Skip to main content

DCBBA Constitution

Constitution was agreed and adopted at the Delegates meeting on the 15th July 2023

That this association be called the "Durham County Brass Band Association", here-in-after called the Association.

The object of the Association is to help in any way the advancement of Brass Banding. The Association may co-operate with others for the purpose of furthering this aim.

The Officers of the Association shall consist of The President, Vice Presidents, Chairperson, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, to be elected at the Annual General Meeting.

A committee of 7 member bands, one from each contest section plus 3 others, (NOT more than 2 bands from any one contest section) shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting. These together with the Officers shall have power to deal with urgent matters arising between Delegate Meetings. The committee shall have power to co-opt replacements or additional members when necessary.

The quorum necessary for the transaction of business at a Delegate Meeting shall be not less than ONE TENTH OF THE MEMBER BANDS and for a meeting of the committee the quorum shall be FOUR.

Three trustees being the appointed Secretary, Treasurer and Chairperson, shall be confirmed at the Annual General Meeting. The Trustees shall be indemnified by the Association against loss or expense arising out of the proper discharge of their duties.

In the event of dissolution, the trustees shall receive all properties belonging to the Association and shall discharge any outstanding debts by disposal of so much of the property as shall be necessary for this purpose. If after the discharge of all debts there remains any property or money belonging to the Association, such property or money shall be held by the trustees for a period of ONE YEAR from the date of dissolution of the Association. After the expiration of one year the officers and committee in office at the date of dissolution shall disperse the remaining assets equally amongst the member bands.

a) The Association shall decide upon the eligibility of any brass band wishing to become a member and shall have the power to reprimand or expel any member band violating the rules of the Association. Applications for membership shall be made in writing via the secretary.

b) Member bands shall be comprised of recognised classification, namely Eb Soprano Cornet, Bb Cornets, Bb Flugal Horn, Eb Tenor Horn, Bb Baritone, Bb Euphonium, Slide Trombones, Eb and EEb Bass, Bb and BBb Bass, (Eb trumpets are not permitted) plus Percussion as required. 

Bb trumpet may be featured as part of an entertainment programme in an entertainment contest.

c) Social media platforms are here to provide you with news, information and advice, and we welcome comments and engagement about the association.
We understand that people will have differing views on many issues, however, any form of online hate, abuse or bullying is unacceptable, whether it be on DCBBA platforms or on any other platform.

Each band may send two representatives to the meeting, but only one of these may vote. Every band should send a representative to the meeting held every other month from January, those attending shall be recorded.

a) The financial year shall be the period between two consecutive Annual General Meetings and in no case shall exceed 12 months.

b) The Annual General Meeting shall be held in September of each year and all member bands shall receive fourteen days notice of the date and the agenda details.

c) The annual subscription shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting and shall be paid by the 31st December of that year.

d) All monies shall be deposited as decided by the Annual General Meeting.

e) Cheques to be drawn against two of three signatures. The Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer to act as signatories for the signing of cheques.

f) All accounts shall be kept in a proper commercial manner and audited by an Auditor appointed by the Association.

g) The funds of the Association will be applied solely to its’ stated aims. The Treasurer shall be empowered to pay reasonable expenses to any persons engaged in Association duties. The Annual General Meeting shall be empowered to pay honoraria where it agrees fit.

All trophies that the Association do now or at any time possess shall be the responsibility of the Association and under the sole control of the Association. A band winning an Association Trophy must give an undertaking signed by a responsible member of the band to keep the trophy in question in good and safe condition, and to protect it against fire or loss or any damage whatsoever. Upon instructions from the secretary to return the trophy in the same condition as received.

Alterations or amendments to the rules shall be made at a Delegate or Annual General Meeting only. Notice of proposal of any alteration or amendments of Rules shall be given to the secretary in writing not later than 28 days prior to the Delegate or Annual General Meeting. The secretary shall then give a minimum of 14 days notice and inform all Delegates in writing with details of the proposal or amendment.

Any infringement of these rules shall be considered by the committee and the recommendations shall be reported to the next quorate Delegates’ Meeting for endorsement. Any complaint regarding the infringement shall be sent in writing to the Association Secretary.

a) The Chairman shall preside at all meetings and his decision on the conduct of the meeting shall be final.

b) All members shall address the meeting through the chair and give the name of their band.

c) Meetings will normally be held bimonthly on the 3rd Saturday of odd numbered months (i.e. 1, 3, 5, 9 and 11) and subject to review when the 3rd Saturday falls on a Bank Holiday. Written notice will be given for any other changes in meeting dates.

F1) The Contest will run as one section comprising of Nationally Graded Championship, 1st, 2nd, 3rd 4th and Youth bands.

