PolySteel scoop top honours The Gloucester based PolySteel Band (formerly the Flowers Band) has scooped the most lucrative first prize in the brass band movement by winning the Butlins Mineworkers Open Brass Band National Festival and banking the staggering £6000 prize money. The first-class outfit under its Musical Director Philip Harper put on two dazzling performances over two days to claim the top spot and kick the New Year off with the band well and truly in the spotlight. The win has consolidated the band’s position as one of the world’s premiere and most forward-looking brass bands and its combination of precision playing in the set work St. Magnus and adventurous and stylish programming in the Entertainment contest struck a perfect balance and oozed real class. The win has left the band and Musical Director thrilled with Phil Harper commenting: “This breakthrough has been on the cards for many months and I'm delighted for all the players, management and supporters of the band who have worked so hard and endured many near-misses recently. The band played consistently well over the weekend and I'm particularly pleased with the result on St. Magnus which the band felt was one of the hardest pieces it had ever played. It is a huge boost of confidence as the band now knows it can overcome such challenges with distinction.” Despite reeling at its success of last week, the band is now back to work preparing for its performance at the Yeovil Entertainment Contest next weekend and its first major concert of the year in Cheltenham’s Bacon Theatre on 18 February. The band is in sparkling form and the concert promises to be an exciting evening of first-class entertainment. PolySteel Band is further enhancing its ranks with the appointment of one of Australia’s youngest and hottest tenor horn playing talents, Alexandra Bowman. Alexandra is 18 years old and has left her home in Adelaide, Australia, to spend a year in England prior to returning in 2007 to study at Queensland University.