Solos and Ensembles contest - 2019

At this year’s Brass Band League Solos and Ensembles the band had some successful Entries. Our quartet of James Milligan (cornet), Judith Thompson (Cornet), Laura Salt (Horn) and Kirk Lyndsey (Bass) were placed first in the B Quartet section.

The quintet of James Milligan (cornet), Judith Thompson (Flugel), Laura Salt (Horn), Wesley Thompson (Euphonium) and Kirk Lyndsey (Bass) were placed second in the Senior Ensemble B section. Our septet was placed third in the same section.

Our Principle Euphonium, Matthew Lawrie, also a member of the 1st Old Boys Youth Band was placed second in the 17 and Under Solo competition.

Queen's Festival of Brass - 2018

Comber Silver band has gained their third second place at a brass band contest in 2018. The latest was at this year’s Festival of Brass that is held at the end of November in Queen's University Belfast.

This event is an entertainments contest and bands are judged on the musicality and entertainment value of a programme of their own choice.

Comber's programme this year consisted of:

Brass Band League Spring Festival - 2017

Comber Silver Band entered the second grade section at this year's Brass Band League Spring Festival held on Saturday 21st April 2018 in The Alley Theatre, Strabane. Playing 'Parnassus' by the Dutch composer Jan Van der Roost and gained a very creditable second place. This is the band's highest position at this grade in this contest for over a decade.

A recording of the band's performance of Parnassus please can be found of the band's Youtube channel at this link.

Valley 'Brass in Concert' Entertainment Contest

Valley Hotel, Fivemiletown - Saturday 7th March 2016

Comber Silver Band have scored their first win and our principal cornet player, Kelly Kaya, was also awarded the best solo prize in this year's third grade brass competition.

Our winning programme was 'Starburst' by Dan Price, 'Winter on the Dales from 'An English Pastorale' by Dean Jones, cornet solo 'Apex, by Peter Meechan, 'The Standard of Saint George' by Kenneth Alford and 'Lightwalk' by Barrie Gott.

The band are delighted to have finally succeeded in winning this competition and thank our conductor Wesley Thompson for his hard work and dedication that helped us achieve this result.

The video of our performance has now been uploaded to our You Tube channel at this link.

Brass Band League Solos and Ensembles Contest

Adjudicators: Brett Baker (Senior Section)  Paul McCann (Junior Section)

Date: Saturday 13th February 2016

Venue: Malone Presbyterian Church Halls

Comber Brass had a number of entries in both solo and ensemble competitions. The best result of the day was a first place in the B quartets competition. The quartet of Kelly Kaya (cornet), Laura Salt (cornet), Ken Brown (horn) and Stuart Adair (euphonium) performed the Petite Suite for Brass Quartet by Reginald Heath to win the Perpetual Challenge Cup.

This cup was previously won by our trombone quartet in 2013.

Saturday 17th October 2015

NIBA Championship of Ireland Contest

Marketplace Theatre, Armagh

The month of October is when the North of Ireland Bands Association holds their annual contests for Accordion, Brass, Concert Flute and Concert bands over two weekends in Armagh.

This year Comber Silver entered the Third grade brass section competing against four other bands in a 'set piece' competition.  The chosen work for this year’s contest was 'The Narnia Suite' by Geoffrey Burdon, which was based on his incidental music written for the BBC Television series 'The Chronicles of Narnia', based upon Belfast born C.S. Lewis's series of seven novels.

This work of five movements was originally set as the Third Section test piece for the National Brass Band Regional Championships 2000 and later as the Fourth Section test piece for the National Finals of the 2014 British Brass Band Championships.

Comber Silver gained a second place with a score of 191, only one point behind first placed St. Joseph's Silver, Strabane. This is our best result in this competition since winning first place in 2012.

Brass Band League Spring Festival 2015

The BBL Spring Festival was held in the Alley Theatre, Strabane on Saturday 25th April 2015.  Comber Silver Band entered the Third Section playing 'The Graces of Love' by Swiss composer Oliver Waespi.

'The Graces of Love' was composed in 2013 and used in the Dutch National Championships that year. Comber Silver are the first brass band to perform this work in any UK brass band contest.

Unfortunately we were placed second with a score of 183 to St Joseph’s Silver Band's winning score of 185.

Solos and Ensembles 2015

Comber Brass were well represented at the Brass Band League 'Solo and Ensemble Competition' held on Saturday 14th February 2015 in the Paton Memorial Hall, Malone Presbyterian Church, Belfast.

There were nine entrants from both Comber Silver Band and Laureldale Brass Ensemble in all sections.

Congratulations go to Kelly Kaya for being placed third in the 'A Solo section'; as this section is contested by the best brass band soloists in Northern Ireland it is no mean feat to be in the prizes at this level.

Hasan Kaymak came away with a fantastic first place in the '12 and under' section, again against stiff competition.

Queen's Festival of Brass - 2014

The band would like to congratulate Kelly Kaya on her winning best soloist in the Third grade brass section at the recent Festival of Brass 2014 held at Queen's University.

Kelly won with her performance of the cornet solo 'Carrickfergus'.

97th Championship of Ireland Band's Contest

Adjudicator: Stan Lippeat

Date: Saturday 11th October 2014

Venue: Marketplace Theatre, Armagh

Comber Silver achieved a third place in the years 3rd grade brass section playing the 'Four Cities Symphony' by Rodney Nelson.

