Scottish Borders BBA

SCOTTISH BORDERS BRASS BAND ASSOCIATION - MEETING - SUNDAY 10 AUGUST 2014
ST. RONAN'S BAND HALL, INNERLEITHEN


1. ATTENDANCE/APOLOGIES
Galashiels Town Band Hannah French Present Lorraine Quinn Present
Hawick Saxhorn Band Angela Douglas Apologies
Alan Fernie Apologies
Jedforest Instrumental Band Adrienne Smith Present Scott Renwick Present
Langholm Town Band Alison Reid Apologies
Peebles Burgh Silver Band Stephen Baird Present
Selkirk Silver Band Nicola Douglas Present
John Stratford Present
St. Boswells Concert Band No representatives advised
St. Ronan's Silver Band Keith Belleville Present
David Allan Apologies
Vice Chairman Cliff Balson Present


2. MINUTE OF MEETING 2.3.14 had been distributed and was adopted.


3. MATTERS ARISING
3.1 Representatives The identity of the representative appointed by St. Boswells Concert Band had not yet been advised. Action: Secretary to contact the Band's Chairman, Cllr. Kenneth Gunn.

3.1 Youth Brass Workshop, Sun 30 Mar, St. Ronan's Primary School (Review) It was agreed that the event had gone well. Concern was expressed over very young/inexperienced players attending. Action: Hannah to make sure this is highlighted on the enrolment paperwork and that players must be able to play in an ensemble. It was agreed that at future workshops, only secondary-age pupils would be allowed outside/to the shops etc. at lunchtime. Action: Hannah to make this clear on the enrolment paperwork.

3.2 EFoB Regional Event, Sun 11 May This event had been cancelled. It was noted that Tesco had not been co-operative regarding use of venue.

3.3 September Workshop, Sun 28 Sep, Langlee Community Centre, Galashiels, 10am Tutors: D. McLeod (A Band); C. Mabon or G. Kennedy (B Band); S. Baird (C Band). The enrolment forms (with above amendments to go out week commencing 19.8.14. Percussion to come from GTB, SSB and PBSB if necessary. Stands to come from GTB (2 sets) and JIB.

3.4 BEC, Sat 1 Nov, Peebles High School The contest entry paperwork has been distributed to bands with a closing date of 20.9.14. Lorraine agreed to take on the collection of scores, stage plans and programme notes. Nicola agreed to pass on the rota to Stephen so that PBSB can get plenty of helpers on the day. The Chairman advised that PBSB was in the process of applying to the Peebles Common Good Fund for a grant (£500). Stevie agreed to contact the adjudicators and to ascertain fees that had been agreed with Alan Fernie.

3.5 SBBBA Website/Facebook It was agreed to continue to use the page on the SBBA site.


4. TREASURER'S REPORT
4.1 Balance £2,542.26

4.2 SBBA Grant The annual area grant from SBBA had not yet been received. Action: Secretary to contact SBBA again.

4.3 Subs The Treasurer said that Langholm Town Band and St. Boswells Concert Band had both still to pay their subscriptions. Action: Secretary to make contact.


5. OTHER BUSINESS
5.1 Youth Solo, Ensemble, Band Contests This was set for Saturday 24 January in Teviot Church, Hawick.

5.2 Borders Festival of Brass 2014 The following events were advised at the meeting:

Fri 5 Sep PBSB Concert, Burgh Hall, Peebles, 7.30pm
Sat 13 Sep GTB Concert, Volunteer Hall, Galashiels, 7.30pm
Sat 20 Sep JIB Concert, Town Hall, Jedburgh, 7.30pm
Sat 20 Sep SSB Concert, Victoria Halls, Selkirk, 7.30pm
Sat 4 Oct Innerleithen Youth Band Contest, St. Ronan's School, 10.00am
Sun 5 Oct Border Slow melody Contest, Victoria Halls, Selkirk, from 10.30am

Other bands to submit events using the attached forms ASAP.

