Hitchin brass band to play at top level competition for first time in 33 years
PUBLISHED: 07:01 14 March 2019
A Hitchin brass band is set to make a return to top level competition this weekend after more than 30 years away.
Hitchin Band will battle it out with 12 other brass bands in the London and Southern Counties Region Championship section of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain at Stevenage’s Gordon Craig Theatre on Sunday.
It has been a meteoric rise for the band having last competed at the top level of the competition back in 1986 and being in the third section as recently as 2012.
“There is a huge sense of pride in being able to represent our home town of Hitchin at this level of competition,” said band secretary Mike Thorn.
“We are up against some stiff competition with bands that have been successful at this level for many years.
“We take to the stage with a full band of players who work hard throughout the year including a number that have progressed through our youth band and community brass band to join us on the Championship Section stage.”
The National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain is the country’s largest regional competition, with more than 80 bands taking part.
As well as the chance for silverware for the winners, the highest placed band will get the chance to perform at the national finals, while points which could effect promotion and relegation are also available.
Hitchin Band’s 28 musicians have been working on a piece called Seascapes, written by former Salvation Army composer Ray Steadman-Allen.
They will be guided through the piece by musical director Martin Heartfield, who has been assisted by respected conductors and performers Martin Hurrell, Paul Mayes and Phil Judge.
Mike is delighted that they have been able to help the band, saying: “It has been an enormous privilege to be able to work with such talented conductors in our preparations for the event and we can’t wait for the performance.”
Following the competition, Hitchin Band will return to performing at concerts in Herts and Beds, including a charity concert at the Forest Centre in Marston Moretaine on April 27, and at Hitchin Festival on July 6.
To find out more about the band visit www.hitchinband.co.uk.