THE Borders entertainment contest made a triumphant return as the first ‘live’ brass band competition in Scotland since the championships in Perth in March 2020.
Langholm Town Band had a successful day picking up three awards in the Buccleuch Centre on Saturday in what was seen as an unmitigated success of a contest for the organisers, the players and the audience.
It was a milestone day that epitomised all that is best in contesting – organisation, participation and exhilaration.
The behind-the-scenes team at the Scottish Borders Brass Band Association and all the members of Langholm Town Band conducted a smoothly run event, right down to the sanitising of the stage after every band.
Contest controller Christine Calvert said it was a fantastic day.
“What a buzz there was in the Buccleuch Centre,” she said.
“Everyone was happy to be back doing what they love, playing together and catching up with friends from other bands.
“It didn’t feel like a competition it was more a celebration.”
Twelve bands took part and, at the end of the day, Irvine & Dreghorn were announced as the overall winners.
The only real disappointment of the occasion was the enforced withdrawal of Hawick Saxhorn from the line-up due to a couple of Covid cases within the band.
No contest is complete without an enthusiastic audience – and the one in the Buccleuch Centre in Langholm was no exception as they greeted each performance as if it were their own band.
The Scottish Borders Brass Band Association vice-president Stuart Black summed up the mood of the whole event.
“It has been such a great day being back at the Borders entertainment contest and really good to see everyone again,” he said.
“Huge congratulations to all at Irvine for their win and also to contest secretary Christine Calvert, Langholm Town Band and everyone in SBBBA for such a great first contest back.”
Special thanks went to the adjudicators for the contest, John Doyle and Helen Douthwaite-Teasdale, to compere Alasdair Hutton and also to Nigel Durno of Just Music who provided a recording of each band’s performance.
1. Irvine & Dreghorn (2nd section)
2. Lochgelly (2nd section)
3. Jedforest Instrumental (2nd Section)
4. Langholm Town (3rd Section)
5. NASUWT Concert Band (2nd Section)
6. Annan Town (2nd Section)
7. Selkirk Silver (2nd Section)
8. St Ronan’s Silver (2nd Section)
9. Peebles Burgh Silver (4th Section)
10. MacTaggart Scott (4th Section)
11. Coalburn Intermediate (4th Section)
Entertainment – Irvine & Dreghorn
Highest placed Border band – Jedforest Instrumental
Best deportment – Selkirk Silver
Best soloist – Langholm Town
Best instrumentalist – Annan Town
Best solo cornet – Lochgelly
Best bass section – Langholm Town
Best percussion – Jedforest Instrumental
Best second section band – Irvine & Dreghorn
Best third section band – Langholm Town
Best fourth section band – Peebles Burgh