Newstead Are Midlands’ Champion Brass

March 11, 2020
Posted in News
March 11, 2020 Mike Allcock

Newstead Brass was crowned Midland Champion Brass Band 2020 (First Section) after being placed first of 16 bands from across the region in the midland championships held at Bedworth Civic Hall on Saturday 7th March.

Finals Qualification and Promotion

The win qualifies the band for the national championship finals at Cheltenham in September and secures promotion to the highest championship grading from January 2021.

Musical Legacy

Newstead’s musical director Jim Davies spent Christmas and much of January in an NHS Intensive care unit and so the selection of Tom Davoren’s new composition ‘Legacy’, a musical celebration of the life of Aneurin Bevan and the founding of the National Health Service, proved apposite for Newstead.

With Jim thankfully out of hospital but convalescing, Newstead engaged Mareika Gray to lead their contest performance and it proved an inspired choice, with website stating “a reading marked by … thorough preparation, …neat and tidy detail …. one of the most consistent performances of the contest”. Contest adjudicators Alan Morrison and Chris Wormald commented “Some super sounds” and “This was by far the best and most stylish performance so far”.


A Newstead band spokesman added: “Our heartfelt thanks to Mareika Gray for stepping in to conduct us when it became clear that our regular MD Jim Davis would be unable to lead us at this year’s contest. Thanks also to the Ratby and Eccles bands and to David Holling, John Davis, Simon Willis and Kevin Holdgate for taking rehearsals as necessary. With Tom Davoren’s ‘Legacy’ dedicated to ‘Aneurin Bevan and the creation of the National Health Service’ we particularly extend the band’s thanks to the consultants, doctors and nurses at Pinderfield Hospital in Wakefield for their treatment of Jim earlier in the year. It was great that Jim was able to join us for rehearsals in the final week before the contest and be with us on contest day.”


Runners-up Jackfield Band, who will join Newstead in representing the Midlands at the national finals, alongside qualifiers from the other 5 English regions, Scotland and Wales, had their own story of adversity with floods from the River Severn after recent storms preventing access to their band room.

Book the Midland Champion band 

Newstead Brass still has some dates available for concert bookings in May, June and December please contact secretary Mike Allcock on 07914 529 936, or via the website

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