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Midlands Area 2016 – Preview

Second Section Debut

On Sunday 13th March Hucknall & Linby Mining Community Brass Band will make the annual trip to Bedworth to compete against a selection of other bands from the region at the Midlands Area Championships. While the competition is a familiar one, this will be the first time the band has competed here in the second section, the highest level that the band has reached in its short history, indicative of the continued regular progress being made. This new section will also mean a new venue, with the band performing at Bedworth Civic Hall for the first time.

The Home of the Mermaid of Zennor

The Mermaid of Zennor

This year’s set work is composed by the Musical Director of Cory Brass Band, Philip Harper and is entitled “The Mermaid of Zennor”. The composer writes:

“This piece is inspired by an old Cornish folk-tale set in the village of Zennor on the coast of Cornwall, the most South-Westerly county of England.

After a good day‘s catch from the local fishermen, the village-folk would gather in the church at the head of the coast road for a service of thanksgiving. In the choir at Evensong was a very handsome young man. Matthew Trewhella, who had the most beautiful voice. His singing attracted the attention of a mermaid swimming in Zennor Cove who listened, entranced, for many nights. One night, she decided to go to the church and, disguised in human clothes, she sat in the shadows at the back. Matthew’s exquisite voice caused her to sigh, at which point he noticed her for the first time and fell immediately in love. She knew that contact between merpeople and humans was forbidden, and so fled back to the shore with the congregation and Matthew in pursuit. Upon reaching the water, the mermaid turned and told him: “l cannot stay, I belong to the sea,” to which he replied: “Then I will come with you!” and they both vanished beneath the waves, never to be seen again.

To this day it is said that the sound of a sweet, faraway man’s voice can be heard from the sea on days of fair weather in Zennor.

The music is in three sections:

i. The Sea and Seafaring

The music rises and falls like the elemental swell of the waves, before the fishermen set sail and get to work on their boats at sea. They arrive home with a good catch.

ii. At the Church

The mermaid is portrayed by gentle, magical-sounding music, and the church choir is heard singing the hymn-tune Axbridge set to the words ‘Safe home, safe home in port’. The euphonium plays the role of Matthew Trewhella, rising above the band on a number of occasions.

iii. Return to the Waves

Matthew and the mermaid’s eyes meet in a moment of drama. The village-folk chase out of the church and back towards the beach and, after several musical flashbacks, the powerful music of the sea re-establishes itself above all else. As the waves subside, the euphonium’s sweet but distant voice can be heard for one last time.”

Familiar Faces

Although the band is in uncharted waters in the second section there will be plenty of familiar faces, with familiar third section rivals Rushden Town and Foss Dyke attending, as well as our friends at Long Eaton Silver Prize Band. The field comprises 12 bands with the top two qualifying for the National Finals in Cheltenham.

With 2 rehearsals to go until the big day the band are in confident mood, ready to make the step up to the second section.

As always we will be tweeting throughout the build up and during the day itself so make sure you follow us on twitter!

Midlands Area Championships – Second Section

Adjudicators: Gordon Higginbottom, Paul Norley

Venue: Bedworth Civic Hall

Piece: The Mermaid of Zennor – Philip Harper



Brackley & District


City of Coventry

Foss Dyke

Glossop Old

Hucknall & Linby

Ibstock Brick Brass

Long Eaton Silver Prize Band

Raunds Temperance

Rushden Town

Shriland Welfare


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National Brass Band Championships 2015 – Preview

This weekend the band will be travelling to Cheltenham for the second time in 3 years to represent the midlands at the National Finals in the 3rd section. In 2013 we finished 4th on our first appearance and we will be hoping that the experience gained can push us on to an even better finish this year.

As always with the national finals the standard will be exceptionally high, with fellow midlanders Ifton Colliery and Foss Dyke, as well as Slaithwaite and Boarshurst Silver all in attendance.


The piece chosen for this year’s competition is Oliver Waespi’s “The Graces of Love”. The work is in three movements  and is inspired by the book by the same name published in 1602 by Cesare Negri, a famous dance master of the Milan court during the renaissance. This book contains the tune Il bianco fior (The White Flower) on which the first movement of the test piece is based. The second movement, is much more calm and contemplative in character and features the tune Vaghe bellezze(Veiled Beauty). Widely spaced melodic parts surround two solos  for euphonium and cornet during which the tune is varied and developed. Finally, the third movement contains a saltarello with a hypnotic rhythm, ending the work with flair and gusto.

The band have been working on the piece throughout the summer, and are looking forward to performing at The Centaur on Sunday. We will be tweeting throughout the weekend, so be sure to follow us on our Twitter and Facebook accounts!

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Weston-super-Mare Contest Winners

The band have triumphed on the contest stage again taking first prize in the Weston-super-Mare contest on Sunday 17th May. This was the band’s first visit to this contest, and it turned out to be one to remember!

