BRASS bands will tomorrow compete to be the best in the region.
And in doing so, they will be paying tribute to hero soldier Tom Wroe.
Brass Factor 2012 takes place in Holmfirth and organisers plan to celebrate British “Greatness” – and dedicate the festival to the heroes of Afghanistan.
Brass Factor 2012 is raising money for the Yorkshire Regiment Benevolent Trust and that is why organisers of the X Factor-style contest are dedicating the music to the death of Tom Wroe, a teenage soldier killed by a rogue police officer in Afghanistan three months ago.
Alexander Bray, who is arranging tomorrow’s event at The Picturedrome, said: “Tom Wroe wasn’t simply a man of honour, he also represented the pride of Yorkshire as he signed up to serve his country at the age of 16.
“The young soldier was then deployed to Afghanistan two weeks after his 18th birthday.
“We are proud that he stood up to fight for our country, he fought for England, so as a return of respect we are dedicating the evening to such an heroic young man.
“I was at Thongsbridge Army Cadets this week to meet Tom’s parents, Mick and Claire, and sister Demi. We passed on our gratitude to the Wroe family for giving the permission to dedicate this unique brass band competition to their son.”
Mick Wroe said: “It’s a very nice thing that they are doing this for Tom, and obviously we didn’t expect anything like this.
“It is just so admirable that they are dedicating this to our son Tom, so that his name gets remembered.”
Now in its third year, the band competition promises to be more exciting, more entertaining and above all, more British.
Brass Factor will take place from 6pm at the Holmfirth Picturedrome.
Six bands will go head to head performing a diverse repertoire of British-themed songs.
The winner will be decided in part by an X Factor-style judging panel made up of: David Hoyle, radio presenter at BBC Radio Leeds, former Children In Need presenter Jon Hammond, Oldham Community Radio presenter Gilbert Symmes and cornet player Kevin Wadsworth.
The evening’s audience will get the casting vote.
Cornet player Mr Bray, who invented Brass Factor in 2010, will be the evening’s presenter and to add a bit of celebrity glitz, the well-known New Zealand rugby player and former Giant Robbie Hunter-Paul is making an appearance.
“2012 has been a vintage year and a fantastic time to be British,” said Mr Bray.
“We have seen record medal hauls at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film as well as the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ Love Me Do single.
“To mark these achievements Brass Factor will be themed around the phrase ‘Proud to be British’.”
Bands taking part are Hade- Edge Band, Hade Edge Junior Band, Slaithwaite Band, Delph Band, Skelmanthorpe Band and Emley Band.
The ages of the performers range from eight to 65.