The Blackley Band took the stage at the NWCBBA contest on Sunday 12th October with a full, settled band having to borrow only one player! This is a far cry from just under four years ago when down to 8 players and on the verge of folding. Since then MD Adie Smith has built the band up and while there has been some ups and downs over the last couple of years, the arrival of a number of players over the last 6 months has seen the band progress steadily. It was the contest debut for our horn section, husband and wife duo Richard and Kara Sutcliffe and Nicola Stewardson, as well as Tom Fowler on solo trombone who joins us from Warwick University Band where he played Solo Euphonium. It was also the first time contesting for Keelan, who is 11 and Richard and Kara’s son, who performed superbly on percussion. Performing Philip Sparke’s Four Noble Truths the band finished 2nd narrowly behind local rivals Besses Boy’s and won individual awards for Best Basses and Best Euphonium. It is hoped that this can be the start of a revival in the band’s fortunes and lead towards capturing the levels of performance which saw the band perform at the Albert Hall in 2000. MD Adie Smith said of the performance, “With so many changes again in the last six months I am really proud of the band on what they have achieved. We all know that there are areas to work on but together we are focused to change this and bring success to Blackley in the future.” The band is now busy preparing for the upcoming Pontins contest, where they will perform An Elgar Portrait, written by former band member, Dan Price.