Black Dyke Brass Band wins the British Open Championship for a record 30th time

Black Dyke Band 2014

Black Dyke Band 2014 - Credit: Archant

Yorkshire’s premier band hits all the right notes at the British championships

The all-conquering Black Dyke Brass Band has won the British Open Championship for a record 30th time, extending its achievement yet further as the most successful in history.

It carried off the title at the oldest and most prestigious brass band contest in the glorious surroundings of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, performing the test piece Vita Aeterna Variations by the Dutch composer Alexander Comitas.

Professor Nicholas Childs, Black Dyke’s director of music, said: ‘The band was in stunning form, the soloists were on fire and when the audience erupted at the conclusion we knew we had created something special.’

The contest pitted the West Yorkshire champion of champions against 16 of the finest brass bands in the world, including Yorkshire’s Grimethorpe and Brighouse & Rastrick, however it was Cory, the 2014 Welsh champions, who came second, with Gloucester-based Flowers in third and Fodens from Sandbach in Cheshire in fourth. The prestigious Best Soloist Award (Stanley Wainwright Memorial Trophy) was won by Black Dyke’s flugel star Zoe Hancock, and Outstanding Euphonium (The Geoffrey Whitham Memorial Trophy) went to the band’s euphoric euphonium player Gary Curtin.

The adjudicators, all experts from the world of music, were enthusiastic in the extreme in their comments about Black Dyke’s award-winning performance.

Paul Cosh, who was a member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra for 18 years and is now a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, said: ‘Brilliant playing from all! Balanced and full of character.’

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His fellow judges John Berryman and Stephen Roberts agreed, adding: ‘Excellent and exciting, good clarity throughout with total dynamic control.

‘A classic performance that was intoxicating to listen to.’

The talented, multi-award winning West Yorkshire musicians are now working in earnest on their preparations for this month’s National Brass Band Championships at the Royal Albert Hall.

For the latest Black Dyke news, visit To find out more about the National Brass Band Championships, go to