International Prestige

The longest established Brass Band Summer School in the world drew to a rousing close with its Finale Gala Concert at Culford School, Suffolk, England last week.

The Brass Band Summer School has been running for well over a quarter of a century now and during that time has welcomed over two thousand delegates through its rehearsal room door, this year drawing musicians from USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and of course, the UK.

Star Cast

Former Presidents and Musical Directors have included such luminaries as Harry Mortimer, Philip Jones and Dr. Roy Newsome, and today this tradition continues with Bramwell Tovey as President and the inspirational Richard Evans as Musical Director.

This year’s tutorial staff included David Childs, Owen Farr, James Fountain, Nicholas Hudson, Lee Skipsey, Steve Sykes and Brian Taylor, who each presented a recital during the course of the week, culminating in a spectacular Tutors’ Ensemble performance.


During the week delegates had the opportunity to perform in small chamber ensembles and work as soloists with resident pianist Matthew McCombie, in addition to performing a variety of brass band repertoire including such blockbusters as Vinter’s Triumphant Rhapsody, Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Finale from Symphony No.4,
Philip Sparke’s Triptych and Berlioz’ Overture Les Francs Juges. However, perhaps the highlight of this year’s finale Gala Concert was a wonderful performance of Sir Edward Elgar’s Nimrod performed by the Massed Bands of the Brass Band Summer School.


In customary fashion this year’s course boasted a number of visiting guests to provide interviews, clinics and specialist tuition. The legendary Elgar Howarth treated both composers and conductors with some expert guidance; the Irish Guards’ brilliant Ralph Brill augmented the cornet tutorial staff; Giles Whitham provided great insight through his historic instrument lecture; whilst Marcus Reynolds - the inventor of the Stratos embouchure gadget, was on hand for consultation lessons and
coaching. However, one of the great highlights was the presence of Mary Ginrich - conductor of Prairie Brass Band (USA) and former professional French horn player.

Chris Cannings, a Brass Band Summer School stalwart of its entire history - 33 years - was also a special guest at the Grand Finale Concert. Chris had been the Band Manager since 1985 and had sadly signalled his intention to retire this year. Philip Biggs presented Chris with a commemorative plaque on behalf of everyone at the Brass Band Summer School.


The Brass Band Summer School will take place next year from 4-10 August, once again led by Richard Evans with a world-class faculty. With up to 8 hours of playing a day, don’t miss your chance to be part of this week of brass band Nirvana.

Book now by contacting the Administrator, Philip Biggs:

Booking your place on the Brass Band Summer School could not be easier BOOK NOW!