Big band sounds back at historic resort venue

Tarlton Brass Band take to the stage during the North West Regional Brass Band Championships.

Tarlton Brass Band take to the stage during the North West Regional Brass Band Championships.

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A brass band bonanza boomed around the walls and halls of one of Blackpool’s most historic venue as trumpets, trombones and tubas took over the Winter Gardens.

The sounds of the North West Regional Brass Bands Championships packed out the Opera House, Pavilion Theatre and Empress Ballroom as the annual exhibition of musical prowess came to the resort, bringing scores of perfomers from right across the region.

BMP Europe Goodshaw perform in the ballroom at the North West Regional Brass Band Championships.

BMP Europe Goodshaw perform in the ballroom at the North West Regional Brass Band Championships.

Seventy-four bands from across the North West performed in the championships’ five graded sections - Championship, First, Second, Third and Fourth - which saw the top three of each section qualify for the national finals in London and Cheltenham later this year.

Peter Bates, regional secretary of the North West Regional Brass Bands Championships committee, said: “It went very well and I was quite pleased with it.

“It was a nice day in Blackpool. We’ve been coming here for 30 years for these championships and we will be back next year.

“There was 74 bands and 30 players in each, so there were hundreds of band members in the Winter Gardens, and it was very good.”

Tarlton Brass Band take to the stage during the North West Regional Brass Band Championships.

Tarlton Brass Band take to the stage during the North West Regional Brass Band Championships.

Spectators were allowed access to all of the rooms throughout Sunday’s competition and the event saw Fairy Band, from Stockport, finish top of their Championship category.

Ashton-under-Lyne won the First category, MossleyBand, from Greater Manchester, took first prize in the Second category, while Darwin Brass and Stacksteads Band, from Bacup, won their Third and Fourth sections respectively.

All will now go on to compete for national honours at the National Brass Band Championships later this year.