Reporter 420, 11 May 1998

Leeds to host the best of brass

The role of the University's Music Department as an international centre of brass excellence is recognised this week, as 70 musicians from all over Europe flock to the city's brass festival.

Brass players from as far afield as Russia and Poland are in Leeds to join in a series of concerts, workshops and master classes throughout the CHAIN International Brass Week.

Leeds is at the heart of brass band country, and Brass Week will celebrate the University's links with international music academies and with regional bands.

The CHAIN network brings together more than 20 conservatoires and music academies; Leeds is the only university involved. Brass Week host Dr Philip Wilby hopes other universities will follow the lead of Leeds in taking brass bands more seriously.

Well known as a composer and musician, senior music lecturer Dr Wilby will be among those performing during the event, which runs until Saturday. Another taking part will be Robert Childs of the world-renowned Black Dyke Band, who helped Dr Wilby set up the University's own brass band. Robert completed an M Mus at the University, for which he gained a distinction.

"The week is not only about promoting our influence internationally, but about putting brass bands into a wider context," explains Dr Wilby. "People will be visiting from across Europe, and they're even coming from Poland in a minibus." *More...

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