Since the beginning of the year the band has been busy with rehearsals and contests as they competed in the Butlins Minerworkers Championships back in January. From then onwards it has been all hands to the deck in preparation for this major contest with rehearsals jumping from one night a week to two three and sometimes four. The dedication from the players and commitment to these rehearsals has enabled the band to raise their playing standards as individuals and as a band together. In addition the band will be putting out a full compliment of players raising the number of players at the same contest last year from 18 to 28 this year. Making his debut at the contest will be the band’s youngest member Samuel Cutting, aged 5, son of conductor David and principal cornet Helen. He will be assisting on the percussion section and is very excited but nervous about the whole event. He has been playing in the band since the age of 4 and continues to play a major part in all the band’s concert. On a sad note the contest will also be the last for three of the players Denise Clarke, 1st horn and Mick Moody Eb bass as they will be emigrating to Australia and to one of our percussionists Zed Garagan who is going back to the his home country the Philippines to set up a school for children. The bands wish them all the best for their new ventures overseas. The band would like to publicly thank the South Midlands Co-operative Band, Shirebrook and Cresswell, for the loan of their basses, without the good nature of these bands we would have been unable to compete. Thanks also go to the band’s welfare for supporting the band during rehearsals and providing a coach to travel.