16 bands produced wonderful entertainment last weekend at the BBL Festival of Brass contest held at the famous Whitla Hall at the School of Arts, English & Languages at Queen's University Belfast.
Bands from both the Republic of Ireland and Scotland made the journey for what proved to be a great day of contesting.
The day got off to a cracking start with the Third Section contenders.
Davi Johnson of Dynamic Brass took the 'Best Soloist' award for his rendition of 'Georgia on my Mind', as Dungannon Silver claimed the 'Most Entertaining Band' accolade. However, it was returning champion Wellington Memorial Silver under conductor David Hawthorne who reclaimed the title, as well as winning the march prize for a cracking account of 'Imperial Echoes'.
In the Second Section event, Andrew Gordon's gorgeous performance of 'Gabriel's Oboe' saw him take the soloist award for Roughan Silver, but it was Ballyduff Silver under Willie Hill who gathered up the rest of the prizes — taking home the best march prize for 'On the Quarter Deck', as well as the 'Most Entertaining Band' trophy.
Unfortunately there was no Fourth Section event, and just one entrant in the Fifth Section, although 1st Larne Old Boys Silver produced a fine overall performance worthy of the prize given.
There is always a great deal of expectation with the excellent youth contenders, and they certainly didn't disappoint, with the remarkable 1st Old Boys Youth Band led by Jacklin Bingham once again reclaiming the title with a clean sweep of the honours ahead of a fine audience-pleasing programme from Downshire Brass Youth Band.
Louise Bell's stunning rendition of 'First Light' secured her the soloist prize, whilst a tight performance of 'Holyrood' took the march prize on their way to claiming the 'Most Entertaining Band' award.
High class championship
After a short break to allow adjudicators and audience alike to take a breather, the Championship Section saw five bands produce high class entertainment.
1st Old Boys under the direction of Stephen Cairns who took the 'Most Entertaining Band' prize, but it was to be Laganvale's night under new conductor Keith Anderson.
He led the band to the overall honours thanks to the prize winning march, 'The New Colonial' and soprano player Mark Ruddock deservedly claiming the 'Best Soloist' accolade for his performance of 'Legacy'.
The contest organisers were delighted at the success of the event and thanked Dr David Bird, Professor Michael Alcorn and the team at Queen's University for their huge efforts both behind the scenes which helped the event run so smoothly.
1st Old Boys under the direction of Stephen Cairns who took the 'Most Entertaining Band' prize, but it was to be Laganvale's night under new conductor Keith Anderson4BR
Music Adjudicator: Jim Davies
Entertainment Adjudicator: Beverly Coomber
1. Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Keith Anderson): 10/8=18
2. Downshire Brass (Gary Proctor): 9/9=18
3. 1st Old Boys Silver Band (Stephen Cairns): 8/10=18
4. Third Carrickfergus (Brian Connolly): 7/6=13
5. Lochgelly Silver (Paul McKelvie OBE): 6/7=13
Most Entertaining Band: 1st Old Boys Silver
Best March: Laganvale (Metal Technology)
Best Soloist: Mark Ruddock (Laganvale (Metal Technology)
1. Ballyduff Silver (Willie Hill): 10/10=20
2. Comber Silver (Wesley Thompson): 8/8=16
3. CWA Brass (Ernie Ruddock): 7/9=16
4. Roughan Silver (Stephen Crooks): 9/6=15
5. Navan Silver (Stephen Murray): 6/7=13
Most Entertaining Band: Ballyduff Silver
Best March: Ballyduff Silver
Best Soloist: Andrew Gordon (Roughan Silver)
1. Wellington Memorial Silver (David Hawthorne) 10/9=19
2. Dungannon Silver (Boris Pinto) 9/10=19
3. Dynamic Brass (Harold Whan) 8/8=16
Most Entertaining Band: Dungannon Silver
Best March: Wellington Memorial Silver
Best Soloist: David Johnson (Dynamic Brass)
1. 1st Larne Old Boys Silver (Bill Clements) 10/10=20
Most Entertaining Band: 1st Larne Old Boys Silver
Best March: 1st Larne Old Boys Silver
Best Soloist: William Hollinger (1st Larne Old Boys Silver)
1. 1st Old Boys Youth (Jacklin Bingham) 10/10=20
2. Downshire Brass Youth (Robert Mercer) 9/9=18
Most Entertaining Band: 1st Old Boys Youth
Best March: 1st Old Boys Youth Band
Best Soloist: Louise Bell (1st Old Boys Youth)