5.2 Other 2014/15 dates


Date Event & Info Place - Time Organiser
5 Oct-5 Oct 2014 Borders Festival of Brass Various SBBBA/Bands
Sun 28 Sep 2014 Youth Brass & Percussion Workshops Langlee Community Centre, Galashiels, 10.00am SBBBA (Hannah)
Sat 1 Nov 2014 Borders Entertainment Contest

Adjudicators: John Doyle & James Chamberlain Peebles High School SBBBA (Nicola/PBSB)
Sun 11 Jan 2015 Annual General Meeting St. Ronan's Band Hall, 10.30am
Sat 24 Jan 2015 Borders Youth Brass Band Contest Teviot Church, Hawick
Borders Youth Solo & Ensemble Contest
Sun 29 Mar 2015 Youth Brass & Percussion Workshops (Spring) Langlee Centre - if successful in September.
TBC Youth Brass & Percussion Workshops (Autumn)
Sat 7 Nov 2015 Borders Entertainment Contest Buccleuch Centre, Langholm SBBBA/LTB


6. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Sun 14 Sep, GTB Hall, 10.30am
Sun 12 Oct, BEC Draw & Meeting, Peebles High School, 10.30am

 

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INFORMATION FOR BANDS

PROMOTERS The contest is owned and managed by St. Ronan's Silver Band

DATES Saturday 4th October 2014

VENUE St. Ronan's Primary School, St. Ronan's Road, Innerleithen, EH44 6PB

SECTIONS The contest will have four separate sections:

Preparatory Section - for bands upper age limit 12 years on 1st August 2014
Bands in this section may use four over age players.

Novice Section - for bands upper age limit 14 years on 1st August 2014. Bands in this section may use two over age players.

Development Section - for bands with upper age limit 16 years on 1st August 2014. Bands in this section may use one over age bass player.

Senior Section - for bands upper age limit 18 years on 1st August 2014.

FORMAT Own choice programme in each section.
There is no upper or maximum limit on the number of players in each band.

TIMING Bands in each section will present a programme of 15 minutes playing time.
It is important for bands to keep to the allocated playing time.
The change over time between bands must be used as efficiently as possible. A stage crew who will work with one nominated adult representative from each band in setting the stage. As a guideline bands will be expected to be ready to play 6 minutes after the previous band.

ADJUDICATION Adjudication will be open in all sections.

AWARDS Champions and Runners Up in each section. No other placing will be awarded but all bands will be graded with Gold, Silver & Bronze awards in each section. It is considered important that no band taking part should feel any sense of failure and that every band should gain an award and be able to use the contest as a positive experience in the musical development of its members.

PRE-DRAW As adjudication will be open, the event will be pre-drawn on Saturday 23 August, which will assist bands in making their arrangements for the day of the contest.

INSTRUMENTATION The same dispensations which apply in junior solo and quartet contests will apply to these championships. Whilst recognised and accepted brass band instruments are preferred, other instruments may be used as per score.

REGISTRATION No player registration procedures will apply.

ENTRY FEES There will be an entry fee of £30 per band.

TICKETS All competing bands will receive bandsmen's tickets. Entry for supporters/public will be charged at £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for children under 16 years.

CLOSING DATE Please complete and return your entry form with payment as soon as possible and no later than 1 August.

MUSIC ONE copy of music scores and programme notes must be sent to K.J. Belleville, 21 Miller Street, Innerleithen, EH44 6QR no later than 6 September.

ENTRIES All cheques should be made payable to St. Ronan's Silver Band. Further information and entries (using enclosed entry form entry form) to: K.J. Belleville, 21 Miller Street, Innerleithen, EH44 6QR.
Tel: 07775557156. Email: KJBelleville@aol.com


BORDERS ENTERTAINMENT CONTEST 2014

The Borders Entertainment Contest will be held on Saturday 1 November in Peebles High School, Springwood Rd, Peebles, EH45 9HB. As usual, this contest is for 4th, 3rd and 2nd section bands only.

Bands will play a 15 minute programme which must include a movement from a brass band test piece.

Further details and entry forms will be sent out soon.

