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National Finals Cheltenham

After winning the Regional Championships in Bedworth in March, the band is now working towards the finals in Cheltenham in September. The test piece, Penlee written by Simon Dobson depicts the lifeboat disaster that took place just off the coast of Cornwall in 1981. The piece includes many different timbres and textures which, as well as being extremely effective, also pose their own challenges for players.

The band plan to make a weekend of the finals as it is not very often that bands get this opportunity. A coach will take the players down to Cheltenham where everyone will get plenty of rest at a local inn on the saturday before performing on the Sunday (22nd September) morning.

Hucknall & Linby will be up against the top 2 and 3 bands from all of the other areas across the country. Stiff competition will come from the Yorkshire area winners Dronfield and Severn Tunnel (Welsh Area winners) who have also been on top form recently.

It will be the first time that Hucknall & Linby have gone to the finals since they formed in 2008 and all of the band are especially looking forward to it. The Chairman, Chris Knapp said: ‘It is a great honour for both the band and the local area and I for one feel proud to be playing at the finals in September. It is also my first time going to the finals and so am personally looking forward to the experience too’.

If you want to catch the band at the finals they will be playing on Sunday 22nd September in the morning at Cheltenham Racecourse. Come and support!

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Midlands Area Champions

The band faced quite a climb within the third section this year. Due to last year’s less-than-pleasing result they needed to pull it out of the bag to prevent any more damage to their rankings and it just so happens that they did.

When tackling Goff Richards’ Hollywood the MD Paul Whyley made sure he did plenty of research before getting into the depths of the piece. Aside from listening to the recording wherever he went he also made sure he went to the Yorkshire Area the week before to hear what the adjudicators were looking for. He also took on board comments made from previous years and listened to many different versions of the tantalizing foot-tapper.

On the day it was the combined effort of the players and the accuracy of their delivery which secured Hucknall & Linby the prize. Star soloists include the Flugel solo from Sue Tetley which was secure and expressive. Emma Walton too showed grace with the final, melancholy lament. Lets not forget either Abi Whyley’s smooth Trombone solo which fit in perfectly with the band accompaniment.

The hard work rehearsing up to the day was all worth it and it was safe to say that when they were announced as the winners, there wasn’t a dry eye in the band. Paul Whyley had this to say: ‘In 40 years of banding this is definitely my proudest moment’.

The band are now looking forward to their first visit to the National Finals in Cheltenham in september.

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Bolsover Entertainment Contest

Every October bands from around the area descend on the small village of Clowne, near Bolsover. They are given 20 minutes and certain stipulations to create a lively and entertaining faux-concert program.

2012 was Hucknall’s year. They opened their set with the famous march Simoraine written by Clive Barraclough and dedicated to his two children: Simon and Lorraine. A challenging piece for any band to open with but Hucknall did it with style. Next up was their solo feature, this featured their Solo cornet player at the time, Ben Armstrong who’s spanking rendition of Rimmer’s Carnival of Venice landed him with the soloist prize for the 3rd section.

A change of style was in order and nothing says that better than the sweet and longing melody of A Little Prayer by Evelyn Glennie. Opening with a small ensemble of players before opening up into an epic, flowing melody this piece tests a bands quiet playing and tuning. Once again, it was time for a change and nothing could be more far removed than the last piece than Sparkling Diamonds. This piece, taken from the film Moulin Rouge is a high-octane version of the classic song Diamonds are a Girls’ Best Friend. Showing off some flashy playing from the whole band, this piece really hits the audience with full force.

To finish off this lively set it seemed fitting to finish with a classic from the brass banding world. Variations on Laudate Dominum by Edward Gregson sets the famous hymn tune and takes it through many different worlds. The band this time decided to just play the finale from it. This opens with a beautiful Euphonium Solo (played by the band’s Principal Euphonium: Jon Clare) before powering to the end with a fast paced 3/4 toboggan run of notes and rich chords.

Although a little tired from the challenging program, the band powered through to the very end and walked away, very happy, with a 1st place trophy in their pocket.

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Olympic Torch Ceremony

When the band was approached to open the ceremony for the Olympic Torch as it passed through Nottingham city centre, they jumped at the chance. 

The band was invited to the National Ice Centre in Nottingham’s Lace Market where on the 28th June 2012 they would, along with a stadium full of people, welcome Torvil and Dean as they skated the Olympic flame around the arena with their own specially choreographed routine. 

Along side our very own was a host of other attractions. Singing their hearts out were the Lace City Singers (with whom the band did a joint concert later in the year in Nottingham’s Albert Hall to a packed audience). 

On the ice there were hundreds of different skaters belonging to different ice dancing and speed skating groups who all performed and showed off their different sets of skills. 

Featured on local news and in papers, the ceremony put a big face to the name Hucknall & Linby Mining Community Brass Band and the band were very proud to be a part of such a prestigious event. To see more photos from this event, check out the gallery.

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