Sheffield Region Brass Network

Did you know there are over ten brass bands that rehearse within the Sheffield city boundary, and over 50 within the wider Sheffield City Region?

The Sheffield Region Brass Network is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2013 by Rachel Veitch-Straw, David Morris and Stuart Young to increase the profile and visibility of brass bands in the Sheffield City UK through Information, Education & Advocacy by facilitating regular networking meetings and providing relevant online support where available.

Brass bands play an important part in the area’s cultural history, as can be seen in the films The Full Monty and Brassed Off! (feat. The Unite the Union (formerly Stocksbridge band) and Grimethorpe Colliery bands). In fact, Sheffield is home to one of the oldest surviving brass bands in the country, Woodhouse Prize Band founded in 1853! But long after the mines and steelworks closed and band connections with heavy industry finished, the bands play on in their communities. Many bands even have training bands where people of all ages and backgrounds can learn to play and get involved in a friendly family atmosphere.

You can see brass bands throughout the year in a number of different settings and playing a broad range of repertoire. They could be playing popular chart hits on park bandstands or at village fêtes, you could hear them playing hymns at church services, or see them marching on Armistice Day, or playing Christmas carols on the high street. In North Sheffield there is a strong tradition of playing ‘local carols’, generally grown from the Stannington and Dungworth villages and played by Stannington and Loxley Bands – a real must-see for anyone in the area.

Did you know that many bands also compete in Brass Band contests? These range from local to nationally run events at which bands aspire to gain promotion through five 'sections' (a bit like football leagues!). This forges a healthy sense of competition and comradery, with contests being great fun both socially and from the musical perspective. 2018 and 2019 were very successful years for South Yorkshire's bands as they won their way through to the national finals to represent the Yorkshire area in 4 of the 5 sections! The University of Sheffield Brass Band also plays each year at the annual Uni Brass Contest for students. Sheffield University was due to host this event in 2021, but COVID-19 sadly got in the way.Some of the finest repertoire for brass band has been commissioned for the contest stage by composers, such as Gilbert Vinter, Eric Ball, Philip Sparke, Edward Gregson, Philip Wilby and Herbert Howells, and the brass band movement regularly commissions new works from young composers for its contests.

How to get involved

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