 

 

 

 

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SCOTTISH BORDERS BRASS BAND ASSOCIATION

BORDERS BRASS YOUTH SOLO & ENSEMBLE CHAMPIONSHIPS

SATURDAY 18 JANUARY TEVIOT CHURCH, HAWICK

Adjudicator: Mr JOHN DOYLE ~ Accompanist: Mrs Fiona Dickson

Junior Ensembles
Draw - School/Band - Result
1 ST RONAN'S GOLD 1ST
2 HAWICK HIGH SILVER 2ND

Junior Solos
Draw - Name - School/Band - Result
1 CALLUM ROBB ST RONAN'S GOLD 1ST
2 CARA NEARY ABBEY BRASS SILVER
3 ISSIS FRENCH GALA YOUTH GOLD 2ND
4 CHARLEY GREEN GALA YOUTH SILVER
5 MADELINE HUME HAWICK HS GOLD 1ST
6 FREYA MCLEMAN GALA JUNIOR BRONZE
7 SAM SHEPARD GALA JUNIOR BRONZE
8 JAKE SHEPARD GALA JUNIOR BRONZE
9 CALLUM ANDERSON ST RONAN'S SILVER

Intermediate Ensembles
Draw - School/Band - Result
1 ABBEY BRASS 2 SILVER 2ND
2 GALA YOUTH SILVER 3RD
3 ABBEY BRASS 1 GOLD 1ST

Intermediate Solos
Draw - Name - School/Band - Result
1 THOMAS MCKEANE GALA YOUTH BRONZE
2 AMY THOMSON EARLSTON HS SILVER
3 DANIEL IRVINE HAWICK HS SILVER
4 GAVIN ROSS JEDFOREST SILVER
5 LOIS KIRK ST MARGARETS GOLD
6 RACHAEL DOYLE GALA YOUTH GOLD 2ND
7 HEATHER HUGHES BERICKSHIRE SILVER
8 AILSA ANDERSON HAWICK HS SILVER
9 JAMES ROSS JEDFOREST GOLD 1ST
10 HARRY MARSHALL HAWICK HS GOLD 3RD
11 NAOMI HENDERSON JEDFOREST BRONZE

Youth Ensembles
Draw - School/Band - Result
1 JEDFOREST GOLD 1ST

Youth Solos
Draw - Name - School/Band - Result
1 DOUGLAS COUCHMAN ST RONAN'S GOLD 1STSCOTTISH BORDERS BRASS BAND ASSOCIATION

YOUTH BAND CONTEST

SATURDAT 18 JANUARY - TEVIOT CHURCH, HAWICK
COMMENCING AT 2PM

Adjudicator: Mr JOHN DOYLE

PREPARATORY

No - School/Band - Result
1 GALASHIELS JUNIOR SILVER
2 SELKIRK JUNIOR GOLD 1ST

NOVICE

No - School/Band - Result
1 GALASHIELS YOUTH SILVER
2 ST RONAN'S FUTURE GOLD 1ST
3 ABBEY BRASS SILVER

DEVELOPMENT

No - School/Band - Result
1 HAWICK SCHOOLS GOLD 1ST
2 PEEBLES JUNIOR SILVER

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SCOTTISH BORDERS BRASS BAND ASSOCIATION - NEWS - JANUARY 2014

ASSOCIATION OFFICIALS & REPRESENTATIVE

At the recent annual general meeting of the Association, the following officials were elected by the band representatives present:

Chairman: Stephen Baird, Peebles Burgh Silver Band
Vice Chairman: Cliff Balson, Peebles Burgh Silver Band

Interim Secretary: Keith Belleville, St. Ronan's Silver Band

Treasurer: John Stratford, Selkirk Silver Band

Contest Co-ordinator: Nicola Douglas, Selkirk Silver Band

Youth Co-ordinator: Hannah French, Galashiels Town Band

Those present paid tribute to the out going Chairman Alan Fernie and Secretary Nicola Douglas for their hard work and dedication to the Association.

The Band representatives/contacts as they stand at the moment are:

Band  -  Reps  -  Junior Contact

Galashiels Town Band - Hannah French and Lorraine Quinn - Stuart Black

Hawick Saxhorn Band - Angela Douglas and Alan Fernie - Angela Douglas

Jedforest Instrumental Band - Adrienne Smith and Scott Renwick - Adrienne Smith

Langholm Town Band - Alison Reid

Peebles Burgh Silver Band - Stephen Baird and Cliff Balson - Danny Williamson and Lisa Ward Murray

Selkirk Silver Band - Nicola Douglas and John Stratford - Colin Kemp

St. Boswells Concert Band - Fiona Melrose

St. Ronan's Silver Band - Keith Belleville and David Allan - Adrianne & David Robb

If your band's representatives are to change, please let me know as soon as possible.

