The programme must be of a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes including short breaks between pieces. For Junior Bands, the duration is 10-15 minutes. If it is clear before the last item that a band is going to exceed the time limit, the band will not be allowed to play that piece. Bands who fail to observe the time limit will receive an adjudication, but may not be considered for an invitation to the National Festival.

Wind Band classes must include one piece (or more) by a British Composer from the current Wind Band Repertoire List (see below). Please remember that bands should prepare and perform a different nominated piece from the relevant ncbf repertoire lists from the Regional Festival to the Nationals.

Big Band classes must include one piece (or more) from the Big Band Repertoire Lists, (see below).

The lists have been compiled by recognised experts, each of whom is working with bands at several levels.

Bands may play an own choice piece of unpublished music, authorised arrangement or bands' own commissioned works. Manuscript arrangements of copyright material works may only be used if written evidence from the original copyright owner (music publisher or agent) is supplied to the Regional Organiser (prior to the performance) that authorisation has been obtained. Big Band programmes must consist of a minimum of 75% formal orchestration.

The grades in this list are those quoted by the American magazine “The Instrumentalist” and are now widely accepted in the UK and Europe as well as in the USA as a guide to the standard of playing required to perform the work.

Grade Level Description
Grade 1 Very Easy Associated Board 1-2,  beginner school band level
Grade 2 Easy Associated Board 3-4,  second year school band level
Grade 3 Intermediate Associated Board 4-5,  established school, county or youth band level
Grade 4 Advanced Associated Board 6-7,  good school or county band level
Grade 5 Difficult Associated Board 7-8
Grade 6 Professional Associated Board 8+

Great care has been taken to provide good repertoire for every level of band. There is no merit in attempting one of the more difficult works instead of one of the easier ones, as the adjudicators will assess each performance rather than the level of difficulty of the work itself. When selecting pieces, you should choose a work of which your band will give a creditable performance and be a part of an overall balanced programme.

The current availability of each of the works listed has been checked and all should be readily available from any good music shop.In case of difficulty please contact the publisher direct.

All durations are approximate, it is your responsibility to check the accuracy and therefore your performance time.