On 22nd October 2016, Downshire Brass took to the stage at the Marketplace Theatre, Armagh for the 99th North of Ireland Bands’ Association Championship of Ireland contest. The band played the set test-piece ‘Music for the Common Man’ by Kenneth Downie in the Championship section and came in 3rd place.
Congratulations must go to our principal cornet player Hannah Copes who, after a great performance on stage, was announced as the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ of the section by adjudicator Steve Sykes. The band thoroughly enjoyed the day listening to the other sections and catching up with friends from the other bands. Congratulations to Laganvale (Metal Technology) Band on qualifying for the 2018 European Brass Band Championships in Utrecht. Members of the band attended the NIBA Dinner and Presentation of Awards held at the Dunsilly Hotel, Antrim in November. Thank you to the NIBA Executive for organising a great event!
Festival of Brass 2016
The bands’ next event was the Brass Band League (NI) Festival of Brass at the Whitla Hall, Belfast on Saturday 26th November where both the youth and senior bands participated. Both bands were awarded 2nd place in their sections and the youth band was also awarded the ‘Best March’ prize. Everyone in Downshire Brass is extremely proud of the members of the youth band for a great performance at the contest and a special mention goes to Cathryn Lynch for a fantastic xylophone solo! Six members of the band had not participated in a contest before and for some, this was also their first performance with the band. Be sure to catch them at the ‘Downshire Brass Christmas Spectacular’ on 9th December!
During the awards ceremony, on behalf of Downshire Brass, secretary Robert Mercer presented the ‘Harry Dalzell Memorial Trophy’ to Isobel Dalzell in memory of our friend Harry. This was then presented to Laganvale (Metal Technology) Band as winners of the Championship Section. Downshire Brass hopes that this trophy will serve as a tribute to Harry for many years to come. Congratulations to all the prize winners at the Festival of Brass.
Downshire Brass would like to thank their MD Michael Alcorn for all his work with the band in preparing them for all of the events this year. The band has enjoyed all the challenges you have set! Now, let’s get stuck into Christmas!