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Friary sweep the silverware - again!

Friary Guildford Band maintained their impressive record at the Southern Counties Amateur Bands’ Association Solo, Quartet and Ensemble contest at Burgess Hill on Saturday, winning both the Quartet and Ensemble classes for the fourth successive year. ‘We know that there was some determined opposition, bent on taking the Ensemble title away from us,’ explained Band Chairman, Nigel Stevens, ‘But we managed to pull it off once again. We’d put in some serious practice over the past few weeks, and this clearly paid off.’ In the open solo classes, Friary’s principal euphonium player, Chris Straker picked up first place for both Air Varie and Slow Melody, with flugel horn player Lauren Cave taking second in the Slow Melody, and principal cornet Richard Straker taking second in the Air Varie and third in the Slow Melody. ‘It was something of a family affair,’ acknowledged Chris Straker, ’Particularly as my brother Richard will be getting married to Lauren in September!’ Not only that, Lauren Cave’s youngest brother Braedyn aged 8 and sister Madisyn aged 6 , who play for Aveley & Newham Juniors, took first and second in their Junior Slow Melody class, whilst younger brother Rhys (aged 18), a Thundersley Brass player, won the Youth Slow Melody class, with Braedyn taking third place. Madisyn also won the award for the youngest player on the day. Friary Guildford are now working hard on their preparations for the London & Southern Counties Regional Championships, to be held at Stevenage on 17th March. They will be hoping to improve on last year’s third place and earn a place in the National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall in the autumn

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