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS

Each member band is asked to submit their annual subscription of £25 to the Treasurer, John Stratford, 14 Victoria Crescent, Selkirk. Please make cheques payable to "SBBBA."

EVENTS FOR 2014

Date - Event & Info - Place - Time - Organiser

Sat 18 Jan - Borders Youth Solo, Ensemble & Band Contest

Adjudicator: John Doyle

Association Meeting - Teviot Church, Hawick - 10.00am (solo/ensemble) - 2.00pm (bands)  -  SBBBA (Nicola)

Sun 30 Mar - Youth Brass & Percussion Workshops - Tutors: Charlie & Caroline Farren, Stuart Black

St. Ronan's School, Innerleithen

10.00am - SBBBA (Hannah)

Sun 11 May - European Festival of Brass - Borders Event - Galashiels or TBC - SBBBA (?)

Sun ?? Sep

Youth Brass & Percussion Workshops

??

10.00am

SBBBA (Hannah)

Sat 1 Nov - Borders Entertainment Contest - Adjudicators: John Doyle & James Chamberlain

Peebles High School (TBC) - 9.00am? - SBBBA (Nicola/PBSB)

ASSOCIATION MEETING - SATURDAY 18 JANUARY - DURING YOUTH CONTEST

TEVIOT CHURCH, HAWICK

We are aware that time is short so please come with thoughts on the items noted so we can save time.

Agenda

1. Apologies

2. Youth Brass & Percussion Workshop (Sunday 30 March 2014, St. Ronan's Primary School)

3. European Festival of Brass Event/s (Saturday 11 May 2014)

4. September Workshops (Date and venue)

5. Contest Closing Dates

6. SBBBA Website

7. BEC (Saturday 1 November 2014)

8. Treasurer's Report

9. Band Representative's contact details/emails

10. Dates of committee meetings 2014

11. AOB

 

BORDERS YOUTH SOLO, ENSEMBLE & YOUTH BAND CONTEST
SATURDAY 18 JANUARY 2014

TEVIOT CHURCH, HAWICK

9.00am Committee and helpers meet

10.00am Solo and ensembles draw

Maximum playing time of 6 minutes.

Approx timings:

10.30am Junior Ensembles (2) then Solos (9)

11.30am Intermediate ensembles (3) then Solos (11)

12.45pm Youth Ensemble (1) no solos entered

1.15pm Results

1.30pm Committee Meeting

2.00pm Band Contest

Preparatory
2.00pm Gala Junior
2.25pm Selkirk Junior

Novice
2.50pm Gala Youth
3.15pm St. Ronan's Future
3.40pm Abbey Brass

Development
4.05pm Hawick
4.30pm Peebles

5.15pm Results (approx.)

These are times to be on stage. As per last year bands have 5 minutes max to warm up, 10 minutes playing time followed by feedback from adjudicator John Doyle. All bands will be awarded Bronze, Silver, Gold and there will be a winner in each section.

Bands must bring a copy of your score(s) for the adjudicator and programme notes if desired.

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Scottish Borders Solo and Enemble Contest 2014

 will be part of festival day like last year. It will be held in 18th Jan in Teviot Church Hall, Hawick

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SCOTTISH BORDERS BRASS BAND ASSOCIATION

YOUTH BAND CONTEST

SUNDAY 20 JANUARY 2013 - VOLUNTEER HALL, GALASHIELS
COMMENCING AT 1.30PM

Adjudicator: Mr Les Neish

PREPARATORY Section

School/Band Result
GALASHIELS JUNIOR - GOLD
SELKIRK JUNIOR - GOLD - 1ST

NOVICE Section

School/Band Result
ABBEY BRASS - GOLD - 1ST
ST RONANS FUTURE - SILVER
GALASHIELS YOUTH - SILVER

DEVELOPMENT

School/Band Result
HAWICK SCHOOLS YOUTH - SILVER 1ST

20130122112752.jpg - 1 Selkirk Juniors winner Prep
Selkirk Youth winners of Preparatory Section

