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Success at Stevenage 2012

On Saturday 17th March we left a damp and chilly Norfolk at 7:30 in the morning heading for the Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre in Hertfordshire for a day of competition at the London & Southern Counties Regional heat of the National Brass Band Championships.

Each year, over 80 bands compete in the five sections for the chance to represent the area at the National Finals in London or Cheltenham, and to determine the grading positions for the following year.

After weeks of hard work and preparation by guest Musical Director Andy Craze, the band and committee, the day finally came to put all that hard work to the test. The last time we competed in this contest was in 2010, so we were ready and raring to go again!

We drew to play third and took to the stage at around 11.45 to perform the set test piece, “English Folk Songs Suite” and, barring a couple of split notes, we were quite pleased with how we had played.

Most players stayed around to listen to some of the other bands in the section, including fellow Norfolk bands Great Yarmouth Brass and King’s Lynn Town Band, who were both a credit to banding in the county.

After hearing some of the competition, the usual doubts of “were we good enough” crept through players minds. But in the end there’s only one person who’s opinion counts; that of adjudicator David Lancaster, who said it was the “consistency of the playing” which really set the top placed bands apart from the rest.

After the adjudicator’s speech, it was time for the results! We were extremely pleased to come 2nd out of the 20 bands that were competing, earning ourselves an invitation to the National Finals at Cheltenham in September, the third time we have been to the finals in our short history.

Preparation is now under way for the annual EABBA Spring Contest in May.