Although only a small field of four bands took part in the fourth Stanley Entertainment Contest held at Tadfield School Hall, there was still plenty of excellent music making on show for both adjudicator Danny Brooks and the audience to enjoy.
The school half term break certainly had an impact on the event this year, although it was hoped that this will be resolved for 2018 to enable the contest to attract a significant number of youth bands and primary school ensembles.
On this occasion it was a confident Lanchester Band under the guidance of Gareth Sykes that took the honours.
Their thoroughly entertaining set included the march 'Punchinello', 'All in the April Evening', 'O Sole Mio', 'Miss Chatterbox' from 'Four Little Maids' and the closing, 'Manhattan Skyline'.
Just behind them came solid performances from runner-up, Billingham Silver ahead of Spennymoor Town and Craghead Colliery, with all three bands giving excellent accounts of themselves. Billingham's slick percussion team took the 'Best Percussion award'.
Danny Brooks revealed that he had used Steven Mead's 'Criteria Based' adjudication system in reaching his decision, and told 4BR: "The standard was very good considering they were all Fourth Section bands.
Only one piece was duplicated, although it would have added something if the bands tried something a little different in the presentation of their pieces, such as choreography. Overall though each band came across really well with their choices."
Top two difference
Danny also revealed that the difference between the top two was that Lanchester had 'that little bit more flair and ensemble precision' which also gave them the 'Best Entertainment' prize.
The 'Best Soloist' award went to Craghead's excellent flugel player Keiran Taylor who gave a fine rendition of 'How Great Thou Art'.
he difference between the top two was that Lanchester had 'that little bit more flair and ensemble precision' which also gave them the 'Best Entertainment' prize.
Adjudicator: Danny Brookes
1. Lanchester (Gareth Sykes)
2. Billingham Silver (Vaughan Evans)
3. Spennymoor Town (Neil Davies)
4. Craghead Colliery (John Robson)
Best Percussion: Billingham Silver
Best Entertainment: Lanchester
Best Soloist: Keiran Taylor (flugel) — Craghead Colliery