THE PolySteel Band is reeling after its major success of second place at the recent All England Masters International Championship held last Sunday in Cambridge’s Corn Exchange. The band’s inspiring performance of Philip Wilby’s composition Paganini Variations comes hot on the heals of several other fantastic results including a top six placing in the Grand Shield, third in the Regional Championships, second at the Yeovil Entertainments Contest and victory at the National Butlins Mineworkers Brass Band Festival where the band scooped the £6000 top prize. The band and Musical Director, Philip Harper, are ecstatic with the result and commenting on the band’s success Philip said: “I'm thoroughly satisfied that after yet another top-class showing by the band we finally have a result to match the fine win at Butlins at the beginning of the year. Playing so consistently well at every contest, it was surely only a matter of time before our number came up again and puts us in a great position of confidence just a month before the English National, which will be, almost unbelievably, our last test-piece contest of 2006! The players of the band deserve so much credit for playing with such bottle under pressure throughout the year, and this was only achieved through commitment to our tough rehearsal schedule. Well done to the whole team!" There is no doubt that this result again displays the consistency and high calibre of the band and it did not go without notice that PolySteel and the 2006 All England Masters International Champions, Rothwell Temperance, are both bands currently experiencing a top class and consistent period on the contest and concert platforms. Stretching the hand of congratulations to Rothwell Temperance, Philip Harper said: “I heard a few other bands on the day, including Rothwell who were excellent and well deserved their win. Congratulations also to an old friend Andy Marsh who played really well to claim his solo prize.” The All England Masters International Championship is one of a handful of ‘major’ competitions in the brass band calendar where the finest bands in the country come to lock horns and this result has given PolySteel a huge boost prior to its appearance at the English Championships on 1 July in Manchester.