Middleton Band is absolutely delighted to be crowned 2018 2nd Section National Champions at the recent National Finals Brass band Contest held at the Centaur, Cheltenham.
The band qualified to play at the national competition in February 2018 when they won 1st place in the second section in the North West Area Brass band Contest, held at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. This was the first time in the band’s history that they have ever won 1st place at the area competition.
The band have been working very hard under talented Musical Director Kevin Gibbs since the Area contest on the testpiece for the National Finals. The selected piece was Firestorm by Stephen Bulla. The inspiration for this composition was the recent war in the Persian Gulf and its continuous presentation to the world through the medium of television. Bulla wanted to capture the emotion and colour of the events of the war as they were played out on the television screen and included riveting sounds of airborne bombing raids, a Baghdad market scene and a poignant soliloquy depicting the calm, unspoiled beauty of the Iraqi countryside before its siege.
Unlucky for some (but not Middleton) the band drew 13th out of 18 bands from all over the United Kingdom and gave it their all on stage, giving their best performance of the piece.
Middleton are absolutely delighted to have won the second section national title, another first in the history of the band. No strangers to attending the National Finals, they were crowned third section champions in 1983, gained a 3rd place in the third section in 2002, crowned third section champions in 2007 and gained a 4th place at the second section finals in 2013.
The band would like to thank the generous support they have received from the community which enabled them to take up their place at the finals. Travelling to the finals, which was held at The Centaur, Cheltenham, was not without significant financial cost. In addition to a program of dedicated fundraising events such as concerts, a race night, a quiz night, raffles, tombolas, football cards and a crowdfunding page, the band also received generous donations from a range of well-wishers, from individuals, companies, the local township and other local bands. The band would like to thank everybody who supported us on our journey to becoming National Champions!
Following this recent success, the band are now promoted to the first section as of January 2019, again this will be the first time the band has competed in the first section under national grading rules.
Part of our national finals team and nominated band member to sit on stage to receive the results was new recruit Isabelle who has not only recently made the transition into the senior from our youth band but was also recently won first prize in the youth band’s own inaugural solo contest. Issy has made a fantastic addition to the cornet section and after her contest debut at the finals, has a 100% win record.
The band are now busy preparing for Rochdale contest in October and a busy upcoming concert season.