Our Junior and Beginner bands were in action at the weekend, taking part in the annual Newcastle-under-Lyme Festival of Music, Speech and Drama.

It was an early start for the Beginners, who took to the stage in the Under 14 stage before 10 am. Performing last in their section they played a short programme that included Madrigal, Mini March and concluded with Ode to Joy. A performance that MD Chris later described as ‘close to perfect’ was rewarded with a hugely well deserved second place, placing the band (who had an average age of around 8/9) ahead of older and more advanced bands.

Full of euphoria they then joined in the Junior Band in the hunt for the Under 19 section trophy. Tom and the Juniors took to the stage to perform a slick and polished rendition of Slam Dunk (a corker of a piece by Paul Lovatt-Cooper), full of choreography and even, at one point, conductor-less! They were followed on stage by the Beginners, who featured the multi-talented Charlotte (horn and glock expert!) and friends (all armed with boomwhackers!) in Little Stars, before finishing with a Beginner Band ‘banger,’ Pop Rock. Again, both bands were up against much older and experienced and ensembles, but both bands were richly rewarded with third and fourth place finishes respectively.

Quite a morning in Staffordshire, then!

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