Spring Festival

The Spring Festival is an own choice test piece contest (voted on every year at the BBNI Annual General Meeting). There are seven different sections bands can compete in:
Championship Section
2nd Section
3rd Section
4th Section
5th / Unaffiliated Section
Youth Band Section
School Band Section

The contest has taken place in many different locations throughout Northern Ireland.

For past results, please visit our results page.

History of the Spring Festival

Information to follow soon!

Perpetual Trophies

There are numerous perpetual trophies given out as awards in each section. Please see below for further information about each of them.

Rothman Trophy
Awarded to the winners of the Championship Section.
Further information to follow soon.

Harry Gault Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the Best Soloist in the Championship Section
The Harry Gault Memorial Trophy was presented by Murley Silver Band to the BBL in 2000 (tbc) in memory of their conductor Harry Gault who died suddenly after the band’s performance of English Heritage in the BBL contest at RBAI, Belfast on 12th April 1997. Harry had been conducting Murley since 1973 and had brought great contesting success over his tenure, bringing the band through the Junior and Intermediate ranks until they became a Senior band in 1981. Harry was an inspiring leader who brought over 24 years of musical enjoyment and fulfilment to the many players involved with the band during that time.  

Harry worked as an Education board brass peripatetic tutor in the Western region and had begun his brass banding with Ligoniel Silver, Belfast. He was a French Horn player and began applying his skills in ensembles/bands during the early 1970s. He helped to form the Tyrone Youth Band in Strabane during this time with the pupils he was tutoring in the Strabane area and they achieved great contesting success through the 1970s before growing into Strabane Concert Brass. Harry was therefore very busy conducting two Championship standard bands throughout the 1980s and right up to 1997. He had also experienced success with St Colman’s band winning the Intermediate section in 1982.

Harry was delighted with Murley’s performance in the 1997 contest and punched the air in triumph after the final sound faded away. He also quite remarkably shook the hand of every player as they left the contesting stage. It was therefore with a sense of utter shock and disbelief that the band heard of Harry’s sudden collapse and subsequent death. It was made even more heart wrenching with his beloved wife Carol being at his side as she had been playing in the band that day. 

In the immediate aftermath of Harry’s passing the band was led by Ann Robertson (now Bloomfield) and used a scheduled trip to Bray, Co Wicklow as part of the healing process. Murley then turned to long time friend and Strabane Concert brass player, Stephen Magee to steer the band through the next two years. In 1999 Keith Anderson began his tenure with Murley and it was with a sense of great pride that Keith would become the first recipient of the Harry Gault Memorial Trophy for best instrumentalist with his performance for Laganvale in 2001 tbc having earlier conducted Murley. The trophy therefore travelled back to Fivemiletown on the same day that it had been presented.

Percussion Shield
Awarded to the Best Percussion Section in the Championship Section
Further information to follow soon.

Denis Gillesipie Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the Best Trombone Section in the Championship Section
Further information to follow soon.

Harry Brittain Memorial Cup
Awarded to the conductor of the winning Championship Section Band
Further information to follow soon.

Founders Cup
Awarded to the winners of the 2nd Section
Further information to follow soon.

Ross Aiken Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the Best Soloist in the 2nd Section
Further information to follow soon.

Jonathan Carroll Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the Best Horn Section in the 2nd Section
This trophy was donated by CWA Brass and was first presented by Jonny’s mum, Anne, in the Alley Theatre, Strabane, on Saturday 21st April 2018.  Jonny was an extremely talented horn player who played with bands up and down the country but finally settled with CWA Brass.  He attended Salford University for a time and was thrilled to be taught by the great tenor horn player, Sheona White. He sadly passed away suddenly in August 2017 at the age of 33.  This award was chosen to be given to the Best Horn Section as although Jonny was an excellent soloist he always loved playing as a team and was always the first to volunteer for any sectional rehearsals!

Burch Trophy
Awarded to the conductor of the winning 2nd Section Band
Further information to follow soon.

46th Old Boys Cup
Awarded to the winners of the 3rd Section
Further information to follow soon.

Clive McBride Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the Best Trombone Section in the 3rd Section
Further information to follow soon.

Take Five Trophy
Awarded to the winners of the 4th Section
Further information to follow soon.

Tom Mercer Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the winners of the Youth Band Section
Further information to follow soon.

School Shield
Awarded to the winners of the School Band Section
Further information to follow soon

Stuart Haigh Memorial Cup
Awarded to the Best Trombone Section in the School Band Section
Further information to follow soon.

Peter Arthurs Memorial Trophy
Awarded to the Best Soprano Player On The Day
This trophy was donated by Peter’s family and was first presented by his sister, Cathryn, in the Alley Theatre, Strabane on Saturday 21st April 2018. Peter was a fantastic soprano player who spent the majority of his playing career in Third Carrickfergus Silver Band. Not only was he their resident sop player, he also conducted their junior band and taught many young how to play their first note. Peter sadly passed away in June 2017 at the age of 36. This award is for the Best Soprano Player On The Day as Peter believed it didn’t matter what section you played in – you could still be the best sop On The Day.