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Friary on their way to the RAH - again!

For the second year in succession, Friary Guildford Band have qualified for the Brass Band National Championships of Great Britain Finals, to be held at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 11th October. Once again they took second place in the London & Southern Counties Regional Championships at Stevenage last Sunday to gain one of the two much-coveted finals places from a field of twelve. Friary’s performance of the challenging test piece ‘St Magnus’, composed by Winchester-based Salvationist Kenneth Downie, was acclaimed by the adjudicators as ‘... an excellent performance which showed good musical performance with technical skills. Well played all soloists.’ Friary’s chairman, Nigel Stevens, was also awarded the prize for the best tenor horn player. Band Secretary, Lauren Straker, was thrilled with the result: ‘St Magnus was undoubtedly one of our greatest challenges yet, but we managed to pull it off, thanks to an immense amount of hard work and dedication across the whole band. It didn’t help being drawn first to play, either, which makes the achievement all the greater.’ ‘And now we know exactly what to expect at the Albert Hall … a fantastic day in the company of the giants of the brass band world such as Black Dyke, Brighouse & Rastrick, Grimethorpe and the defending champions, Cory who are ranked no. 1 in the world! It’s an experience we’re all looking forward to very much,’ she concluded. This latest success leaves Friary the most consistent performers at the London & Southern Counties Regional Championships over the past three years. For further information about the Band, please visit

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