THEY’RE officially the best brass band in Great Britain – for the second year running.
Brighouse and Rastrick Band were crowned the National Champions at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London on Saturday.
They went to the top venue to defend the title they won last year.
And the judges named them as clear winners in the contest of the country’s 20 top brass bands.
It makes them national champions as well as Yorkshire champions for the second year running.
A jubilant Paul Beaumont, president of the band, said: “We won again which is just brilliant.
“There were 20 bands and they are the finest bands in the country so the competition was tough.
“We were as confident as we could be, it’s never easy and we came 15th in the draw so saw what we had to beat.
“The band were fantastic, they played brilliantly and when it came to the result the adjudicators said there were three or four top bands but one clear winner.
“It feels amazing.”
They took to the stage of the Royal Albert Hall in front of around 3,500 people cheering them on.
Joining them on stage was their professional conductor Professor David King, who despite living on Australia’s Gold Coast, conducts the band at all of its major contests each year.
Their performance saw each of the bands in the championship section play Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s technically challenging piece Breath of Souls.
Paul added: “We’re thrilled to have won again, there were quite a few headaches the next day from all the celebrating.
“We listened to a CD of the performance on the coach on the way back so we could hear it again. The trophy returned home with us and it had pride of place at the front of the coach.
“It is always an amazing experience to play at the Royal Albert Hall, we are lucky to play at some of the best concert halls including The Sage and The Bridgewater Hall, but it’s different playing at the Royal Albert Hall.
“To look up from the stage and see it is just magnificent.”
The National Brass Band Finals, held annually at the Royal Albert Hall, is the most prestigious contest in the Brass Band calendar.
Eight regional qualifying contests are held during the first half of each year with the winning band and the runner-up at each contest plus the top placed bands from the previous year’s finals being invited to compete for the ultimate title.
Brighouse and Rastrick won the Yorkshire regional contest in Bradford earlier this year.
Later this month, there’s a chance to hear the band in Huddersfield when it hosts Fodens Band at Huddersfield Town Hall on October 29, the latest in its massed band concerts which have been held in the town since 1946.