Durham County Brass Band Association’s Festival of Brass

On Sunday 4th February Kippax travelled to Peterlee, where after being made associate members, they contested in the Festival of Brass held by the DCBBA.

The Lubetkin Theatre in East Durham College provided a challenging acoustic, but the reception and audience response was extremely warm and generous. Kippax had chosen the event as its timing in the calendar and friendly organisation made it the ideal opportunity to offer new players the experience of a genuine contesting experience before they have to step out onto the stage in Huddersfield Town Hall.

For some players, this was their first ever contest; Kippax kit percussionist Alfie Southernwood showed great bravery as he navigated first contest nerves, and although timpanist Colin Eastwood isn’t new to contesting, as a trombone player usually, standing at the back with 4 timps to play must have given him sweaty palms!

All the players supported each other, and under MD Ian Knapton’s steady and assured navigation gave a very pleasing rendition of the test piece overall. This was reflected in adjudicator Leigh Baker’s positive and encouraging remarks.

Although Kippax believe they can return to Yorkshire and add a little extra polish to the test piece, they equally have another cup to polish- winning second place!

Congratulations Kippax- this must have increased your confidence!

Not only that but there was another award, best Principal Cornet. Kippax’s Nigel Darbyshire has occupied the end chair for many years, and it’s easy for those around the stand to take his technical skill, beautiful tone and calm confident stage presence for granted. It’s important to remember that Nigel practices for hours to make it look effortless, and today he was quite rightly rewarded with the soloist prize. Suffice to say the band are now all jealous of the size of his shield!

Kippax congratulate the winning band North Skelton for their impressive winning performance, and look forward to returning in future years to compete in this friendly and well organised event.