Newstead Brass Band returned with three trophies from the Oxford & District Winter Open brass band championships held at the Marlborough School, Woodstock, taking the awards for best march, best test-piece and best instrumentalist.
This was the first time this historic contest, established in 1923, had been held for several years and each competing band performed a march and test-piece of their choice.
Newstead, conducted as usual by musical director Duncan Beckley, played the contest march ‘The President’ followed by ‘Harmony Music’, the challenging piece set for this year’s Midland Championships.
Adjudicator David Hirst commented that only the winning band ‘got to grips with the concepts of the piece’ and awarded Newstead 93 out of 100 for the March section (one point ahead of runners up Regent Brass) and 193 out of 200 for the Test piece (one point ahead of runners up Kidlington).
Newstead Brass received the Frank Grey Shield, donated by Oxford’s then MP for the first contest in 1923, for winning the Test Piece section and the Harry Mortimer trophy for the winning March performance.
To complete the trio of awards, principal euphonium Lynden Cooper received the Hampden shield as the best instrumentalist.
A Newstead band spokesman said: “The trophies are a great reward for the hard work put in by the band and Duncan, our musical director.
“Performing in contests is an excellent way of maintaining our musical standards. Even though there was no prize money on offer, the band showed their commitment by funding the 200 mile round trip from their own pockets.”
For more details please see the Newstead Band website www.newsteadband.co.uk or contact Mike Allcock on 0115 9527435.