BRASS 2019

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12 July 2019 - 21 July 2019

One of the region’s liveliest festivals is back with a bang this summer, showcasing the very best contemporary brass music from across the globe.

From salsa, swing and big band, to choral masterpieces and rock and roll, Durham BRASS will cater for all tastes and ages when it returns from Friday, 12 July, to Sunday, 21 July.

The Durham County Council event boasts an action-packed programme of concerts and street parties, which promises to transport people to different times and places by celebrating international cultures and the rich history and versatility of brass music.

The headline act for 2019 is Brighouse and Rastrick Band, which have performed at the highest level for over a century and achieved global fame with their recording of the Floral Dance in 1977. The band will entertain audiences at the Gala Theatre in Durham on Sunday, 21 July, at 3pm. Tickets cost £18 or £16 for concessions.

Streets of Brass also returns this year with a talented and eclectic mix of street bands taking over Durham city centre for two days of free music and mayhem from 11am to 5pm on Saturday, 20 and Sunday, 21 July. Thousands of people partied in the streets last year and organisers are pulling out all the stops to ensure 2019 is even better.

The free alfresco fun continues at Wharton Park in Durham from 6pm on Saturday 21 July with the Big Brass Party. Bring a picnic and prepare to bust some moves to live music spanning different genres but always with an infectious beat designed to get audiences on their feet.

Those who enjoyed the Big Brass Bash events last year are also in for a treat, with details of exciting activities taking place in communities across the county to be revealed in coming weeks.

Cllr Ossie Johnson, Cabinet member for culture, leisure and rural issues at Durham County Council, said: “BRASS is a truly feel-good festival, bringing talented musicians from across the world to County Durham.

“We have a rich tradition of brass music and this festival is a chance to celebrate our heritage while embracing the diversity and vibrancy of brass today.”

Other highlights include:

  • Cirque, featuring the talented and hilarious Austrian band Mnozil Brass – Gala Theatre – Monday, 15 July, 7.30pm. Tickets £23 or £19 for concessions.
  • Strictly Come Brassing -Gala Theatre – Tuesday, 16 July, 7.30pm. Join the Gala Big Band and talented dancers for a celebration of salsa, swing, ballroom, jazz and, of course, Big Band music. Tickets £15 or £12 for concessions.
  • Brass Oktoberfest – Durham Town Hall – Thursday, 18 July, 7.30pm. Experience the atmosphere of a lively Bierhalle and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Durham’s twinning with Tübingen in Germany with festival favourites Oompah Brass and the twin town’s very own Louisiana Funky Butts. Tickets £15.
  • Global Brass Live – Gala Theatre – Friday 19 July, 7.30pm. Brass music and cutting-edge communication technology will collide when North of England champions NASUWT Riverside Band and Danish Brass Band champions Concord Brass perform a joint concert – despite being 560 miles apart. Tickets £15 or £12 for concessions.
  • Verdi’s Requiem – Durham Cathedral- Saturday, 19 July, 7.30pm. The Reg Vardy Brass Band will be joined by the Festival Chorus and a guest choir from Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas, for a thrilling concert in awe inspiring surroundings. Tickets cost £18 or £16 for concessions.

The festival will draw to a spectacular close on Sunday, 21 July with Wharton Park Meets the West End from 6pm to 8pm. The free outdoor concert will see the Scottish Swing Orchestra and the Festival Broadway Chorus perform jazzy versions of musical theatre’s greatest hits.

In addition to the jam-packed entertainment programme, there will also be a series of workshops on Saturday, 20 July inspired by this year’s theme, Brass and Health, offering advice on everything from breathing to posture.

To view the full programme and to book tickets, visit

For festival updates follow ‘Brass International Festival’ on Facebook or @DurhamBRASS on Twitter and Instagram for the latest news.


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