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This page is part of an archive of historical details from existing or defunct brass band websites. This is being maintained to provide a record of this information in the event of a band folding, its website disappearing or other loss of the historical record. Where possible, and appropriate, the information cached will be updated from time to time - and any corrections or updates are welcome.

Brighton & Hove City Brass

In the beginning

The band was formed as a school band in 1975, then as players left the school it reformed in the town as an 'any age' band rehearsing at a Primary School hall in Coombe Road, Brighton. There were in fact three bands at the time, a main brass band, a youth training band, and a wind band. Several of our current players belonged to all of them.

In the early eighties the band became an amateur group supported by an elected committee, and the wind band was discontinued. Between the years of 1984 and 1987 the band was assisted by several local conductors who helped take the band to contests and concerts. During this period our current principle cornet Martin Buss also filled in on the baton. The band really started to take off in 1987 when John Williams took over in the summer of that year.

Contest successes

The band starting winning several trophies, including the local SCABA Spring contest 3 times in 4 years. As a quartet or ensemble during the next few years the band had an enviable record at the annual SCABA Quartets contest, usually managing to walk off with several trophies and more medals than can be carried. One section trophy was won 11 years in a row !

Between 1987 and 1993 the band was sponsored by the 'Brighton Blue Buses'. This allowed the band to rehearse at their Lewes Road bus depot, and have full use of their social club facilities ! This relationship came to an end in 1991 just before the merger of the two Brighton bus companies. At this time the band had been promoted through the sections to 1st at national and local level.

In 1997 the band became the London & Southern Counties Second Section Champions much to the delight of the newly appointed conductor, Christine Nonoo, in her first contest with the band. The prize for winning was a trip to the finals held in the marvellous setting of the new Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

To Ell and back

In the same year the band were visited by a wind band from Ell in Holland. The 70+ strong band stayed in Brighton for a long weekend, and during their stay performed several concerts in Brighton and one in Portsmouth outside HMS Victory. A successful time was had by all, with a BBQ where the beer kept flowing and the music kept playing well into the early hours of the morning.

We returned their visit in July 1998 and performed concerts in Ell, Weert and Maastrict, even being recorded for a TV program on the local TV Channel. The band stayed at a holiday park and managed to find some time for relaxation as well as the stress of the performances. This was the first overseas visit by the band - but due to the good time had by all - hopefully not the last.

The millennium year of 2000 was a mixed year for the band, having said goodbye to a number of members who moved on to pastures new. However, a number of special events, including joint concerts with other local bands and a return trip to Ell in Holland helped the band to a successful year. Towards the end of the year we welcomed several new players to bring the band almost back up to full strength and allowed us to look forward to a bright future.

The band as it is now

Since its early days the band has rapidly grown into one that now takes part in many local and national competitions, reaching the National Brass Band Finals four times in three different sections. BAHCB now regularly enters the local entertainment contest held by SCABA at Crawley each year. We have been extremely successful, even though we compete against higher section bands. One year we missed out on 1st place by a technicality, but have been placed in the prizes 3 years in succession.

Throughout the year the band plays at fetes, concerts, open days, and at local sites. Not content with a static performance, the band's repertoire in recent years has grown to include items where players stand, sway, and sometimes roam freely around the band while playing. The current performance includes items such as "Tiger Rag" complete with tigers (really trombone players in false ears and tails), "Sing, Sing, Sing", "The Stripper", and "The Saints" with a Dixieland quartet just passing by. You never know what you might expect in the future.