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Christopher Osborn

Former Research Student

Christopher Osborn

Research overview

I research the British brass band movement in the twentieth century and the development of their repertoire. I am particularly interested in the move towards an original brass band repertoire and away from transcriptions of music originally published for other contexts. 

The development of brass band contest and the effect of this on the brass band movement is a major focus of my research. Tracking the development of musical ability within bands using contest test piece and results from the British Open and National Finals is my current aim. As brass bands use set test pieces for contests I am able to use the selection of these test pieces to track changes in the brass band movement. The main changes I am exploring are the general musical ability of players and the changes in the types of band. Changes in musical ability can be tracked by test pieces being used in different sections at contests whereas changes in the types of band can be tracked by the number of works bands, community bands and school bands featuring in results.

Career Details

I completed my BA in History at Lancaster in 2011 and my MA also at Lancaster in 2012. My MA thesis explored the use of music in the culture of remembrance of the First World War, focusing on the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance.

Other Interests and Hobbies

I enjoy playing the tuba and conducting the university music society Wind Band, Brass Band and recent production of Cabaret. Brass bands in particular have been an important part of my life, leading to my decision to study the brass band movement.

In addition to performing with these groups I organise arts events such as the UniBrass university brass band championship and Campus Festival, a one day festival celebrating the work of societies at Lancaster University.

I am also a member of LA1TV, Lancaster University students' union television station. I present a baking show, Bake Me Out and organise live coverage of events such as the Roses tournament, students' union elections and music society Proms concert. I really enjoy the challenge of live broadcasting events from a wide range of different locations and the unique experience each one gives.

My other hobbies include baking, helping out with the technical side of theatre productions and watching musicals.