Ironbridge Gorge Brass Band Festival
3rd July 2014
Now in its 10th year, this free family event showcases some of the finest brass bands from Shropshire and the surrounding counties. With some 17 bands performing, it’s the largest, non-competitive brass band festival in the country.
Appearing for the first time this year will be The Cheshire Constabulary Band, with their Corps of Drums, and the Rugeley Power Station Band; a guest 50 piece Trombone Choir from Germany will also be playing on Sunday, 20th July. Among the other bands performing at the festival will be the Abraham Darby Brass Band, Wem Jubilee Band, Cleobury Mortimer Concert Band, Llangollen Silver Band, City of Wolverhampton Brass Band, Black Country Brass Band, Shrewsbury Brass Band, Wellington (Telford) Brass Band, Salopian Brass and Crewe Brass Band.
The winning entry of the annual Nock Deighton Challenge for Young Composers will also be played during the day. Open to young musicians under the age of 21, the competition welcomes submissions in any genre or style, provided they are fully scored for brass band. A group of young musicians who took part in the Gorge Parish Council sponsored youth brass band music workshops prior to the Festival will also perform at the event.
Neil Fury, Chairman, said: “This year’s festival is shaping up nicely and looks like it could be even bigger than last year. We couldn't run the event without the massive help from our sponsors and volunteers. Our thanks go to them. The Festival has been a huge success over the last 10 years and it couldn’t take place without the support and enthusiasm of the local community and the bands giving up their time to perform great music free of charge.”
Admission to the daytime festivals is free and it takes place in a beautiful setting on The Green at Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, one of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s 10 award-winning museums. Concerts begin at 10.30am on the Saturday and continue until 5.30pm, while on the Sunday performances are from 10.30am until 6.30pm.
A charity gala open-air concert in aid of the Severn Hospice will take place on Saturday evening, 19th July from 7.30pm featuring a selection of well-loved musical compositions from stage and screen. Artists performing include the Jackfield Elcock Reisen Band, Jaguar Landrover Band and Helen E May, Mezzo Soprano with compere and brass band enthusiast Eric Smith from BBC Radio Shropshire. Tickets, at £10 each plus a small booking fee, can be booked in advance at www.eventbrite.co.uk or call the ticket line on 07583 279 608 (discounted tickets at £8 each for bookings made before 12th July). Covered seating will be provided, or bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic on the grass.
More information about the Festival can be found on www.ironbridgebandfestival.co.uk and Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron at www.ironbridge.org.uk; follow the Festival on twitter @ironbridgebrass. For other things to see and do and where to stay see www.visitironbridge.co.uk.