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The most up to date source of UniBrass information, alongside our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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 contest@unibrass.co.uk.

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.

UniBrass Comes to the York Barbican


UniBrass is thrilled to announce that the 2018 championships will be held at the York Barbican, on February 17th 2018. Brass bands from across the country will descend on Yorkshire to compete in the Trophy and Shield sections, with full details of the event to be announced soon. Tickets will be sold through the Barbican box office.

The York Barbican is York’s foremost performance venue, hosting a variety of music and comedy events among others. It is also well known for hosting the annual UK Snooker Championships. The Barbican is the ideal venue to facilitate both the sociable atmosphere UniBrass is renowned for, and the increasingly prestigious standing of the championships. UniBrass 2018 Chair Chris Baldwin says: “We’re delighted to be bringing UniBrass to the heart of York at last, not only for the fantastic venue but also the close proximity to the University of York.”

UniBrass 2018 is again hosted by the University of York Brass Band. We’ll be out and about in York over the coming months in preparation for the contest, so keep an eye on our website and social media channels for the latest. You can also sign up to the UniBrass Newsletter: just click the link on the menu above to make sure you don’t miss out!

UniBrass Nominated for Love York Award

The nominations for the University of York Students' Union Love York Awards have today been revealed - and UniBrass is delighted to receive a nomination in the Best Event category!

The Love York Awards celebrate the achievements of University of York students and societies, with a range of awards representing the breadth of student extra-curricular life. We are thrilled that UniBrass 2017 has been recognised by YUSU in this way, and look forward to another year working with them and the University of York as we prepare for UniBrass 2018.

Well done also to all our fellow nominees - roll on the awards ceremony on June 2nd!

Love York

UniBrass Travels to the National Youth Championships

Just over a month after the phenomenal 2017 contest in Harrogate, the UniBrass team are regrouping and heading out to the National Youth Brass Band Championships, held by Brass Bands England. New and old members of the organising committee will be volunteering backstage throughout the contest day on April 2nd, continuing UniBrass’ proud tradition of supporting the wider banding community.

This year’s Youth Championships are taking place at the University of Salford, held over four sections: Beginners (aged 11 and under), Junior (16 and under), Intermediate and Championship. Bands competing in the Intermediate and Championship sections will perform a set test piece, “Smoke Sketches” by Daniel Hall (Intermediate) or “Penlee” by Simon Dobson (Championship). Monetary prizes of up to £350 will be presented to the top three bands in all sections except Beginners, with further awards up for grabs for the best instrumentalists. The Beginners section will name the Band of the Day, and the band with the most potential.

UniBrass attended many brass band contests in the run-up to UniBrass 2017, among which the Youth Championships was undoubtedly a highlight. All who attended were impressed by the smooth running of the event, and came away with a great deal of inspiration for running the UniBrass Championships. The relationship between BBE and UniBrass has remained strong over the past year, particularly in their mutual support for youth banding.


As preparations for the 2018 contest begin, several new student volunteers from the University of York have joined the UniBrass organising committee. One such newcomer is Beatrice Rix, who is looking forward to helping out at a banding contest for the first time: “I am relatively new to brass banding, with UniBrass 2017 being the first competition I attended. I’m looking forward to helping at the Youth Championships to learn more about the brass banding world and what it takes to help run a brilliant event.”

Chris Baldwin, incoming Chair of the UniBrass committee, is also excited to be involved in the Youth Championships once more: “I have no doubt this will be an invaluable experience for new members of the 2018 committee as an insight into the running of a brass band contest, as well as an opportunity to raise awareness of UniBrass within the banding community.”

Tickets are available for the National Youth Brass Band Championships here: https://bbe.yapsody.com/event/index/62123/national-youth-brass-band-championships. Search for “UniBrass” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with the world’s only inter-university brass band contest!

Final Preparations Underway for UniBrass 2017

UniBrass 2017 is less than a week away! With the contest taking place on Saturday, final preparations are well underway across the country. The 19 competing bands are getting ready to impress the adjudicators with their creative and innovative performances, and we can’t wait to see what they’ve got to offer. The University of Oxford Brass Band will kick off proceedings in the UniBrass Shield at 11:45, with the UniBrass Trophy commencing at 12:15 with reigning champions the University of Manchester.

The seventh annual contest is bringing a major brass banding event back to Harrogate International Centre, the former national finals venue, and the local brass banding community has been out in force. Tewit Brass Band and Harrogate Brass Band have been working with the contest organising team over the past weeks, ensuring the local community are well aware that brass banding is back! Tewit’s senior youth band will also be giving a performance as part of the results ceremony.

Earlier in the year we announced Katrina Marzella as one of the adjudicators for the Shield section. Katrina has recently given birth to a baby girl, and from everyone at UniBrass we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to her and her husband. While mother and baby are both doing well, on medical advice Katrina will sadly no longer be able to attend UniBrass. She told us: “As a keen supporter of the contest who is enjoying seeing the event go from strength to strength, I am naturally disappointed to pull out. However I do hope the organisers, bands and participants understand the circumstances. I wish them all a successful day in my hometown of Harrogate and look forward to an association with the UniBrass at another future event." Katrina’s intention to judge at UniBrass so soon after her pregnancy is a testament to her commitment to the event and the banding community as a whole, and we certainly hope that we will be seeing her at a future contest!

Leigh Baker, MD of Yorkshire’s own Hepworth Band, has kindly agreed to step in for Katrina, joining Mark Wilkinson in adjudicating in the UniBrass Shield. Leigh is a former baritone player with the Brighouse and Rastrick Band, a prolific composer and arranger and an established conductor, and took up his position with Hepworth at the start of this year. The committee are very grateful to him for joining us at short notice, and look forward to welcoming him to Harrogate next weekend.

Tickets are still available for the contest and the Cory Gala Concert. Prices are from just £9 for the contest and £10 for the gala concert from the Cory Band, with discounts available for a full day ticket. Get yours now from http://unib.co.uk/tickets! Tickets will also be available on the door. And if you can’t make it, the whole event will be streamed online at http://unib.co.uk/live - don’t miss out!