Reg Vardy Band 2012
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A CACOPHONY of sound echoed around the hall of a North East academy as one of the most accomplished brass bands in the country showed its mettle.
The Reg Vardy Band brought its music and the prestigious Grand Shield, to Bede Academy, in Blyth, an accolade it has won three times allowing it to compete at the highest level.
The 28-strong band will take its peerless musical talents to the Symphony Hall, Birmingham, in September, for the British Open, the most prestigious brass band contest in the world.
It last won the celebrated competition in 1966 when it was known as Craghead Colliery Band.
The band took the name of Reg Vardy in 2003 after Sir Peter Vardy, the founder and former sponsor of Bede Academy under the Emmanuel Schools Foundation schools, began sponsoring the band.
Members range in age from 16 to 66 and have continued their association with ESF even though Sir Peter is no longer involved with the schools.
Band manager Les Palmer said: "We have this on-going association with the Foundation to inspire children to take up an instrument. We really enjoy playing in the schools and we are always welcomed by a very appreciative audience."
Concert-goers were treated to a varied programme, conducted by Ray Farr, including the rousing Standard of St George, Jupiter from the Planets Suite and 633 Squadron.
Mike Lumsden performed a cornet solo, The Nightingale, by Harold Moss, while Steve Hardy played Episode on the horn.
Bede Academy vice principal Steve Nelson said: "We value music a great deal in school and all students are encouraged to play. Having a band of this quality perform really does inspire the young people and I could see how much the audience enjoyed the performance."