Report & Results: 2022 NEMBBA Autumn Contest

Yorkshire Imps recall distant memories to claim victory at the new North East Midlands BBA Contest in Darley Dale, with section victories going to Shirland, Amington, Dobcross, Burton Joyce, Darley Dale

  Gary Hallas and his band celebrate their victory

18 performances from 17 bands gave a great start to the new North East Midlands Brass Band Association (NEMBBA) autumn contest, held at the Whitworth Centre in Darley Dale on the weekend.

A wide spread of own choice test-pieces — from Eric Ball's 'Indian Summer' and Brahms' 'Academic Festival Overture' to more modern classics 'Of Distant Memories' and 'Lions of Legends' kept adjudicator John Roberts busy in his task of comparing performances throughout the day.


John thanked all the bands for their preparation, including providing scores in advance of the contest, although he noted that standards perhaps hadn't yet returned to those experienced before Covid-19, although there was plenty of encouraging high quality playing to enjoy.

In the top section there was victory to Yorkshire Imperial, as they gave a finely shaped rendition of Edward Gregson's 'Of Distant Memories' led by Gary Hallas to take the honours ahead of Marple's 'Glorifico Aeternum', whilst third placed Old Silkstone also chose the Gregson work.

'Imps' fine euphonium player Mark Bray deservedly claimed the 'Best Instrumentalist' prize.

Writing on their Facebook page the band said: "We are delighted with our winning performance. We want to give a massive thank you to all of the organisers of the NEMBBA contest and also have a huge well done to every band that has competed today."

Section victories

In the Second Section there was victory for Shirland led by Lynden Cooper thanks to their well drilled rendition of 'Academic Festival Overture' to finish ahead of Emley ('Lions of Legends') and Leicestershire Co-op Snibston ('The Plantagenets').

Amington conducted by Alan Gifford took the Third Section honours with a finely delivered rendition of 'Dimensions' to repel the challenge of Long Eaton and Maltby, both of whom played PLC's 'Dark Side of the Moon'.

There was victory for Dobcross Silver in the Fourth Section thanks to their performance of Edward Gregson's 'Laudate Dominum' to pip Amington's first take on 'Dimensions', with Fairfield Buxton in third ('St Andrew's Variations') just ahead of Ilkeston ('Indian Summer').

The Training Band Section attracted two cracking ensembles from Burton Joyce and Long Eaton Training delivered two excellent 15 minute programme sets, whilst Darley Dale and Shirland Training each gave well-rehearsed 20 minute programmes in the Unregistered Section.


The contest was pre-drawn with results given throughout the day to assist bands in planning. This was well received, with contest controller Robert Stansfield and a team of volunteers from NEMBBA bands once again working hard to ensure everything went smoothy at a fine contest venue.

A number of new trophies were awarded, with thanks to Brian Draper, Carl Ramplin, Sharon Stansfield and Steve Thompson. The trophies included the Cameron Day Memorial Shield which was presented by Cameron's father Neil Day to the winning conductor in THE Second Section.

There was also a presentation of Long Service Awards to members of local bands including a remarkable '60 Year' certificate to Chris Priest.

Section 1:

Adjudicator: John Roberts

1. Yorkshire Imperial (Gary Hallas)
2. Marple (Steve Sutton)
3. Old Silkstone (George Newbould)
4. Chapeltown (Colum O'Shea)

Best instrumentalist: Mark Bray (euphonium) — Yorkshire Imperial

Section 2:

Adjudicator: John Roberts

1. Shirland (Lynden Cooper)
2. Emley (Tim Sidwell)
3. Leicestershire Co-op Snibston (Luke Pallister)

Best Instrumentalist: Jennifer Turner (cornet) — Emley

Section 3:

Adjudicator: John Roberts

1. Amington (Alan Gifford)
2. Long Eaton (Ian McCormick)
3. Maltby (Terry Clifford)

Best Instrumentalist: Brian Morris (cornet) — Amington

Section 4:

Adjudicator: John Roberts

1. Dobcross (David Morris)
2. Amington (Alan Gifford)
3. Fairfield (Charles Kitchen)
4. Ilkeston (Gordon Jenkins)

Best Instrumentalist: Percussion (Dobcross)

Training Band:

Adjudicator: John Roberts
(15-minute entertainment programme)

1. Burton Joyce (Geoff Hawley)
2. Long Eaton Training (Sharon Stanfield)

Best instrumentalist: David Butterworth (euphonium) — Burton Joyce

Unregistered Section:

Adjudicator: John Roberts
(20-minute entertainment programme)

1. Darley Dale (Richard Adams)
2. Shirland Training (David Hill)

Best instrumentalist: Izzy Jepson (cornet) — Darley Dale

Other Awards

Youngest player in Training Unregistered and Section 4: Long Eaton

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