Wingates have had a much to celebrate over the past 12 months – as the picture shows! The celebrations began in February 2016, when the band gained 2nd place at the North West Area Championships and qualified to compete in the National Finals in October.
This was then followed by a number of successes at Hymn & March contests across the North West region. We got 3rd place at Morley and later that same day became winners of Hebden Bridge contest. This was followed by success in July at Brighouse where we not only picked up overall 1st place but awards for best march, hymn tune, conductor, trombone section, euphonium and soloist (horn). We repeated the success later in September too at the Blackburn & Darwen contest becoming overall champions.
2017 began positively with a 3rd place at Preston Guild Hall giving a run out of the test piece “Pageantry” which was to be used for the Area contest in February. The band then consolidated it’s consistency at this contest in coming 6th. Although disappointed to not qualify for the Nationals again focus then went towards preparations for the Grand Shield contest earlier this month. Playing last out of 20 Wingates were successful in gaining one of the two coveted qualification places that ensure that the band now gets promotion into the British Open contest, which is to be held later this year in September. In addition to this success our principal cornet player, Andy MacDonald was awarded best soloist of the day.
This success is down to lots of hard work, commitment and determination to succeed. This attitude and desire for success is due to our MD, Paul Andrews. Paul has been a central driving force in the success that the band has seen over the past three and a half years and fully deserves recognition for such achievements. Under his direction Paul has raised the profile and status of the band by competing in some of the biggest and most prominent contests in the UK; Brass in Concert, Scottish Open, National Finals and now the British Open. The band has gone up the world rankings from 61st in December 2013 to 24th at the beginning of May 2017 (Brassstats.com).
We look forward to continuing on this remarkable journey and hopefully with more successes to come with a little bit of luck, of course!