This weekend saw Carlton Brass take part in the Butlins Mineworkers National Open Brass Band Festival in Skegness. It’s the band’s favourite weekend of the year – we’re previous winners of the contest back in 2005 – and the band were hoping to build on a recent improvement in form since the appointment of Stan Lippeatt as Musical Director.

Stan handed the conductor’s baton over the Geoff Hawley for this contest, as Stan is one of the contest organisors and would have his hands full. Stan and Geoff have worked the band hard on the test piece – Darrol Barry’s very difficult Granite Variations – and the effort has paid off: we were placed a very respectable 6th place out of 20 in a very strong field.

Drawn number 2 the band gave a performance full of confidence and control that saw favour with the adjudicators. The sixth place is the band’s best result in the first section, which sees entries from some of the best bands around the country.

Carlton Brass would like to thank Geoff Hawley, in particular, for all his hard work in the run-up to the contest. His precise direction and motivation has ensured that the band gave their best performance at a contest in several years. Thanks also to Stan Lippeatt for giving the band such great support, and to all the band members for all the hard work at rehearsals.

All those extra rehearsal were worth it in the end. Now, time to do the same with the Midland’s Regional test piece Le Carnaval Romain!

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