Thankfully the weather was dry for the third March & Hymn Tune Contest organised by the Durham County Brass Band Association.
12 bands in three sections battled for the honours and a share of the generous prize fund of over £1000 at the popular tourist pit village attraction at the Beamish Open Air Museum, near Stanley in County Durham.
The A Section honours were claimed by an impressive Easington Colliery under Jonathan Fenwick, giving classy renditions of the march, 'Knight Templar' by the North East 'March King' George Allen, and the hymn tune 'Love Unknown' specially arranged by the band's tuba player Steve Robson.
Meanwhile, in the B Section Trimdon Brass led by Will Harrison took the top prize thanks to their 'Best March' rendition of 'Star Lake' and the hymn tune 'Sacred Hill'. The excellent Houghton Area Youth Band conducted by Glenis Smith took the Youth Band Prize.
Adjudicator Sam Fisher was certainly impressed: "The playing was of an excellent standard and the MD's had clearly taken time to consider appropriate marches to suit their players," he said.
"Some of the hymn tune playing really was first class and it was great to see some new arrangements of hymns, written specifically for the bands."
He added: "The youth section played with maturity and class and rounded off a superb day of music making. My thanks go to the Association and the people of Beamish Museum for making it such a great experience!"
Hugh Stephenson, Vice President of the Association added: "We were delighted to welcome Sam to his first appointment as an adjudicator participating in the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators training and mentoring programme and we wish him well in his future adjudication endeavours."
Beamish Brass, a group of volunteers from the museum (many who have played a brass instrument for less than a year) entertained the crowd during the interval.
The youth section played with maturity and class and rounded off a superb day of music making. My thanks go to the Association and the people of Beamish Museum for making it such a great experience!Adjudicator, Sam Fisher
1. Easington Colliery (Jonathan Fenwick)
2. Westoe (Selwyn Thompson)
3. Ferryhill Town (Gareth Sykes)
4. Bearpark & Esh Colliery (Phillip Tait)
5. Durham Miners Association (Stuart Gray)
6. Houghton Brass (Lee Morris)
7. NASUWT Concert (Andrew Hall)
8. North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson)
Best March: Easington Colliery
Best Hymn Tune: Easington Colliery
1. Trimdon Brass (Will Harrison)
2. Spennymoor Town (Fiona Casewell)
3. Lanchester (Tom Gray)
Best March: Trimdon Brass
Best Hymn Tune: Spennymoor Town
1. Houghton Area Youth (Glenis Smith)