Highlighting the work of our incredible partners Brass Bands England

Published on 05/06/2024

In the lead up to the Proms in the Playground collaboration between ourselves and Brass Bands England we thought we would do a little piece highlighting the amazing work that Brass Bands England do all year round. Our national partners (who will be working from "Harmony Works" in the future...) run a wide variety of projects throughout the year and we would like to celebrate a few of them!

Proms in the Playground

Proms in the Playground is national project that encourages community bands to get in touch with their local schools and perform in their playground. As well as getting young people excited about brass banding, this initiative helps bands forge and strengthen relationships with organisations around them. Brass Bands England also encourages bands to use this opportunity to engage with their local Music Education Hub and go a step further by offering taster sessions. 

In September Brass Bands England helped our brass team join up with Oughtibridge Brass Band to visit multiple primary schools across Sheffield including St Mary’s Walkley, Meersbrook Bank Primary, Hillsborough Primary, Mundella Primary, Arbourthorne Primary, Southey Green Primary, High Green Primary, Parsons Cross CE Primary, Wybourn Primary and Beck Primary. Hundreds of children had a go on cornets, trumpets, P-Buzz' and got to play along with Oughtibridge Brass Band.

Becky Stroud, music teacher at Beck Primary school celebrated the project saying "you start to realise that they are greater together than they are as individuals and coming together is really important"

Ian Naylor, Head of Music Education Sheffield stated "We want children and young people to have access to music education in their schools and we also want children and young people to have access to the opportunity to make music together, to progress, to be better, to make new friendships"

Take a look at this BBC Look North feature which showcases the project and the joy of brass playing! This July the project is taking place in another seven Sheffield schools: Reignhead Primary, Birley Primary Academy, St Theresa’s Catholic Primary, Stradbroke Primary, Monteney Primary, Windmill Hill Primary and Meynell Primary. We are incredibly excited for another few days of Proms in the Playground this June!

Youth Champs

Brass Bands England also run Youth Champs. Youth Champs is the National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. It is open to all youth bands across Great Britain and Northern Ireland, offering bands a chance to perform on a national platform in either a competitive or non-competitive capacity. The event is designed to celebrate, unite and promote youth music making in brass bands at all levels. The event takes place annually and tours different locations across England.

For the last few years, we have taken budding brass players from our Firth Park Community Brass Band to compete! On Saturday the 23rd March the group hopped on a coach and travelled all the way down to Cheltenham. It was a brilliant day of "joyous music making" (as put by parent helper Nick), in which the band put on a wonderful performance and did themselves and Sheffield proud. If you are interested in how the group came together, sponsors of the project, Pbone Music, pulled together a wonderful YouTube video which captures the build up to the event and all the excitement surrounding it.

Events like these are so important for children and young people, they bring the group together, give them something to work towards, cement friendships and provide a brilliant day of music. We are so grateful for Brass Bands England for organising and running these events as they can have a powerful and positive impact on young brass players.

Youth Fest

Brass Bands England also run a non-competitive version called Youth Fest and we are taking the Firth Park Community Brass to play there this June! The newly titled Foyle Foundation Youth Fest is a brand new, non-competitive brass festival. The event aims to celebrate success and participation in music, inspire and engage young people in an inclusive environment, and encourage personal and musical progression. Once again, we are so thankful to Brass Bands England for providing these opportunities for our children and young people.

Why we love Brass Bands England

Brass Bands England support adult Brass Bands across the country, are involved in the running of UniBrass, are a voice to support brass bands, promote and share the brass band story and they believe that 'together we can make more noise and more music'. We certainly do too! They have brilliant impact on culture in this country and brass banding wouldn't be what it is without them.