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Senior Concert band goes for gold at Scottish Concert Band Festival

Posted on 28 Mar 2023

Pupils from North Ayrshire hit the right note at the recent Scottish Concert Band Festival (SCBF) 2023.

Held at Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 19 March, the event brought talented musicians together from across the country.

North Ayrshire Schools’ Senior Concert Band took to the stage to showcase their musical talent.

The first SCBF in three years, the concert returned for the first time since the pandemic and the North Ayrshire musicians didn’t disappoint.

The band gave an outstanding performance and were awarded with a Gold Award.

Their programme for the competition was:

  • Star Wars Fanfare followed by John Williams, The Raider’s March from Indiana Jones.
  • Ballad from Trumpet by Bill Holcombe featuring trumpet player Niamh Milne who is currently studying at the Junior Department of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
  • The third piece was that of the Big Easy Suite by Martin Ellerby – four contrasting movements all in the style of music made popular in New Orleans.
  • Then the performance ended with a mash-up of several ABBA tunes, brilliantly arranged by Scottish composer, Alan Fernie.

The SCBF is a two-day event and 26 bands from across Scotland took part this year. 

Musical Director Steven Cowling was delighted with their Gold Award. Steven said: “All the musicians have worked incredibly hard over the past few months to prepare for the competition, and they all played beautifully. A Gold Award is a fantastic achievement, and they should all be very proud of themselves.”

Councillor Alan Hill, Cabinet Member for Communities and Islands commented: “Well done to all of our talented musicians who took part and represented North Ayrshire. This was a fantastic opportunity to shine the spotlight on some of our rising musicians across our services. Everyone who took part should be very proud.

“It’s great to see first-hand how our young musicians have continued to hone their skills at home even with the challenges of lockdown and time apart.

“Each of the performances have demonstrated how passionate our young people are and how well our music service has continued to support them. They are a credit to us all and I have no doubt that every pupil has a bright future ahead of them.”

If you want to get involved in developing your musical skills or learn to play a new instrument, you can contact the team via musicservice@north-ayrshire.gov.ukto find out more.