The Flowers Band made it two wins from two competitive outings in 2014 by winning the Yeovil Entertainment Contest on the weekend.
Under the baton of Paul Holland they added to their recent Butlins Mineworkers Championship victory by claiming a hat trick of wins at the Octagon Theatre — their eighth success at the popular event since 2003.
A few tweaks to their successful Skegness entertainment programme saw them produce a high class 25 minutes of music to impress adjudicator John Maines and gain a commanding three point margin over second placed Woodfalls. Third place went to St Dennis with equally delighted debutants Michelmersh in fourth.
Woodfalls took the ‘Best Section’ Award with Matt Chiverton of Bournemouth Concert Brass awarded the ‘Best Soprano’ prize.
Flowers euphonium star David Childs also made it a personal solo ‘double’ following his prize winning efforts in Skegness by taking the John Paul Fraser Memorial Trophy as ‘Best Soloist’ for his superb rendition of ‘Carnival of Venice’.
It meant the band retained the Chris Palmer Shield as well as adding a further £2,000 to the £11,000 winnings they picked up at Skegness after they opened with fizzing ‘Los Endos’, followed by David Childs, a trio of items from the Karl Jenkins ‘Stabat Mater’ and the rousing finale ‘Olympiada’.
Paul Holland told 4BR that although many people thought the result was expected, he made sure that his band was as well prepared as ever for the contest.
"We knew we were favourites for the title, but if we are to compete at the very highest level then we must play to the top of our form on every outing."
He added: "I insisted on that on the weekend and the band responded superbly. It was an excellent performance and one which I believe we can build on for the rest of the year."
Not surprisingly, Woodfalls also reprised the majority of their Butlins entertainment set as they imposed their quality to claim the £1000 second place prize money under Phil Randell, whilst St Dennis showed that they could well be a force to be reckoned with come the West of England Area in Torquay by claiming the £700 prize for coming third.
Their entertaining set included a reprise of Jonathan Lush-Camps superb impression of Noel Coward in 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' and the rousing finale 'Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov'.
There was no happier band on the contest day though than Michelmersh Silver, based 10 miles from Southampton, who on their Championship Section contesting debuts under the direction of Melvin White, produced an outstanding performance to end fourth.
Their spokesperson told 4BR that it also represented the finest result in their 127 year history.
"In 1996 we were still in the Fourth Section, so to come here on our debuts and claim fourth place is an amazing achievement.
Melvin White has done a brilliant job developing the band since 2004 and doing it by retaining so many players who were playing in the Fourth Section all those years ago.”
They added: "There were at least 10 of those players on stage on the day, so you can understand just how proud they felt when we were announced in fourth place. Melvin’s programme really captured the imagination. Now it’s ‘St Magnus’ — so we will have a bit of a celebration before we knuckle down to the hard work again."
It was an excellent performance and one which I believe we can build on for the rest of the yearFlowers MD, Paul Holland
1. Flowers (Paul Holland) — 196
2. Woodfalls (Phil Randell) — 193
3. St Dennis (Darren Hawken) — 190
4. Michelmersh Silver (Melvin White) — 189
5. Mount Charles (Richard Evans) — 188
6. Friary Guildford (Chris King) — 187
7. Staines (Jonathan Pippen) — 186
8. Wantage A (Philip Bailey) — 185
9. Bournemouth Concert Brass (Major Dave Barringer) — 184
10. Tylorstown (Gary Davies) — 183
11. Lanner & District (Stuart Chappell) — 182
12. Sherborne Town (Stephen Rogers) — 181
Withdrawn: Aveley & Newham, BTM, Jackfield (Elcock Reisen)
Best Soloist: David Childs (Flowers)
Best Section: Percussion (Woodfalls)
Best Soprano: Matt Chiverton (Bournemouth Concert Brass)