Town band back to ‘winning ways’ after competition success

Sidmouth Town Band return triumphantly to the first section and national finals after coming first a

Sidmouth Town Band return triumphantly to the first section and national finals after coming first at the area final at the weekend. Picture: Sidmouth Town Band - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town Band was top of the brass at the weekend to win a place at the national finals.

The band achieved their ‘best result ever’ in its 157 year history when it came first at the West of England Brass Band Association second section contest in Torquay.

Members travelled to the Rivieria Centre on Saturday to compete against 15 other bands from the South West, impressing adjudicators and audiences with their renditions of Darrol Barry’s Rise of the Phoenix.

The win means the band will progress to the national finals and promotion back to the first section – the highest level of competition for brass bands.

Adrian Harvey, Sidmouth Town Band musical director, said: “Every player gave everything on stage to deliver a performance that was musical and full of the passion expected of a good brass band.”

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Special mention was given to the outstanding playing by the soloists Fiona Harvey, Josie Denning and Adrian Harris, who played the cornet, flugel and Eb bass respectively.

Martin Cordy, chairman of the band, added: “This is the best result the Band has ever had at the area finals in its 157 year history.

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“Both of the adjudicators gave high praise to the band for a well-shaped and directed performance that was full of commitment and musical style.

“This is a wonderful result for the band representing the continued development and commitment of the players, and a return to winning ways on the contest stage.”

The chairman said more exciting news was on the way as the band awaited planning permission for its headquarters at St Francis Church Hall to launch its Sidmouth Brass Band Academy.

Mr Cordy added: “This will provide opportunities for children to have free access to musical tuition, a much needed resource in these difficult times.”

Members will return to rehearsals ahead of a busy summer season of Sunday night concerts, which resume on May 26.

In August, the band will look forward to the centrepiece of its summer season with the last night of the proms concert, in Connaught Gardens, on August 17.

The national finals will take place in Cheltenham in September.

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