Andover Town Band’s future looks bright after its youth and training bands picked up all the top prizes in the Wessex area championships.
The band entered a youth band, youth ensemble (a smaller group of players) and training band (young players and adult learners reinforced by a small number of experienced players) in last Saturday’s (25/01/2014) Wessex Brass Band Association competition at Trafalgar School in Downton near Salisbury. The competition attracted entries from seven young bands from Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and the Isle of of Wight.
Andover emerged with three first prizes in the Youth Band, Youth Ensemble and Training band categories. And two seventeen year olds won individual awards: star flugel horn player Johanna Walukiewicz and Lauren Gibbs who received a trophy for best bass playing, even though she has only recently adopted the instrument after several years as a cornet player.
Ajudicator Chris Davis complimented Andover. He said: “You made difficult things sound so simple with a thrilling ride of musical experiences.”
Andover Town Band musical director Steve Large said: “If the performances on Saturday from all the bands who took part are anything to go by, the future of brass banding in Andover, Hampshire and all of Wessex is safe.”
“Some older players in the band are envious of the way young musicians seem to be able to perform with freedom and without the caution and nerves which affect some of us as we get older. They really let their talent, their hours of practice and their enjoyment of this great hobby shine through.”
“It was a real festival of entertainment and musical talent. I’m so proud of Andover’s teenage, and younger, stars. They played so well, having worked so hard since Christmas to polish our programme.”
“Andover retailers had better get in extra supplies of silver polish because we’ve brought a whole load of trophies home!”
If you have a burning ambition to play the trombone, the drums or the cornet, or you would like your daughter or son to learn, why not come and visit Andover Town Band’s Thursday evening rehearsal, at Mitutoyo, Portway West business park.
More details are on the band’s website www.andovertownband.co.uk