In the first London & Southern Counties Regional Brass band contest for three years, Hangleton Band achieved first place in the Fourth Section. Under the outstanding guidance of their musical director, Richard Baker, they have qualified for the national finals at Cheltenham in September. The prize for the best instrumentalist was also shared by their Principal Cornet, Richard Taylor and Principal Euphonium, Christine Nonoo.
After socially distanced rehearsals in a hall so well ventilated that it felt like carolling season year-round, this has been a wonderful achievement.
Covid made practice tough; not only did some players have to snuggle up under blankets to play, there were often players who couldn't make it due to having the virus, or living with someone who does.
The band had to plan for the real possibility of members being ill on the day of the contest. They invited some very capable members of their amazing Youth Band to attend rehearsals to be on standby and indeed, two days before the contest the inevitable happened. Covid hit and players needed to not only play different music but even play different instruments at the last minute. This included the Principal Cornet and flugel positions.
It was well worth it in the end, and the team work that both the youth and adults bands displayed was remarkable. What a fantastic post-covid start for the Hangleton Band.