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Celebration of brass attracts 22 bands for annual Bugle music festival

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: June 18, 2013

  • Musicians from Camborne (above) and Tadley Concert Brass (below) take part in the procession through Bugle as part of the West of England Bandsmen's Festival

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A musical tradition that stretches back to the early years of the 20th century saw 22 brass bands compete for an array of cups and trophies in the clay country village of Bugle at the weekend.

Audiences at the open-air event, which involves hundreds of musicians, enjoyed a day of sunshine and expert playing. Celebrating its 89th year, the West of England Bandsmen's Festival – better known as Bugle Band Contest – attracted players from as far away as Swindon and Hampshire.

Following a format strictly adhered over the generations, the one-day event began with all 22 bands marching and playing through the streets of Bugle to the competition venue at Molinnis Park.

The seven sections of the festival were judged by Philip Harper, who composed two of the test pieces and is conductor of Cory Band, who are graded as the top brass band in the world.

This year's top prize, The Royal Trophy, was won by St Austell Band, who triumphed in the Championship Section. It was presented to musical director Melvin White by the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Colonel Edward Bolitho, who attended on behalf of the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, whose great uncle, the then Prince of Wales, gave the unique trophy to the festival 100 years ago in 1913.

Colonel Bolitho passed on the best wishes of Prince Charles to band members, along with a special certificate, signed by His Royal Highness to mark their achievement.

89th West Of England Bandsmen's Festival Results

Championship Section: Test piece, English Heritage by George Lloyd. 1. St Austell. 2. St Dennis. 3. Roche Brass. 4. Egham.

Melody, Jerusalem by Sir Hubert Parry arr. Philip Sparke. 1. St Austell. 2. St Dennis. 3. Roche Brass. 4. Egham. Best player award: Hannah Hawken, solo cornet, St Austell.

First Section. Test piece, Kingdom of Dragons by Philip Harper. 1. Lanner & District. 2. Bugle Silver. 3. St Pinnock. March, Flying Eagle by H L Blankenburg arr. Aubrey Winter. 1. Lanner & District. 2. Bugle Silver. 3. St Pinnock. Best player award: Matthew Rowe, euphonium, Lanner & District.

Second Section. Test piece, Gallimaufry Suite by Philip Harper. 1. Bodmin Town. 2. Swindon Pegasus Brass. March, Royal Trophy by William Rimmer. 1. Bodmin Town. 2. Swindon Pegasus Brass. Best Player Award, Michelle Hudson, flugel, Bodmin.

Third Section. Test piece, Vizcaya by Gilbert Vinter. 1.Heyl Town. 2. Camborne Junior Contesting. 3. Tadley Concert Brass. Best player award: Adrian Allen, solo horn,Heyl.

Fourth Section. Test piece, Petit Suite de Ballet by Eric Ball. 1. Camborne Junior Contest. 2. Lostwithiel Town. 3. Okehampton Excelsior Silver. 4. Porthleven Town. 5. Tadley Concert Brass. 6. Pendeen Silver. 7. Indian Queens Silver. Best player award: David Wilton, euphonium, Camborne Junior Contest.

Youth Section. Own Choice. 1. Mount Charles Youth. 2. St Austell Youth. Best player award: Best player, Megan Thomas, euphonium, Mount Charles. Best cornet, Jacob Griffiths, St Austell. E J Williams Memorial Trophy to the winning conductor, Jeremy Taylor.

Training Section. Test piece, own choice. 1. Lanner Brass Academy. 2. St Stythians. 3. Indian Queens. Best player award: Best player, Daniel Matthews, drum kit, Lanner Brass Academy. Best cornet, Oscar Wills, St Stythians.

Special Awards. Open to all sections. Best Soprano: Sam Johns, St Austell. Best Solo Cornet: Hannah Hawken, St Austell. Best euphonium: Matthew Rowe, Lanner & District. Best solo horn: Mark Letcher, Roche Brass. Best Set of Basses: St Dennis. A R Trudgian Youth Awards. Megan Thomas, Mount Charles. Matthew Julian, Camborne. Deportment Class. 1.Okehampton Excelsior Silver. 2. Bugle Silver.

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