The Irish Association of Brass & Concert Bands National Band Championships were recently held at Artane School of Music in Dublin.
In what proved to be an excellent day of competition thanks to the excellent facilities and support of the competitors, Drogheda Brass under Michael Maher took the Section 1 honours with a brace of fine performances of the set-work, 'Episodes for Brass' by Gareth Churcher, and their own-choice selection of 'The Raid' by Oliver Waespi.
It enabled them to see off the strong challenge of the trio of rivals, Lourdes Brass, Stedfast Band and Navan Silver, with each giving solid renditions of their own-choice selections of 'Resurgam', 'Kingdom of Dragons' and 'Viking Age' in addition to the test-piece.
Mark Newman, the principal cornet of Lourdes Brass deservedly claimed the 'Best Instrumentalist' award.
Youthful Old Boys
In Section 2 it was 1st Old Boys Youth led by Wesley Thompson who returned to Belfast to once again be claimed champion — this time seeing off the spirited challenge of rivals Ennis Brass Band.
The winners gave a brace of excellent performances of 'World Tour' by Rodney Newton and their own-choice selection of 'The Graces of Love' by Oliver Waespi, whilst Ennis Brass played 'Stantonbury Festival' and 'Inspiration' by Jan de Haan.
Unfortunately there was only one entry in Section 3 Brass, but Stedfast Shoes gave a solid open the day's contest.
Adjudicator Alan Morrison complimented all the bands for some fantastic performances and thanked the executive committee for inviting him.
Drogheda Brass under Michael Maher took the Section 1 honours with a brace of fine performances of the set-work, 'Episodes for Brass' by Gareth Churcher, and their own-choice selection of 'The Raid' by Oliver Waespi4BR
Adjudicator: Alan Morrison
Own Choice/Set Piece =Total
Set Piece: Episodes for Brass (Gareth Churcher)
1. Drogheda Brass (Michael Maher): 96/96 = 192
2. Lourdes Brass (Prof. Michael Alcorn): 94/95 = 189
3. Stedfast Band (Brian Daly): 95/93 = 188
4. Navan Silver (Stephen Murray): 93/92 = 185
Best Instrumentalist: Mark Newman (principal cornet) — Lourdes Brass Band
Best Own Choice: Drogheda Brass Band
Best Section 1 Band: Drogheda Brass Band
Best Band (Overall Championship): Drogheda Brass Band
Own Choice/Set Piece = Total
Set Piece: Choice from World Tour (Rodney Newton); Stantonbury Festival (Ray Steadman-Allen); Saint-Saens Variations (Philip Sparke)
1. 1st Old Boys Youth Band (Wesley Thompson): 92/90 = 182
2. Ennis Brass Band (Mark Nutley): 89/89 = 178
Best Own Choice: 1st Old Boys Youth Band
1. Stedfast Shoes Brass Band (Shane Smith): 176