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Returning with Style: VICTORY for IDB

On Saturday 6th November, Scotland was a busy place!

MOST of the worlds eyes were on Glasgow, as the COP26 event entered into one of its busiest days. However, there were other important goings on further south that day - it was Contest time for Irvine & Dreghorn Brass.

An early start for all was the order of the day as a combination of cars and a bus load of cheery and anxious band members made their way south to the town of Langholm for the Scottish Borders Brass Band Association 2021 Entertainment Contest.

This is the first Brass Band contest to be held in Scotland since the start of the Coronavirus restrictions and only the second public appearance for the band in nearly two years.

In total, 12 other bands were expected to attend Langholm - as such, it was expected that competition would be tough. If there were nerves anywhere in the band in the morning it was for those on the bus. Our previous track record for un-eventful bus journeys is not great but thankfully on this occasion it was a smooth journey to the competition.

Our Pre-Draw meant that the band would be playing 7th on the day, just after lunch time. The performance started with a comical but enjoyable rendition of 'Another Fine Mess' from Laurel & Hardy, followed by the Feather Theme from Forrest Gump. To close our set the band performed a series of Scottish Tunes from the Disney Pixar movie 'Brave.'

The nervous wait after the performance was ended by remarks on stage from Helen Douthwaite-Teasdale and John Doyle, adjudicators for the day. It may have been a nervous wait but was well worth it to hear the band announced as overall winners for the day! Three awards in total were brought home:

Overall Contest Winners: SBBBF Borders Entertainment Contest 2021

The Entertainment Prize

Highest Placed Second Section band.

Speaking after the event, our Band Manager Frazer Kirk summed up his feelings:

'What a day! First time back in a contest situation since march 2020, and the band performed as if they had never had a break. Being caught out in the rain, and being a tad soggy in warm up didnt dampen anyone’s spirits. The band worked so hard to get back in shape after Covid, and as band manager I couldnt be any happier with how our first competitive outing!'

Kelda McMichael, one of the longest serving members of the bands cornet section also shared her thoughts from the day:

'Saturday was a special day. For most of us this was a return to competing after a 20 month hiatus. Getting on the bus to head off to the competition, it felt so familiar but so exciting!

We were all keen to get on stage and having played, we all felt we had put on a good show.

It was lovely to see & socialise with so many banding friends from across Scotland after so long… but to win the competition really was the icing on the cake. The perfect end to a day we all had been looking forward to for so long.'

Congratulations are in order to everyone who represented the band on stage as well as our Musical Director Lewis and all of the friends and family members of our band who support us all continually! Without your support achievements like this just wouldn't happen so on behalf of the band, thank you!


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