BORDERS BRASS YOUTH SOLO & ENSEMBLE CHAMPIONSHIPS

SUNDAY 20 JANUARY 2013 - VOLUNTEER HALL, GALASHIELS
COMMENCING AT 10.00AM

Adjudicator: Mr Les Neish ~ Accompanist: Mrs Fiona Dickson


Junior Ensembles
School/Band Result
HAWICK SCHOOLS - GOLD - 1st
JEDFOREST BAND BUDDIES - SILVER

Junior Solos

Name School/Band - Instrument - Result
AILSA ANDERSON HAWICK HS - HORN - SILVER
RACHAEL DOYLE GALASHIELS - HORN - SILVER
ASHLEIGH FERGUSON HOWDENBURN PS - CORNET - GOLD 3rd
ISSIE FRENCH GALASHIELS YOUTH - CORNET - SILVER
MADELINE HUME WILTON PS - FLUGEL - GOLD 1st
HANNAH KEMP SELKIRK SILVER - CORNET - GOLD 2
MOLLY MARSHALL WILTON PS - BARITONE - SILVER


Intermediate Solos

Name School/Band - Instrument - Result
REBECCA HALL LANGHOLM - CORNET - BRONZE
NAOMI HENDERSON KELSO HS - BARITONE - BRONZE
LOIS KIRK ST MARGARETS FLUGEL - GOLD 2nd
ROSS MABON LANGHOLM - HORN - SILVER
HARRY MARSHALL HAWICK HS - CORNET - SILVER 3rd
BENJAMIN HINDLEY ST RONANS - FLUGEL - GOLD 1st

NIAMH DOYLE ST RONANS - GLOCKENSPIEL - BRONZE


Youth Ensembles
School/Band Result
LANGHOLM - SILVER

Youth Solos
Name School/Band - Instrument - Result
DOUGLAS COUCHMAN ST RONANS - CORNET - GOLD 1st
HENRY JEFFREY JEDFOREST - TROMBONE - BRONZE
REBECCA LINDSAY ST RONANS - EUPHONIUM - GOLD 3rd
CHARLIE MARSHALL HAWICK - CORNET - BRONZE
LIAM ORR ST RONANS - CORNET - GOLD 2nd
SIMON RAILTON ANNAN - CORNET - SILVER

 

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A SHORT HISTORY OF THE SCOTTISH BRASS BAND ASSOCIATION

& THE SCOTTISH BRASS BAND CHAMPIONSHIPS

Early Contesting

 The first recorded Brass Band Contest in Scotland took place at Wemyss Castle Estate near Kirkcaldy, Fife in July 1885. A first prize of £40 and a travel grant of £10 was enough to lure the champion band of England, Besses O’ Th’ Barn from Lancashire to compete. Besses Band emerged as the winners of the main Contest and the £40 prize, also winning the subsidiary event, a March Contest for which they received another £2. Alloa Burgh Band were placed a lowly second and Kirkcaldy Trades Band third.

 Formation of the Scottish Amateur Brass Band Association

 July 1895 saw the formation of The Scottish Amateur Brass Band Association. The Committee was headed by Mr. Peter Black, Town Chamberlain of Alloa Burgh and Chairman of Alloa Burgh Band as President, Mr. Robert Baillie, Carron Iron Works as Treasurer and Mr. James Bryce of Cambusbarron as Secretary. They were assisted by five delegates from East based Bands and five from the West to oversee the affairs of the Association. With no similar national association currently existing in either England or Wales and with national associations in other European countries being formed much later, it is understood that the Scottish Association is the oldest established national brass band association in Europe.

Rules for Contesting

At the inaugural meeting of theAssociation Rules forContesting were set out as follows:-

The maximum number of players allowed at a Contest would be 24. The minimum number would be 12. No Percussion was allowed.

Players' nameshad to be submitted 28 days prior to acontest and listed under the Band'sname on the official programme.

No Band would be allowed torehearse the test piece after thestarting time of the contest.

The maximum retaining fee any Band could pay its resident Bandmaster was 31 Guineas annually. Professional Conductor’s fees were at the behest of individual Bands.

