Teachers’ brass band among the best in the land

The Riverside Brass band rehearsing at St. Mary's & St. Cuthbert's Church, Chester-le-Street on Monday night, as part of their preparations for the Natioanl Brass Band Finals at the Royal Albert Hall, London

The Riverside Brass band rehearsing at St. Mary's & St. Cuthbert's Church, Chester-le-Street on Monday night, as part of their preparations for the Natioanl Brass Band Finals at the Royal Albert Hall, London

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A BRASS band hit all the right notes as it competed against the best in the land.

First-time regional champions NASUWT Riverside Band competed against some of the top 500 brass bands in the world at a national brass band final held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The Chester-le-Street band, made up of 29 amateurs, is thrilled to have been placed 15th out of 20 in the competition.

“We did do really, really well,” said player Vince Bovill. “We are extremely pleased.

“The calibre of bands that took part was fantastic, so we did well to be placed 15th.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult competition because we were playing against some of the best bands in the world.”

The bands had to play a new composition, Distant Memories, by Sunderland-born composer Edward Gregson.

“There was a fantastic atmosphere in the Royal Albert Hall,” said Vince.

“It was packed out, and the other bands sounded fantastic.”

Among the rivals faced by the NASUWT group was a fellow North-East act, the Reg Vardy band, from Durham, which finished eighth out of 20.

Vince added: “I think we have stepped up a gear and are ready to take that next step in competing with the bigger bands now.

“We know that we can compete against professionals on a more consistent basis and are more confident that we can do well.”