B & R plays first - but takes fourth place

Brighouse and Rastrick Band in action at the Royal Albert Hall.
Brighouse and Rastrick Band in action at the Royal Albert Hall.

Brighouse and Rastrick Band beat the odds to take fourth place in the National Championships at London’s Royal Albert Hall at the weekend.

The band was drawn to play first in the line-up against 19 other bands in the prestigious contest. No band in recent history has won from the number playing position.

So for B & R there was no repeat of the success which saw them emerge as champions in 2010 and 2011 and runners-up in 2012 but the band did have the consolation of making it into the top four and automatic qualification for next year’s contest.

President Paul Beaumont said: “Every band dreads having to be first on stage. The statistics show that you stand no chance of a successful result as it is the first time the adjudicators and the audience have heard the test piece so have nothing to compare it to.”

The national title was won for the first time in 13 years by the Cory Band from Wales whose performance of the test piece ‘Of Distant Memories’ by Edward Gregson was described as ‘stunning’ and ‘faultless’. Tredegar Town Band, who are guests of B & R at their massed band concert at Huddersfield Town Hall on Saturday, October 26, came second in the contest and Yorkshire Band Carlton Main Frickley Colliery came third.

B & R’s principal euphonium player, David Thornton, won the outstanding instrumentalist award - a huge achievement in the face of tough competition from more than 600 other musicians.

Now the band is busy concentrating on its forthcoming concerts. One that is eagerly anticipated is B & R’s visit to Ilkley’s King’s Hall and Winter Gardens on November 9.

The band will be joined on stage by the Malsis School choir from Keighley.

Paul said: “We have a long-standing relationship with the school and performed at its end-of-year concert as usual.

“We were extremely impressed by the high standard of musicianship and invited the choir to join us for the Ilkley concert.”

Tickets are available from 01422 375447.

l The Echo has three pairs of tickets to give away for the Ilkley concert on November 9. Just email your answer to the following question with your name, address and phone number to michaela.maunders@jpress.co.uk by October 30 at 5pm.

Q: What type of instruments does B & R play - brass, woodwind or string?