The Clackmannan Band won the Band Supplies Scottish Challenge Shield at a keenly fought own-choice contest in Perth.
Under the direction of MD Paul McKelvie OBE the Alloa based band produced an excellent account of Gilbert Vinter's classic 'Triumphant Rhapsody' to catch the ears of adjudicators Owen Farr and Dave Barringer and regain the famous old trophy for the first time since 2007.
Pushed all the way
They were certainly pushed all the way to the finishing line: Bathgate under Anne Crookston maintained their excellent 2017 form with a fine rendition of George Lloyd's 'Diversions on a Bass Theme', whilst 2015 champion Johnstone under Ramsay was third, with flugel player Jane Clarke winning the 'Best Instrumentalist' award.
In what was a highly enjoyable battle between the banding clans and their English rivals, the remaining top-six spots went to Dunaskin Doon, Newmilns & Galston and Second Section St Ronan's Silver.
However, there was to be no repeat triumph for defending champion J36 Brass as they could only end in a lowly 19th place.
A clearly delighted band posted on their Facebook page that, "We did all that was asked us by our musical director Paul McKelvie OBE — taking the band room performance onto the stage...paying off in huge dividends with us being crowned Best 1st section and overall winners."
They added: "What an absolutely amazing end to our contesting year, which unfortunately began in March with being demoted after the result at the Scottish Championships.
The band has worked very hard to regroup and rebuild and today was our day to be rewarded for all our hard work and determination!"
Quality at the top
Adjudicator Dave Barringer told 4BR: "It was clear that many bands had selected pieces at a level higher than their grading. For the large majority these were well chosen and played to their strengths. Those at the top had obviously worked hard in the practice room and it showed, whilst inevitably, one or two were beaten by nerves or simply picked a piece that was too tough."
He added: "First and second stood out as quality bands that put in the hard yards to deliver polished performances. They were very close and it required some significant debate between Owen and I to decide between them. The remainder of the top 10 were performances that all had some quality moments but perhaps lack their consistency."
Section awards were claimed by Clackmannan, St Ronan's, Brass Sounds Inverclyde and National Fourth Section champion Newmains & District.
We did all that was asked us by our musical director Paul McKelvie OBE — taking the band room performance onto the stageClackmannan District Brass
Adjudicator: Owen Farr & Dave Barringer
1. Clackmannan District Brass (Paul McKelvie OBE) — 190
2. Bathgate (Anne Crookston) — 189
3. Johnstone Band (Martyn Ramsay) — 187
4. Dunaskin Doon (Chris Bradley) — 186
5. Newmilns & Galston (Alan Cameron) — 185
6. St.Ronan's Silver (Alan Fernie) — 184
7. Lochgelly (Paul McKelvie OBE) — 183
8. Granite City Brass (Bruce Wallace) — 182
9. Newtongrange Silver (Andrew Duncan) — 181
10. Coalburn Silver (Lynda Nicholson) — 179
11. Newmains & District (Michael Marzella) — 178
12. Shotts St.Patricks (Chris Mansfield) — 177
13. Annan Town (Andrew Holland) — 176
14. Brass Sounds Inverclyde (Christopher Mansfield) — 175
15. Barrhead Burgh (David Henderson) — 174
16. Perthshire Brass (George D Annan) — 173
17. Penicuik Silver (Stuart Black) — 172
18. Arbroath Instrumental (Mike Robertson) — 171
19. J36 Brass (Andrew Warriner) — 170
20. Dundee Instrumental (John McDonald) — 169
21. Kilmarnock Concert Brass (Scott Walker) — 168
22. MacTaggart Scott Loanhead (Andy Shaw) — 167
23. Whitburn Heartlands (Paul Kiernan) — 166
24. Irvine & Dreghorn Brass (Scott Kerr) — 165
Best First Section Band: Clackmannan District
Best Second Section Band: St Ronan's Silver
Best Third Section Band: Brass Sounds Inverclyde
Best Fourth Section Band: Newmains & District
Best Instrumentalist: Jane Clark (flugel) — Johnstone