Newtongrange Silver Band had a mixed day at the Scottish Championships, suffering relegation from the top level but winning band of the year.
Having won promotion from first grade to championship level at the contest last March, the band competed at the top level at this year’s event in Perth. But after finishing ninth out of ten, they drop to the second tier for next year.
However, the band were announced as the best first grade band in 2015, and are still looking forward to competing as a championship band in 2016.
Newtongrange Silver Band manager Howard Wells looked back on last year’s success.
He said: “Last year was an excellent year for us. In March we won the first section Scottish Championships. Then in May we went to the Blackpool Spring Festival where we finished fourth out of 20 bands.
“We then went on in September to represent Scotland at the national championships, against all the best first section bands from across the UK. Finishing fourth out of 17.
“And in November we finished third out of 13 in the Scottish Challenge Shield.
“This award is given by the Scottish Brass Band Association, who tally up points for how you compete against other Scottish first section bands throughout the year.
“So it tops off a great year.”
Howard added: “To tell you the truth it was a bittersweet day for us. We have just started in the championships section. But because we finished ninth we are back in the first section next year. We played well on the day, and while it sounds like sour grapes, many people thought we should have been fourth or fifth. However, it’s a difficult job the adjudicators do and we have to accept their decision.
“We have just got to pick ourselves up as for the rest of the year we are still a championship band so we just want to show that we can compete at that level and that we were unlucky to be relegated. The aim is to get straight back up next March, keep improving, and start to worry the top bands.”