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Band tune up for virtual contest

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By Abbey Morton
Annan and Eskdale
Band tune up for virtual contest

ANNAN Town Band will take to the virtual contest stage this evening as they represent Team Scotland at the ‘Battle of the Regions’ Online Brass Band Championships.

More than a year after they last played together on stage, the band have compiled an entertaining programme which will feature in an online broadcast alongside bands from as far afield as Norway, Germany and the USA.

Band secretary Samantha Bryden said: “Last weekend marked a year since we were crowned Scottish Champions in the second section. It was also the last time we all played together in the same room.

“We have been busy in our homes practising and getting ready for our return to the bandroom, although it looks like this could be a while away yet.

“Technology has really been our only option to help keep our band and music alive in these most challenging times, so we are delighted to be performing virtually this evening.”

The online contest has been organised by Wales-based reigning European champions The Cory Band and has attracted over 130 entries across seven sections, with bands organised into teams representing their region or country.

Each band member was tasked with recording their own video and audio performances in their own homes, with only a metronome ‘click track’ for reference.

And thanks to a grant from the National Lottery, Annan Town Band were able to invest in audio and video editing software to layer and mix these individual performances to recreate the full band sound.

Entries will be judged in real time by a panel of expert adjudicators so the content of their performance will remain a secret until the broadcast, but Samantha revealed that it will have a uniquely Scottish flavour.

She continued: “The competition has been dubbed ‘Battle of the Regions’, so we really wanted to showcase the best that Annan and Scotland has to offer.

“Learning to record and edit our performances has been a real challenge, so we were very grateful that long-time friend of the band and Housebound Ska Collective member Alexandra Kenyon was able to help us bring it all together.

“Overall it has been a really enjoyable process, and as a band we have decided to enter a further two online competitions as part of our preparations towards the live British finals in September.”

Annan Town Band’s performance will be broadcast on The Cory Band YouTube channel from 6 pm this evening.

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