Top class brass in fitting tribute to Alan

Lesley Howie, who will be the guest soloist at Hebden Bridge Brass Band's gala concert at the Picture House on June 16
Lesley Howie, who will be the guest soloist at Hebden Bridge Brass Band's gala concert at the Picture House on June 16

A RECORD number of championship section brass bands will arrive in the upper Calder Valley on Sunday for the fifth annual Hebden Bridge marching band contest.

Three top section bands - Marsden, Milnrow and Drighlington - have entered the contest, which will see musicians from a dozen outfits march along Bridge Gate before forming up in St George’s Square to perform for an adjudicator.

The music begins at approximately 1.15pm and will see each band play a hymn tune and two marches.

Steve Gardner, from organisers Hebden Bridge Brass Band, said having three top section bands competing this year shows the appeal of the contest is spreading.

This year it will be held as a tribute to band president Alan Bottomley, who died last month.

“It was his vision to set up a marching band contest in Hebden Bridge, so it’s going to be held in his memory,” Steve said.

Before the contest, Hebden Bridge Brass Band will give its annual gala concert at the Picture House on Saturday night at 7pm, featuring special guest soloist Lesley Howie.

In 1999, she became the first female player in the famous Black Dyke Band on principal solo horn. She is currently solo horn with the Foden’s Band.

Steve said: “We are hoping to attract a big audience with a soloist of such quality.

“It’s a great opportunity to perform with a world class musician in such a good venue in your hometown.”

Tickets priced £10/£6 are available from Hebden Bridge Visitor and Canal Centre, Pot Stop, Ryburne Estate Agents or by calling Steve on 07813 110126.