The repertoire played by brass bands has altered radically over many years. However, commissioning bodies have always been governed by a desire to attract the leading mainstream composers of the day to write original material for the medium.
The so-called Golden Period, spanning the time between the Great Depression and Second World War, encapsulates this ambition at its most successful. A sequence of seminal works by John Ireland, Gustav Holst, Granville Bantock, Herbert Howells and Edward Elgar revitalised the repertoire and placed amateur musicians in a place of honour within British musical establishment.
In an illustrated lecture, Professor Nicholas Childs and Leeds Metropolitan University's partners, Black Dyke Band, place this music in a wider context, from the production of the first original brass band composition in 1913 up until the death of Elgar in 1934. This lecture was the opening event of the 2009 Black Dyke Brass Festival which took place in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University.
Following the illustrated lecture, there are in-depth interviews with eminent composers, musicologists and leading conductors discussing more specific areas and composers.