Viva Vivaldi as Newstead Brass take North East Midlands Title

February 16, 2023
Posted in News
February 16, 2023 Mike Allcock

Newstead Brass took the top prize at the end of a busy day of competitive brass band music featuring 22 performances at the annual North East Midlands Brass Band Association (NEMBBA) spring contest, held at the Post Mill Centre, South Normanton, on Sunday 12th February.

Drawn to play as the last band of the day, Newstead impressed adjudicator David Ashworth to win the Championship section with their performance of Philip Wilby’s ‘Red Priest’ ahead of runners up the Unite the Union Band from Sheffield.  ‘Red Priest’  is an extravaganza for brass and percussion built on themes from several of Vivaldi’s works and takes its title from Vivaldi’s nick-name of ‘The Red Priest’ because of his distinctive reddish hair.  Newstead Brass also won the award for best soprano cornet player and won a trophy, cash prize and a piece of music donated by Pennine Music Publishing.  Long service awards were also presented to Susan Mercer (50 years) and Kathryn Baguley, Mark Davis, Bob Mercer and Blake Tague (all 25 years+)

A band spokesman added, “We’re delighted to have taken this win which sets us up for the Midland Championships at Corby at the  end of February when we’ll be reprising the Red Priest. We’re extremely grateful to Martin Heartfield who has stepped in to direct the band from the start of the year and prepare us for these two competitions alongside his work with other bands across the country.  We’re very much enjoying working with Martin and look forward to further improvements over the coming weeks.  We also thank the Unite band for putting up some strong competition and wish them well for the Yorkshire area contest.”

The win put the icing on an excellent day for Newstead Brass with our former musical director Duncan Beckley winning section 1 with Horbury Victoria, former solo horn Graham Cardwell winning section 2  with Rolls Royce (Derby) and current principal trombone Kevin Holdgate winning section 4 with the Newhall Band.  Our very good friend Sharon Stansfield led Long Eaton to first prize in section 3 rounding off the section winners. 

The band are currently taking bookings for 2023 and 2024 and will also be advertising for a new musical director shortly.  Please contact the band secretary on 07914 529936 or for more details.

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