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Report & Results: 2017 Beamish March & Hymn Tune

Reg Vardy, Ferryhill and Houghton Area Youth enjoy the musical sunshine at Beamish.

  Houghton Area Youth Band delighted the large audience at the famous museum on the weekend

Reg Vardy enjoyed a fine afternoon of music making at the wonderful Beamish Open Air Museum as they claimed the honours at the second March & Hymn Tune contest organised by the Durham County Brass Band Association.

The award winning museum in County Durham is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the north-east and with the sun beating down an audience of over 800 people sat back and enjoyed themselves listening to a wide variety of repertoire.

Reg Vardy success

In the top section it was Reg Vardy who took the £200 first prize, thanks to an imposing rendition of the march 'The President' and a warmly-hued account of the hymn tune 'Nicea' under conductor Allan Ramsay. Easington Colliery was second with Houghton Brass in third.

Ferryhill outstanding

Meanwhile, in the B Section it was Ferryhill Town who came out on top to take the £200 first prize thanks to what adjudicator Alan Morrison described as 'outstanding' performances of 'The Contestor' march and their hymn tune, 'Dear Lord and Father of Mankind', under MD Andrew Hall.

Lanchester was second and Spennymoor Town came third, whilst Houghton Area Youth (above) took the Youth Section title with a brace of well worked renditions of the rarely heard march 'Eastern Isles' and the hymn tune, 'Be Still'.

Fantastic day

Alan Morrison later said: "What a fantastic day of good weather, great music-making and fantastic comradeship in a part of the world that I hold so dear. It was great to meet many old friends and be part of a memorable event."

Meanwhile, Association spokesperson Hugh Stephenson told 4BR: "Thanks to the weather and the great efforts of all the bands it was another highly successful contesting day. We would like to thank everyone who took part and who took the time to come and listen to the bands perform.

The staff at Beamish Museum were fantastic alongside the financial support given by the Rotary Club of Durham."

What a fantastic day of good weather, great music-making and fantastic comradeship in a part of the world that I hold so dearAdjudicator, Alan Morrison


Adjudicator: Alan Morrison

Section A:

1. Reg Vardy (Allan Ramsay)
2. Easington Colliery (Ian Robinson)
3. Houghton Brass (Tom Gibson)
4. Durham Miners Association (Stuart Gray)
5. Dunston Silver (Aidan Hodgson)

Best Hymn Tune: Reg Vardy
Best March: Reg Vardy
Best Second Section Band: Houghton Brass

Section B:

1. Ferryhill Town (Andrew Hall)
2. Lanchester (Gareth Sykes)
3. Spennymoor Town (Neil Davies)
4. Trimdon Brass (Tina Mortimer)
5. Jayess Newbiggin (Andy Griffiths)

Best Hymn Tune: Ferryhill Town
Best March: Ferryhill Town
Best Fourth Section Band: Lanchester

Youth Section:

1. Houghton Area Youth (Glenis Smith)


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Steve Pritchard-Jones

Conductor, Adjudicator, Teacher