Wet Weekend Win In Wakefield

It was an alliterative if somewhat soggy win for Shirland Welfare Band at the 2024 Bold as Brass contest held at the National Coal Mining Museum just outside Wakefield.

All started well, in the comfort of a large conference room used for the march competition, with a solid rendition of the Contestor, which had found favour a  few weeks earlier up in Wetherby.

After that it was time to traverse the length of the  museum to the marquee being used to host the entertainments section. As is our wont, we had a carefully choreographed performance planned, sketching out a young mans journey of discovery through Latin America (or at least the Costa del Sol). It involved many people being in many different places at many different times, and such was the size of the marquee that for our opening number, Salsa Tresprado, we had four of our young soloists stood 2 meters out in the open.  Whilst we were setting up, Bill in the audience, cast a furtive glance in the general direction of his mothers and noted a significant darkening of the celestial sphere.

He had no sooner reached for his pacamac when the band struck up, the heavens opened and rain of biblical proportions began to add a steady percussive beat to our latin fiesta.

Not to deterred by the sudden outbreak of inclemency our intrepid soloists played on unabated,  aided by our safeguarding officer Matt, who sprang into action with a brolly and picked  principle cornet player Joss,  who also happens to be his daughter, as the one most in need of a bit of safeguarding action.

Despite the weather it was a fabulous opening number, followed up by our solo horn player Luke Newborough staying out in the now even more torrential rain to play Chuck Mangione’s Children of Sanchez. Matt stayed on in his protective role and spurred our soloist on by angling the brolly to ensure maximum flow of water away from the music  and down the back of Luke’s neck. The motivational magic obviously worked  as the rain stopped and Luke went on to win the prize for best soloist of the day.

Next up was a soothing siesta for four cornets and four basses, Recuerdos de la Alhambra, where we reproduced the wobbly vibrato of a cornet player attempting the vibro sprout challenge while playing a slow melody. 

The band romped to the finish line with the  energetic Spanish spectacular Malaguena and drew appreciative applause from the still soggy audience. 

The adjudicator also enjoyed the performance and awarded the band first place in the entertainment section, which placed us second overall for the day.

With our Wakefield win following on from recent success at Wetherby we are now  keenly on the lookout for contests in Wandsworth, Warrington or Wolverhamption.