Town Hall Symphony Hall, Birmingham have announced that the annual Brass Gala will take place online in partnership with 4 Bars Rest.

The event, which usually takes place at the world-renowned West Midlands concert hall, will be broadcast to Facebook and YouTube on Fri 11 September at 7PM featuring performances by Cory Band and Black Dyke Band, cult brass heroes Mnozil Brass, and the next generation of brass musicians graduating from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Cory Band and Black Dyke Band have both recorded brand-new performances for the gala during lockdown and will be closing the event with a world-exclusive digital massed-band performance. After visiting Town Hall in 2017 as part of their Cirque World Tour, Mnozil Brass will be premiering previously unreleased footage from that tour as part of the virtual gala.

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire have commissioned composer Ryan Linham to create a brand-new composition for all of those brass players graduating from the Brass Department called Legend of the Lockdown Leavers, recorded during lockdown, which will be opening the Virtual Brass Gala.

Head of Brass for Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Amos Miller said: "The Brass department at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is delighted to have been invited to take part in this virtual gala performance. Whilst we are sorry not to be physically with our illustrious colleagues this year, we are hugely looking forward to being involved in the future."

4 Bars Rest Editor, Iwan Fox said: "We're delighted to have been invited by Symphony Hall to partner on this year's Virtual Brass Gala. Symphony Hall has become the annual home for brass banding over the past 25 years - what could be better than world class bands in a world class concert hall. Sadly this year we can't be there in person, but we're delighted to support the venues during these tough times. This year's Virtual Brass Gala will be a truly magnificent celebration of Brass banding, and definitely not one to miss!"

Chris Proctor, Head of Programme at Town Hall Symphony Hall commented: “Since 1997, our Autumn Season has started with the annual Brass weekend in September including the British Open Brass Band Championships and Brass Gala. For the first time in over 20 years, the weekend of events are unable to take place in our venues. I’m so proud that, in partnership with Iwan Fox and 4 Bars Rest, we have been able to work with these brass bands and find ways to bring the music to audiences online.

“The future of Birmingham’s Town Hall and Symphony Hall, and our future as the music charity responsible for them, looks very different from the plans we began the year with.

“Throughout this period, we remain committed to inspiring a love of live music, through performance, participation and learning across this city.” 

A survey conducted by the Music Venues Trust revealed that only 13% of venues could open with 2-metre social distancing in place and of those the majority said it would be financially ruinous to do so due to the reduced number of attendees. As concerts and gigs are still being cancelled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Town Hall Symphony Hall has continued to bring live music to the people of Birmingham and beyond.

Digital broadcasts from Town Hall and Symphony Hall in the last three months have amassed almost 200,000 views, whilst over 150 singers have joined online music making workshops.

Tune in on Facebook and YouTube on Friday 11 September 2020 at 7pm to watch the Virtual Brass Gala.