THE Saddleworth and Oldham Whit Friday Brass Band Contests have been given a funding boost thanks to sponsorships from Redrow Homes to the tune of £750.
Not one to blow its own trumpet, the homebuilder is happy to help others blow theirs and ensure they are rightly rewarded for their victory.
Redrow is donating £750 prize money for the Local Champions Award category in the Band Contests on June 9, when more than 100 bands from all over the world are expected to compete.
“It is a fabulous competition which goes back years, the first recorded event being in Uppermill in 1884” said Claire Jarvis, sales director for Redrow Homes (Lancashire).
“Such a long-standing competition is part of a way of life, linking communities; and at its heart is tradition so we are delighted to support it.”
Last year 132 brass bands took part, with many from Europe as well as Australia pitching their skills against players from across the UK.
Each contest offers prizes including best band, best youth band, and best soloists, before the winners are announced shortly after close.
Bands can choose to compete in an overall competition for which they must take part in a minimum of six of the 11 individual contests. Winners are declared taking into account their lowest aggregate score, based on position.
Redrow’s contribution will provide the area prize pot for the best local band overall, for which bands must be based within an eight-mile radius of Uppermill Village.
It has been welcomed by organisers who have seen financial support fall over the years.
Money from another supporter, the Saddleworth and Lees District Partnership, goes into the provision of toilet facilities and the traffic stewards.
Mary Rodgers, who, with her husband Bob, is co-ordinator of the area competition and organiser of the Delph contest, said: “Each contest has to fund its own prize money which is significant in itself for them to find. To then have to put into the area pot is an added pressure.
“To have sponsorship from companies like Redrow takes some of that stress away and we are extremely grateful. Should anyone else want to follow suit that would be brilliant too!”
Companies who can support the competition and help keep a great local musical tradition alive can contact Mary or Bob Rodgers on 01457 874354.