British Open Championship



A History of the Contest

Belle Vue, Manchester

The British Open Championships, which began in 1853 at Belle Vue Manchester, is we believe the oldest music competition in the world. In 1853, the owner of Belle Vue John Jennison, agreed to stage a brass band competition in the grounds of the Zoological Gardens.

Paula O'Malley

After several years of playing the piano, Paula started playing percussion at the age of nine through the local council music service in her hometown of Paisley, Scotland.  She soon started playing in the local orchestras and bands and successfully auditioned for the Junior Royal Conservatoire of Scotland at the age of thirteen, spending four years there under the tutelage of Ruari Donaldson and Pamella Dow, winning the Colin Currie Young Percussionist Award and was the principal percussionist of the symphony orchestra, percussion ensemble and wind orchestra during her time there.