Report & Results: 2023 Northern Counties Entertainment Contest

Kirkintilloch Kelvin head into space to claim the entertainment honours in Perth

Kirkintilloch Kelvin
  The band claimed the title on what was their MDs final contest appearance with them

Conductor Lewis Bettles rounded off his musical tenure in Scottish banding by leading Kirkintilloch Kelvin to the Northern Counties Entertainment title at the North Inch Community Campus in Perth.

It was a wonderful final chord on which to close, as Lewis (who has also been the successful MD at Irvine & Dreghorn, and is now moving with his family to Sheffield) led the top section band on a space themed programme to pip rivals Lochgelly by a single point. Third place went to Johnstone Silver.

Famous sounds

Kirkintilloch Kelvin opened with the famous sounds of 'Also Sprach Zarathustra', followed by 'Enter the Galaxies'. Cornet soloist Amy McMillan then gave a fine rendition of 'Rusalka's Song to the Moon' before they rounded things off with 'Lake of Tenderness' by Ben Hollings and 'Space Invaders' by Andy Scott.

Their solo horn player Rebecca Ritchie deservedly claimed the prize as 'Best Instrumentalist', whilst the band also claimed the 'Best Non-NCBBA Band' prize.

Great year

Enjoying their success on their Facebook page, the band stated: "Our Northern Counties contest win yesterday marked our final engagement with MD Lewis Bettles. He and his partner Becky are relocating back to Yorkshire for work and to be closer to family!

We have had a great year with some positive results and wish Lewis all the best for the future!"

Happy Lochgelly

A happy Lochgelly Band left with plenty of silverware to their name as they took the 'Best First Section Band' as well as prizes for 'Most Entertaining Band' and 'Best Percussion'.

Elsewhere, 'Best Section' awards were claimed by Clackmannan District, Perthshire Brass and Bon-Accord B, with Marc Howarth of Broxburn & Livingston taking the 'Best Soprano' accolade.


The day before the contest, at the Forfar Community Campus, 35 primary school children attended a workshop led by adjudicator Gareth Bowman, assisted by brass instrument tutors from Angus School.

The event was jointly organised by Jim Wishart, President of the Northern Counties Brass Band Association, and Paul Judge (Angus schools). Jim later added: "It has been a very busy, but very enjoyable and rewarding weekend."

Thanks to Nigel Martin


Adjudicator: Gareth Bowman

1. Kirkintilloch Kelvin (Lewis Bettles): 192
2. Lochgelly (Chris Shanks): 191
3. Johnstone Silver (Colin McKenzie): 189
4. Clackmannan District (Paul Drury): 188
5. Dunaskin Doon (Paul Drury): 187
6. Broxburn & Livingston (Alastair Gibson): 186
7. Perthshire Brass (George D Annan): 183
8. Bon-Accord B (Jennifer Cook): 181
9. Dysart Colliery (Kenneth Letham): 180

Special Awards:

Most Entertaining Programme: Lochgelly

Best First Section Band: Lochgelly
Best Second Section Band: Clackmannan District
Best Third Section Band: Perthshire Brass
Best Fourth Section Band: Bon-Accord B

Best Percussion: Lochgelly
Best Soloist: Rebecca Ritchie (horn) — Kirkintilloch Kelvin
Best Soprano: Marc Howarth (Broxburn & Livingston)

Winning Conductor: Lewis Bettles

Best NCBBA Band: Clackmannan District
Best non-NCBBA Band: Kirkintilloch Kelvin

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