The SWBBA hold two workshops annually, one for all brass players and the other focusing on a specific instrument.

Mid-Winter Workshop - 2024

February 10th and 11th has seen the South West Brass Band Association hold their 24th Mid – Winter Brass Band Workshop take place at West Buckland School near Barnstaple in North Devon.

Some 65 participants from 20 different bands across the region enjoyed a truly magical weekend of music and education from tutors from the 2023 British Open Champions, Foden’s.

The massed band of musicians was directed by Foden’s Musical Director Michael Fowles brilliantly assisted by Principal Cornet Mark Wilkinson and Principal Euphonium Gary Curtin who demonstrated their prowess with solos from each, and the moving duet “Time to say Goodbye”. During the weekend a series of breakout sessions took place and the Workshop culminated with a free concert on Sunday.

The annual presentation of The Mervyn Sweet Memorial Shield for the best under 18 musician over the weekend was awarded to 14 year old George Watts, Principal Cornet of Bideford Town Band. The award was presented to George by Mr Mervyn Way of M Way & Son Transport, the event’s main sponsor.

The catering for the weekend was provided by a team of volunteers led by Jenny Edwards and was deemed an excellent addition to the Workshop.

The weekend having been a huge success means that planning for next year’s event has already started!

Cornet and Flugel Workshop - November 2023

Tutor - Richard Marshall BA(Hons), LRSM, Principal Cornet, Black Dyke Mills Band

SWBBA are delighted to host another event in our popular series of workshops.

Aimed at cornet (soprano and Bb) and flugel players who are already playing to an intermediate standard, the Cornet and Flugel Workshop will be held on Saturday 25th November 2023 from 10am to 5pm at St Francis Church Hall, Woolbrook Road, Sidmouth, EX10 9XH and tutored by the top class and much respected player and cornet teacher, Richard Marshall. Richard is cornet tutor at Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and has recorded many solo CDs. This is a workshop not to be missed!

Just bring a packed lunch, your instrument and a music stand. There is plenty of parking onsite. Please contact us if you require further information:

Cost will be: Adults £30, Under 18's £25.

Mid-Winter Workshop - 2023

After being thwarted by Covid since 2020 South West Brass Band Association took the bold step of holding their 23rd Mid-Winter Brass Workshop at West Buckland School near Barnstaple in North Devon on February 11th and 12th.

The tutors were Christopher Binns (Trombone), Adam Bokaris (Euphonium) from the Grimethorpe Colliery Band of “Brassed Off” fame and Stephanie Binns (Flugel) from the famous Black Dyke Band.

A group of some 70 participants enjoyed an educational and musically enjoyable weekend superbly led by the very popular trio of tutors.

The participants came from all over the South West and as far afield as London.

The newly awarded “Mervyn Sweet Memorial Shield” for the best young musician over the weekend was presented to James Reynolds of Sidmouth Town Band. The shield had been given to the SWBBA in Mervyn’s memory by his family with the wish it was to be awarded to a young player. The winner was selected by the tutors and presented by Mr Mervyn Way (M Way & Son Transport Ltd) the main sponsor of the event.

Presentations were also made by SWBBA President Sue Richards to Keith Gibbs, SWBBA retiring Treasurer and John Croker, SWBBA retiring Minute Secretary, who between them clocked up decades of dedicated service to the Association.

After two days of hard work by the participants the weekend culminated in a short free concert featuring the music that had been worked on.

The catering was provided by Jenny Edwards and her helpers and was deemed to be first class.

Following the success of the weekend the Association are already making plans to stage another event in 2024.'

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