YORK Railway Institute Band will compete in the 2011 National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain on September 25 in Cheltenham after becoming North of England 3rd Section champions.

Performing last of the six finalists at last month’s event, the band went one better than in 2010, triumphing over the second-placed Ripon City Band and the East Riding of York Band in third place to bring home an “enormous and very impressive-looking shield”.

Adjudicator Jim Davies praised the Railway Institute musicians for giving “the one outstanding performance” of the regional final.

The band won not only the Northern Region Challenge Shield but also the Joe Ireland Cup for the winning conductor, Gordon Eddison, pictured, and the Bob Stephenson Trophy for the best percussion section trophy for the second year running.

“Last year, although not winning a prize, York RI were the highest-placed North of England band in the entire national finals, but this year we have our sights set on coming away with a prize,” says Clive Marshall, stalwart trombone player and chairman of the York RI Band Section.

One week after the Darlington contest, the band took part in the Tameside Open Brass Band Championships (3rd Section) and emulated their 2010 result by coming second and winning the Tameside Community Services Trophy too.

“Later on this year we’ll be hoping for success at the Northern Open Championships in St Helens, where we were successful in 2010, returning across the Pennines to Yorkshire with three trophies – much to the chagrin of our Lancashire rivals,” says Clive.

Better still, from next January the York musicians can look forward to a new challenge after being promoted to the 2nd Section.

“But there’s much more to brass banding than entering contests,” says Clive. “Having completed a busy winter season of Christmas entertaining and concert performances, we’re looking forward to spring and summer engagements around York, where we’re well known for our entertaining programmes.

“To take part in the Cheltenham contest it will cost a substantial sum, so we’ll be looking to take on as many bookings as we can in the next few months, while not neglecting our commitment to charity fundraising events.”

Anyone interested in the band, whether wishing to join or inquiring about its services, should phone 01904 781126, 01904 659945 or 07921568826 or check the website yrib.org.uk