F2) The Contest is open to any band consisting of a maximum of 25 brass players plus percussionists as required

F3) Every Bandsman/woman shall be registered with an Accredited Registry, and his/her registration card will show the name of the band with which he/she is a bone fide member. Every Bandsman/woman must sign his/her registration card. Bandsman/woman cannot be registered with more than one band at any one time.

F4) No brass player shall be allowed to play more than one brass instrument. It will be permissible for a brass player to play a brass instrument and also percussion instruments, when the test piece requires it.

F5) A band will properly complete and return to the secretary an official entry form together with the appropriate entry fee before the stated closing date for entries. In the case of withdrawal, the fee will not be returned.

F6) The responsibility for the bona fides of the bandsmen/women included in the personnel on the day of the contest will rest with the band’s Secretary and where applicable the Bandmaster. In the case of a transfer/new registration and the registration card not being available on the day of the contest photocopies of applications must be produced at the pre-contest briefing. The signed registration card must be presented to the Secretary within fourteen days or the band will be disqualified.

F7) A band may borrow up to 4 players for an Association Contest. The Borrowed player can play in any position and can be borrowed from any section. Registration Cards must be produced at the Registration Table. 

F8) A player or a secretary or any official or a member of the band who submits a false registration or countenances a false signature shall be referred to the Association Committee.

F9) The adjudicator at an Association contest shall be chosen at a Delegates’ Meeting, but such meetings may delegate this responsibility to a sub-committee or an official of the Association. The Adjudicator for any brass band contest (excluding Solos, Duets & Quartets) will be announced in advance of the contest by the Association. Closed Adjudication shall be used for the Festival of Brass. Adjudicator to be chosen from the Association of Brass Band Adjudicator approved list and must have a clear proven track record.

F10) In the event of only 3 bands competing in any one Section, all three prizes will be paid.

F11) The test piece is own choice.

The following system of grading is adopted by the Durham County Brass Band Association:

The National Grading system has been adopted for this Association.

(a)The purpose of this competition is to encourage young brass players for the future of the brass band world up to the age of 18. Other competitors must be bona fide members of Association bands playing brass or percussion instruments plus accompanists as required. Brass instruments shall be as listed in Constitution Rules

(b) The competition shall comprise the following classes:

(age limits by birth date on the day of the competition apply)

Class No. Description Test Piece

1 Junior Solos up to and including 11 years. Slow Melody

2 Junior Solos 12 yr. & over up to and inc. 14 years. Slow Melody

3 Junior Solos 15 yr. & over up to and inc. 17 years. Slow Melody

4 Junior Duet up to and including 17 years. Own choice

5 Junior Ensemble for up to 10 players, up to and including 17 years of age. Own choice

6 Open Solo 16 years and over. Own choice

7 Open Duet 16 years and over. Own choice

8 Open Quartet 16 years and over. Own choice

9 Veteran Solos 50 years and over. Own choice

10. Under 18 Ensemble of up to 10

c) The responsibility for the bona fides of the Bandsmen/women included in the personnel of a band, on the day of the contest will rest with band secretary and where applicable the Bandmaster.

d) The full names of all players must be entered on the entry form. The entry form must be returned to the association secretary together with the appropriate entry fees before the stated closing date. Entries submitted after the closing date will be rejected. In the case of withdrawal entry fees will not be returned.

e) Any player, secretary or official of a member band who submits a false registration shall be referred to the association committee.

f) The adjudicator at an Association contest shall be chosen at a Delegates’ Meeting, but such meetings may delegate this responsibility to a sub-committee or an official of the Association. This is necessary to ensure the confidentiality of adjudicators prior to the contest. Closed Adjudication shall be used.

g) 1. Solo players shall represent the band with which they are registered/bona fide members. No substitutions shall be allowed.

2. Duet players shall represent the band(s) with which they are registered/bona fide members. No substitutions shall be allowed.

3. Open Quartet players shall represent the band with which the majority of players are registered/bona fide members. i.e. no more than one substitute player shall be allowed and he/she must be named at registration and substitution must not contravene the substitute Player Rule. In addition a band may be allowed to play one player under the age of 16, who is a registered/bona fide member of the band and where ALL players are registered/bona fide members with the band.

4. Entrants must supply additional musical parts for use by the adjudicators.

5. To assist in the smooth running of the competition an individual musician will only be allowed a maximum of three entries with one in each section only. No multiple entry in any one section will be allowed irrespective of instrument being played.


a) Any Band or member of a Band acting in a manner which in the opinion of the Executive is derogatory to the proper conduct of the Association may be suspended, expelled, or penalised in any manner which the Executive Committee considers appropriate.

b) No Band or member of a Band will be eligible to participate at a Contest or event organised by the Association before relief from suspension has been granted by the Executive Committee.

c) Any Member Band will have the right to bring, in writing, to the notice of the Executive Committee any matter subversive to these Rules or affecting the good conduct and order of the Association.