The well being of Adjudicators at the Championships would be the responsibility of the SABBA Executive.

Regional Associationsrunning a Contest would beresponsible for their chosenAdjudicator and his safedeparture from theContest venue.

No Band could add the status "Burgh" to its name unless approved by its own Burgh Council. The legal disposition of this had to be submitted in writing and ratified by SABBA. 

No Band could add the status prize to its name until it had won a first prize at a Championship Contest or a first at any affiliated Contest approved by SABBA .  

At the end of a Contest theAdjudicator’s decision must bedisplayed on a blackboard andclearly defined in white chalk.

Member Bands would pay an annual fee of One Half Guinea and affiliated Associations One Full Guinea to retain membership.

Objections to Contest results must be lodged with the Association Secretary within seven days with a cash security of One Guinea.

The Scottish Championships Commence

The first Scottish Championships were held in 1895 with 22 bands taking part, divided between two sections. The first Scottish Champions were Bo’ness & Carriden playing the test piece “Eureka” The winning conductor was John Gladney who also directed Kelty & Blairadam to success in the Second Section.
Over 8,000 followers of the bands attended the event which was held in Edinburgh’s Waverley Market. Facilities in the market were primitive. There was no seating. Bands performed standing in the ring used by the cattle auctioneers with spectators on stepped terraces. The major advantage of the venue was its proximity to Edinburgh’s main line railway station. Most bands and their supporters made their way to the Championships by train, the railway specials to the Championships being the first organised railway excursions to any event in Scotland.

Difficulties arose for the Association a few years later when Bo’ness & Carriden Band were disqualified from a contest and this resulted in a prolonged court case between SABBA and the band. This in turn gave rise to a number of bands withdrawing from the Association and it was several years before the rift was fully healed. On a more positive note, 1904 saw the first in a series of several “International” contests between top bands in Scotland and the north of England.

As the number of bands competing in the Scottish Championships rose, a third section was introduced in 1905 followed by the addition of a fourth section in 1925. A total of 60 bands took part in the 1925 Championships with the lower sections in venues throughout Scotland but with the Waverley Market still in use for the top section. In the period to 1925 the dominant band in the Championships was Clydebank Burgh who secured the title on 13 occasions out of 26 attempts. In the period of twenty years before the First World War, Clydebank was only twice placed outside the top three.

The 1920’s also saw the emergence of the SCWS Band (later CWS Glasgow and now Scottish Co-op) as a major contesting force. Following victories in the Scottish Championships of 1924, 1926 and 1927 the Directors of SCWS adopted a policy of strengthening the band by offering jobs to players who were prepared to move to Glasgow. At a time of high unemployment, this quickly resulted in the entire band becoming employees of the SCWS and the band dominating the Championships for the next twenty years, securing eleven victories between 1924 and 1948.

A New Age

Following the end of the Second World War the SABBA Executive reformed and set about arranging the Championship contests. Their first decision was to abandon the noisy bustling throng of the Waverly Market as a contest venue, contracting to use the more plush setting of the Usher Hall, Edinburgh.

Since the foundation of the Band Movement there had been no proper registration of players with their respective bands. Through this lax situation it was not unknown for top section players to sell their talent to lower grade bands for a fee. Jerome Chester, Director of Marketing with the Daily Herald set about sealing this often abused practice, by introducing a  player’s individual registration card. These registration cards introduced in 1945, were the forerunner of what is in use today.

Until this point in time the maximum number of players permitted in the Contesting Bands was 24. Eric Ball, the eminent Composer and Conductor, using his influence tried to have the number increased to 26. He wanted another Front Row Cornet and another Tenor Horn, even at the expense of excluding a Baritone. After extensive discussions with the top administrators in the Movement and the Music Publishing Houses he failed to convince them to change. A compromise was achieved with agreement to allow the extra Cornet and therefore from 1946 the maximum contest playing number would be 25 from a pool of 33. Percussion had not yet come into the equation of brass band contesting.

In 1945 the Daily Herald newspaper introduced qualifying events for the National Championships of Great Britain. For a number of years these were staged separately from the Scottish Championships causing confusion and difficulty for the bands and a degree of acrimony between SABBA and the Daily Herald. The problem was eventually resolved in 1958 when the dates of the Scottish Championships were altered and it was agreed that the Scottish Championships would then also serve as the qualifying event for the British Championship finals.

