Competitors at the Contest perform an Own Choice Test Piece in graded sections.
The South West Brass Band Association announces that the popular Own Choice Contest will be taking a further break for 2017. Speaking on behalf of the Association, Vice Chairman John Woods expressed regret at this decision which is due to the unavailability of the Winter Gardens, Weston Super Mare. John commented "The Winter Gardens are now owned and managed by Weston College. Major building work is under way to create a Legal Studies Centre. After the University Centre is opened, 250 new higher education students, 35 new university lecturers and a handful of other jobs will be brought into the building, this combined with repair and renovation on this iconic building and including the ballroom will provide a multipurpose venue". John went on to add "We have met with the College who are very keen for SWBBA to use the facilities in May 2018. It will be Autumn 2017 before the College expect to take up occupation and are interested in using the services of a Brass Band to help with the opening ceremonies. Once open, we can enter into a contractual arrangement and plan the contest. A Weston College spokesperson has however reassured us that the Winter Gardens will be available for Community events such as this Contest which they recognise will soon be approaching its 50th Anniversary".
John concluded in reporting that "an extensive search had been undertaken for a temporary location in 2017. This included a nearby holiday village with historical brass connections. We were however unable to agree mutually acceptable terms - so on balance we feel that taking a break is the most sensible option. We would ask all bands who have supported this event, and any others who would like to support us, to mark their diaries for 13th May 2018. It would be really beneficial to our planning if band secretaries could send pledges of support to confirm their interest to ".
Further details will be made available next autumn in the banding press and on the SWBBA web site.