Sheffield Brass

Welcome to the Sheffield Brass Network; news and information about, and for, brass bands and brass instrument players in the Sheffield City Region.

Effective Social Media and blogging for bands

At the recent Sheffield Brass Network event, “Better contact with the media and your audience”, Alex Burns was invited to give a presentation on ‘Effective Social Media and blogging for bands’. Alex has a music performance degree at the University of Sheffield, an MA in Musicology, works alongside several local music organisations and currently holds a trumpet residency with the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as playing cornet with the Yorkshire Championship Section Old Silkstone Band. Alex also administrates the award-winning Classicalexburns classical music blog. Here’s a synopsis of what Alex revealed about social media at the event: What can social media do for my band? – Reach new audiences – Keep your already engaged audiences up to date with […]

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Better contact with the media and your audience

Networking and presentation event to be held on Wednesday 25th September. Brass bands and the wider leisure-time music community are no strangers to the difficulties of audience engagement but, in these times of increasing political uncertainty and reducing social infrastructure, it is important to stay as relevant and connected with audiences as possible. Therefore, on Wednesday 25th September, the Sheffield Brass Network has arranged another FREE networking event for any brass band, brass ensemble, or brass or percussion player resident or based in the Sheffield City Region: i.e. Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, Barnsley, Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire, Bolsover, Derbyshire Dales, and Bassetlaw. The Sheffield Brass Network has put together a series of very experienced speakers for the evening to present information […]

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8 Hints and tips for photographing live music ensembles

As a lifelong player in Brass Bands, Joy Newbould, tenor horn player with Championship Section Thoresby Colliery Band as well as a professional Photographer, has put together a list of useful guidelines to follow when trying to capture live music ensembles with your camera. 1 Avoid being intrusive – Images of individuals in action within music groups will require a lens of 150mm minimum in order for you to stand back and zoom in. This will ensure the players are not put off by your presence, which will inevitably upset both them and their conductors! Remember why they are there – it isn’t to smile or look down your lens! 2 Look for expressions on the faces of the players […]

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Wellbeing in Brass Bands

A new research article authored by Dr Victoria J. Williamson and Dr Michael Bonshor, of the Department of Music, University of Sheffield, UK, published by ‘Frontiers in Psychology Journal’ reports on ‘Wellbeing in Brass Bands: The Benefits and Challenges of Group Music Making’. This original research began life a couple of years ago with a survey distributed with the assistance of Brass Bands England. Recent studies by others have focussed upon the apparent benefits of singing in choral situations, however, in this new study by Drs Williamson and Bonshor they have, ‘identified wellbeing themes that are less common in choral research; impacts relating to the brass bands’ physical demands, competitive tradition, community roles, and cross-generational social structures.’ The anonymous survey […]

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How To Write A Press Release

Every brass band could have a marketing officer, or, at the very least, someone who is good with words and can turn their hand to preparing a page of text from time to time. In this digital age it is even more important to have someone in your organisation who can craft a quality sentence, with correct and concise grammar, and exemplify your band’s exploits in your chosen media as often as possible. Whether your band sends press releases to the media, sticks them on your website or simply uses them to ensure a consistent message across your social media outlets, a well-written press release is still one of the most useful communication tools. First of all, it’s important to […]

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Funding Advice Seminar Review

After several months of organisation and liaison, we were pleased to be able to facilitate a funding advice seminar on Wednesday 6th February. Stuart Young introduced the Sheffield Brass Network (SBN) event and thanked Chris Palmer and Sam Craggs of SoundBytes Media for hosting it at The Foundry Studio in Sheffield. Presentations followed by Richard Brown of Arts Council England, Peter Foyle of the South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau (SYFAB), and Rachel Veitch-Straw of Key Fund, with over 30 attendees present from all corners of the Sheffield City Region and beyond, including Lincolnshire, North Nottinghamshire, Doncaster and Chesterfield. Ensembles other than brass bands had been invited to take part in the event and we were pleased to welcome representatives from local choirs and orchestra. […]

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Brass Band Funding Advice Seminar

The next Sheffield Brass Network event is planned for Wednesday 6th February 2019 and will be held at 19:30 – 21:30 at The Foundry Studio, 3 Brown Street, Sheffield S1 2BS. Richard Brown from Arts Council England, Peter Foyle from South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau, and Rachel Veitch-Straw from KeyFund have been invited by the Sheffield Brass Network to present funding advice and information of specific relevance to brass bands and music-related ensembles at this event. There will be plenty of time at the event for attendees to quiz the fund representatives with specific band and ensemble-related questions. This ‘free’ seminar will be open to any brass band or music-related ensemble representative(s) within striking distance of Sheffield, however preregistration by […]

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A brass band at Christmastime

The tradition of singing Local Carols in the villages to the North West of Sheffield goes back to at least the late Eighteenth Century; the Local Carols were generally composed by local musicians, organists or choirmasters and the carols were often given local names. Originally this is thought to have been a reaction against the banning of many carols by both the Church and the State. Some Carols caused controversy and it is known that ‘While Shepherds Watched’ had to be cleaned up by the Victorians for being too crude. There is also strong evidence that ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ was a call to 18th Century Jacobites to rebel [1]. Examples of locally written tunes are, ‘Bright and Joyful’ […]

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Engagement benefits with leisure-time music are multi-layered

‘Making music is fun, uses different skills to those you need to employ in the rest of your life, is relaxing and stress-busting, and makes you feel better about yourself. In scientific terms, there is now a growing body of’ proven ‘research which shows that this can amount to better physical and mental health: making music really is good for you’ – and therefore ‘saves the NHS and social services money’. ‘Everyone can make music, from a two-year-old to a 90-year-old, whether rich or poor, disabled or not. It can help to bring communities together across generations, social classes, income brackets, disabled’, and able-bodied. ‘An obvious benefit of that is that it reduces loneliness and social exclusion, which are a […]

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