Last weekend saw the North West Regional Championships take place in which both our ‘A’ and ‘B’ bands take part.
The Championships take place annually at the Blackpool Winter Gardens on the last Sunday in February, in which bands compete to cement their place in the National Championships later in the year.
The day started with the ‘B’ band competing in the second section. Every band in this section were required to play Darrol Barry’s test piece, Rise of the Phoenix.
Rise of the Phoenix was commissioned by The Clifton and Lightcliffe Band with funds from The National Lottery Commission. Darrol Barry had earlier written another piece in 1991 for the band following their four year sponsorship with Yorkshire Water, titled Yorkshire Water Music. Darrol’s remit this time was to compose a test piece standard piece of music which would depict the highs and lows of the band throughout its history since its formation in 1838. The music is dedicated to all the former players and conductors of Clifton and Lightcliffe Band.
At 8.30am, the draw commenced. Unfortunately for the band, they were dealt with the supposed “draw of death” meaning they were to play 2nd out of the competing 17 bands. Despite this, the band played brilliantly and weren’t forgotten by the judges, earning themselves their first “top 6” finish since 2015.
This is a great result for the ‘B’ band and a great start for the return of Michael Golding as conductor.
After the results, the ‘A’ band’s draw was taking place. There were 12 bands in the Championship section in which they were competing, placing 7th in the draw.
The test piece for the championship section was “Seascapes” by Ray Steadman-Allen. First used at the 1988 National Championships, this work was inspired by the poem "CARGOES" by John Mansfield, with each verse having its own dedicated movement.
Like the ‘B’ Band, our ‘A’ band put in a fantastic perforce of their set piece, and we are very proud for them to achieve a podium finish in coming 3rd. Not only is this a fantastic result, thanks to Fodens band coming in the top 2, we have also received an invitation to the National Championships at the Albert hall in London later in the year!
On the 10th anniversary of when the band first qualified for the Albert Hall, Ben Dixon led the band to the National Championships, for the 3rd time in our history.
The organisation as a whole have had a fantastic day and would like to thank the hard work of both bands and their conductors Mike Golding, and Ben Dixon.