Bad Ass Brass, the Whit Friday scratch band whose street 'march-downs' have become a popular attraction at the event over the past few years, has revealed that they have donated nearly all their prize money from 2017 to charitable musical causes.
Over the last two years the band has won over £800, most of which has been donated to youth bands, community bands with beginner groups, music therapy charities, the National Youth Brass Band, and the National Youth Children's Band of Great Britain.
Many members of the band are either busy professional players, teachers or are musicians that don't regularly participate in contesting. A sizeable majority are also National Youth Brass Band alumni.
2017 was the most successful series of contests Bad Ass Brass has taken part in over the last four years; claiming podium finishes at Delph and Uppermill, and coming seventh overall on the Saddleworth circuit.
"Not bad from 40 minutes rehearsal in an outdoor car park!" MD and joint-organiser, Jim Lynch told 4BR.
Jim is a professional trumpet player and long-time member of the John Wilson Orchestra, and is currently in the pit with '42nd Street' in London's West End.
He added: "We've been able to assemble a terrific band each year and I'm grateful, as well as delighted that the quality has been so high.
We started in 2014 with a core team from the eight-piece Bad Ass Brass and some volunteers from Zone One Brass, and then built the band around that with the best players we could find."
Current members include session trumpet players Andy Greenwood and Danny Marsden, fellow John Wilson Orchestra member Jon Stokes on trombone and Phil Judge who is currently playing on 'An American in Paris'.
Also in the ranks are the likes of Ben Godfrey, Scot Bennett, David Nesbitt, Mark Frost, Martin Britt, Jonti Smith, Chris Binns and Josh Cirtina.
Then, when the cash prizes came in, donating it to those organisations was really a no-brainer. We did an online vote and it was unanimous to donate the prize moneyMike Poyser
The band is now famous for the brilliant arrangements it uses for the event — from 'Blueberry Hill' and 'The Carioca' to 'Well Git It' and last year's 'Whit Bit'.
One of the highlights this year was hearing Lee Rigg's Wardle Junior Blast perform.
"That was the moment when the importance of musical education became so obvious to us." tuba player and Wardle alumnus Mike Poyser told 4BR.
"Then, when the cash prizes came in, donating it to those organisations was really a no-brainer. We did an online vote and it was unanimous to donate the prize money."
Other organisations that have benefited from the Bad Ass generosity have been the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain; National Children's Band of Great Britain; Parr (St Helens) Academy; Horbury Victoria Youth; Astley Youth; Wigan Youth Zone; Dobcross Youth; Over Wyre Brass; Music for All and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy
Photo credit: Gwenllian Davies