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Band News

Duncan Beckley conducting the band

Duncan Honoured

15th June '24

This morning has seen the announcement of the King's Birthday honours and we are proud to announce our Senior Band MD, Mr Duncan Beckley, has become a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his continued and dedicated services to Music.

Duncan started his musical journey playing the Flugel Horn and progressed quickly to Tuba, playing with many brass bands, including Horbury Victoria. Music quickly became his life. He studied at Sheffield University and spent many years teaching across West Yorkshire schools. As a conductor and band trainer, he has travelled throughout Great Britain gaining many awards, trophies and contest wins (over 100 of them!) along the way, with a plethora of different bands. Having spent 27 years with Newstead Brass, he is now into his 14th year with HVB.

He recently revealed he believes his greatest achievement in banding is developing Horbury from a 3rd section standard band, up to a Championship section graded band.

We are incredibly proud of Duncan and his MBE is most deserved.

Will and Faye receiving their new instruments from youth conductor Michael Dodd

New Instruments

19th March '24

There was a big surprise for Will and Faye, our youth and intermediate band principal cornet players, when they came to rehearsals on Friday - brand new cornets!

The band recently received a bequest from the estate of one of our late supporters which enabled the purchase of these instruments. As an organisation we are extremely grateful for such kindness and generosity; it helps us continue to strengthen our provision, developing the next generation of brass players.

The band on stage at the Yorkshire Areas 2024

Yorkshire Areas Highlights

12th March '24

What an experience to walk out on the Huddersfield stage as a Championship Section band!

We're so proud of what we've done over the last ten years, with mostly the same group of players around the stands. As recently as 2015 we were competing in the 3rd Section. A massive thanks to Duncan Beckley who has guided us up the banding pyramid to the highest level.

On the day we finished in 11th place, with some really positive feedback from the banding publications in the hall. Our bass player, Sam Dodd, was also the youngest player in the top section. Anybody who knows Variations on an Enigma will know what an achievement it was for him to tackle the solos in the E♭ Bass part at 15 years old!

Congratulations to the winners, Black Dyke, along with Brighouse & Rastrick and Carlton Main who will be representing Yorkshire in the National finals.

Excitingly, our result was enough to secure us another year in the Championship Section, so we'll be doing it all again next March!

Duncan conducting the band at the Regional competition in 2023

Moment of Truth

3rd March '24

The big day has finally arrived. The band take to the stage this afternoon to compete in their historic first Championship section regionals at Huddersfield Town Hall.

We've worked so hard in the last two months to learn Philip Sparke's challenging piece of music, "Variations on an Enigma". We're really proud of how well we can play it, so now it's time to show the big boys what we can do!

Today is about putting on a show that we can be proud of. We're up against the very best, so the band deserve to go out there and enjoy this momentous occasion!

Wish us luck!

The band on stage at NEMBBA contest, shortly after we finished playing

Top Section Success

19th February '24

This weekend the band competed in the Championship section for the very first time, at the NEMBBA contest.

The contest featured 3 bands and we placed 2nd. Our solo Euphonium Michael Dodd also won the best Euphonium prize.

Most importantly we had a great day out and gained valuable stage time in our run up to the Yorkshire Regionals in just two weeks.

Congratulations to Newstead Brass on their victory!

Charlie Welch and Will Lord with the first place certificate from NEMBBA contest

NEMBBA Victory

7th November '23

This weekend, the band took part in the NEMBBA brass band contest in Derbyshire, competing against other first section bands.

We elected to play our national finals test piece again. The band played really well and we are delighted to have won the competition. This is our second NEMBBA contest victory of 2023.

Our soprano player, Charlie Welch, received the best instrumentalist prize on the day - his second individual win of the year.

The contest marked the final performance with HVB for cornet player Luke Briggs, who we wish all the best in his future endeavours. It also marked a first contest performance for Will Lord - long may he continue!

Local councillors presenting new instruments to our learner band players.

Council Grant

18th October '23

Huge thanks to our local councillors who have helped us to secure a £5000 grant to fund young player development.

The money has been invested in a selection of new instruments which will help us to teach the stars of the future.

Band photograph in the band room in Horbury

National Finals

15th September '23

It's finally here! We're heading down to Cheltenham later today, and over the weekend Horbury Victoria Band will compete in the 1st Section National Finals for the first time ever.

We've put in a lot of work over the last 3 months and the band is sounding better than ever. We're ready to represent Horbury and Yorkshire!

An enormous thanks to everybody who has helped us to get to the contest - to families of the players for their patience and to anybody who has attended our concerts and fundraisers over the summer.

Wish us luck!

Our B♭ Bass player Nigel Hodson-Walker with a representative from the West Riding Masons

Instrument Grant

17th August '23

A massive thanks to our friends at the West Riding Masonic Community fund who have provided us with a generous instrument grant to help us grow.

We used the funds to purchase a B♭ Bass, allowing us to transfer the existing instrument into the youth setup and continue the cycle of development.

We couldn't do what we do without the generous support of our local community, and we are extremely grateful!

The HVB cornet section in contest at the Yorkshire Regionals in 2023

Regional Success

12th March '23

Congratulations to the band!

Taking part at the Yorkshire Regional competition in Huddersfield on March 4th, we put in an excellent showing on the assigned test piece "A Day in the Life of a Knight" by Phil Lawrence.

The adjudicators praised our performance and awarded us the 2nd place trophy, from a field of 13 competitors. This earned us a place to compete at the National Finals in September, representing the Yorkshire Region.

Special mention needs to be made to Charlie Welch, who tackled the challenging soprano cornet part in a test piece written by a former soprano player! He knocked it out of the park and received his own award for being the best soprano player in the section.

HVB trombonists, baritones and euphoniums competing at the 2023 Regional Finals in Huddersfield

History Makers!

12th March '23

The band is going from strength to strength. Second place in the first section represents the band's highest ever position in a grading competition, and our first ever qualification for the National Finals in this section of banding.

Most excitingly, combined with our solid performances in 2020 and 2022, this result promotes us into the Championship section from 2024. This is the top level of banding, alongside the likes of Black Dyke, Grimethorpe and Brighouse & Rastrick!

In its 157 year history Horbury Victoria has never reached this level of competition!