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Report & Results: 2017 Picnic in the Park

Fantastic entertainment was certainly on the menu at the popular Picnic in the Park Entertainment contest in Durham.

  There was yet more success for the excellent Houghton organisation

The Picnic in the Park Entertainment Contest organised by the Durham County Brass Band Association in the grounds of Houghall College on the outskirts of Durham City saw plenty of fine music making as competitors battled for a share of the generous prize funds. Each winning band took home £200.

Houghton winners

Houghton Brass under the direction of Neil Gibson took the Section A honours with a fine set that opened with the march, 'Simmoraine', followed by 'Pastorale' by Goff Richards.

Their excellent euphonium player James Wright gave a cracking rendition of 'Springtime' by Reginald Heath, before a breezy 'Lincolnshire Poacher' led into the finale of 'Brass Blues'.

Ferryhill victory

Meanwhile, Ferryhill Town took the Section B honours with a programme that included 'Prismatic Light', 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square' featuring trombonist Peter King, 'Dear Lord and Father of Mankind', the march 'The Contestor' and the finisher of the 'Finale' from Gounod's 'Faust'.

Houghton Area Youth's fine prize winning performance featured the march, 'Eastern Isles', 'African Funk', 'Concerto de Aranjuez' with super flugel soloist Ankit Kumar, '12th Street Rag' and 'All that Jazz'.


Adjudicator Anne Crookston was certainly impressed: "I enjoyed my time immensely with excellent music making throughout the day in a lovely setting.

The standard of playing across all sections was very good and I was particularly impressed with the Youth Section. I could see that these youngsters were enjoying themselves and having fun."

Association spokesperson Hugh Stephenson added: "Once again the weather was very kind with a big crowd enjoying the sunshine and the nine bands each playing excellent 20 minute programmes.

Our thanks go to all the competitors, Durham County Council for their sponsorship and British Bandsman for a year's subscription awarded to each solo winner."

The standard of playing across all sections was very good and I was particularly impressed with the Youth Section. I could see that these youngsters were enjoying themselves and having funAdjudicator, Anne Crookston


Section A:

1. Houghton Brass (Neil Gibson)
2. NASUWT Concert (Andy Hunter)
3. Durham Miners Association (Stuart Gray)
4. Bearpark & Esh Colliery (Phillip Tait)

Best Second Section Band: Houghton Brass
Best Soloist: James Wright (euphonium) — Houghton Brass playing 'Springtime' by Reginald Health
Best March: 'On the Quarter Deck' (NASUWT Concert)

Section B:

1. Ferryhill Town (Andrew Hall)
2. Lanchester (Gareth Sykes)
3. Craghead Colliery (Jack Dodds)

Best March: 'The Contestor' (Ferryhill Town)
Best Soloist: Peter King (trombone) — Ferryhill Town playing 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square'.
Best Fourth Section Band: Lanchester

Youth Section:

1. Houghton Area Youth (Glenis Smith)
2. Hetton Primary School (Glenis Smith)

Best Soloist: Eve Wardle (horn) — Hetton Lyons Primary School playing 'On the Banks of the Ohio'.
Best March: 'Eastern Isles' (Houghton Area Youth)


Results: 2018 UniBrass Trophy

February 17 • The students of the Royal Northern College of Music retain their hold on the UniBrass Trophy


Results: 2018 UniBrass Shield

February 17 • Bristol University come out top in the battle for the UniBrass Shield

Filton Concert

Results: 2018 Welsh Open

February 17 • Filton Concert reclaims Welsh Open title under the direction of Tom Davoren


Strong line-up for Scottish titles in Perth

February 17 • There will be plenty of keenly fought action at the Scottish Championship in Perth next month, with national representation, titles and qualification up for grabs.

Foden's Band - Patrons Concert

Tuesday 20 February • Sandbach School. Crewe Rd, Sandbach CW11 3NS CW11 3NS

Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Chamber Ensemble

Friday 23 February • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C 2DJ (opposite RESERVED) W1C 2DJ

The Cobham Band -

Saturday 24 February • The Vera Fletcher Hall . 4 Embercourt Road. Thames Ditton. KT7 0LQ KT70LQ

Marshfield Band - Marshfield Male Voice Choir

Saturday 24 February • Marshfield Community Centre SN14 8PG

The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - Chirst Church Ilkley

Saturday 24 February • Christchurch,. The Grove,. Ilkley LS29 9LW

Strata Brass

February 17 • Require FRONT ROW CORNET (flexibility in the section) after Yorkshire Area (1st Section) in March.. Rehearsals SUN/WED.. MD Jonathan Bates (Solo Horn - Fodens Band). Sensible concert/contest schedule.

Shipston Town band

February 15 • We currently need a Kit percussionist, 2nd horn and Bb Bass as we prepare for the forthcoming Midlands Area at Bedworth in March. We are graded Section 4

The Corsham Band

February 15 • Having now been promoted to the 2nd Section for the forthcoming Contest season, the band are now looking for a back row cornet player, 2nd or 3rd, to join our team

Howard J Evans

MA (Dist), Mus.B (hons), ARCM (hons), LRAM, LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, composer, arranger, tutor and pianist