There was plenty of great music on show on the weekend at the popular Durham County Brass Band Association Festival of Brass.
16 bands from across Northern England headed to East Durham College in Peterlee to compete for a share of a prize fund of over £1000 and nearly 20 trophies and prizes.
Adjudicator Alan Fernie was certainly impressed, telling the packed auditorium at the result ceremonies that the standard of banding in the North East was "good" with a welcome variety of different test-pieces being featured.
He also added that he was, "...impressed with the of two youth bands and found it difficult to separate them" and that he hoped his remarks would help bands in their preparations for the Regional Championships.
In the Section A contest North Skelton led by Lewis Wilkinson successfully defended their title with a fine rendition of Philip Sparke's 'The Saga of Haakon the Good'.
Described as 'very clear and concise' and 'fabulously cinematic' by the adjudicator, it was aided by their excellent percussion section, which won their individual award for a third successive year.
The band, which came a fine third at the National Championships last September, will now head to the North of England Regional Championship hoping to make it a double after last year's win there. Runner-up was Durham Miners Association with Cockerton Silver in third.
In the B Section there was an equally fine win for Bearpark & Esh as they claimed victory under Philip Tait with a solid performance of 'Olympus'.
It was aided by the classy contributions of individual award winners, Iain McNeil on bass trombone and principal cornet Michael Evans. Runner-up was welcome Yorkshire visitors Kippax with Jayess Newbiggin in third.
The two excellent youth bands of Egglescliffe School Youth and Houghton Area Youth also provided great entertainment, with Egglescliffe's super rendition of Edward Gregson's 'Partita for Brass Band' showing great maturity.
Association Vice-President, Hugh Stephenson told 4BR: "We've had good feedback about the contest and we were delighted that it attracted such a big audience.
The number of competitors was very pleasing but we always inspire to attract more bands to what is a great day."
We've had good feedback about the contest and we were delighted that it attracted such a big audienceAssociation Vice-President, Hugh Stephenson
1. North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson)
2. Durham Miners Association (Stuart Gray)
3. Cockerton Silver (Andrew Hunter)
4. GT Group Peterlee (Ian Langthorne)
5. Ferryhill Town (Gareth Sykes)
Best Soprano: Blair Stanbridge (GT Group Peterlee)
Best Principal Cornet: Ian Robinson (Cockerton Silver)
Best Percussion: North Skelton
Best Middle of the Band: Cockerton Silver
1. Bearpark & Esh Colliery (Philip Tait)
2. Kippax (Stephen Tighe)
3. Jayess Newbiggin (Andy Griffiths)
4. Trimdon Brass (Will Harrison)
5. Backworth Colliery (Daniel Laverick)
6= Spennymoor Town ( Fiona Casewell)
6= Craghead Colliery (Stephen Goddard)
7= Lanchester (John Weirs)
7= Billingham Silver (Vaughan Evans)
Best Euphonium: Colin Moss (Kippax)
Best Trombone: Iain McNeil (Bass trombone) — Bearpark & Esh Colliery
Best Cornet: Michael Evans (Bearpark & Esh Colliery)
Best Bass Section: Kippax
Highest Placed Fourth Section Band: Backworth Colliery
1. Egglescliffe School Youth (Matthew Haworth)
2. Houghton Area Youth (Glenis Smith)