Euphs and Baris

MD Paul Whyley decided to enter the contest to keep the band focused in the lead up to the National Finals in Cheltenham in September. The piece chosen by the band was Kaleidoscope by Philip Sparke. This was the same piece that the band were so successful with at the Leicester contest in November last year, and as such confidence was high.

Although the 3rd section comprised only 5 bands, the standard was high with fellow National Finalists Thomas Coaches Mid-Rhondda also taking part. The band were drawn first and after a short rehearsal at a nearby school made the short journey to the winter gardens on the sea front. Here the band delivered a top notch performance to a large audience, and came off stage delighted with their work.

Following the performance Paul Whyley said the band played exceptionally well from a number 1 draw and that he couldn’t have asked for any more from each individual in the band. Not only did the band receive 1st prize, they also received the prize for best bass section. The band’s bass section comprises Simon Gresswell, Dave Witham, Chris Tetley and Tony Watson.


The band’s next event is their summer concert ‘The Final Countdown’ which is being held at Hucknall Parish Church, Hucknall Market place on Saturday 6th June at 7:30pm. The concert is being held to raise money for the band ahead of the National finals in Cheltenham in September, where the band will represent the Midlands in the 3rd section playing The Graces of Love by Oliver Waespi. Bring your friends!

Third Section Results

1. Hucknall & Linby MC Brass (Paul Whyley) 181pts

2. Cinderford (Chris Howley) 180pts

3. Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda (Alan Gibbs) 178pts

4. Corsham (Colin Hogg) 176pts

5. Chalford Academy (Steve Tubb) 175pts

W. Ammorford Town Silver

Best Bass Section: Hucknall & Linby MC Brass

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Midlands Area Contest 2015

3rd place, a trip to the national finals and promotion to the 2nd section!

On Saturday the band took part in their sixth 3rd Section area contest, hoping to repeat their victory of 2013. The area championships are the focal point of any band’s contesting year, as it gives the band the opportunity to qualify for the national finals in Cheltenham as well as being the only contest to determine promotion and relegation within the brass band grading tables.


Evolution – 5 States of Change

The test piece this year was Philip Sparke’s Evolution – 5 States of Change.Evolution Score

The composer writes:

“The idea for the piece came when I was reading an article about a branch of Chinese philosophy which is abbreviated as Wu Xing*, which has no exact translation but can mean, for example, five elements, five phases or five states of change.

I was particularly interested in the cycle of emotions:-

Meditation – Sorrow – Fear – Anger – Joy – (Meditation) etc.

and thought this cyclic principle would provide an effective emotional journey for a piece of music. So Evolution has five equal sections which loosely characterise this emotional cycle. I have tried to make the music grow organically, with minimal repetition, and each movement evolves from the musical elements at the end of the previous one, with the opening material appearing, transformed, at the end of the piece to complete the cycle.”


Strong Competition

This year, as always, we faced strong competition, including Butlins Champions Stamford Brass, last year’s runners up Foss Dyke and newly promoted Ifton Colliery. Drawn 7th the band took to the stage in a confident mood thanks in part to their recent successes including 3rd place at Butlins and their win at Leicester.

The band delivered a fine performance with brass band website 4barsrest saying:

“Hucknall & Linby give us the strongest start so far! Lovely bass sounds and full band sits nicely on top. Very tidy quaver passages sees Hucknall in fine form for a podium finish here today.

Everything in the right place, well balanced and clean! A star quality performance setting the standard to beat for us today.”

At the end of a very long day the results were announced and the band were delighted to hear that they had finished in 3rd place. This means that along with Ifton and Foss Dyke the band will be representing the midlands at the national finals in Cheltenham in September. On top of this, the band, after consistently performing well in the 3rd section, are now top of the grading table, and will be promoted to the 2nd section in 2016.


The band are already looking forward to the finals and competing at a higher level in 2016. Exciting times ahead!

Midlands Area Third Section Results:

Test Piece: Test Piece:’Evolution, Five States of Change’ – Philip Sparke

Saturday 7th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College

Adjudicators: John Berryman & Mark Wilkinson

1. Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston)*
2. Foss Dyke (Simon Oates)*
3. Hucknall & Linby MC Brass (Paul Whyley)*
4. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
5. Trentham Brass (Mike Caveney)
6. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
7. City of Birmingham (Iain Masson)
8. Arrow Valley (Andy Culshaw)
9. Matlock (Geoff Hawley)
10. Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)
11. Resdev Market Rasen (David Dernley)
12. Wellington (Telford) (Fiona Rolfe)
13. Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
14. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
15. Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass (Craig Stevens)
16. Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)
17. Melton (Graham Sutton)
18. Moulton 77 (Roger Stevens)

* Top 3 bands qualify for National Final

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Butlins 2015 Weekend

After a busy Christmas period the band have started their contest season on a high by being placed 3rd at the Butlins Mineworkers Championships 2015.  The band competed against 18 bands and performed the chosen test piece Woodland Pictures by Percy Fletcher Arr. Nigel Hall.

