The Lion Salt Works Museum, is waking up the new year with a masterclass on how the City of Chester Brass band rehearses for its winning competition performances. This inspiring and interesting insight into the inner workings of this top brass band will be held at the Lion Salt Works Museum on Saturday 21 January between 2.30 – 4pm. There is a suggested donation of £2 and there is no need to book in advance.

The masterclass will show how the Deputy Musical Director of the City of Chester Brass Band, Matthew Birkett, rehearses the band with techniques for a winning performance. The 25-piece band will rehearse a contest piece for the NW Regional Area Championships to be held in Blackpool in February. The piece by Dan Price, called ‘Darkwood’, takes its musical inspiration from Blackley Village near Manchester.

Matthew Birkett, Deputy Musical Director of City of Chester Band, said: “At this open rehearsal, I will literally be ‘pulling the music to pieces’ to clarify dynamics, balance and intonation, before re-building the different sections back into the whole composition. I think it will be an eye-opener for anyone who likes to listen to music but doesn’t know how it gets from the notes on the page to a winning performance.”

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “This is a really different and unusual event and promises to be fascinating for anyone who enjoys listening to music. I am delighted that the Lion Salt Works Museum’s Thompson Suite is used for talks, conferences and rural touring plays as well as for quite out of the ordinary events like this one.”

The Lion Salt Works Museum tells the story of salt through interactive displays (including a sound and light show). It has won seven prestigious awards since re-opening after a four-year £10m restoration in June 2015.

In addition to fun, interactive displays and exhibitions, the Museum holds events throughout the year designed to appeal to a wide range of visitors, from rural touring plays, children’s activities, school groups to regular special events. In 2017, the Museum will hold a ‘Salt Saturday’ to celebrate British Science Week (with all sort of salt science experiments), an Easter Eggstravanza, a top folk band and an ‘Age of Steam’ weekend. Until February 14, annual passes are available with added discounts.