Friary Guildford Band - off to the Albert Hall!
In form Friary Guildford Band kept up their impressive start to the contest season by qualifying for the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, to be held at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 12th October. Playing the technically challenging Harmony Music, by Philip Sparke, the band took second place at Sunday’s London & Southern Counties Regional Championships in Stevenage, impressing adjudicator John Berryman from the very first note and leaving the two favourites to qualify behind. Friary’s Chris Straker received the award for the outstanding euphonium player. Band secretary, Lauren Cave, was thrilled with the result: ‘We worked really hard for this – and it paid off! Our soloists did us proud, and the rest of the band put in a superb performance too. After last year’s bitter sweet result – the band came third, missing out on finals qualification by one place – this was worth waiting for!’ Principal cornet player, Richard Straker, who is engaged to Lauren, added: ‘There’s just one minor downside to the result. Lauren and I are getting married on 21st September, so it means we’ll need to delay our honeymoon until after the Finals!’ ‘But that’s a price we are both definitely willing to pay. It’s a fantastic achievement to reach the Royal Albert Hall and we wouldn’t dream of missing it.’