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The Gloucestershire Brass Band Association (GBBA) represents, supports, and promotes bands from the Championship Section to youth and non-contesting bands from the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire and surrounding areas. The GBBA seeks to stimulate local and national interest in the musical and cultural development of brass bands through assisting in the organisation of local educational and training schemes, organising an annual open own choice contest, as well as promoting best practice in management, welfare and co-operation within its member bands.


The Own Choice March and Test Piece Contest is held towards the close of the year, normally mid-November, at an excellent venue in Cheltenham. The most recent contest attracted bands from quite a distance and was a great success. 


The GBBA also holds a number of events in partnership with Gloucestershire Music (GM). We are aware of the need to support and encourage the talented youth of our area to develop the future of brass banding. These events are successful when all member bands and music groups support them.


In January 2019, GBBA and GM reinvigorated the Gloucestershire Youth Brass Band (GYBB) for young brass players in our area. With top quality directors and tutors, including Ian Porthouse and returning GYBB members Emily Wilson (cornets and horns), Ben Stratford (lower brass), Andy McDade (tubas),

and Max Ireland (percussion), it was a musical

weekend culminating in a recording for

Music For Youth (MFY). Past GYBB

members also took part in a few

reunion massed items as part of

the programme. GYBB has since

had another course with guest

conductor Alan Fernie, recording

their performance in concert at the

end of the course as a submission to

Music For Youth, which resulted in their

performing in Birmingham at the festival a

few months later. GYBB have also met and performed

with other ensembles and soloists such as Brass For Africa and world-renowned Wynton Marsalis as part of the Cheltenham Music Festival. Thus, GYBB is offering great opportunities for youth players to be a part of in the local area.

                                                                                                                               Youth Development Day, which invited bands-

                                                                                                                               people working with training bands and interested in

                                                                                                                               youth music to attend a conducting workshop with                                                                                                                                   Ian Porthouse and to a Youth Band Approaches         

                                                                                                                               presentation and discussion with Piet Visser

                                                                                                                               (Netherlands), Remi Vilys (Lithuanian Eruopean Brass

                                                                                                                               Band Championships (EBBC) delegate), and Laurynas

                                                                                                                               Vilys (Lithuanian Brass Band Association

                                                                                                                               representative), chaired by Thomas Dunne. The day

                                                                                                                               was well-attended, with plenty to learn from and the

                                                                                                                               inspiring youth course, workshop, and presentation

                                                                                                                               showed that youth music can flourish with

                                                                                                                               enthusiastic volunteers, and communication and                                                                                                                                       collaboration between local, national, and

                                                                                                                               international organisations. 

GBBA also support young musicians in attending national music courses and other activities that encourages and develops their musical talent. GBBA has awarded bursaries to many youth members in the past, with the youth players going to engage in music wit great success. Read more about some of the bursaries awarded to Jack and Luke.


The GYBB, Youth Development Day, and GBBA funding are prime examples of what the GBBA can do for your band and the youngsters connected to your band and other organisations.

Please contact GBBA's committee for information, queries, or contest entries.

If you would like GBBA to publicise any of your band's events, please contact GBBA's webmaster.

We ask that you send a write-up about the event, including appropriate links, and/or a poster in pdf and JPEG format.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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