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Manx Concert Brass becomes first Island band to reach UK top division

Wed, 17 May 2023

Manx Concert Brass has reached new heights.

It’s been confirmed the Island brass band has been promoted into the elite Championship Section of UK brass banding – the equivalent of football’s Premier League.

The news follows its performance at the North West Regional Championships in Blackpool in February when it secured third place in the First Section of the competition under the direction of Ian Clague MBE - that result also secured a place in the First Section Finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain in Cheltenham in September.

Combined with consistent high placings in recent years, this was enough to promote Manx Concert Brass to the Championship Section - the top echelon of brass banding - for 2024.

It caps a remarkable contesting journey since Manx Concert Brass first began competing in the North West Regional Championships in 1995, with many of the original players still part of the band.

Next year the band will be competing in the same division as world-famous names such as Fairey, former European champions Leyland and the reigning National Champions of Great Britain, Foden’s Band.

Manx Concert Brass chairman Philip Shimmin said: ‘This truly is a special moment in a journey that began in the mid-90s and is testament to the skill, hard work, dedication and friendship of all involved.

‘When we decided to start contesting, our objective was to improve both as players, and as a band, and do our very best to represent ourselves and the Island.

‘Since then, we have secured some excellent results and consistently strong performances in regional and national competitions, culminating in this latest success. To gain promotion and elevation into the highest division of brass banding really is wonderful and an accolade we have worked very hard to achieve.

‘Of course, none of this would have been possible without the encouragement, knowledge and leadership of Ian Clague for which we’re all very grateful. His dedication and commitment to the organisation has allowed us to exceed all our expectations and it is extremely satisfying to have this recognition.’




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