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Report & Result: 2018 Shirebrook Open Entertainment Contest

The polish of Foresters Brass claims the top prize at the popular Shirebrook Entertainment contest.

  Foresters Brass celebrate in the sun with the trophy after their Shirebrook victory

Foresters Brass was on polished form as they claimed the Shirebrook Entertainment title on the weekend.

Led by MD John Davis, the Cheltenham National finalists secured the £750 first prize with a programme that encompassed Duke Ellington to Danny Elfman, bringing rich praise from adjudicator Mark Wilkinson in the process.


He called their set "polished" from start to finish, congratulating the Midlanders not only for the quality of their playing but also their presentation, which saw them end two points clear of Cheltenham rivals Strata Brass. Blidworth Welfare was third.

The band opened with the sultry sounds of Ellington's iconic jazz standard 'Caravan', before contrast came with Ben Hollings' 'Lake of Tenderness'.

Euphonium player Ben Smith was literally on 'smashing' form with the Greek plate throwing third movement of Philip Wilby's 'Euphonium Concerto', whilst a trio of filmatic themes with 'Beetlejuice', 'Nobody Does it Better' and 'The Incredibles' closed things off with classy aplomb.


"We're delighted," Chairperson Steph Ayton told 4BR. "We've worked hard on preparing for the contest and the comments from Mark Wilkinson gives us a great boost as we start looking forward to the National Finals."

The individual £200 section prizes were taken Hucknall & Linby, Amington and St John's Mossley, whilst the keenly fought over 'Best Soloist' accolade was won by Will Watson of Amersham with a superb rendition of 'Tico Tico'. The 'Best Euphonium' award in memory of Martin Squires was picked up David Shipman of Strata Brass.

Excellent entertainment

All twelve bands provided excellent entertainment according to Mark Wilkinson, with plenty of innovation, choreography and fun on show.

A contest spokesperson told 4BR: "We were delighted at the response of the bands who showed that they had prepared well for the contest and had given their programmes a great deal of thought.

Once again we thank Shirebrook Council for their outstanding support for what has become a very popular event."

We've worked hard on preparing for the contest and the comments from Mark Wilkinson gives us a great boost as we start looking forward to the National FinalsForesters Brass


Adjudicator: Mark Wilkinson

1. Foresters Brass (John Davis) — 96
2. Strata Brass (Jonathan Bates) — 94
3. Blidworth Welfare (Simon Oates) — 93
4. Amersham (Paul Fisher) — 92
5. Hucknall & Linby — 91
6. Prospect Brass — 90
7. Shirebrook Miners Welfare — 89
8. Amington — 87
9. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield — 86
10. Newall Band — 84
11. St John's Mossley — 83
12. Deepcar Band — 81

Best Soloist: Will Watson (cornet) — Amersham
Best Euphonium: David Shipman (Strata Brass)

Best Second Section Band: Hucknall & Linby
Best Third Section Band: Amington
Best Fourth Section Band: St John's Mossley


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Conductor, composer, arranger, adjudicator, teacher and soloist