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Report & Results: 2017 Festival of Brass

1st Old Boys make it a double in Belfast as they top and tail the entertainment honours at Queens University in Belfast.

  1st Old Boys won both the Youth Section and Championship Section in Belfast

The contesting season in Northern Ireland ended on a high on the weekend when there was plenty of great entertainment on show at Whitla Hall at Queens University in Belfast.

Music adjudicator Leigh Baker and entertainment judges, Paula McHugh and Meagan Lyons were presented with a wide variety of programme sets, with 1st Old Boys under Stephen Cairns leading the way in the Championship Section.

Great weekend

It proved to be a great weekend for the organisation, as earlier in the day 1st Old Boys Youth Band, led by Jacklin Bingham took the Youth Section title.

Their programme included the classic march 'Slaidburn', the horn solo 'An Untold Story' played by Daniel Sharpe and 'The Journal of Phileas Fogg' — complete with Phileas and his helpers playing out the story of 'Around the World in 80 Days' to great effect (above).

With excellent performances also on show from section winners Warrenpoint Silver, Wellington Silver and Lourdes Brass the audience were left to enjoy a keen battle between a quartet of well-matched bands in the Championship event to round off a highly enjoyable, well organised event.

Pure imagination

1st Old Boys Band eventually came out on top thanks to a programme that opened with Stephen Pondsford's 'Let There Be Light', the trombone solo 'Pure Imagination' played by Nathan Moore, the march 'The Contestor' and the sensitive 'Guardian of my Soul'.

'Best Soloist' award winner Alan Haworth played his own humour arrangement of 'Delilah' before they closed with the Sammy Nestico arrangement of 'Malguena'.
The twin victories rounded off a remarkable year for the 1st Old Boys organisation with both the senior and youth bands having won every contest in the Northern Ireland contesting season.

It proved to be a great weekend for the organisation, as earlier in the day 1st Old Boys Youth Band, led by Jacklin Bingham took the Youth Section title4BR


Championship Section:

Adjudicator: Leigh Baker
Music/Entertainment = Total

1. 1st Old Boys: 10/10 = 20
2. Laganvale Metal Technology: 9/9 = 18
3. Third Carrickfergus Silver: 8/7 = 15
4. Downshire Brass: 7/8 = 15

Most Entertaining Band: 1st Old Boys Silver
Best March: Third Carrickfergus Silver (Cross of Honour)
Best Soloist: Alan Howarth (euphonium) — 1st Old Boys

Second Section:

Adjudicator: Leigh Baker
Music/Entertainment = Total

1. Lourdes Brass: 10/10 = 20
2. CWA Brass: 9/9 = 18
3. Comber Silver: 8/8 = 16

Most Entertaining Band: Lourdes Brass
Best March: Lourdes Brass (Voice of the Guns)
Best Soloist: Mark Newman (Lourdes Brass)

Third Section:

Adjudicator: Leigh Baker
Music/Entertainment = Total

1. Wellington Silver: 10/10 = 20
2. Dungannon Silver: 9/9 = 18

Most Entertaining Band: Wellington Silver
Best March: Dungannon Silver (Europa Mars)
Best Soloist: Lauren Stewart (Wellington)

Fourth Section:

Adjudicator: Leigh Baker
Music/Entertainment = Total

1. Warrenpoint Silver: 10/10 = 20

Most Entertaining Band: Warrenpoint Silver
Best March: Warrenpoint Silver (Aces High)
Best Soloist: Maurice McCabe (Warrenpoint Silver)

Youth Band:

Adjudicator: Leigh Baker
Music/Entertainment = Total

1. 1st Old Boys Youth Band: 10/10 = 20
2. Downshire Youth: 9/9 = 18

Most Entertaining Band: 1st Old Boys Youth Band
Best March: 1st Old Boys Youth Band (Slaidburn)
Best Soloist: Daniel Sharpe (1st Old Boys Youth Band)

Solar System

Sparke work to increase brass band sphere of influence

December 10 • Philip Sparke's 'Music of the Spheres' is to be performed by Brass Band of Battle Creek at the opening of the influential Midwest Clinic in Chicago.

Factory Girls

Time travellers sought in South Wales

December 10 • A television production company is looking for people with an interest in all things 1970s — especially with the rag trade and a bit of brass banding...

Fountain City

Fountain City success makes a mark in Kansas

December 10 • The UK tour success of Fountain City in claiming podium finishes at Brass in Concert and the Scottish Open has certainly made a mark back home in Kansas.

Portraits of Tibshelf

Godley's cream given retrospective

December 10 • The work of renowned i-pad artist Mik Godley has been given a retrospective by the influential East Midlands Contemporary Visual Arts Network — including the innovative Portraits of Tibshelf project.

Northop Silver Band - Rhys Meirion & Denbighshire Youth Choir

Monday 11 December • St. Asaph Cathedral LL17 0RD

Strata Brass -

Wednesday 13 December • Rockingham Centre,Sheffield Road,Hoyland Common,Nr Barnsley S74 1DQ

South London Fellowship Band -

Wednesday 13 December • John Lewis Department Store. Bluewater. Kent DA9 9SA

Black Dyke Band - Queensbury Parish Church

Thursday 14 December • Queensbury Parish Church Halifax Road Queensbury BD13

Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Thursday 14 December • St Alfege Church. Greenwich Church Street. London. SE10 9BJ SE10 9BJ

Crewe Brass

December 11 • Crewe Brass are welcoming applications for a new MD who could take us to the NW Areas and potentially beyond. The band has recently gained promotion to the 1st section as of Jan 2018, and we are very easy to reach, located near J16 of the M6.

Chelmsford Silver Band

December 11 • Chelmsford Silver Band require a Bb bass, a 2nd Baritone players and a front row Solo Cornet player. A non-contesting band, established for over 50 years and enjoy a good reputation performing at local and regional events plus organizing our own concert

Uppermill Band

December 10 • Cornet players required urgently in preparation for the upcoming Contest season. Positions negotiable on ability. If you are looking for a change or moving into the area come and join us in a rehearsal. We are a friendlly team with ambition to succeed

Derek Renshaw

ABBA Member
Conductor, Band Trainer and Adjudicator.