Somerset brass band named among England's best

-Credit: (Image: West Somerset Brass Band)
-Credit: (Image: West Somerset Brass Band)

A coastal town's brass band has been shortlisted for the Band Project of the Year Award from Brass Bands England. The award recognises bands that have delivered notable projects over the past year, including successful collaborations and innovative tours.

West Somerset Brass Band's nomination comes from their UK premiere of "Crash Bang Donkey," performed last August. The piece is based on a children’s book written by local author Jill Newton and was originally set to music by American composer Joshua Guarisco for his 67-piece Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra.

Jill gave the original score to the West Somerset Brass Band in 2019, which Musical Director Niall Watson then had transposed for a brass band. The band say this was "a complex process that took considerable effort" and despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the band’s dedication ensured the project’s completion.

The premiere took place during the Watchet Summertime event. The performance was narrated by bass player Colin Whitworth and was accompanied by Jill Newton’s hand-painted storyboards, creating a memorable experience for the audience.

A spokesman for West Somerset Brass Band added: "This event showcased the band's commitment to engaging with their community and bringing innovative projects to life. Winning the Band Project of the Year Award would be a great achievement for the band."

You can support them through this link for Band Project of the Year. Voting closes at 9am on Wednesday, July 11.