Sheffield brass band launches fundraiser to perform in national finals after winning regional championship

A Sheffield brass band has won the regional championships for the first time in more than 100 years and advanced to the national finals.

Monday, 9th May 2022, 2:55 pm

But there is one wish it aims to fulfil before taking to the stage.

Based in the village of Oughtibridge, Oughtibridge Brass Band is a traditional British brass band, competing in the fourth section of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain.

On March 5, the band won first place in the Regional Championships Fourth Section for the first time in its history, which dates back to 1890.

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Oughtibridge Brass Band won the area contest, making them Yorkshire's top fourth section band and qualifying them to compete at the nationals on Saturday, September 17th.

Rosey Somerset, who has been a member since 1968, said the band rehearsed hard prior to the contest, under the leadership of its musical director and her son, Gavin Somerset, who was also named the Best Musical Director for this section.

But there is one thing she would like to see – the band members wearing brand new concert uniforms as they come onto the stage and perform in the finals.

She said the band members have been wearing second-hand uniforms as they've never had brand new uniforms since the 1970s.

She said: "We want proper concert jackets… the band hasn't had that since the 70s as we had the second-hand jackets given to us. They are so expensive – you are looking at £250 per jacket for a full set up of uniform."

The brass band meeting with Sheffield Lord Mayor, Gail Smith after their win.

Rosey said the band is also looking for sponsorship from any companies that could donate towards transport and accommodation costs.

She said: "At the moment, we are open to ideas of sponsorship. Anyone who would like to donate and sponsor us, we'd be very grateful."

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Meeting with the Lord Mayor

The band won 23 trophies between 1960 and 1979. Between 1980 and 1990, the band competed in the National Championships three times in London (including at the Albert Hall), and in the Third Section National Finals in Torquay in 2002.

The band rose from the bottom of the Fourth Division to qualify for the National Championships of Great Britain and promotion to the Third Section after a period of re-building.

Despite being relegated to the Fourth Section in 2020, there was no Regional Championship held last year, and its first Championship in this section resulted in a first place and an invitation to the National Finals in Cheltenham on September 17.

Rosey said: "It would be a nice thing to see the band with a full new set up uniform and walk up the stage as Yorkshire Champions and that would be an achievement. That's my ambition to get the band on stage with a new uniform."

The band recently met Sheffield Lord Mayor Gail Smith, who officially congratulated the members on their victory.

"As this was the first time in the band’s history of taking this title, celebrating was a must. This lead to an invitation from the Lord Mayor,” said Rosey.

"The band met in the Lord Mayor’s parlour where she chatted, showed the members around the Town Hall and officially congratulated the band on their success.

“We all had a lovely meeting and the Mayor couldn’t have been any more pleased for us as the band were at her invite.”

To support the band, visit its GoFundMe page here and its Easy Fundraising page here.