Pilling Jubilee Silver Band

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27/06/2014 - Band News June 2014

The last few weeks have been very busy for the band and have found us playing at a 100th birthday party in Stalmine, a Songs of Praise event in Glasson Dock at which we got very wet, Catterall Gala which had a lovely day and Calder Vale Gala which was curtailed due to the weather, though we did manage to lead a small procession to the cenotaph and back. However, two other events have occupied our thoughts and time recently, these being the Whit Friday contests and the annual Kirkby Lonsdale contest.

Friday 13th June 2014 saw Pilling band embark on what can arguably be one of the highlights of the brass band calendar, The Whit Friday march contests. This is a long standing event whereby brass bands from all over the country descend on numerous venues in the Tameside and Saddleworth areas of the north west, to compete at playing an own choice march. Each venue is judged seperately and involves the band playing a short march as they enter the venue followed by the rendition of a contest march stood still in band formation.

The band left Pilling at 4:00pm hoping to cover eight contest venues in the Tameside area. The journey there was delayed due to roadworks and rush hour traffic, meaning that we arrived at our first venue, Audenshaw, at around 6:20pm. After a short march to the contest arena we played our contest march Castell Coch, which the band played very well, considering that we had no time to warm up, and gained us a 2nd place in our section when the results came in. This gave the band confidence as we then made our way to the remaining venues, Broadoak, Carrbrook, Droylsden and Heyrod, to name a few, ending up at our final venue, Denton Cricket Club, playing at 11.15pm and then having a well earned drink, or two!

Overall a great experience for those who haven't played at the marches before, good friendship and good playing. Special mention must go to Adam Corbridge who co-ordinated the route with his great knowledge of the contest, Avalon Coaches for the transportation and their great support for the band, Colin Pilkington for providing us with what seemed like hundreds of pasties to feed us for the evening, guest players who helped us out where our own players couldn't make it and last but not least, Len Charnock, our Musical Director who has trained and tutored us to the standard we have achieved. Bring on Whit Friday 2015.

Sunday 15th June came and the band was once again on the Avalon coach at nine in the morning en-route to Kirkby Lonsdale. Several junior bands played before lunch, the senior bands starting at 1:00pm. Five senior bands competed, each marching down the High Street then playing an own choice 25 minute entertainment programme in the square. The day was dull but fine and quite a large crowd had gathered to listen.
Pilling had drawn to play in third place which meant that we set out at about 2:20pm. Bands are marked on deportment as they pass down the street and an adjudicator marks the concert programme, which must include a march, a hymn tune and a solo spot. Whilst the adjudicator finished his evaluation, all five bands joined together in a short massed bands concert which was conducted this year by our own MD Len Charnock. Trophies are awarded for success in various categories and we were pleased to receive those for “Best March”, “Best Entertainment Programme” and “Best Band Overall”. Not a bad day out! Thanks again to Mike of Avalon Coaches, to Len for preparing us and to everyone for all their hard work which made this result possible.
July is a really mad month, engagements include: 5th Eagland Hill Coffee Feast, 12th the wedding of Gary MacGowan (one of our own players) followed by Preesall Gala, 20th Songs of Praise at Whitechapel, 22nd Hymns at St Oswald's, 26th Pilling Coffee Feast and 27th Songs of Praise at Shireshead. We hope to see you at one or more of these events as we carry on banding.

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