Borders bands tune up for Festival of Brass

NOW in its 13th year, Scottish Borders Festival of Brass has grown to become a popular and respected Borders-wide event, full of good music, entertainment and fun.

This year’s festival takes place between Sunday and October 20 and arrangements are well under way thanks to the efforts of the Scottish Borders Brass Band Association (SBBBA).

The festival sees 11 events organised by member bands and includes several exciting concerts, a long-established solo and quartet competition, a youth band contest and a brass and percussion workshop for school children.

Association chairman Alan Fernie commented: “Everyone knows the vital contribution our bands here in the Borders make to the annual summer festivals, but of course we play all the year round too. Indeed, brass bands in the Borders are very lucky in the amount of support and help they receive from their respective communities, and this festival both celebrates and acknowledges the breadth of musical activity throughout the region.

“In particular, we are keen to highlight the youth aspect of all our bands, which is considerable. The SBBBA is held up as an example of good practice throughout the greater brass band world, and we’d like everyone here in the Borders to know about it.”

The packed festival programme kicks-off with on Sunday with a brass and percussion workshop for school-age children in Howdenburn School, Jedburgh, 10am-5.pm. Top brass tutors will lead the sessions and the workshop will conclude with a short concert featuring all of the young players at 4.pm.

A new event is being held at St. Ronan’s Primary School where the Innerleithen Youth Brass Band Contest will take place. Featuring several youth bands from around the Borders and beyond, this is a fantastic opportunity to hear young musical talent.

The Borders Slow Melody contest is on Sunday 30 September 30. Organised by Selkirk Silver Bandn the town’s Victoria Halls commencing at noon. This will be a showcase of some of the best brass instrumentalist in the area.

Full programme:

Sunday: Youth brass and percussion workshops. Howdenburn school, Jedburgh, 10am. Open concert 4pm

Friday, September 21: Hawick Saxhorn Band in Concert, Hawick High School 7.30pm

Saturday September 22: Innerleithen Youth Brass Band Contest, St. Ronan’s School 10.30am; Selkirk Silver Band concert, Victoria Halls, Selkirk 7.30pm

Friday September 28: Peebles Burgh Silver Band , Autumn concert in Peebles Burgh Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday September 29: St. Ronan’s Silver Band and Future Band concert, Innerleithen Memorial Hall 7.30pm

Sunday September 30: Borders Slow Melody contest, Selkirk Victoria Halls, noon

Tuesday October 2: Langholm Junior Band concert, Buccleuch Centre, Langholm, 7.pm

Saturday October 6: Galashiels Town, Youth and Junior bands and Borders Youth Band, concert, Trinity Church, High Street, Galashiels, 7.30pm

Saturday October 20: Jedforest Instrumental Band with guest soloist Simone Rebello, Jedburgh Town Hall 7.30pm