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  • Writer's pictureJohn Calvert


Almost everyone involved with the brass banding movement knows about the Whit Friday March competition for those not in the movement the contest is attended by the fictional Grimley Colliery Band in the film ‘Brassed Off’. A brass band contest has been held in Stalybridge on Whit Friday since at least 1870, further events were added ultimately resulting in a unique brass band occasion - the Annual Whit Friday Band Contests. The contests are now firmly placed in the brass band calendar and attract thousands of people, whether musicians or spectators, to listen to brass band music. In all there are contests in more than twenty villages over the afternoon and evening with prizes awarded at each location. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic the contest will not now take place, however the Foden’s Band have taken up the baton and have created a virtual contest attracting entries from across the globe including Japan and Singapore, the USA, Switzerland and Belgium as well as bands from across the rest of the UK. The submitted videos must be unedited and feature live performances of the chosen piece, the band have submitted their recent recording of Jeannies Black E’e, which has in excess of 10,000 views now to the contest.  At present the band joins Lochgelly, Mactaggart Scott Loanhead Band and Edinburgh University Brass Band in representing banding from North of the border and can be viewed at the following link - The contest will run live on the internet from 4:30 PM on Friday 5th of June.

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