The students of the University of Huddersfield Brass Band are still enjoying their celebrations after claiming a well-deserved podium finish at the recent UniBrass Championships held in Bangor in North Wales.
They finished third behind the established ensembles from the RNCM and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire to become the highest placed 'University' band in the competition — the third year in a row they have come in the top-three.
Recently appointed Head of Brass, Richard Ward highlighted the work of under-graduate Jonathan Mitra, who took on the responsibility to organise much of the band's UniBrass project.
"I'm really pleased to see this fantastic commitment which it typical of the friendly and supportive community that we encourage," Richard added.
"We really have to say a big thanks to Jonathan. It's so important to get this kind of project management experience and he did a fantastic job. He is certainly a lot more organised than I was at nineteen!"
Positive and buzzing
Richard continued, "It's lovely to see everyone so positive and buzzing about the contest. Conductor Jonathan Beatty is brilliant with the band and I'm excited about the future of brass at Huddersfield.
To come third just behind such established brass band centres of learning as the RNCM and Birmingham is something to be proud of — but it's also a spur too."
As for Jonathan, all the praise goes to his players. "A few pundits had us even higher, but we're really pleased with the result. Everyone worked hard but I must make a special mention to our flugel soloist Joel Kirk who also plays with Leyland Band. He was superb."
Jonathan told 4BR that he was also pleased at the way the band has developed into such an important part of the student's education.
"There are a lot of first year students and I'm delighted with their progress. With the new brass band tutors Kirsty Abbotts and Dan Thomas, I think we've got lots to look forward to at Huddersfield."
It's our job to inspire, support and provide a disciplined framework — and the band is an integral part of thatConductor, Jonathan Beatty
Inspire and support
He added: "It's our job to inspire, support and provide a disciplined framework — and the band is an integral part of that.
We want them to have a good time, work hard and be emotionally connected to music making. Anyone who's been to the University of Huddersfield will come out with the discipline, resilience and commitment to make a success of any project they choose in their future."