History was made on Sunday 12th March, when the Andover Town Band made their debut competing for the first time in the elite Championship Section in the West of England Regional Championships held in Torquay.
The competitors included 2 bands ranked in the top 10 of the brass band world rankings, so the standard is exceptionally high.
The set test piece, Red Priest (composed by Professor Philip Wilby) pays homage to Vivaldi, known as ‘il Prete Rosso’, the Red Priest thanks to his youthful ordination and his flaming red hair! The music also provokes images of famous landmarks around Venice where Vivaldi worked for many years.
Musical Director, Scott Stewart remarked “The musicians have worked exceptionally hard over the past couple of months. Banding at this level requires supreme commitment and dedication, including many hours of home practice, additional weekend rehearsals in addition to the regular twice weekly rehearsals. I am delighted with the way the band has risen to the challenge, culminating in a super performance at Torquay.” The result was 9th place out of 12 bands, resulting in ATB retaining Championship status for next year.
A special mention should be made of Cameron Stewart, who aged 14 was playing in only his second competition after being persuaded to join the percussion team just 4 months ago! Cameron, one of only 2 musicians aged under 16 years old competing in the Championship section, made a significant contribution on stage, and drew high praise for his performance!
Whilst the band enjoys the adrenalin of competitions and the opportunity to represent Andover on a national stage, the band are always delighted to entertain the public in Andover. The band will be performing at the fabulous concert venue, The Lights, Andover on Saturday 22nd April at 7pm. This will be a great evening of brass band music, with music to suit a variety of tastes! Tickets available by calling The Box Office on 01264 368368 or online at www.thelights.org.uk/WhatsOn
More details of concerts and other local appearances for Andover Town Band during 2023 are available on the band’s website www.andovertownband.com and its Facebook page.