The band competed on Saturday 7th September at the 167th annual British Open Brass Band Championships held at the Birmingham Symphony Hall. This is the third year in succession the band has had the pleasure and honour of competing against the very elite bands of the brass band world in what is considered the most prestigious contest to ever be a part of.
After a busy schedule of rehearsals, a valiant effort by the band and a stirling performance by our Musical Director, Mr. Paul Andrews on contest day, it was disappointing for the players, our MD and the band’s supporters to learn that we had finished 16th out of 18 and were headed back down to the Grand Shield competition to be held in May 2020 at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
We noW need to galvanise ourselves against this disappointment, rebuild, introduce new players to the band and improve our finances once again to enable us to aim to return back to the British Open next year. This can only be achieved with a top two result in Blackpool in May, but the band is committed to returning as fast as possible.
Looking ahead, the band now has a busy concert schedule to look forward to. We performed to a sell out crowd in Clitheroe on Saturday 21st September. Closely followed by what is now becoming an annual concert in Christ Church, Station Road, Padgate, Warrington, WA2 0QJ. This year’s theme is Musicals and will finish with a Proms Finale. Tickets are still available and can be obtained from Patricia Lord on 01925 812827 for £10.00 each, under 12’s at £5.00 each.
The band is then embarking on something a little different and have been hired privately to perform as a Bavarian 10 piece ensemble in Bramhall. Who knows, if this is a success it may be something we decide to add to our ever growing repertoire.
Our final concert of the Autumn season is one with a difference, and much closer to the home of Wingates Band being held on Sunday 27th October at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Westhoughton, entitled ‘An Audience With Richard Evans.’ This sees the band go back to a much more traditional brass band programme content and features stories from the world renowned, charismatic conductor Mr. Richard Evans, famous for his flamboyant and vibrant conducting style. Mr. Evans will read anecdotes from his latest book “Still Beating” which can be purchased on the day and also highlights some stylish playing from Wingates Band. Tickets are priced £10.00 and are available on our website to purchase or by contacting Melanie on 07770 587227.
As mEntioned earlier the band needs to spend the next few months building up its finances again, performing concerts and especially through our Christmas playing in the local area. Big competitions are expensive to attend, but are an absolute necessity to keep the playing standard of the band at a high level and also to attract quality musicians.
One of our fundraising activities is our Supporters Club which you may already be a part of, and I, on behalf of the band would like to thank you for your continued support if you are. If, however, you are not a member of our Supporters Club and would like to be, it is easy to join and at only £20.00 a year helps towards maintaining the traditions and history of Wingates band, now in its 146th year of existence. Your £20.00 a year entitles you to free entry to one of our concerts each year, and regular updates on the bands progress. Please contact Melanie on 07770 587227 should you wish to join.