Foreign Advice

Well Worth It

Active Member
Just wondering if our foreign friends could post an outline as to how their their home country's banding sections (grades??) or organised.
Championship Section
First Section
Second Section
Third Section
Fourth Section
Youth Section.



Staff member
At National/Regional Level
Brass 1
Brass 2
Brass 3

In other contests, they tend to have Junior/Inter/Senior and lump brass bands in with concert bands...

Okiedokie of Oz

Active Member
I don't know exactly what you want....but if this helps, and maybe the other guys can lend a hand.

C and
plus a Junior grade at state level. Come nationals, we then break that up to Junior A B and I think there's a C......
Amateur bands:
Elite divisjon (Championship Section)
1. divisjon (First Section)
2. divisjon
3. divisjon
4. divisjon

Youth Brassband
1. divisjon
2. divisjon
3. divisjon

(And the same sections in the windband system.)
Aussie Levels and approx. correspondence to brit levels...

A Grade = Championship Standard - Very High 1st Section
B Grade = Mid 1st Section - High 2nd Section
C Grade = Mid 2nd Section - 3rd Section
D Grade = 4th Section

Junior A = High level youth bands
Junior B = Mid level youth bands
Junior C = Lower level youth bands

All grades and standards have one common Nationals event held over 5 days on the easter weekend consisting of Hymntune, Stage March, Set Test and Own Choice and there is also a streetmarch competition run in conjunction with the Onstage events - participation is compulsory for brass bands. Wind Orchestras/Concert Bands also have their own divisions as part of the National contest although in Australia Wind Orchestras tend not to measure their success by means of National Competition and these divisions rarely attract more than a handfull competitors


The North American Brass Band Association (NABBA) championships have a somewhat bewildering number of sections listed on their website. Bands specify when they register for the contest each year which section they want to compete in, and are generally not promoted or relegated through any official procedure. However, if a band wins their section three years in a row, they must move up a section or (if they are already in the top section) take a year off. In general, this self-selection has worked well, as bands that are unable to compete effectively and consistently at a given level find the effort unrewarding and drop down to one which is more fitting.

It is worth noting that NABBA exists not to strictly run contests, but to foster the growth of brass bands in North America. Therefore, while the main sections enforce instrumentation rules, opportunities exist for participation by bands that do not meet these standards (maybe they have some trumpets instead of cornets, or french horns instead of tenors). Also in the interests of inclusiveness, bands from abroad have been welcome to compete if they meet the membership requirements - Hawthorne City from Australia in 1994 and Stavanger from Norway in 2003 have both done so.

The sections and rough UK equivalents are indicated below.

Championship Section = Championship and high First section

Honors Section = First & Second section

Challenge Section = Third and Fourth section

Youth Section - obviously open to youth bands only

In addition, there are Open, Exhibition, and Explorer sections - I am somewhat unsure about what the differences between these classes are. I believe that Open performs the same test piece as the Challenge section, but has open instrumentation. Exhibition is non-competative, and no prizes are awarded. Explorer - I'm not sure what differentiates it from the others...


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