British Open Brass Band Championships

Established 1853

Martin and Karyn Mortimer further the outstanding legacy of the Open, maintaining the traditions and musical excellence of what we believe to be the oldest musical contest in the world.

The first and foremost contest for British bands, the competition has increasingly attracted enthusiasts from all over the world.

The Open aspires to preserve the established custom of
encouraging new compositions to extend and question the boundaries of brass music, and to provide enjoyable challenge to participants, and absorbing entertainment for the audience.  

CONTEST OGANISERS

Martin & Karyn Mortimer

CONTEST CONTROLLER

Frank Hodges

Advisor

Keith Hollinshead

In the 1980's Harry Mortimer enlisted Keith's help at the British Open. HM was now in his late 80's and Keith had the pleasure of accompanying him to Pontins and other venues as his "minder". At this time Keith suggested to HM that they resurrect the Quartet and Solo Championships in Wigan and this they did in 1988 (HM being Chairman and Keith Competition Secretary).

Keith's employment at this time was as Personnel Manager of JJB Sports PLC from whom he secured sponsorship for the British Open for 13 years and has been pleased to continue with his support of the Open, firstly with Margaret and now with Martin and Karyn.

Keith is an original Trustee of the Harry Mortimer Memorial Trust and still serves in that capacity. He is the author of "The Major and his Band", a history of Abram/Bickershaw Colliery Band, which he wrote in dedication to HM, William Haydock and two other old friends. 

Compere

David Heyward

David has spent a lifetime in banding ever since he joined the Celynen Collieries Band in Newbridge, South Wales, at the age of seven.

He has been privileged to have experienced banding at all levels, both as a player and conductor and latterly as a Compere at local, regional and national competitions.

He now spends his banding life freelance conducting and adjudicating bands in the West Country and Wales, compering concerts for a variety of individual musical groups, bands and ensembles and hosting competitions throughout the UK. These include the British Open Brass Band Championships, the Spring Brass Band Festival, the National Brass Band Championships, the National Youth Brass Band Championships and the Welsh Open. 

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