Double Celebration for Flixton

Mike Rowley

The Flixton Band are in celebratory mood after recently taking the 2nd section title at the North West Counties Brass Bands Association Contest in Fleetwood on Sunday (7th). Playing their own choice test-piece Prisms, the band delivered a stylish and musical performance which clearly caught the ear of adjudicator Duncan Beckley, who awarded the band 183 points and first prize. Musical Director Iain McKnight said, “This is a fantastic way to start my time at Flixton. Having only been at the helm for about six weeks, it’s fair to say the band and myself are still ‘getting used to each other’, but they really performed to a fantastic level on the day and I was delighted to be rewarded with my first conducting title!”

The band had spent some time working with the composer of Prisms, Professor Peter Graham as well as Professor David King. “It was fantastic to have been preparing Prisms with both Peter and David,” continued Iain. “To gain insight from the composer was invaluable, and David’s performance training and rehearsal technique is truly second to none. Their input helped us to perform the piece to a very high level, and I am grateful to both of them for their support and guidance.”

Iain was also the first recipient of the Stuart Pullin Memorial Trophy for the winning Musical Director in the section. “It was a real privilege to receive the trophy from Stuart’s widow Donna,” said Iain. “I first met Stuart just this year while I was still playing at Leyland, and was deeply saddened to learn of his passing last month. A fellow Salford graduate, his musical integrity shone through for all to see, and as Donna said on Sunday, banding is much the poorer for losing a true bandsman.”

Flixton’s success comes at a very special time for the band – a double anniversary year. 2007 is the band’s 130th anniversary, and also marks forty years since the band was reformed in 1967. The band held a special anniversary concert on 29th September, where it performed a demanding programme – including Prisms – to a full house at Urmston Leisure Centre’s Poolside Theatre. Band Manager Mike Rowley said “It was a fantastic way to celebrate our special year. In addition to our contesting activity we are developing our concert work, and the anniversary concert was just the start.” Performing music from stage and screen, as well as classical and original Brass Band works, the band received praise from the Mayor of Trafford, Councillor Bernard Sharp in his speech to the audience. Councillor Sharp made specific reference to the band’s announcement that it had received endorsement from the borough council to set up a youth training group. “We hope to be able to get the project underway in the new year, but it is in the preliminary stages at the moment,” commented Mike.

Bouquets of flowers were presented to the Mayoress of Trafford, Mrs Marilyn Lucas JP. as well Mrs Joyce Bostock, the mother of band president Douglas Bostock, who was representing her son – otherwise engaged with conducting duties on the continent – at the concert.
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