Butlins 2015

The music was a challenging piece which the band had to work hard on to deliver a decent performance.  The band was praised for finding the detail in the music, good ensemble playing and the judges highlighted the contribution of soloists and the “bold” trombone section.

The band are now excited to work towards playing the chosen test piece Evolution – 5 states of change by Phillip Sparke, which will be performed at the 2015 Midlands regionals in March. The band hope to win back the title of the Midlands 3rd section champions this year and qualify for the finals in Cheltenham.

The band’s next concert is on 7th February at 19:30 at St Peter’s and St Paul’s Church, Hucknall featuring a range of music from around the world. It would be great to see you there!

Third Section Results:

Saturday 17th January
Venue: Royal Arthur Suite

Test Piece: Woodland Pictures (Percy Fletcher arr. Nigel Hall)
Adjudicators: Kevin Wadsworth & Mark Walters

1. Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
2. Golborne (Matthew Whitfield)
3. Hucknall & Linby (Paul Whyley)
4. Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston)
5. Coppull & Standish (Matt Stringer)
6. Boarshurst Silver (James Garlick)
7. Worsbrough Brass (John Roberts)
8. Foss Dyke (Simon Oates)
9. Old Hall Brass (John North)
10. Crofton Silver (Kevin Belcher)
11. Dodworth Colliery (M.W.) (Eliot J Darwin)
12. BMP Goodshaw (Mike Cotter)
13. Dunston Silver (Steven Archer)
14. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
15. Greenfield (Tom Haslam)
16. Maltby Miners Welfare (Terry Clifford)
17. Melton Band (Graham Sutton)
18. Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes (Steven Askew)

Highest Placed Mining Band: Golborne (Matthew Whitfield)

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Butlins Mineworkers Championships 2015 – Preview

butlinsAfter a busy Christmas period of concerts and carolling, the band are in the final stages of their preparations for the Butlins Mineworkers Championships in Skegness, 16th – 18th January.

The band will be competing in the 3rd section this year, and after last years 4th place and 2013’s 2nd place, we are hoping to go all the way!

This year’s chosen test piece is Woodland Pictures, originally a 1920’s light orchestral work written by Percy Fletcher, the piece has been arranged for brass band by Nigel Hall.

The band will face stiff competition from 17 other bands including 2014 winners BMP Goodshaw, 2012 and 2013 winners Boarshurst Silver, as well as Golborne and recently promoted Ifton Colliery.

Rehearsals have been sounding good and the band are in confident mood, so make sure you follow our progress via our own twitter and Facebook accounts where we will be posting updates of our whole weekend!

The full line up is as follows(from 4BarsRest):

Third Section

Venue: Royal Arthur Suite
Draw: 8.40am
Commence: 10.30am

Test Piece: Woodland Pictures (Percy Fletcher arr Nigel Hall)
Adjudicators: Kevin Wadsworth & Mark Walters

BMP Goodshaw (Mike Cotter)
Boarshurst Silver (James Garlick)
Coppull & Standish (Matt Stringer)
Crofton Silver (Kevin Belcher)
Dodworth Colliery (M.W.) (Eliot J Darwin)
Dunston Silver (Steven Archer)
Foss Dyke (Simon Oates)
Golborne (Matthew Whitfield)
Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
Greenfield (Tom Haslam)
Hucknall & Linby (Paul Whyley)
Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston)
Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes (Steven Askew)
Maltby Miners Welfare (Terry Clifford)
Melton Band (Graham Sutton)
Old Hall Brass (John North)
Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
Worsbrough Brass (John Roberts)

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Leicester Contest Champions 2014

Leicester TrophyThe band ended the contesting calendar year on a high by winning the LBBA Leicester Contest for the second time in three years. On a day of high-quality banding the band delivered a fine performance that adjudicator Stan Lippeatt said was “a clear winner”.

This year the band chose to play Philip Sparke’s Kaleidoscope.  The piece, a set of five variations on the Brugg Song represented a challenge for the band as this piece has been previously used as a set work in the second section. The composer’s notes state – “Each variation is based on tiny extracts of the theme, the whole piece therefore resembling the effect of a kaleidoscope, which juxtaposes small fragments of colour in a constantly changing pattern.”

Following a short rehearsal at nearby Shepshed High School, the band arrived at Garendon High School in Loughborough in a confident mood. The competition this year was fiercer than ever, with winners of the Yorkshire Area Dinnington Colliery and winners of the Midland Area Rushden Town both in attendance. The band then delivered a performance full of style and character and the delight was clear to see when the results were announced.

