In addition to a busy summer schedule, the band is turning its focus to the National Brass Band Finals at Cheltenham on Sunday 17 September where the band will be competing against bands from across the UK for the title of Third Section national champions. The test piece, Hinemoa by composer Gareth Wood, is a challenging composition for both the band and the percussion section and will provide a stern test for competing bands. A good result at Cheltenham would see the band maintaining the rich vein of form enjoyed over the last two years and prepare the band for the challenge of competing in the Second Section for the first time in the bands history at next years regional qualifier at Torquay.
Maintaining the contest theme, members of all ages represented the band at the annual Bideford Solo and Quartet contest in June and in keeping with other years, a number of players came away with prizes. Overall the band gained four 1st places, three 2nd places and two 3rd places. Of note was the bands musical director Jo Sykes who, as a last minute stand in, was awarded first place in the 19 and over slow melody category.
Speaking afterwards, Jo said that she had not played a solo contest since her early teens and was overwhelmed to have won the section. Piano accompaniment on the day was provided by Nicola Brunskill.
Away from the contest scene, the band has enjoyed a busy summer schedule performing concerts in Bath Royal Victoria Park, Keynsham and Wells Parks and at the Midsomer Norton
Summer Fayre with the band being first to play in the new town park.
Shepton Mallett’s Colette Park provided a new venue this year with the band performing alongside the Mangel Wurzels in front of an appreciative audience at the end of July. The training band has also been in the public eye over the summer season playing at the Midsomer Norton Station open day in July.
Looking forward, the band will be providing the music at the Double Hills Remembrance service in Paulton on Sunday 3 September.