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.