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The National Finals - preparation

Traditionally summer is the time where bands take things a little easier and relax. People going on holiday less well attended rehearsals and fewer concert engagements. Well anyone who has seen Derwent know that we don’t  always ‘do’ traditional. Yes, while other bands have been focusing on topping up tans Derwent Brass have not been resting on their laurels!

Preparations have been taking place for an appearance at the National Final Brass Band Championships in Harrogate this weekend. Way back in March the band took part in the Midland Regionals Championships and the second place in the First Section secured a place to compete against bands from across the UK, as well as automatic promotion straight back to the Championship Section.

Keith Leonard - Derwent Brass Musical DirectorAll the bands play the same piece to become National Champions. Musical Director of Derwent Brass, Keith Leonard, believes that 'Diversions on a Bass Theme' is an excellent choice.

"Derwent Brass has enjoyed the preparation working on ‘Diversions’ - an excellent test for First Section bands and generally the band think this classic from the banding repertoire is a good choice for this contest. Whilst there aren’t any massive solos, cadenzas or musical acrobatics to perform, once you scratch the surface it quickly becomes evident that this is indeed a stern test." (Keith Leonard - MD)

Unfortunately, the band will be without two of its regular players in Andy Devereux and Steve Gratton on Bass Trombone and Bb Bass respectively. Happily we were able to call on Beth Calderbank (daughter of Rob Calderbank - Back Row Cornet) and Paul McGhee (Composer and close friend to the band) to join us.

Last time Derwent Brass made an appearance at the Nationals Finals, in the same venue, we came a very respectful fourth, but are looking to improve on this at the weekend. Not content with just preparing for this one contest, Derwent will also travel to the Bolsover Festival Enterainment Contest just a week later. Having been winners of this Inter-County competition (Championship Section) two years ago, the band have been working on a programme which they hope will appeal to the audience as well as the adjudicator.

Just one month later Derwent Brass will play host again to the Treorchy Male Voice Choir all the way from Wales - busy times! Last together in 2008 in front of a capacity crowd in the Derby Assembly Rooms, we hope to once again wow the audience. It promises to be a great night.

Click here to book your tickets if you haven't already done so!

We will keep you posted with events over the National Finals weekend via Twitter wherever possible; don't forget you can follow us @derwentbrass

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