The East Anglian Brass Band Association is an affiliation of brass bands from the geographical region of England generally known as East Anglia.
Aim of the Association
The aim of the Association is to improve and develop public education in the art and science of music by the presentation of concerts, recitals and festivals and to co-ordinate training of individual members by presenting masterclasses, courses and other tutorials.
Annual Spring Festival
The Annual Spring Festival takes place at Blackfriar's and St Andrew's Halls in May. The Festival comprises a daytime contest which is followed by an Evening Gala Concert.
Brass Training Days
Brass Training Days are held during the Autumn. The events are open and non-Association members are welcome. For information please contact the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brief history of the Association
The East Anglian Brass Band Association was established in 1931, after several years’ formative work by Mr E.T. (Tommy) Ruffles, Musical Director of the Reepham Town Band and Secretary of the Norfolk Brass Band Federation.
Bands from Suffolk and Cambridgeshire were encouraged to join with those in Norfolk and the first Spring Festival (then the Easter Monday Contest) was held at the Empire Theatre, Fakenham in 1932. Each year the festival was held at a different venue, and was once held in a giant marquee at the home of its President. The Second World War years intervened, with no contests held between 1940 and 1946. Resuming in 1947, the contest settled at St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich, where it was firmly established until 1964 when it moved to Thetford. During that time it changed title twice-firstly to the Palm Sunday Contest and then to the Spring Festival and, as that, it is held in early May. The Festival returned to St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich in 1983.
A Youth Section was inaugurated in 1991 with five bands participating. In 1998, with funding from the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England, six new works were commissioned for that year's Festival, one of which was for bands with members under 15 years of age, and so a new Junior Youth Section was inaugurated. Six bands participated in that section, with three bands competing in the new Primary Youth Section. A further four new works were commissioned in 1999 and another in 2000.
In 1997 the Association gained Registered Charity status.
In November 2000 the Association staged "Concert Brass 2000", a concert of original brass band music to mark the dawn of the New Millennium. The concert was directed by Derek Broadbent and was recorded live at St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich and included the newly commissioned march by the conductor,"The Norvicensians". CD recordings of the concert are available from the Association Secretary.
In 2006 another of the Association’s commissions “Anglian Dances” was chosen as the fourth section test piece for that year’s National Qualifiers. This test piece together with a further commissioned work “St Andrew’s Variations”, both composed by Alan Fernie, were also used for the 2008 Australian Band Championships.