Category Archives: News

Tredegar take the stage at UniBrass 2019

UniBrass are pleased to announce that Tredegar Town Band will perform the UniBrass Gala Concert in Pontio’s Theatr Bryn Terfel on Saturday 2nd February.
The UniBrass Gala Concert has become one of the key attractions of the contest to inspire and entertain future generations of brass players. With UniBrass making its’ debut in Wales it is fitting to feature one of the top Welsh bands at next year’s contest. Tredegar have appeared in BAFTA Award winning film Pride, performed on Britain’s Got Talent and became Band Cymru champions in 2016.

Sam Hartharn-Evans, UniBrass Organising Committee Chair said “with the contest’s debut in Wales, Tredegar Town Band was an obvious choice to showcase Welsh brass banding entertainment. We’re really excited to see what the band has in store for us”.

MD Ian Porthouse said: “We are delighted to be able to perform at the UniBrass Championships – especially as they are being held in Wales. There is always a fantastic atmosphere and a sense of inclusion at the event, and we aim to round the contest day off with plenty of great music to ensure everyone can enjoy themselves well into the night!”

Tickets will go on sale via the Pontio website on 7th December. This is a concert not to be missed.

UniBrass 2019 Adjudication Team Announced

With less than 3 months to go until UniBrass 2019, the Organising Committee are excited the four people who will be making the all important decisions to see who will be walking away with the trophies on contest day.

The Trophy Section will see 11 bands competing , including new band the University of Salford Brass Band, under the watchful eye of Anne Crookston and Alan Morrison.

The Shield Section will also see 11 bands compete for title, with the decisions down to Alan Fernie and Sheona White.

A record 22 bands have signed up to take part in next year’s contest, the allocated sections are below. The contest draw will take place on Wednesday 7th November at 8:30pm and will be livestreamed on the UniBrass Facebook page.

We’re thrilled that all four adjudicators have agreed to be part of UniBrass’ biggest contest yet and can’t wait to welcome them to Bangor on 2nd February. For more information on the adjudication team, and the contest, visit our 2019 contest page

Don’t forget that you can sign up to our newsletter for updates on the contest and the committee’s activities leading up to the contest!

UniBrass Venues Announced

UniBrass are delighted to announce that the 2019 championships will be held across two venues at Bangor University on 2nd February 2019. The Trophy section will be held in Theatr Bryn Terfel in Pontio, Bangor University’s Arts and Innovation Centre, with the Shield section to be held in the Hugh Owen Hall in the Management Centre. Both venues are in close proximity to the university’s Main Arts Building where the bands will come together for the results ceremony and social. More details about the event will be announced soon.

About the venues, UniBrass 2019 Chair Sam Hartharn-Evans said: “We’re excited to be able to showcase the excellent venues that Bangor University has to offer, we hope that by using Pontio as the centre of the contest we can make UniBrass 2019 an event for the whole community in Bangor.”

We are also pleased to be able to offer audience members reduced rates on accommodation in partnership with the Management Centre on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd February. The Management Centre offers 54 rooms of Visit Wales 4* Graded Accommodation situated less than 200m from the Main Arts Building. It is also the host of the Shield section, and so is perfectly situated for anybody wishing stay overnight for UniBrass. All guest bedrooms are en-suite with complimentary tea and coffee making facilities, Wi-Fi, and digital flat screen televisions, and there are single, twin, double and king executive rooms on offer. The Management Centre has a range of food and drink options through the on site 1884 restaurant, bar and lounge, and is a perfect place to relax after a long day at the contest, It is even close enough to nip back during the day! For further details see our Facebook page or contact the Management Centre directly state booking reference BK53745 for our reduced rates.

If you would like to keep up to date with the latest news about UniBrass, head over to our website and our social media for updates.

UniBrass heads to Bangor!

UniBrass are pleased to announce that next year’s contest will be held on 2nd February 2019 at Bangor University. Once again we will be welcoming university brass bands from around the country to Bangor to compete across two sections; the Trophy and the Shield. Full details about the contest will be announced in due course. We look forward to welcoming you to Bangor and to making UniBrass 2019 the biggest contest yet.

To celebrate the release of the contest logo the Organising Committee are running a competition to name the dragon featured on the 2019 contest logo. If you would like to enter please contact us at or via social media with your suggestions for a name. Entries close at 12 noon on 14th July. The winner will be announced on 16th July and will receive a UniBrass contest t-shirt.

In the meantime, if you have any queries about the contest, feel free to contact us at and keep up to date by following our us on social media:
Facebook: @unibrass
Twitter: @UniBrass
Instagram: unibrass

Brass in the Park


Summer Festival poster Logo

Whilst students enjoy several months holiday over the summer, a well deserved break from studying, many miss the student lifestyle, friends and of course their university brass band! With that in mind the UniBrass Foundation is keen to keep people playing over the long summer months and, as such, are delighted to announce it’s first summer festival, Brass in the Park!

Taking place on Saturday 1st September on Oxford’s Merton Field, Brass in the Park is a great way to end the holidays and an ideal chance for student brass bander’s to come together for a day’s brass banding and socialising. Not a student? No problem, everyone from the brass band community is welcome, come along and enjoy a great day out with friends and family, all completely free! As well as the first ever UniBrass scratch band the Foundation will also be putting on food and refreshments to turn this park job into a great day out. With a brass band, BBQ and hopefully some sun, what more could you want!

