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Helping Hands was written for the British Bandsman March Composition Contest, entered into category 2 (marches for 3rd/4th section bands). The piece is loosely programmatic in nature:

• The introductio is fanfare-like, announcing the date of the next Whit Friday Contests and the bands’ anticipation of and preparation for the event.

• The first section is the march of the volunteers, as they descend upon the many venues, ready to run the contests.

• The second section (bars 35 to 52) sees the contests start. The bands strike up, march, finish and go from place to place, whilst the volunteers manage them, the audiences, and all manner of issues and problems thrown at them.

• The third section (bars 53 to 69) represents the bad weather which has, at times, presented itself on that particular Friday. But everyone carries on (possibly the sun comes out) and we enjoy the day.

• The trio uses the hymn St. Vincent by Sigismund Neukomm: St. Vincent de Paul is the patron saint of charities and volunteering, hence its use here. 


The piece is influenced by marches that are commonly heard during the Whit Friday March Contests, using motifs, rhythms and harmonic progressions (sparingly) throughout the piece.


March-card sized parts included, with alternatives for horns in F and lower brass in bass clef.


To view a rolling score video of the piece please visit


PDF download includes score and parts.


Sheet music available from:

UK -



Difficulty Level: 3rd Section +

Length: 3.50 minutes



Soprano Cornet Eb

Solo Cornet Bb

Repiano Cornet Bb

2nd Cornet Bb

3rd Cornet Bb

Flugel Horn Bb

Solo Horn Eb

1st Horn Eb

2nd Horn Eb

1st Baritone Bb

2nd Baritone Bb

1st Trombone Bb

2nd Trombone Bb

Bass Trombone

Euphonium Bb

Bass Eb

Bass Bb




March - Helping Hands (Rob Bushnell) Brass Band

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