Biggest event in contest’s history

Brass band enthusiasts travelled from far and wide to attend the 14th annual Festival of Brass.

The festival organised by the Brighouse Lions, featured 26 bands with some “stunning” playing in Thornton Square, Brighouse. One of the largest crowds in the contest’s history saw defending champions Marsden Silver retain the title, pushed hard by runners-up Northop Silver with Yorkshire Imperial taking third place.

Brass Band Comptition, Thornton Square, Brighouse.

Brass Band Comptition, Thornton Square, Brighouse.

The line-up included six Championship section bands and provided the crowd with renditions of a hymm tune and contest march.

The day was off to a great start with the Youth section where Elland regained their title of 2011.

What was to follow was a spectacular performance by “Boobs & Brass” who dazzled the crowd in their pink uniform. “Lilly the Pink” drew rapturous applause from their many fans outside the Black Bull hotel.

This non-contesting performance raised a good amount for their Breast Cancer Campaign Charity.

Festival of Brass, Brighouse, Boobs and Brass'Picture submitted by Stuart Black

Festival of Brass, Brighouse, Boobs and Brass'Picture submitted by Stuart Black

One of the organisers David Horsfield said: “The March and Hymn Tune spectacular in this West Yorkshire town has developed into one of the top brass events in the UK and the non-stop seven hour show thrilled the audience which had travelled from far and wide.

“Fred Etherington, “the voice of Brighouse” as he is affectionately known kept the non-stop show moving along well. The adjudicators were Alan Morrison, Dennis Wilby and Jappie Dijkstra.

“The “Symphony” model cornet, presented by John Hudson and kindly donated by Geneva Instruments was won by Knottingley Silver after the lucky draw took place during the results ceremony.”

Lion President Douglas Cornell thanked all concerned and especially the sponsors: Geneva Instruments, Kershaw’s Garden Centre, Blakeley’s Fish Restaurant, Webster’s Insurance Services, Kirklees Music, Blakeley’s 43 Coffee House, Mr and Mrs Weyland Roberts and Mr and Mrs Pascal Eicher.

The Mayor of Calderdale, Coun. Ann Martin opened the event. She said it was terrific and something she enjoyed being from a brass band background. “They are just fantastic,” she said. “They have made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Absolutely superb, especially Elland Youth Band just brilliant. The whole event has got tremendhous recognition and I believe is the second biggest in the country.”

Sylvia Thomas from Halifax said she had been several times. “There is just something about brass bands. I travel to Oldham to watch the one there too. I really enjoy it.”

Mr and Mrs Bruce have been attending since they moved to Brighouse nine years ago. “They are very entertaining especially the police band that is very smart.”

Frank Parker from Blackburn said: “I’m a bands member so I enjoy watching brass bands. There is nothing like a brass band for playing hymn tunes.”

People travelled from Surrey, Cumbria, Lincolnshire and Wales to attend and Rachael and Darrol Barry made their usual trip from the UAE to witness the spectacular.

The results were as follows:

1, The Marsden Silver Band (Glyn Williams), 2, Northop Silver (Thomas Wyss), 3, Yorkshire Imperial (Dave Nesbitt).

Best Principal Cornet: Wingates; Best Contest March: Northop Silver; Best Hymn Tune: Skelmanthorpe; Best Soloist of the Day: Euphonium Northop Silver; Best Band Road March: Marsden Silver; Best Trombone Section: Skelmanthorpe; Best Soprano Cornet: Northop Silver; ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Best Hymn Tune Section 4: Gawthorpe Brass ‘85; Deportment: Wingates; Best 1st Section Band: Drighlington; Best 2nd Section Band: Elland Silver; Best 3rd Section Band: Boarshurst Silver; Best 4th Section Band: Gawthorpe Brass ‘85; Best Youth Band: Elland Silver Youth; Best Unregistered Band: Thurlstone; 2nd Youth Band: Shirland Training; Youth Deportment: Elland Silver Youth; Youngest Player: Ainslee Farrar (Elland Youth) aged nine; Best Soloist Youth: Cornet Elland Youth; Geneva Symphony” Cornet: Knottingley Silver Band.

A packed Central Methodist Church enjoyed the special brand of entertainment that is created by the all-ladies band, Boobs and Brass, and conducted by Martyn Dawson and Dennis Wilby, they romped through a selection of popular numbers. Compered by the fabulous Carolyn Oldershaw, the evening flew by in great style with local trombonist Charlotte Horsfield as guest soloist featured in “The Acrobat”.

The proceeds from the complete Festival will be distributed to the Breast Cancer Campaign and the Lions local charities. Next year’s event will take place over the weekend of June 28 and 29, 2014.