Players of all ages and standard are invited to join members of the UniBrass Foundation, and current contest organising committee to play. Either sign up in advance at: or just bring your instrument along on the day.

The music will start at 11AM and carry on all day, with food and drink available throughout.

Owen Farr to host Test Piece Workshop


Credit John Stirzaker (275)

We are delighted to announce that the brilliant Owen Farr will be hosting our free workshop again this year! The workshop will be running from 10.30am-2.30pm on the day of the UniBrass contest – 17th February 2018 – at the University of York campus. The workshop will culminate in a short lunchtime performance in the main auditorium of the Barbican, a short walk from the University.

The workshop is open to brass and percussion players of all ages, with a playing ability of approximately grade 3 and up. It will focus on improving your skills through examining the test piece ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’. This is a fantastic opportunity to receive free tuition from one of the top players in the UK, and to perform in front of an excited and supportive audience of brass band fans. Workshop participants will receive free entry to the rest of the UniBrass contest, and an opportunity to receive discounted ticket prices to our evening Gala Concert!

To reserve your place in the 2018 workshops visit:

Tickets for the UniBrass contest are still available at

Photo: 2017 UniBrass Workshops, John Stirzaker

UniBrass 2018 Adjudication Team

With UniBrass 2018 just around the corner, the organising committee are excited to announce the adjudicators for the Trophy and Shield sections in this year’s contest. Sandy Smith, the Conductor of Tubular Brass and Resident Musical Director of Grimethorpe Colliery Band, will be overseeing the UniBrass Trophy section alongside talented flugel player Alex Kenyon. This section will see ten bands competing, with last year’s newcomers RNCM defending their impressive performance that led them to victory in 2017.

Eleven bands will compete in the UniBrass Shield section. Established in 2017, this section is aimed at the less-established student bands for a fairer contest that allows more bands a chance to win awards. Its first year was an extremely close-run contest in which Durham University came out on top. This section will be adjudicated by Whitburn’s Principal Cornet Chris Bradley and Grimethorpe’s Solo Horn Helen Varley. All four adjudicators will also be playing with the fabulous Tubular Brass in our Gala Concert, that follows the main contest.
Tickets for the Contest and Gala Concert are still available from £12 at There is also a discount available for combined Contest and Gala tickets.

Free tickets for UniBrass 2018 for non-competing universities

Credit John Stirzaker (27)

Image Credit: John Stirzaker

UniBrass 2018 is fast approaching, and with 21 universities competing across the Trophy and Shield sections, the biggest UniBrass yet promises to provide a fantastic day of entertainment. Still, the UniBrass Foundation is not resting. Keen to involve students from even more universities in the UniBrass community, the Foundation is offering FREE contest tickets to non-competing university brass bands and ensembles, or student brass players from universities that don’t have a brass group so they can come and see what the event is all about.
To be eligible you should be a brass/percussion player and a student at a university that is not competing at this year’s contest. Simply fill out the form at for each person who would like a ticket. There are a limited number of tickets available, so fill it in as soon as possible!
Foundation Chair, Alex Parker, commented “Whilst we are thrilled that 21 bands are competing in this year’s contest, we would like to see even more attend in future. We would love to see members of ensembles that are hoping to grow, bands that haven’t been able to compete this year, or people who are looking to start their own brass group so they can get a taste of the UniBrass experience and feel part of the university brass banding community.”
Further to the complimentary contest tickets, anybody who is a part of this scheme will be welcome to stay in our performers accommodation on the Saturday evening at the University of York.
UniBrass 2018 takes place at the York Barbican on the 17th February. Tickets for the contest and the Gala Concert, featuring the incredible Tubular Brass, are available from

UniBrass 2018 Draw

The UniBrass 2018 draw took place on Monday 20th November. The order of play on 17th February is shown in the following graphic. Don’t forget to get your ticket at for what should be a brilliant day of banding! We look forward to seeing you all at the Barbican in York on 17th February 2018!


UniBrass goes Tubular

As momentum gathers for UniBrass 2018, the committee are excited to announce further details for the 2018 event, including details for the Gala Concert and information for registering bands.

In the last few years, the Gala Concert has become a key part of the UniBrass atmosphere, with the intention of bringing a top brass band to inspire future generations of brass players. We can today announce that the Gala Concert – also held on 17th February 2018 at the York Barbican – will feature nationally renowned group, Tubular Brass. With the familiar form of a traditional brass band, Tubular Brass sets out to bring brass band music to the masses, through new arrangements of modern and popular music – most notably Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. This truly unique experience will undoubtedly be a rousing finish to a fantastic contest day.

Registration for UniBrass 2018 will also open shortly, on the 23rd October 2017. As established last year, the contest will once again be held over two sections, allowing places (and prizes) for a larger number of bands. If you want to know more about registering for the contest please get in touch with our contest secretary Ed by emailing

Tickets for both the contest and gala concert are now on sale! Head over to the Barbican’s website to pick up your tickets, and with special rates for those wanting to attend both the contest and gala concert we hope you’ll make a day of it. Keep an eye on our website and social media for upcoming announcements about the day.