Lewes Glynde and Beddingham Band crowned national champions

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The Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Band became national champions on Sunday after delivering a stunning performance.

They hit the high note at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, staged in Cheltenham.

LGB Brass were crowned Third Section National Brass Band Champions after wowing the judges.

After winning through to the prestigious finals in March, members started work on the piece all the bands were to play on Sunday, ‘Penlee’ by Simon Dobson.

The music was written to commemorate the tragic events of December 19 1981 when the entire crew of the Penlee lifeboat Solomon Browne perished trying to rescue a stricken freighter.

The music tells the story of that night, from it’s calm beginning and Christmas celebrations in the Cornish village of Mousehole, home of the Penlee lifeboat, through the worsening storm with 60ft waves and the sinking of both vessels to a quiet, calm, reflective ending.

It is unlike anything that has been set for the 3rd Section before and presented a real challenge.

Nerves did not get the better of LGB Brass when members took to the stage. There were magnificent solo contributions from Adam Kearley (principal cornet), Tony Line (principal euphonium), Alex Emberley (flugel) and Angela Holloway (solo horn).

The bass section of Chris Percy, Roger Holloway, John Blight and Alan Cooper provided the menacing undercurrent.

Simon Dobson had written the piece to include 21 different percussion instruments, including a ship’s bell and anvil!

The team of David Williams, John Davis, Fabian Edwards and Peter Beament played with verve and precision to put the icing on the cake.

Musical Director Ian Stewart said: “I’m very proud of every single member of the band. They performed to the best of their ability. This helped us to create a really atmospheric performance, which both judges described as very good, showing plenty of character and understanding of the music.”

LGB Brass Chairman Tony Line said: “I think that we are only the second ever Sussex band to be crowned National Champions in any of the sections, certainly since 1945.

“The only other band was Handcross, and coincidentally, two of our members [Angela and Roger Holloway] played in that performance too!”

The youngest member of the band to play in the final was Daniel Starnes, aged 14. He plays second baritone and said: “I really enjoyed the day and I’m so proud of what we achieved.”