammonds Band take part in this competition every year and really enjoy the day. Band members are well prepared and give their full attention and support to every conductor to ensure each enjoys the most positive experience possible. A word of warning though, the band follows the competitor’s musical style, tempi and beat patterns exactly. This enables the adjudicators to see and hear the result of the competing conductor’s efforts clearly.

In my experience, the whole event is based around positivity, constructive feedback and wholehearted support from the organising team and the band. It’s not a bad lunch either!

I would heartily recommend entering this competition if you are looking to raise your profile or are interested in improving your conducting or broadening your conducting experience.”


How can I enter the BBCA Conducting Competition?

Entry is open via the events page of the Brass Bands England website. Email bbca@bbe.org.uk for more information.


Mike Kilroy has been principal euphonium for a number of brass bands, most recently performing as solo
euphonium for Hammonds Band.