Just 12 months after formation, Norfolk Wherry Brass has surpassed all expectations by becoming the London & Southern Counties 4th Section Champion Band with their outstanding performance of Brian Kelly’s Divertimento at their debut Regionals appearance. An invitation to the National Finals and promotion to the 3rd Section are incredible rewards for the band at this very early stage. Musical Director Andy Craze is justifiably proud of his and the band’s achievements. He told us, “It is my proudest moment to date and the band deserve everything they have achieved with their hard work and dedication. They showed that on Sunday in winning the fourth section at the first attempt and put Norfolk banding back on the map. I am sure that Norfolk Wherry Brass are here to stay and will grow into a band that will gain more and more awards at even higher levels as time goes on.” Norfolk Wherry Brass recently stepped up rehearsals to twice weekly to provide the best possible standard of performance, and a number of sectional rehearsals were scheduled before the Regional contest. All this work has been paying off not only in the results that the band has achieved, but also in the repertoire and quality of music that is now being played on concerts. The North Norfolk based band competed in the 4th Section at Stevenage on Sunday 20 March whilst on a weekend trip to Hertfordshire that also included a Gala Concert at the Knights Templar School, Baldock on Saturday 19 March. During the concert in Baldock, Norfolk Wherry Brass showed their commitment to encouraging young brass musicians by inviting pupils from the Hertfordshire school to join the band in rehearsal and the concert for some of the programmed items. The pupils commented on how much they enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to working with the band again next year. Presentations were made at the concert to two members of the band for their efforts in preparing for and taking part in the weekend. The awards for “International Superstar Player” were presented to Phil Costigan and Hannah Cook. Phil is on a work placement from Australia whilst Hannah, a founder member of the band, had returned home from Mississippi University, USA especially to take part. Further presentations were made at the Band’s AGM on 21 March. Geoff and Glen Bishop were presented with a crystal vase as a thank you for their efforts in co-ordinating the Friends of Norfolk Wherry Brass, as well as for designing and manufacturing a full set of stand banners that now makes such a visual impact when the band is on stage. Beryl Feek, grandmother of two young players in the band, was presented with a framed Supporter of the Year pennant in recognition of her help with fundraising, storing music and providing refreshments at rehearsals. As well as musical successes, in its first year Norfolk Wherry Brass has acquired a set of uniforms, commissioned a set of stand banners, appeared on television and has now begun to develop a stock of instruments. Most players currently either use their own instruments or have been able to borrow from other supportive bands, for which Norfolk Wherry Brass is extremely grateful. The focus now is on fundraising for assets as well as that all-important trip to Harrogate where the band hopes to make a real impression. For further information about the band please visit www.norfolkwherrybrass.org.uk, or contact the Chairman on 01502 567832 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.