Our Projects Partner at the UniBrass Foundation have just launched UniBrass: The Lockdown Collection, the first album of its kind.
The cross-university album features tracks from 14 university bands, recorded Covid-safely, individually at home (distance-banding style), and edited together into final tracks.
In light of lockdown restrictions meaning bands could not meet to rehearse or perform, and with the 2021 UniBrass contest in Sheffield having to be postponed, UniBrass wanted to provide bands with an opportunity to keep playing and give them a meaningful project to work towards, marking this unprecedented time in banding history.
Each university band was asked to submit a recording of a piece that means something to them; either a connection to their city, band, university, or UniBrass - however tenuous - and the results have been fantastic!
Southampton University recorded Chicken Run, the piece traditionally played on their summer tour which had to be cancelled. Keele University honour their favourite pub. Leeds University asked Philip Wilby to arrange a piece marking the turbulent year. Durham University recorded the march Barnard Castle - no explanation needed. And the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire celebrated the band's place as their ‘Hideaway’ from the hustle and bustle of daily life, with an arrangement of the iconic lovesong.
The full CD running order is as follows:
The University of Oxford Brass Band Blenheim Flourishes
The University of Huddersfield Brass Band Jubilee
The University of Bristol Brass Band The Chariot Race from Olympus
The University of Southampton Brass Band Chicken Run
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Band Hideaway
The University of York Brass Band Mr Jums
The University of Birmingham Brass Band Old Joe
The University of Leeds Brass Band Cornerstone
Lancaster University Brass Band The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Durham University Brass Band Barnard Castle
Bangor University Brass Band Men of Harlech
The University of Warwick Brass Band The Boney M. Mega Mix!
Keele University Brass Band The Sneyd Crest
The University of Sheffield Brass Band Stal Himmel
To get involved with UniBrass you can attend the UniBrass "Band Camp" this August, hosted by The UniBrass Foundation using support from Brass Bands England.