A BRASS band from Wem will be looking to hit the high notes when it takes part in a national competition next week.

Wem Jubilee Band will be heading to Cheltenham in the early hours of Saturday, September 16, to take part in the fourth Section National Brass Band Championship Finals, along with 19 other bands from all over the country.

This follows their successful qualification after coming third in the Midland Regional contest in Northants, back in March.

A spokesperson for the band said members have risen well to the challenge of preparing to play at this prestigious event, the first the band has qualified for since 2007.

They added: “For many members of the band, it will be their first-ever experience at this event while some haven’t competed at a finals for a number of years.

“The band has enjoyed rehearsing this particular piece of music alongside preparing other pieces of music for the recent Wem Carnival and upcoming competition at the Wychavon Festival of Brass in November.

“We are looking forward to showing the adjudicators what talent there is in the small town of Wem and that we are a band that the town and county of Shropshire can be proud of.”


The spokesperson explained that the test piece that the fourth section bands have been tasked with performing is 'A Saddleworth Festival Overture' composed by Goff Richards.

They continued: “This piece was commissioned in 1983 by the Saddleworth Festival of Arts with a remit that it should 'illustrate the link that exists between Saddleworth, England and Saddleworth, Australia'.

"The latter was a township laid out by a Saddleworth emigree James Master who arrived in Australia in 1836.

"The overture is based on English and Australian themes — from 'Pratty Flowers', 'Hail Smiling Morn'' and the 'Mowin Match Song' to 'Waltzing Matilda' and 'Advance Australia Fair'.

“The work was subsequently used as the 1985 Fourth Section National Final set-work and one of our members is proud to say that she performed the work at the Royal Albert Hall with the band she was a member of at the time.”