Championship Success For Lochgelly

The Lochgelly Bands recent record of success at the Scottish Championship contest continued at the weekend (12th March) with a well deserved second place in the 2nd section of the contest, held this year at the Caird Hall in Dundee. This result means that the band will be making their third trip to the National finals in the last four years. It also means that from 2006 the band will be competing in the 1st section in Scotland for the first time in over a decade.

Ably directed by MD James Chamberlain the bands performance of the test piece "Variations For Brass Band" by Vaughan Williams was judged by many observers to be capable of winning the contest.
"Over the moon with the result. Just reward for the hard work put in by the band in rehearsal."

James Chamberlain
That was not to be however, that honour went to Granite City Brass from Aberdeen, but the adjudicators felt that we had done well enough to merit taking the second promotion spot and with it the trip to Harrogate in September. As it turned out the adjudicators debated for almost half an hour at the end of the contest to determine the 2nd, 3rd and 4th places, with Clydebank Burgh, City of Discovery Brass and ourselves being the object of that deliberation. The announcement of the result was greeted with a huge roar from the Lochgelly contingent in the hall, so much so that one would have thought we'd won it.

The bands day had started early with the bus to Dundee leaving the bandhall at 9:15a.m. The band had arranged to have a function room at the Dundee Hilton available for our exclusive use for most of the day. Good use was made of this facility with MD James Chamberlain taking the band through three to four short "polishing up" sessions. The band had also arranged for a light lunch at the hotel to ensure that we all felt relaxed before the contest. After rehearsals the band were able to relax either in the hotel or by taking walks along Discovery Quay. This coupled with the unseasonal, for Dundee, weather meant that there was a great atmosphere around the band and a great team spirit, the best I have encountered in many years of brass band
"I thought we really nailed that one. It's going to take a strong performance to beat that."

John Martin
contesting. Little did we know then what we were to acheive later that day. About the only person confident of a good result was James Chamberlain, whose preparation it must be said was excellent. James had been telling us for weeks that we were good enough to win it and perhaps by contest day enough people believed. Our last contest visit to Dundee had been for the 2003 National Championships, also at the Caird Hall. That day had been marred by a bad performance, with many of the band surprised at the acoustic and sheer size of the hall. There were no such mistakes this time around, even though the band took the stage with three contest debutants in the ranks. This time the band took the stage confidently, having been there before we knew what to expect. A five minute wait whilst the adjudicators deliberated over the previous band, instead of unsettling the band, seemed to calm some nerves and get us used to the stage environment. Finally the time came and the opening bars resounded throughout the Caird Hall, a fantastic forte sound growing from the bass section, through the middle of the band to the strident entry of the cornet fanfare. A good start and we were off and running, determined to make our mark. Fifteen minutes of pure concentration from a 29 strong team of people destined for great things. Coming off stage the band knew that they had played well, but it was all down to the men in the box. Feelings around the hall were that we had given one of the most musical performances of the day and would certainly be in the reckoning.

And so another Scottish Championship weekend ended with another great result for Lochgelly Band.
"Well done at the Championship contest. It is nice to see the band making progress towards, what I am sure, will be the ultimate aim of being back in the Championship section."

George Bennett
A good weekend was also had by many bands with a Lochgelly connection. The new Scottish Champions Newtongrange had former Lochgelly member Linda Scobie on percussion; the 1st section was won by Johnstone Silver directed by former Lochgelly MD Gavin Lindsay; whilst in the 3rd section Selkirk Silver took second place to earn promotion with former Lochgelly players Ian Harkness and Helen Edward in their lineup. The band now have the National Championships in Harrogate to look forward to, but in the immediate term it's back to bread and butter contesting with the Fife Festival of Brass at Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline on 23rd April. There will no doubt be many bands there who would like to claim the scalp of a newly promoted band so we will have to be on top of our game for that one.

Full Results Scottish Championship

2nd Section

Adjudicators: Steve Bastable, Ian Brownbill

Test Piece: Variations for Brass Band Vaughan Williams

1.Granite City BrassD. James 184
2.LochgellyJ Chamberlain 182
3.City of Discovery BrassB. Fraser 181
4.Clydebank BurghA. Duguid 180
5.CroyC. Bradley 177
6.Jedforest InstrumentalA. Fernie 176
7.Annan Town (APD)D. Shanks 173
8.Tayport InstrumentalP. Ratnik 172
9.St Ronan's SilverD. McLeod 171
10.Dalkeith & Monktonhall CollieryI. Davey 170
11.St David's BrassJ. A. Dickson 169
12.Renfrew BurghD. Hutchison 168

History in Pictures Guestbook