Whit Friday Marches –
The annual Whit Friday March contests kicked off at 4 pm on the 14th of June this year and Brass Pass TV was there to capture all of the action!
The Whit Friday March Contests are a firm favourite within the Brass Banding community as it gives bands of all abilities, whether that be scratch bands, non-contesting or Championship bands to all take part in the same event. Brass Pass chose to do their live streaming this year from the popular village of Denshaw. We were able to stream ALL street marches live which is a live stream first!
For those who are not familiar with the event, the annual contest draws in large crowds of spectators ready to watch each band perform a street march, generally an own choice march this can vary from the likes of Let me entertain you to SlaidBurn and really gets the crowd going! Before the band performs a more ‘traditional’ march which is to be adjudicated. Popular choices for this are Ravenswood, Knight Templar, The Wizard and Mephistopheles. Once the march has been performed, the band quickly gets back onto their coach and travels to the next village to do the same again. Each band must perform at least 7 villages in order to qualify for an overall Whit Friday ranking and so organisation and speed are key to success!
So who stood out at this years Whit Friday?
This year saw a change up in the higher rankings of the march contest. The Oldham Lees Band conducted by John Collins were crowned victorious at Denshaw nudging Brighouse into second place however the latter were victorious at Saddleworth overall. In third place came crowd favourites Chav Brass conducted by Aiden Smith. The band featured some top players such as James Fountain and Mark Harrison on Sop, combined with their entertaining jazzy street march, bright clothes and an excellent rendition of Knight Templar, the band ensured that they were up there with the best on this occasion.
Full results from Denshaw are as followed:
Denshaw (59 Bands) Adjudicator: Allan Holdsworth
- Oldham Band (Lees); 2. Brighouse & Rastrick; 3. Chav Brass; 4. City of Bradford;
- Hepworth; 6. Haslingden & Helmshore;
Best First Section: 1. Haslingden & Helmshore; 2. Weston Silver; Best
Second Section: 1. Allerton Brass; 2. Tyldesley;
Best Third Section: 1. Krapfoss Hornorkester; 2. Greenalls;
Best Fourth Section: 1. Richmond; 2. Loxley; Best Saddleworth: 1. Delph; 2. Uppermill;
Best Local: 1. Marsden Silver;
Best Non-UK Band: 1. Brassband Rejkjavikur (Iceland);
Best Youth Band: 1. Wardle Academy; 2. Tewit Youth; Best Soprano: City of Bradford;
Best Bass Section: Brighouse & Rastrick;
Spot Prize: City of Chester.
A personal favourite of Brass Pass TV was the aptly named Bad Ass Brass made up of session musicians from all of the top orchestras. They were a true sensation entertaining the crowd with their performance of Uptown Funk, we hope to see them again next year!
The contest came to a close at around 11:30 pm in which time it is recorded that over 120 bands had performed and despite the typical ‘Wet Friday’ weather the popularity of Whit Friday never ceases to amaze as bands from Switzerland, Scandinavia and even Canada this year made the pilgrimage to partake in the Yorkshire based event. Brass Pass TV would like to give a special mention to the organisers of the local event, each village has a group committee who work over the cause of the year to raise money for event security and prize money. Without them the event would not go ahead and would be a real loss for the brass band community. Next year’s event will take place on June 5th 2020, we’re already looking forward to it!
…..and don’t forget, it’s OK to have missed the event live, because you can watch this one, and more more on our ‘Presenters and Events’ page under ‘Watch/Listen’! Includes interviews on the day from our very own Frank Renton.