Crofton Silver Band has crowned an amazing year by landing an impressive win at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, beating off tough opposition from 18 other bands from all over the UK.
The Band won the right to compete in the National Finals, held at Cheltenham Racecourse, after winning the Yorkshire regional third section heats at Bradford in March. That win came hot on the heels of two more firsts, at the Butlin’s Open Mineworkers’ contest and the Leicestershire Open.
It is the first time in the Band’s 141-year history that it has brought back a section winner’s cup from the National Finals, despite several appearances at the contest over the decades.
Contest judge, Richard Marshall, principal cornet player with the world-renowned Black Dyke Band, said that Crofton had produced: “a really enjoyable performance throughout with a dramatic close.”
Band secretary, Graham Firth, who is also soprano cornet player, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the win. The band has put in an awful lot of hard work this year and this is just reward. But we are particularly pleased for our MD, Dean Jones. He has led us to heights we didn’t really expect to see and brought performances from us that we did not know we were capable of.”
Dean, who teaches music at Minsthorpe Community College, South Elmsall, took up the baton at Crofton in January last year. He insists that the band’s progress is very much a joint effort. He says: “I haven’t done this on my own. I have had massive commitment from the players. We have a really solid, exciting band sound and soloists that many other bands would love to have in their ranks.”
Crofton people will have their own opportunity this week to judge how good the band is. The Silver Band is giving a “penny concert” at Crofton Working Men’s Club, Shay Lane, at 7.30pm on Friday (September 30). It’s just a penny in but the audience will be asked to make donations on the way out, commensurate with the entertainment they have had.
Band sergeant, Nigel Brookes, said: “Thanks to this win, we are now officially an up and coming band and the concert in our home village is a great chance to hear the fresh, lively, moving music we play. It’s almost like hearing The Beatles at The Cavern, well, almost almost.”