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Lists of Championships, Festivals and Contests in North America

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The North American Brass Band Association (NABBA)is the controlling organization for the North America national contest. In 2017, the Championships was held in Ft. Wayne, Indiana on March 10 and 11. It draws some of the best British Style brass bands from the US and Canada. A champion is chosen by the adjudicators for the Championship Section, 1st Section, 2nd Section, 3rd Section, and the Youth Section.

NABBA has its own page. See the menu!

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The US Open Brass Band Championships is a bit different from traditional brass band contesting. First of all, it is called an "open" but your band must be invited to participate. Lots of fun brass band playing happens. Everything from "Buskers" to some fine playing by top bands. A date for the 2017 US Open has not been selected yet, but the contest is always held in Chicago and usually in November.

This "Championship" (and they do select a champion) makes the US Open more like a serious festival. More unusual types of playing will be found at the Open. Fountain City Brass Band of Kansas City was the winner in 2016. Lots of CDs for sale, lots of displays and a less structured environment provides more of a festival mood than a contest.

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The Great American Brass Band Festival (GABBF) is truly a festival. Music from British-Style bands, New Orleans Jazz Brass Bands, small group bands and even an assortment of wind bands. Events from formal teas, whiskey brewery tours, family and kids events, swing dancing and much, much more goes on at GABBF.

This is not a contest, nor is a it a truly a brass band only festival. It has morphed over the years into a very full event with something for everyone. The Festival is always held in Danville, Kentucky and in 2017 will be on June 1- 4. As the date gets closer, more information will become available on the GABBF website.

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The Vintage Band Festival has been held, with a strange schedule, in Northfield Minnesota since 2006 when it was a 4-day Festival.  It returned in 2010 and 2013, again as 4-day festivals.  1-day festivals were held in 2014 and 2015 between the big 4-day festivals.  Another 4-day festival was held in 2016.  Most likely there will be 1-day festivals again in 2017 and 2018 with the next 4-day festival planned for 2019.

The 4-day festivals feature about 25 bands from the US and Europe.  The 1-day festivals have “local” bands. Strictly speaking, it’s not a brass band festival but it has a strong leaning that way.

If you have information about a brass band festival, please let me know at DrJAFox@gmail.com and I will put the relevant information here for free. If you would like your festival announced on the radio, you will have to pay for a couple short promos to be recorded.


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