Derwent Brass will be competing in the Championship Section of the Regional Brass Band Contest

Derwent Brass travels to Corby to compete in the Championship Section of the Midland Area Brass Band Championships on the set test piece Variations on an Enigma. The bands that place first and second will represent the Midlands at the National Brass Band Championships 2024 at the Royal Albert Hall in October.


Variations on an Enigma (Philip Sparke)

Variations on an Enigma was commissioned by Howard Snell for the Desford Colliery Band and first performed by them in Gillingham, Dorset, England in September 1986.

The ‘Enigma’ is a short snatch of a phrase taken from a well-known brass band test piece - a phrase which caught the imagination of the composer who took it as the basis of a sort of concerto for band with each section featured in turn. First the cornets have their turn, with a ‘moto perpetuo’, and they are followed by the horns and flugel whose variation is delicate and decorative. Trombones follow, each having there own tune in turn and then combining them together. Euphoniums and baritones have an expressive funeral march which is interrupted by percussion and basses who share a rhythmic, syncopated variation. A climax is reached and this is followed by a fugue (based on the theme) against which snatches of the preceding variations appear. The fugue heralds what turns out to be the theme on which all the variations are based, appearing in full at last, whose first five notes are derived from the ‘enigma’ theme. The piece ends with an emphatic final statement by the timpani.



Corby Business Academy (Main Theatre)
Gretton Rd
NN17 5EB


Saturday 2nd March – Second Section followed by First Section
Sunday 3rd March – Third Section followed by Championship
Sunday 10th March – Fourth Section

Midland Area Brass Band Championships

Date: 03 March 2024
Time: 00:00
Where: Corby Business Academy
On the Door: Free
Tickets will be available on the door

Other Upcoming Events

Full Band Low Res
Open Rehearsal
28 February 2024
Corby Business Academy Front
Midland Area Brass Band Championships
03 March 2024
Russell Watson and Derwent Brass
08 March 2024
Band Awards 2024 Header Thin
Derwent Brass Awards 2024 [Private Event]
16 March 2024
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