The whole band performed magnificently once again and special mentions go to Manuel Vicente and Dan Burrows both taking part in their first ever contest, hopefully with many more to come!

The band now look forward to the busy Christmas period where they will be performing in a number of concerts, as well as playing carols to raise money for the band. So take a look at the band diary and come along and support us! Finally keep an eye out for our new CD “Torkard” in the coming weeks!

Full Results

1. Hucknall & Linby M.C Brass (Paul Whyley) – 185
2. Dinnington Colliery (Jonathan Beatty) – 184
3. Rushden Town (Adele Hudson) – 183
4. Hemel Hempstead (Philip Fisher) – 182
5. Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass (Saphran Ali) – 181
6. KingswayPrinters Cleethorpes (Steven Askew) – 180
7. University of Warwick (Alex Parker) – 179
8. Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood) – 178
9. Melton (Graham Sutton) – 177
10=. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell) – 176
10=. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate) – 176

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Welcome Back!

It’s been an eventful summer for the band with a lot happening so this newsletter is to keep all of you loyal followers of the Hucknall & Linby MC Brass up-to-date about what we’ve been up to…

The biggest news item of the summer has to be the recording of our bands first ever CD. The CD, which aims to go on sale in the Winter of this year, features some typical Brass Band Classics, some of the bands favourite choices, multiple solo and feature items and a brand new composition by Chris Knapp.

In other news, the band has been preparing for the contest season to start again, beginning with the Bolsover Entertainments contest in October. In preparation for this, the band has purchased some new pieces to expand their repertoire and give them something to work for.

Make sure you keep checking our website, twitter, and Facebook feeds for more news about the CD release, and more importantly where you can buy them. If you aren’t following us on twitter or Facebook yet, make sure you click on the links on our homepage and get following!

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2013 Christmas Concert

While at the Finals held at the Cheltenham racecourse the Band’s hard work paid off when they came 4th place which is a fantastic achievement as there was some wonderful playing at Cheltenham. In addition to this the bands principal cornet player Emma Walton won the Best Instrumentalist of the day, in the 3rd section. These are just a selection of the key achievements the band have accomplished this year of which they are really proud of.

To close the season off the band would like to welcome you to a very special concert held on the 21st of December at the Hucknall Parish Church on the market place, which is very close to many of the bands hearts. There will be pieces for one and all from Christmas Classics to some pieces the band has played through the year which they are very fond of so there is going to be something for everyone.

There is always a fantastic turn out at this event so please get your tickets early!

The concert starts at 19:30, and entry is £5 under 16s are free.

For more information please contact Paul Whyley on 07811 448676.

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Creating a Storm at the Finals

After winning the regionals back in March, the band spent the summer preparing for the National Finals down in Cheltenham this last weekend. After weeks and weeks of work on the evocative piece that is Penlee by Simon Dobson; a piece which tells the story of the 1981 lifeboat disaster, Hucknall came home a very happy bunch indeed securing a 4th place.

Hucknall & Linby were up against the top 2 and 3 from all the different regions across England, Scotland and Wales and they fought off most of the competition and were presented with a certificate and a 4th place at their first ever finals appearance. But, the cheery bunch did not go empty handed in the trophy department as their Principal Cornet, Emma Walton, won the soloist prize for best Cornet solo within the piece and she brought home a trophy of her very own.

Up bright and early on Sunday morning (after arriving the night before) the band arrived at the rehearsal venue only to be informed that they had been drawn last and weren’t on until later in the afternoon, many groans and moans echoed round the room but a morning spent at Starbucks and a chilled rehearsal soon calmed everyone down.

The band moved on to the venue (The Centaur at Cheltenham racecourse) where they spent some time checking out the trade stalls and the room where they would be playing in.
Registration came and went and before the band knew it they were sitting on stage to a fairly packed audience eagerly waiting for their performance (so that the adjudicators could get on with announcing the results) but what they received was (courtesy of

“Hucknall open with real confidence and musical precision. The drama unfolds with real darkness but this is great playing – so confident and well thought out from the middle. Principal Cornet, Emma Walton is in sublime form today – this is top notch cornet work.

All the chaos and drama is portrayed without the tempos and dynamics being overdone – real quality playing and a wonderful spine tingling close.

Overall: Well Hucknall has put themselves in the frame right with that account for sure.

Star player: Emma Walton on cornet was outstanding today, different class.”

The band came off stage leaving audiences with tears in their eyes (and most of the players) before dashing through photos and getting back to the room in time for the results.

Hucknall and Linby are now enjoying a well deserved hiatus before starting work again on Leicester Contest and the rest of the forthcoming contest and concert season (including the oh-so-busy Christmas period!).

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