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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)

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Conductor, adjudicator, band trainer and teacher