Brass bands make the news thanks to young brass banding journalist | Brass Bands England

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Brass bands make the news thanks to young brass banding journalist

Monday, 18 September, 2023

Brass bands have received coverage across the BBC news network after Elise Hale, from Irchester, Northamptonshire, who plays with Youth Brass 2000, won the prestigious BBC young reporter prize 2023.

As part of the prize, Elise has produced a story with support of BBC journalists, which has been picked up by programmes across the BBC. As part of the report, Elise Interviewed Brass Bands England’s (BBE) Alex Parker at UniBrass’s Band Camp, the summer school for university-age players.

The piece reflects Elise’s experience of playing in bands and the many benefits banding provides, as well as discussing some of the potential challenges for the future of banding. “Brass banding has to be able to adapt to a newer world with changing technology”, Elise told the BBC.

BBE’s Alex Parker said “It’s brilliant to see a young player like Elise with so much passion for banding. Her talent for journalism has already proven itself with this prize, which has helped shine a spotlight on brass bands in the national media.

“She is right that banding needs to keep with the times - technology and other new ways to communicate what we do is essential to allow the rediscovery of banding’s relevance amongst young people. Congratulations Elise!”

Extensive media coverage

The piece was picked up first by Graham Liver on his overnight phone-in show (28 mins 40 seconds in) on BBC Radio 5 Live on 10 September, which triggered an extended discussion about bands from those phoning in. Conversation ranged from the general public to Banders themselves.

Next up was BBC Breakfast news with Elise’s coverage being broadcast to the nation from the famous red sofa with its average daily viewing figures of 5.3 million.

Monday 11 September morning saw the piece played on BBC Northampton including a live interview with Elise and her mum. The piece was accompanied by a companion article on the BBC news website.

Finally you’ll be able to catch Elise’s piece one last time as it is scheduled to broadcast on BBC Radio 3 during the week commencing 18 September.

Elise started her own social media platform last year called Brassing Around which many people began to follow during its coverage of last year's area contests.

Elise will be joining Brass Bands England at The Brass Band Conference on Saturday 7 October in Huddersfield, where she has been shortlisted for the Brass Bands England Young Bandsperson Award, supported by the ABRSM. Find out more and book one of the remaining places.