This band’s at boiling point!

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‘THE best is yet to come!’ That’s the promise of conductor Professor David King after he led Brighouse and Rastrick Band, reigning National Champions, to success in retaining the Yorkshire title at the weekend.

Prof King paid tribute to the band after it gave a stunning performance of ‘Paganini Variations’ in the Yorkshire regional championships. Playing 11th in the running order at St George’s Hall, Bradford, B & R left the audience spellbound and won the warm praise of the judges Stan Lippeatt and David Read who said the band’s winning performance ‘simply had everything’.

Before flying home to Australia, the inspirational conductor promised there was still more to come from the band which is regarded as the most consistent ‘public subscription band’ in the world.

“We are building very nicely. It was a great performance from everyone but there is plenty more to come though.”

He praised the work of resident conductor Sandy Smith as well as the influx of new players, including the first women to play for B & R.

Prof King said: “Sandy is doing a wonderful job. It’s great to work with him. The band is so well focussed because of what he does. It was a great team effort on Sunday but I must mention the girls. They brought an extra dimension to this brilliant band.”

Flugel player Lucy Murphy was brought forward to the front of the stage at the end of the band’s performance to acknowledge the thunderous applause of the audience. But it was the band’s solo trombone player Chris Gomersall who took the ‘best instrumentalist’ prize, awarded in memory of the late B & R treasurer Eddie Noble.

B & R triumphed in championship section, beating Hepworth Band into second place and Carlton Main, from Frickley near Wakefield, into third place. Hundreds of music lovers and 57 bands converged on St George’s Hall for two days of tough competition and tickets sold out for the championship section performances.

It was widely agreed by judges and audience members that B & R’s performance was outstanding, drawing the comment that the band was ‘at boiling point’.

The Brighouse success story continued in the second section of the contest when members of South Yorkshire Police Band, led by Leigh Baker, former baritone player with B & R, were triumphant with their version of the test piece ‘Resurgam’. Clifton and Lightcliffe Band, led by John Clay, came sixth in the second section and Clifton and Lightcliffe ‘B’ Band came ninth in the fourth section.

Elland Silver Band, conducted by James Shepherd, came fourth in the third section with Philip Wilby’s ‘A Little Light Music’.

Brighouse and Rastrick, Rothwell Temperance, Hepworth and Carlton Main from the Championship Section now go forward to represent the region in the Championship section finals at the National Brass Band Championships in London on October 15.