A Keswick based brass band has a coveted regional musical competition despite having only been formed in 2021.

North Lakes Brass, under the baton of new conductor Gareth Sykes, won the fourth section competition at the Northern England brass band contest at the Gala Theatre in Durham to win a place at the national finals which are being held at Cheltenham Racecourse in September.

Founded in the aftermath of the pandemic in 2021, North Lakes Brass is made up of brass players from across Cumbria interested in competing in the various competitions in the brass band world.

News and Star: Solo cornet Jon Sanderson (left) and musical director Gareth Sykes (right) Solo cornet Jon Sanderson (left) and musical director Gareth Sykes (right) (Image: North Lakes Brass)Brass Bands are placed in sections and can either go up or down depending on performances at the regional championships with North Lakes Brass hoping to go up into the third section after their winning performance in Durham.

Despite their relative inexperience playing together, the band finished an impressive second in the fourth section contest at last year’s Northern England contest to qualify for the national finals in Cheltenham at the very first attempt with further ambitions in 2023 to push for the top of the national leader board.

At the regional contests in Durham, the band were up against some well established bands such as the Penrith Town Band, Craghead Colliery Band and Billingham Silver Band.

News and Star: The band on stage at the contestThe band on stage at the contest (Image: North Lakes Brass)The test piece for fourth section bands this year was the ‘tricky’ Hungerford Town by Darrol Barry and the competition adjudicators, Jonathan Pippen and David Hirst, praised the band for their ‘solid opening, good dynamics and sound tone and balance.’

The national fourth section final will be held at Cheltenham Racecourse in September and will see the band competing against other regional winners from across the country to bid for the national title.

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The band has a busy upcoming schedule before travelling down to Cheltenham which includes the upcoming Ulverston Music Festival and the world famous Whit Friday band contests in Saddleworth on Friday, June 2.