FIFTY-SEVEN bands are preparing for battle to gain a place in the finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, and 15 of them are Huddersfield and district based.
Sellers International have now gone out of existence but Holme Silver (Disposables UK) make a return after missing out last year.
There is the usual line-up of big guns in the Championship class with Pennine Brass showing after their elevation from Section 1.
With musical director Ian Porthouse having moved to pastures new, it’s going to be Ray Farr fronting the band in St George’s Hall at Bradford over the weekend of March 1 and 2.
Farr, who had such a remarkable period in the entertainment field with Grimethorpe Colliery a number of years ago, recently quit the Reg Vardy Band (that’s the former Ever Ready).
Hepworth (Cookson Homes), who made their finals debut in the Royal Albert Hall last year, are again conducted by Mark Bentham, while Yorkshire champions Brighouse & Rastrick (Alan Morrison) will be hoping to make another trip down the M1. With Grimethorpe Colliery and Black Dyke having qualified as a result of their placing in last year’s final, Yorkshire will have four bands in the October final.
Grange Moor, the band which was riding high a couple or so years ago, withdrew from last year’s Yorkshire event, but they’re back in Section 1 with Kevin Wadsworth at the helm. Others representing Huddersfield here are Hade Edge ( J & E Dickinson) (Simon Wood), Lindley (Neil Jowett), Meltham & Meltham Mills (Stuart Fawcett) and Skelmanthorpe (John Roberts)
Holme Silver (Disposables UK) is another band which didn’t compete in last year’s regional qualifying contest, but this time they return and it’s Duncan Beckley who will conduct as they seek honours in Section 2. Slaithwaite (Barry Hudson), who had something of a disappointing result in last year’s event, join Holme Silver. Those three contests take place on the Sunday.
Opening the weekend of contesting on the Saturday will be bands graded Section 4 (it’s a 9.30am draw followed by first band on stage at 10.30), and in this class Huddersfield shows just two contenders, Linthwaite, who will be conducted by David Smith, and Skelmanthorpe “B” where Philip Garlick will direct.
The draw for Section 3 is at 12.30 with the start being approximately 2.00 pm. Again there are just two Huddersfield bands showing in this class, these being Emley (Garry Hallas) and Huddersfield & Ripponden (Steven Platten).