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Report & Results: 2017 Blackburn & Darwen March & Hymn Tune

Ashton come out on top in the rain to pocket the top prize of £700.

  Ashton under Lyne came out on top at a wet Blackburn & Dawren contest

Despite the rather wet conditions, there was plenty of fine music making on show at the 3rd annual Blackburn & Darwen March & Hymn Tune Contest.

14 bands braved the elements to try and get their hands on the generous prize money on offer by impressing adjudicator Nicholas Garman (who was tucked up warm and dry in a small caravan).

Contesting force

Ashton under Lyne showed why they have become something of a force in these types of events, as they took the honours and the £700 first prize under MD Phil Chalk.

Their stirring rendition of 'The Wizard' march and the hymn tune 'Manchester' saw them beat off the challenge of Marsden Silver (who boosted their Cheltenham fund raising kitty by £400) with a delighted Third Section Eccleston (who bagged £300 in third overall. Section awards and £250 each went to Howrich RMI, Greenalls and Brindle.


There was appraise for all the competitors from the man who kept dry throughout the day, with Nicholas Garman congratulated everyone who took part in what were testing conditions to say the least.

"It says so much for all the bands that they entered into the spirit of the event despite the rain and still produced excellent performances.

This is a cracking event — and all that was missing this year was a bit of sunshine. The standard was very good, with some excellent solo playing on show. The winners in particular sounded a very classy band."

It says so much for all the bands that they entered into the spirit of the event despite the rain and still produced excellent performancesAdjudicator, Nicholas Garman


March/Hymn Tune = Overall
Adjudicator: Nicholas Garman

1. Ashton-Under-Lyne (Phil Chalk): 1/1 = 2
2. Marsden Silver Prize (Alan Widdop) 2/4 = 6
3. Eccleston (John Wood): 3/3 = 6
4. Horwich RMI (Matthew Ryan): 4/7 = 11
5. Greenalls (Danny Lowery): 6/5 = 11
6. Hawk Green (Neil Hewson): 9/2 = 11
7. Freckleton (Paul Dalton): 5/9 = 14
8. Besses Boys (James Holt): 8/8 = 16
9. Hoover Bolton (Craig Mann): 7/10 = 17
10. Farnworth & Walkden (Matt Shaw): 12/6 = 18
11. Brindle (Keith Richmond): 10/13 = 23
12. Lostock Hall (David Houghton): 11/12 = 23
13. Skelmersdale (James Hall): 13/11 = 24
14. Rivington & Adlington (Malcolm Wilson): 14/14 = 28

Best Soloist: Andy Pullin (solo cornet) — Eccleston
Youngest Player: Poppy Abbott (Brindle)

Second Section Winner: Horwich RMI
Third Section Winner: Greenalls
Fourth Section Winner: Brindle

British Open

Amendments made to British Open test-piece

April 20 • Competing bands at the 2018 British Open will have to make some minor amendments to their scores of 'A Brussels Requiem' for the contest.

Coldstream Guards

Personal testimony fuels Coldstream concert

April 20 • Intimate stories of overcoming the damaging effects of combat stress are inspiring The Band of Coldstream Guards as they prepare for their St George's Day Concert at Cadogan Hall.


Flowers prepare for move to new home

April 20 • The Flowers Band will return to the heart of Gloucester as they make final arrangements to move into new rehearsal home.


Youngsters to be encouraged to compete at Music Festival

April 20 • Entries are now open for the 49th Bailey Lane End Music Festival — so why not sign up and have a go!

Foden's Band - BBC Radio 'Young Brass Award Final'

Friday 20 April • RNCM, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD

Crofton Silver Band - Theatre Royal Wakefield

Friday 20 April • Theatre Royal Wakefield. Drury Lane . Wakefield WF1 2TE

Thundersley Brass Band - TBB Quiz Night

Friday 20 April • Richmond Hall, Richmond Avenue, South Benfleet, Essex SS75HA

Black Dyke Band - Conthey - Switzerland

Saturday 21 April • tbc tbc

Gresley Colliery Band - Gresley Colliery Youth and Senior Brass Bands

Saturday 21 April • Gresley Old Hall,. Gresley Wood Road . Swadlincote DE11 9QW

Blidworth Welfare Band

April 20 • Assistant Principal Cornet and Percussionist. Having recently secured 5th place at the Midlands Area Championship Section and a new Principal cornet we are looking for applications for the above positions. The band operate a sensible diary of engagements.

Enderby Band

April 19 • Enderby Band are looking for a SOLO TROMBONE. We are a hard-working and sociable band and are looking for committed players to fill these key seats. The band are current Wychavon and Shirebrook Champions and National finalists.

West Somerset Brass Band

April 19 • West Somerset Brass is looking to strengthen its cornet section, if you are a front or back row player we would be delighted to hear from you, you may even still have a chance of coming along to our French tour later in the year.

Alan Duguid

BA (Hons), PGDipMus, PGCE
Conductor, Composer, Adjudicator (ABBA)