We will be hosting The National Brass Band Championships this year at The Core on Sat 26, Sun 27 Feb & Sun 6 Mar. The Championships have existed since 1945 in their current format, are split into five sections – Championship Section, and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th sections – and eight qualifying regions in the UK. These are the London and Southern Counties Region, the Midlands, the North of England, the North West, Scotland, Wales, West of England and Yorkshire.
The ‘Nationals’, as it is often referred to, is brass banding’s equivalent of the football league – a first-past-the-post Championship involving some 600 bands in eight ‘Regional’ qualifying heats staged up and down the UK, plus two ‘Finals’ events.
Depending upon the number of bands entered into each section in each region, the top two, three and sometimes four placed bands qualify for a place in the ‘Finals’, held in the autumn each year at the Centaur in Cheltenham in September for 1st to 4th Section Bands, and the Championship Section Final is held in London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall, in October.