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Band scoop top prize

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By Newsdesk
Annan and Eskdale
Band scoop top prize

ANNAN Town Band took top prize for regional representation at an international online competition.

The band competed at the ‘Battle of the Regions’ Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championships and had a nervous three-week wait to find out the results.

And the group were delighted to win the prize for Best Regional Music in the second section, helping Team Scotland finish in second place on the overall leaderboard behind Team Yorkshire.

The competition had been organised by Wales-based reigning European Champions the Cory Band to help fill the gap in the banding calendar that was left by the cancellation of regional and national championships.

Each of the 130 competing bands were tasked with recording a programme of music that showcased the best of their respective country or region, with band members filming their own performances in their own homes, pictured.

Annan were joined by piper Ewan Murray to open their programme with Highland Cathedral, which they have played during the massed bands on Riding of the Marches Day for the last 30 years.

This was followed by Alloway Tales: an arrangement of tunes by Scottish composer Peter Graham inspired by the poetry of Robert Burns. The piece includes The Deil’s Awa with the Exciseman, which was written in the building now home to Annan’s Cafe Royal.

Band member Ian Hamilton was tasked with bringing the Bard’s verse to life, and the video also featured original Highland dance choreography performed by Charlotte MacKay and Georgie Swale.

The award was particularly special for the Annan band, who are hoping to be back together soon to celebrate the group’s 120th anniversary.

Speaking about the winning performance, which is now available to view on the Annan Town Band YouTube channel, band secretary Samantha Bryden said: “We are absolutely delighted with the result.

“Technology has really been our only option to help keep our band and music alive in these most challenging times. It has been a steep learning curve for everyone, so to see our hard work rewarded is just fantastic.”

And the band are back in action – virtually – today when they will take part in another online competition, the Fife Brass Band Festival.

* Performances from the Festival will be broadcast on the Scottish Brass Band Association (SBBA) YouTube channel, with Annan’s performance due to be streamed at 2 pm.

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