Brighton & Hove City Brass

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 Band History

In the beginning

The band was formed as a school band in 1975, then as players left the school it reformed in the town as a community band rehearsing at a Primary School hall in Coombe Road, Brighton. There were in fact three bands at the time, a main brass band, a youth training band, and a wind band. In the early eighties the band became an amateur group supported by an elected committee and the wind band was discontinued. Between the years of 1984 and 1987 the band was assisted by several local conductors who helped take the band to contests and concerts

Early Years

From 1987 the band won several trophies, including the local SCABA Spring contest 3 times in 4 years. As a quartet or ensemble during the next few years the band had an enviable record at the annual SCABA Quartets contest usually managing to walk off with several trophies and more medals than can be carried. One section trophy was won 11 years in a row! Between 1987 and 1991 the band was sponsored by the "Brighton Blue Buses". This allowed the band to rehearse at their Lewes Road bus depot and have full use of their social club facilities! This relationship came to an end in 1991 just before the merger of the two Brighton bus companies. At this time the band had been promoted to 1st Section at national and local level. In 1997 the band became the London & Southern Counties Second Section Champions. The prize for winning was a trip to the finals held in the marvellous setting of the new Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

21st Century Banding

The band entered the new millennium on a high in the 1st section both nationally and locally amid a significant change in players as members moved in and out of the area. The band enjoyed mixed success at contests in the coming years but was capped with a trip to the national finals in 2003 in Dundee.

In 2006 the band appointed Matthew Hackett as it's new Musical Director and with him came a period a reconciliation as players came and went.

The band continued to build through the years and started to gain contest successes again as well as playing their usual summer engagements in and around the Brighton and Hove Area.

In 2008 the band qualified for the National Finals this time held in the wonderful International Conference Centre in Harrogate.

2009 saw the band again go through some turbulent times but in 2013 got back to winning ways when they gained first place at both the SCABA Spring and Autumn Contests and were named Band of the Year.

In 2014 at the Area Qualifying Contest we qualified again for the National Finals this held at the picturesque Cheltenham Race Course. A good result at the 2016 Area Qualifying Contest led to promotion to the third section from 2017.

In amongst the contest successes the band has performed to audiences in Horsham, Brighton, Hove, Parham, Eastbourne, Worthing, Sevenoaks, Hever and annually at the Remembrance Day service in Henfield.

The band is working to keep up with the times and through a band connection have supported local indie band British Sea Power whenever they perform in their home town of Brighton. We have been found on the stage in a night club at 11.30pm on a Friday night playing with the headline act to audiences who would not usually attend a brass band concert and have had an amazing response to these events.

Every year in January we make the pilgrimage to the seaside town of Skegness to take part in the Butlins Mineworkers Contest and in December we play carols to customers in shopping and garden centres as well as regulars in local pubs - which appear to be some of the band's favourite engagements!!

Having built to a full complement of players again we look forward to improving our status on the contest stage as well as being one of the most entertaining bands in the south performing to appreciative audiences at the many venues we play at.