This dual status of the event is often overlooked or misunderstood by those outside of Scotland but for Scottish bands the status of their own national championship title remains undiminished. Scottish bands, their players and supporters will never be heard referring to the “Scottish Regional” or the “Scottish Area”. For everyone in Scottish banding the event is always simply the Scottish Championships.

A Time of Change

The 1960’s and 1970’s witnessed a number of changes. The Championship Section contest finally moved away from Edinburgh with a number of venues throughout Scotland being used until, by the mid 1970’s Falkirk and Motherwell had become established as the venues for all sections of the contest. In 1969 Boosey & Hawkes advised the previous high pitched instruments would be discontinued and, with effect from 1 January 1970, only low pitch instruments would be available. This change caused great concern throughout the band movement with bands requiring to purchase complete new sets of instruments.

A further change was the introduction of percussion which was gradually permitted in band contests, the change being phased in over the period 1971 – 1973. The 1960’s and 70’s also witnessed the arrival of a new force in Scottish banding with the emergence of Whitburn who secured the title on 13 occasions between 1968 and 1993. In the 37 Championship contests since 1968, Whitburn have failed to secure a top three place on only four occasisons. 

More Recent Times

In 1984 the European Championships came to Scotland for the first time with Edinburgh being selected as the host city and the Usher Hall as the main venue. In 1990 a Scottish band finally secured the title of Champion Band of Great Britain with the victory of CWS (Glasgow) Band in the Royal Albert Hall. The band would go on to repeat this feat in 1996 whilst enjoying a further purple patch in the Scottish Championships with ten Scottish titles secured in the period from 1988 to date.

The European Championships returned to Scotland in 1990 with Falkirk this time the venue. 1992 saw the re-organisation of the contesting bands into five sections and in 1994 SABBA celebrated its centenary. The Scottish Association also instituted a European Youth Championships which was staged on a number of occasions, most recently in 1999.  

The Scottish Brass Band Association Today

The Scottish Brass Band Association is the national body for brass bands in Scotland. The Association regulates all contesting activities in Scotland, including the maintenance of a registry system for all Scottish bands. It organises all the main events in the annual Scottish brass band calendar. It also plays an active role in supporting its member bands mainly through the provision of information, in supporting youth development, in preserving the history of the band movement in Scotland and in promoting brass bands and their music to the general public.

The Association has no paid staff and is controlled by an Executive Committee comprising 20 members who are elected annually by representatives of the member bands at the Annual General Meeting. All of the members of the Executive undertake their duties on a voluntary basis.

The word Amateur has been dropped from the title, becoming the Scottish Brass Band Association. The Association has become a registered charity in Scotland and has taken on the task of reorganising a number of the established events like the annual Solo & Quartet Contests which is now the Solo and Ensemble event. Rules for contesting have been updated and expanded and various changes and improvements have been made in the running of the annual Scottish Championships.

2003 saw the establishment of a new event, The Scottish Open Championship, presented in the prestigious Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and with bands from England and Wales taking part. The same day the Scottish Youth Band Championships were re-introduced and proved to be a great success.

The Scottish Brass Band Week was also established in 2003, seeking to raise the profile of brass bands throughout the country and the Scottish Association’s Year Book, containing a wealth of information for our member bands, was introduced. Marketing of recordings produced by Scottish bands has been taken on board with proceeds being passed on to our member bands. The Association has also introduced a number of comprehensive advertising packages for our friends in the music trade.

In 2004 Scotland hosted the European Championships for a third time. The week long festival in Glasgow was widely praised for its high artistic and organisational standards and has come to be recognised by many as perhaps the most successful brass band event to have taken place in the UK in modern times.

The Scottish Association and the wider Scottish banding community have now reached the significant milestone of the 100th staging of the Scottish Brass Band Championships. An opportunity to look back at the long and proud history of brass bands in Scotland but also a time to look ahead with confidence for a bright future.

 

Based on research by Hugh Johnstone MBE

and adapted from his original text.

Additional research by Gordon Simpson

and Alan McLaren.