TWO longstanding brass bands from the district are competing in a new TV show.

Battle of the Brass Bands – on Sky Arts from Tuesday, August 20, and available for streaming on Now TV – features the Queensbury-based Black Dyke Band and the Brighouse and Rastrick Band.

The four-part docu-series follows “Britain’s biggest, most celebrated brass bands and their larger-than-life members” as they prepare to compete in some of the UK’s top brass competitions.

Battle of the Brass Bands, made by production company Twofour, will showcase the extraordinary talents of the country’s most skilled brass players.


It reveals the highs and the lows of the bands as they go head-to-head against each other.

Will it be Brighouse and Rastrick or Stockport’s Fairey Band that triumph at the Whit Friday contest? Who will reign victorious at the National Championships of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall? And how will the UK’s top brass bands fair against America’s number one the Fountain City Brass Band at the the Brass in Concert competition in Gateshead?

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Players in the major band contest of the seasonPlayers in the major band contest of the season

Sky Arts director Phil Edgar-Jones said: “Brass Bands are one of the longest-running music traditions in British history.

“We are looking forward to celebrating and highlighting the role they play in our cultural landscape, and to displaying the high level of skill and dedication these musicians give to their art.”

Series director Neil Edwards added: “Making these films was a total privilege and an absolute revelation.

“If you think the world of brass bands is all flat caps and whippets, think again. These are amateur musicians playing to an Olympic standard. The competition pieces feature some of the finest and technically challenging music I’ve ever heard, in some of Britain’s most iconic venues. I challenge anyone to experience the thrill of these competitions and not be converted into a brass fan.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Brighouse and Rastrick Band at the Royal Albert HallThe Brighouse and Rastrick Band at the Royal Albert Hall

“I’m delighted that Sky Arts have chosen to highlight this talented, fiercely competitive, frighteningly committed and completely unique community of British musicians.”

Black Dyke Band is one of the world’s oldest brass bands. It grew from a small brass and reed band in the 1800s to win top competitions including the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain and the European Championships. In 2005 the band celebrated its 150th anniversary.

Formed in 1881, the Brighouse and Rastrick Band won the National Championships of Great Britain in 2010, 2011 and 2017. In 1977 the band famously recorded Floral Dance, which was at No.2 in the charts for nine weeks.