Now for the hat-trick!

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BRIGHOUSE and Rastrick will be pulling out all the stops to make brass band history next year as they aim for a hat trick at the National Championships.

The band won a stunning victory in the 2011 contest on Sunday, retaining their title as Champion Band of Great Britain.

Professional conductor Prof David King coaxed a memorable performance from the Yorkshire champions with the three judges - David Read, Rob Wiffen and Luc Vertommen - declaring B & R ‘the clear winner by a considerable margin’.

More than 3,500 people were at the Royal Albert Hall in London to share B & R’s delight at retaining the title they won in 2010.

Twenty of Great Britain’s top bands were competing for the prestigious title, each playing the test piece ‘Breath of Souls’ by Paul Lovatt-Cooper.

Dean Redfern, player and chairman of B & R, described the music as ‘a hugely demanding piece technically which tested each member of the band but also extremely entertaining for the audience’.

The name of B & R will now be 100th to appear on the list of National Champions of Great Britain. It is a title B & R has won nine times and which the band will be determined to retain in 2012, making it a hat trick for the band and for conductor David King.

Under Prof King’s guidance, B & R has been enjoying something of ‘a purple patch’, enjoying its most successful run of contest results in recent times. The Australian conductor, who lives on the Gold Coast, prepares the band for competition and conducts at four major contests each year.

Paul Beaumont, president of Brighouse and Rastrick, said: “This was the ultimate performance by B & R who stunned the audience with their detailed rendition of the test piece and also with the huge contrasts of light and shade they portrayed in this wonderfully descriptive music. B & R’s performance was in a different league.”

In retaining the trophy, Prof King paid tribute to his band and to the composer who, he said, provided the 100th championship with a worthy test of technical and musical character.

He also praised Dr Roy Newsome, one of the most influential figures in the brass band movement, who died two weeks ago.

“He may not have been physically here but emotionally and spiritually I felt his presence with us today,” Prof King said at the Royal Albert Hall.

After enjoying their victory celebrations in London, members of B & R are now hard at work rehearsing for their forthcoming concert with Fodens Band at Huddersfield Town Hall on Saturday, October 29.

Tickets for the Massed Bands concert are available from Kirklees ticket outlets or from 01484 223200.