Doncaster brass band bidding to be the best in national competition

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A Doncaster brass band is hoping to “do a Brassed Off” – by securing victory in the finals of a national brass band competition.

Hatfield Brass Band is bidding to put the town on the map by scooping victory at the National Brass Band Championships this weekend.

The band’s 30 members will be heading south on Saturday, hoping to strike the right note in the contest which attracts the leading brass bands from across the length and breadth of the UK.

The band, previously attached to Hatfield Colliery, secured their place at the contest in Cheltenham by securing runners-up spot at the Yorkshire regional qualifying tournament earlier this year.

The result there earned them promotion to the Championship section of the brass banding world next year which means they will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, who featured in the smash hit movie Brassed Off which tells the struggles of a pit band against a backdrop of colliery closures.

However, this weekend, Hatfield will be competing in the competition’s First Section where they will be competing against other groups from around the country, who will all be performing the same test piece, Ballet For Band.

Among them will be Margaret Curran who has been with the band for more than five decades.

She said: “Next year we will be classed as a Championship band, competing against the real big boys and potentially playing for a place at the Royal Albert Hall.

“This time round we will be in the first section though. We will be travelling down on Saturday for rehearsals and then the contest itself is on the Sunday.”

Margaret said: “We have been very busy rehearsing and it has been going great. We’re all looking forward to it.”

The band have bounced back from the death of their beloved conductor Graham O’Connor a few years ago, with flugel horn player Stan Lippeatt taking up the baton.