A brass band from Fife have been crowned Britain’s best after outperforming rivals from across the UK.
Kelty based, Kingdom Brass, scooped the most converted prize on the band circuit at the National Brass Band Championship in Cheltenham on Saturday.
The band, saw off rivals from across England and Wales in the main Section One category.
It was their performance of Connotations by composer Edward Gregson that wowed adjudicators Alan Morrison and Sheona Wade.
And the achievement is all the more remarkable given that the band were unable to gather for practice for much of the last 18 months.
Kingdom Brass became Scottish Champions in March 2020 but the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic meant the band couldn’t play together or perform at galas and fundraising events.
They only got back together for outdoor socially distance practice sessions in April, their first time together in over a year.
Furthermore with restrictions only just starting to ease the band have only been able to meet indoors since June.
The triumph has also cost the band members an estimated £10,000 just to be able to make the finals.
Bill Sandell, Kingdom Brass chairman, said being crowned Britain’s best was “extra special” given what everyone has gone through.
“I can hardly begin to describe it , the result is truly amazing,” said Bill.
“18 qualified for the finals from over 100 bands all across the UK.
“However, a few just couldn’t attend due to financial strain, and personnel issues, so 14 competed in the final.
“Despite the reduced number of bands winning is still a huge achievement.”
He added: “Financially the trip has cost us over £10,000, as a charity we have to raise all that ourselves, normally from playing concerts and galas.
“But none of that has been possible over past year so band and players have all taken a huge hit financially.
“That’s why any potential sponsors out there most welcome to get in touch.”
Kingdom secretary, John Todd, added: “The band is ecstatic on winning the Nationals, especially so after everything that’s happened in the past year and a half.
“We’ve worked so hard over the past few months to bring everyone back together.
“First with outside distanced rehearsals then finally back in the band room.
“Huge credit goes to our conducting team of Paul Drury and Ian Porthouse for their leadership in front of the band.
“It’s great to be back.”
The achievement marks a high point for the band which formed in 1999.
Kingdom Brass was the result of a merger the two long-standing brass bands from Cowdenbeath and Kelty.
The band were based in Cowdenbeath until just before lockdown until relocating to new rehearsal facilities in Kelty in 2020.