The first Saturday in July is always an exciting time, Pershore Midsummer Brass Festival (PMB) is here once again and after many years is still as fresh as ever. Even during lockdown, a virtual PMB kept us entertained with recordings and videos from bands.
So why is Pershore Midsummer Brass so important?
Well the first thing to say is that the brass band world is by and large dominated by competitions. As we have discussed before in the contesting blog, this is not necessarily a bad thing as it focuses a bands mind on its performance and mastering more challenging music. It must also be remembered that much of the high quality music was commissioned for the contest arena and would probably never have been written otherwise.
The problem is though, that not all bands want to contest and those that do can let it dominate their musical world, and in the run up to a contest they play little else. It is a shame because there is a lot, and I mean a lot, of high quality music and arrangements they are missing out on, and after all, what is music if it isn’t something to be enjoyed, either playing or listening to.
So it is particularly important that festivals like Pershore Midsummer Brass exist, as they give a major outlet to bands who don’t compete and an opportunity for those who do to showcase what they can do in a less formal and pressurised setting.
Pershore Midsummer Brass Venues
This year there are four venues, The Angel Inn, The Star, Chapman Court and a welcome return to Pershore Abbey. A quite prestigious venue and, although the acoustics are difficult, one which bands aspire to playing in. A multitude of bands of all standards and abilities are playing and it is a credit to the organisers and the festivals reputation that there is now a waiting list of bands wanting to join in.
The festival though is more than that, it is a community, bands often help each other out with players to fill gaps and it is a place to catch up with old friends and colleagues. This year is supplemented by more trade stands than ever and offers greater opportunities to try out and see new equipment.
Inspiring with quality music
So this is a flavour of what it’s like, it offers a boost to the economy of a small market town in the heart of Worcestershire and inspires those who go along to listen and participate in some fantastic music.
There should be more festivals like Pershore Midsummer Brass around, where bands can go and just enjoy music for its own sake and audiences can enjoy some fantastic performances. More information can be found at www.pershoremidsummerbrass.org.