A WESTHOUGHTON brass band added yet another honour to its glittering trophy cabinet in Blackpool last week.
Wingates Band secured its most significant trophy in seven years by winning The Senior Cup at the 94th Spring Brass Band Festival at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens at the weekend.
Competing against 19 other elite English bands, Wingates performed anonymously, as is usual in British brass band competitions, and produced a rendition of the 16-minute epic English Heritage.
Adjudicator John Doyle paid tribute to Wingates’ winning performance and said: “Today one band delivered an outstanding rendition of a very difficult piece of music, which was so good that I felt it wrapped me in a blanket of musical loveliness.”
Members of the band soaked each other with bubbly in a Grand Prix-style Champagne celebration in the square outside the Winter Gardens.
The band’s musical director, Paul Andrews, said the success augured well for Wingates’ future, given 14 of its winning musicians are under 23.
He said: “Although extremely talented as musicians, many of the band’s members have very little experience of the extreme pressures which top-level band contests can bring, and hence this success is doubly-pleasing for us all.
“I ask a lot of my players, but the key elements of concentration, control and confidence paid off today, and the band deserve every credit for the huge amount of hard work and commitment they have put in while rehearsing for this contest.”
The band also took home a commemorative pennant, a certificate and prize money of £600.
Wingates’ next public engagement is providing music in a stage version of the film Brassed Off at Bolton’s Octagon Theatre.
The play runs from May 15 to June 14 and Wingates is one of three local brass bands taking part in the production.