One door closes, another opens … After the disappointment of the result at Blackpool, Friary was delighted to be invited to perform at this year’s Brass in Concert contest, to be held in the magnificent setting of the Sage, Gateshead on Sunday 17th November. Widely regarded as the top entertainment contest in the world of brass banding, Brass in Concert features the cream of bands not only from the UK but also from across the world, and so the invitation is a real coup for the Band.
Amongst the other 11 bands participating will be world no. 1 ranked Cory from the Rhondda Valley; fellow Welsh band Tredegar; Brighouse & Rastrick; Flowers; NASUWT Riverside who took last month’s Grand Shield title; recently crowned French champions Hauts-de-France and former European contenders Schoonhoven from the Netherlands. The contest will be compèred by the inimitable Frank Renton, who used to present BBC Radio 2’s Listen to the Band programme.
This will be Friary’s second appearance in the contest, the Band’s debut being in 2015 when, despite a disappointing result overall, Friary did at least pip the famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band in the entertainment marks according to one adjudicator! And the Band wasn’t empty-handed on the long journey home either, having been awarded the trophy for the contest’s youngest player, percussionist Elliott Mountford who was aged just 15 at the time.