A FOREST band blew up a storm at Blackpool’s prestigious Winter Gardens to take third place in a major competition.
The podium placing for Lydbrook Band at the British Open series of competitions comes just before it takes part in the Wyeside village’s first ever music festival, which also features internationally renowned singers Wynne Evans and Belinda Evans.
Conducted in Blackpool by Glyn Williams, the principal euphonium player with the world’s top ranked brass band, the Cory Band, it scored one of its best contest results in its recent history, competing in a 19-strong field from all over the UK.
The Spring Festival in Blackpool consisted of 60 bands competing in three separate tiers, all vying for promotion towards the prestigious British Open Championships at Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
Following its invitation to the Senior Trophy Section this year, third place qualified the band for promotion to the Senior Cup next year.
Glyn Williams said: “We have worked very hard during the past few weeks to reach the standard required to gain a prize at the Spring Festival and I was extremely pleased with the band’s performance against top class opposition."
The band is now working with Lydbrook Parish Church on arrangements for the village’s first music festival, which is supported by Arts Council England with funds from the National Lottery.
On Friday, June 9, London-based organist Gary Sieling will be joining former Royal harpist Jemima Phillips from St Briavels in concert.
Saturday, June 10, will see internationally renowned opera singer and Gocompare TV ad star Wynne Evans, joined by Porthcawl Male Voice Choir and talented Newnham actor Osian Griffiths for a spectacular evening of Welsh song.
The festival will be rounded off on Sunday, June 11, when Lydbrook Band and conductor Ian Holmes will be joined by its prize winning training band and soprano Belinda Evans.
Lydbrook Band will feature Silver Rose, a piece of music written especially for the band in 2014 by Liz Lane to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War.
The music is based on the poems of Isaac Rosenberg, a Bristol poet who was killed during the war, and in a specially adapted version the poems will be sung by Ms Evans.
Tickets for this weekend can be obtained from Sue Williams (01594 860218), Rod George (01594 542566), at Lydbrook Church Flower Festival from this Friday to Monday, May 26-29, or band members.