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Report & Results: 2022 West of Scotland Entertainment



Dalmellington summon the dragons to claim the entertainment throne in Troon.

The West of Scotland Entertainment Contest returned after an enforced three-year break in fine fashion on the weekend — headed by an outstanding winner in the Dalmellington Band.

Led by Gary J Williams, the 2019 defending champion was inspired by dragons to reclaim their place on the Troon throne — although even to the surprise of adjudicator Alan Fernie, they didn’t have to rely on any music from the all-conquering fantasy television series.

There be dragons

“What — no ‘Game of Thrones’?”, he wrote in his remarks that congratulated the band and MD on their inventive programming as well as the overall quality of their individual and ensemble playing.

Instead, they opened with PLC’s ‘Tail of the Dragon’, before flying over the North Sea for the rhythmic Nordic trumpet solo ‘Vidda’ played by Rebecca Wilson.

It was followed by ‘Romantic Flight’ from the film ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ before they rounded off their 20-minute set with the finale from Philip Sparke’s ‘The Year of the Dragon’.

It gave Dalmellington a clear two-point margin of victory, as well as the £200 first prize over fellow Championship Section contenders Kingdom Brass, with Kirkintilloch Kelvin Brass a further point behind.


“We’re delighted to have won and it continues to build on the progress we have made since our return from the Covid-19 break,”Band Manager Cameron Paterson told. “We all nursed slightly sore heads on Sunday morning so you can tell how much we enjoyed it.”

The band now has its sights on leaving scorch marks at the Scottish Open in November in Perth as well as looking to see how they will tackle the challenges of ‘The World Rejoicing’ in 2023.

“Our confidence has taken a real boost with this result,”Cameron added. “We really think we can make a mark at the Scottish Open and a group of players is going to the British Open in a coupe of weeks to find out more about that test piece ahead of our Grand Shield challenge in 2023.”

Kingdom benchmark

Kingdom had earlier set the benchmark for the contest led by Paul Drury, with a powerful set also topped and tailed by battling warriors and would be monarchs as they opened with music from ‘Taras Bulba’ and closed with the ‘Coronation Scene’ from ‘Boris Godunov’.

Third placed Kirkintilloch Kelvin opted for a touch of ‘magic’ with their set, with principal cornet Amy McMillan certainly wowing the audience at the Walker Halls with her performance of ‘First Light’ to deservedly claim the ‘Best Solo Cornet’ prize.

Coalburn’s silver

Coalburn Silver also left Troon weighed down with silverware, as they picked up the ‘Best First Section’, ‘Most Entertaining’ and ‘Best Basses’ accolades.

Their innovative ‘Celtic’ set embraced musical compass points in Wales (‘Men of Harlech’ and ‘It’s Not Unusual’ — featuring the National Youth Band of Scotland trombone trio of Anna Biggart, Marcie Boyle and Aileen Orr), Ireland (‘Irish Blessing’), Scotland (‘The Piper O’Dundee’) as well as Hollywood, via ‘The Gael’ to close.

They also featured a new work specially written for the event by MD Gareth Bowman called ‘The Parting’, which was a showcase for the tuba duet of David Fehilly and Jack Archibald, who was making his last appearance with the band.


One of the strengths of the contest is the genre variety in the performances from bands from the Championship, First, Second and Third Sections.

That was certainly shown with the ‘Best Second Section’ and ‘Best Third Section’ award winners, Broxburn & Livingston and Shotts St Patrick’s.

Broxburn headed across the Atlantic for their ‘Americana’ theme — complete with ‘Stars and Stripes’ march to open via ‘Under the Boardwalk’, a trip to ‘The Catskills’ and ‘American Tale’.

A spokesperson for the band told 4BR that they now head to the Fife Charities and Borders contests as well as a busy concert schedule “really boosted”by a result after a period when they have like many others bands been faced by Covid-19 challenges.

Shotts also had plenty of songbook pizzazz with a set that opened with Eric Ball’s upbeat ‘Star Lake’ march and ended with Donna Summer via ‘The Wellermen’ and a great dip of ‘Sugar Blues’ played by solo cornet, John Gonnella and a ‘Ceilidh’ featuring euph William Brown.

“We really enjoyed the day,”their spokesperson told 4BR. “What’s not enjoy about playing music by Eric Ball and Donna Summer!”

Great day

The organisers will have been delighted at the success of the return of a contest that has been a cornerstone of the domestic Scottish banding scene for many years (previously known at the Land O’ Burns’ contest) and which also should its support of band’s heading south to Cheltenham with members of Brass Sounds Inverclyde running a cafeteria service on the day.

Compere and master of ceremonies Ralph Riddiough summed up the feelings of people present by saying: “What a great day — the sun was out and there so many great performances to enjoy.”

We all nursed slightly sore heads on Sunday morning so you can tell how much we enjoyed itDalmellington Band


Adjudicator: Alan Fernie

1. Dalmellington (Gary J. Williams): 94
2. Kingdom Brass (Paul Drury): 92
3. Kirkintilloch Kelvin Brass (Lewis Bettles): 91
4. Coalburn Silver (Gareth Bowman): 90
5. Dunaskin Doon (Paul Drury): 89
6. Newmilns & Galston (Alan Friel): 88
7. Broxburn & Livingston (Alistair Gibson): 87
8. Shotts St Patrick’s (Andrew Shaw): 86
9. Johnstone Band (Mark Good): 85
10. Newmains & District (Michael Marzella): 84

Best Championship Section Band: Dalmellington
Best First Section Band: Coalburn Silver
Best Second Section Band: Broxburn & Livingston
Best Third Section Band: Shotts St Patrick’s

Most Entertaining Band: Coalburn Silver
Best Solo Cornet: Amy McMillan (Kirkintilloch Kelvin)
Best Basses: Coalburn Silver

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