Fodens ended their 2009 contest season on a 'spaced out' high after clinching the Brass in Concert title for the first time since 2000.
Their winning programme had a 'sci-fi space' theme running through it from start to finish, from the famous 2001 Space Odyssey opening right through to the finale from Philip Sparke's 'Music of the Spheres', and even a touch of Star Trek too.
It enabled Garry Cutt and his band to secure the title by a single point from an inspired Grimethorpe Colliery in second, with reigning champion Cory a further point back in third.
Sixth win and awards
It was Foden's sixth win at the contest and the MD's seventh, and saw the band finally gain a major title, and the £4,000 top prize, in what had been until The Sage, a season of near misses.
The band also secured a raft of indivdual awards too: Taking the trophies for 'Best Basses', 'Best Percussion' and 'Quality of Performance', as well as prizes for Garry Cutt as winning conductor and to John Barber as Secretary of the winning band.
Second placed Grimethorpe will have been delighted after a performance that showed they are close to being back to their very best again under the direction of an inspired James Gourlay.
It enabled Garry Cutt and his band to secure the title by a single point from an inspired Grimethorpe Colliery in second, with reigning champion Cory a further point back in third4BR
His ever so bonkers Karaoke performance of 'Super Trouper' with his own original Scottish lyrics brought the house down, whilst his band were not too far behind, especially with their closing rendition of the Finale from the 'Organ Symphony' which nearly blew the roof off the Sage main hall.
They took the £2,000 on offer for coming runner up, and also took the individual prizes for 'Best Principal Cornet', 'Best Soprano' and 'Best Soloist' for Michael Dodd's crowd pleasing rendition of 'Bluebells of Scotland'.
Cory's year ended in disappointment as the reigning champion could only secure third place, after their anniversary mix of musical styles didn't quite have enough about it to retain the title.
They left for home with £1,000, plus the individual awards for 'Best Trombone', 'Best Horn' and 'Best Euphonium'.
Much to enjoy
Elsewhere there was much to enjoy in the performance of fourth placed Brighouse & Rastrick, with Dicky Evans taking to the stage in black tails 24 hours before he flew off for a banding break in San Francisco.
They also took the prize for 'Best Entertainment' and 'Best March', which was played with the MDs usual touch of brilliant swagger.
There was also joy in the Reg Vardy camp too, as the local band pulled out all the stops to claim fifth place with a visually innovative approach and plenty of classy playing under Ray Farr, whilst Leyland secured the final top six place after a performance full of new works from some of the best young composer's in the banding world.
American visitors Fountain City also impressed the knowledgable North East audience with a performance that gained them 7th place and gave flugel horn player Michael Vanjiel the 'Best Flugel Horn' prize.
Sunday 15th November
The Sage, Gateshead
Nigel Boddice MBE, Derek Broadbent (Music)
Alan Fernie, Chris Wormald (Entertainment)
Sheona White (Soloist)
1. Fodens (Garry Cutt) (9) 198/54 = 252
2. Grimethorpe Colliery (James Gourlay) (12) 195/56 = 251
3. Cory (Dr Robert Childs) (5) 193/57 = 250*
4. Brighouse & Rastrick (Richard Evans) (10) 191/59 = 250
5. Reg Vardy (Ray Farr) (8) 189/58 = 247
6. Leyland (Jason Katsikaris) (7) 190/55 = 245
7. Fountain City (Dr Joseph Parasi) (3) 186/54 = 240
8. Fairey (Philip Chalk) (11) 185/52 = 237
9. Desford (Stephen Roberts) (6) 183/52 = 235
10. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts) (2) 188/46 = 234
11. Flowers (Paul Holland) (4) 182/48 = 230
12. Carlton Main Frickley (Russell Gray) (1) 184/44 = 228
*Cory finish third by virtue of higher musical marks
(Points are awarded as follows: Music out of 200 + two sets of entertainment marks = Total)
Don Lusher Trombone Award: Chris Thomas, Cory
Harry Mortimer Best Principal Cornet Award: Rob Westacott, Grimethorpe
The Fesa Trophy for Best Flugel Award: Matt Vangjel, Fountain City
The Shaw Trophy for Best Soprano Award: Kevin Crockford, Grimethorpe
Best Euphonium: David Childs, Cory
Best Baritone/Horn: Owen Farr, Cory
John Fletcher Best Basses Award: Fodens
Best Percussion: Fodens
Best Entertainment Performance: Brighouse & Rastrick
Own Choice March: Brighouse & Rastrick
Best Soloist: Michael Dodd, Grimethorpe
New Composition/Arrangement Award: Leyland — 'O Magnum Mysterium'
Quality of performance: Fodens
Winning MD: Garry Cutt
Youngest Player: Kieran Johnson, Reg Vardy, 12