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Contest Season is complete!

Now the dust has settled and we’ve recovered from the weekend, we thought it was time for another blog post, this time to recap the first couple of months of the year and our busiest time, contest season!


The band were back in the band room after the new year and jumped straight into rehearsing the chosen area test piece for 2024, Variations on an Enigma. The piece itself was a huge challenge, full of individual difficulties and solos to push the band! We entered the North East Midlands Brass Band Association contest on February 18th, as well as of course competing at the Midlands Area contest on 3rd March.


After rebuilding the band over the last year, we started 2024 with only one vacancy for 2nd trombone, however we were incredibly lucky to secure the talents of trombone player Jimmy Blay who signed for the band for the area.


We started rehearsing with sectionals and taking the piece apart bit by bit, aiming for our first performance at the North East Midlands Brass Band Association Contest.

Competing against our friends at Newstead Brass and Horbury Victoria Brass from the Yorkshire Area, we set to the stage in the Post Mill Centre. The band played well and we were very happy with our performance on the day with 2 weeks left before the area.

We would like to take the opportunity to once again say a huge thank you to Carrie Sudbury, 2nd trombone player for Newstead Brass who helped us out at the contest as Jimmy had prior commitments. We can’t thank you enough for your support!



A special mention also goes to two of our players, Sandra (solo horn) and Sarah (repiano cornet) who both received their 50 years long service awards at NEMBBA.



After NEMBBA there was no rest for us, as we were straight back into the band room for 2 weeks of hard work before the area.

The band are incredibly lucky to have access to the Blidworth Miners Welfare to rehearse and we’d like to thank them once again for their support. We would also like to send our thanks to Blidworth Methodist Church who allowed us to practice in their lovely church.

Over these two weeks we worked even harder on the test piece, improving on what went before.


The week before the area we were incredibly lucky to have John Roberts join us for a rehearsal, to give some last minute tips and advice to the band before the area. We’d once again like to send a massive thanks to John for his continued support - as most of you know John conducted the band at the area in 2022 and 2023, and we are very privileged to have him as a friend to the band.


Our final rehearsal took place on Saturday afternoon, and afterwards some of the band enjoyed a well earned pint in the welfare.



Sunday 3rd March arrived, and the band headed to the welfare to set off for Corby. A massive thank you to Marshall’s for driving us safely there (and back!!) and of course a huge thank you has to go to the Blidworth Miners Welfare and LIS Audio Visual LTD (our bass player Phil's business) for their incredible sponsorship in helping towards the financial cost of the bus.



The band bus set off in good spirits, picking up conductor Gary on route we headed to the Beanfield Community Centre for a bit of a warm up. Massive thank you to the community centre for allowing us to use their lovely venue, and for the fabulous tea and coffee whilst we waited for the draw. And of course Blidworth just love a selfie!



Drawn 7th we had plenty of time, so after some lovely refreshments it was time to move onto our final venue of the day (after a little pre contest pep talk from Gary and an updated band photo, of course!)



When it was time for "band number 7" team Blidworth headed to the stage, and every person gave their all for the performance. A massive well done to all our wonderful soloists, and a particular mention has to go to our fantastic Bass section - Em, Hannah, Martin and Phil. This year was a real baptism of fire, particularly for Hannah, aged 16 (as it was her first EVER area) and for Em (who was playing her first area on Bass after changing instruments from tenor horn) and we are SO proud of all 4 players amazing performances on such an incredibly difficult test piece. We think Hannah and Em must make up the youngest Eb Bass section in the area, and they more then held their own against the other bands! Of course, thanks also go to Martin and Phil for their amazing performances and for their constant support and dedication!



The band were so pleased with our performance, all that could be done now was wait (with a beverage or two) whilst we waited for the final 5 bands performed and we received the results.


Once we received our result and remarks, their truly were not any words for how happy we were, there were screams, tears and hugs all round.



For most, an 8th place would be below average - but for Team Blidworth it meant everything, it has secured our position in the championship section for another year, and as MD Gary said “this is the new look Blidworth Band” - we can’t wait for what comes next.

We celebrated, sang, drank and danced our way home on the band bus and had the most amazing day.


We’re so incredibly proud of all our players, and our MD Gary. His hard work, dedication to the band and commitment is truly unmatched and we cannot thank him enough for this. The emotion from all the band Sunday said everything about how much Blidworth means to them, we cannot wait to see what the year brings.

Of course, a huge thank you also has to go to you - our supporters and followers. Without you, Team blidworth wouldn’t be what it is and the messages and comments of support mean everything to us ❤️



The band are now having a well earned break (with some members of the band enjoying a lovely carvery Monday night) before we’re back in the band room next week to begin work on our concert programme for 2024.

Keep an eye out on our social media for an updated “what’s on” diary soon.


In the meantime, we’re also busy planning our band social and awards night which we’re so looking forward to!

Let’s go Team Blidworth, and let’s see what 2024 brings. 💪🏻







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