The European Brass Band Festival 2022 in Birmingham

The European Brass Band Festival 2022 is an expanded version of the existing European Brass Band Championships (EBBC) in association with World of Brass. EBBC is the world’s leading brass band event, celebrating the music making that takes place in the 18 member countries that comprise the European Brass Band Association (EBBA). Formed in 1995, EBBA administers the European Brass Band Championships annually at venues around Europe.

EBBC was founded in 1978 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. It has since gone on to become the most important international brass band competition in the world, with bands from 18 countries competing for the title of European Brass Band Champion in the Championship, Challenge and Youth sections.

In 2020, Brass Bands England was asked to host the 2022 event, which will be the first to take place following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, relaunching this international event in the cradle of the brass band community.

Full programme:

The Band of HM Royal Marines and National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain (Thursday 28 April, Town Hall Birmingham)

Concert with Grimethorpe Colliery Band and the European Composers Competition (Friday 29 April, Town Hall Birmingham)

The European Youth Brass Band Competition (Saturday 30 April, Symphony Hall Birmingham)

The European Brass Band Championships (Saturday 30 April (set -test-piece) & Sunday 1 May (own-choice), Symphony Hall Birmingham)

Gala Concert with the Louis Dowdeswell Big Band and Cory Band (Sunday 1 May, Symphony Hall Birmingham) and Awards Ceremony

Participants’ Party (Sunday 1 May, Symphony Hall Birmingham)

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Vaughan Williams tribute by Philip Wilby to test Europe’s Champion bands 

The European Brass Band Association is pleased to announce Philip Wilby, one of the most admired composers for the brass band of the past 30 years, as the composer of the set test for the 2022 European Brass Band Championships, in association with World of Brass, to be held in Symphony Hall, Birmingham (Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May). Commissioned by the organisers of the European Brass Band Festival (EBBF) weekend, Brass Bands England, with the support of the RVW Charitable Trust, Saints Triumphant pays tribute to the great English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 – 1958) and forms part of a major nationwide celebration of his life and work – RVW150

In his note on the new work, Philip Wilby writes, “Described by a recent Archbishop of Canterbury as ‘A Christian Agnostic’, Vaughan Williams was born the son of an Anglican clergyman, and was related to both the naturalist Charles Darwin and the potter Josiah Wedgewood. His ‘English Hymnal’ in particular, has made an indelible mark on English musical life. His music forms a lifetime’s backdrop for many musicians, and this composition for brass band, written under his shadow, is my tribute to his mighty example.” 

Saints Triumphant is based on the most famous of RVW’s own hymn tunes, Sine Nomine, composed to be sung to the hymn ‘For all the Saints who from their labours rest’. Wilby says that the music ‘follows the text closely with a sequence of musical episodes, some combative, and some valedictory. It ends, as does the final verses of the hymn, with a triumphant close’. 

Saints Triumphant will be published by Kirklees Music and will be available in February for competing bands. 

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