THE future of brass band music in the Borders looks assured after unprecedented national success for the region’s young instrumentalists at the weekend.
Pride of place went to the Borders Youth Band, conducted by Alan Fernie from Selkirk and featuring players from Langholm, Hawick, Galashiels, Innerleithen and Peebles, who won the senior section at the Scottish Youth Brass Band Championships in Perth.
The challenge of bringing together talents from such a vast geographical area meant the regional band had only four joint rehearsals before competing, but the judges were wowed by a programme which included Monster, one of highly-regarded Fernie’s own compositions.
The Jedburgh (Abbey Brass) Band and the Hawick Saxhorn Youth Band both won gold awards, with the former coming runner-up in its section. Both bands were conducted by local brass teacher and arranger Rob Hume.
In its first foray into competition, the Galashiels Youth Band, under the baton of Stuart Black, won a silver award.
“This was a great performance considering a record 35 bands from all over Scotland entered the competition,” said Sandra Campbell, whose son Harris, 12, plays cornet with the Borders Youth Band and the Hawick Saxhorn Youth Band.
“The fantastic work done by the bands and their conductors is not always promoted as well as it could be and they all certainly deserve recognition for what they have achieved.”