Brass Band League Spring Festival

Adjudicator: Mr John Berryman

Date: Saturday 12th April 2014

Venue: The Alley Theatre, Strabane

Piece played: Lydian Pictures by Simon Dobson

Comber Silver achieved a second place in this contest playing 'Lydian Pictures', a piece that Simon Dobson was commissioned to write as a test work for the 2003 English regional Fourth section brass band competition. This followed after he won the European Brass Band composers' competition in Brussels in 2002.

Solo & Ensemble Competition 2014

Saturday 15th February

Paton Memorial Halls, Malone Presbyterian Church

Congratulations to Hasan Kaymak (Laureldale) who gained a great third place in the under 12s solo competition.

Congratulations also to an ensemble from Comber Silver who were placed third in the Senior ensemble section. With only two points between first and third places, this was a great result given that the ensembles placed above came from bands in higher sections.

Festival of Brass 2013

Music Adjudicator: Philip Harper

Entertainment Adjudicator: Angela Hayley

Date: Saturday 23rd November

Venue: Whitla Hall, Queen's University, Belfast

Comber Silver gained second place in the third section and were awarded the best march prize with our performance of Eric Ball's 'Star Lake'.

Our theme for the contest was 'Fly Me to the Moon' and the program chosen by our conductor Wesley was:

96th Championship of Ireland Band's Contest

Adjudicator: Richard Evans

Date: Saturday 19th October 2013

Venue: Marketplace Theatre, Armagh

Comber Silver and Laureldale Brass have both gained second places in this year’s contest. Comber Silver was one point behind this year’s winners of the 3rd grade brass section, Wellington Memorial, with a score of 179. Laureldale were two points behind the 1st Old Boys Juniors in the Youth band section with a score of 172.

This year’s set piece in the 3rd grade section was 'The Dark Side of the Moon' by composer Paul Lovatt-Cooper. 

This was a very descriptive work that had many challenges for individual soloists and different sections of the band, as well as the whole ensemble. After weeks of hard work under our conductor Wesley the band are disappointed we did not retain our title from 2012 but extremely pleased at our performance on the day.

Saturday 27th April 2013

Brass Band League Spring Festival contest

Alley Theatre, Strabane

After not contesting at last year’s event, Comber Silver Band was keen to participate this year. Performing 'Olympus' by Philip Harper we achieved a 2nd place one point behind the winners CWA.

Olympus was composed in 2011 and selected as the test piece for the 3rd section regional contests of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain 2012.

In addition to this our Trombone section (James McClure, Robin Black and David McCracken) were the first to be awarded the 'Clive McBride Memorial Trophy' as the best trombone section. This is a new prize presented in memory of the well-known trombonist and former conductor of St. Marks Silver Band.

Congratulations also to Laureldale Brass Ensemble who competed in the Junior/Youth Band section gaining a 3rd place, two points behind the winning band.

Saturday 2nd March - 2013

Valley "Brass In Concert" Entertainment Contest

Valley Hotel, Fivemiletown

This year's contest proved to disappointing for the band as we were placed in fourth position. Despite a good performance of our programme the other bands in the section were stronger on the day.

We were however pleased by the very positive adjudicator’s remarks.

Brass Band League Solos and Quartets

Saturday 16th February 2013

Malone Presbyterian church, Belfast

Comber Brass was represented in the latest Brass Band League Solos and Quartets contest and came away with some good results.

Laureldale competed in the Junior Band section gaining a good 3rd place.

Comber Silver entered a trombone quartet in the B Quartet section getting a first place to win the Perpetual Challenge cup. David McCracken, James McClure, Robin Black and Stuart Adair performed the trombone quartet 'Southern Breezes' to achieve this great result.

Saturday 13th October - 2012

Market Place Theatre, Armagh

95th Annual NIBA Championship of Ireland contest

Comber Silver are delighted that they have gained 1st place at this year's set piece competition; with a score of 184 points the band had a margin of 2 points over 2nd placed CWA, who were the winning band in 2011.

This year's contest piece was Saint-Saëns Variations, by the British composer Phillip Sparke, well known in the Brass Band world for his compositions and arrangements. The piece, which proved to be challenging for all the bands, is described by the composer as 'A Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes from the 'Organ' Symphony’.

The Band's conductor, Wesley Thompson, commented "I was delighted with the Band's performance on Saturday. The piece had come so far in the week leading up to the contest and everyone seemed to give that bit extra when it counted. After a slightly rocky opening the Band, and particularly the soloists, gave a controlled and musical performance that exceeded anything they had produced in rehearsal. To win the contest by two clear points was really the icing on the cake. I look forward to the publication of the adjudicator's remarks. It will provide us with an opportunity to learn and to continue to develop."

It is a tribute to the hard work of Wesley and the band that we have been able to retake this title which we previously won in 2010.

Lucy Adams accepts the Charles Rollins Cup for Comber Silver's first place at the NIBA contest on Saturday 13th October 2012.

Wesley Thompson is presented with the James McKeown Memorial Trophy, the prize for the conductor of the winning band in the third grade brass section.

Saturday 2nd April 2011 at Strabane

Adjudicator: Mr Colin Hardy

CSB take first prize at Brass Band League Spring Contest

Comber won the third section of the contest with 184 points beating Wellington silver into second place with 182.After our success at the October Contest in Armagh we are delighted to say that success continued in the BBL Spring contest in Strabane last Saturday.  Comber were placed first in the third section 2 clear points ahead of the other five bands in that section.  Playing Prelude, Song and Dance by John Golland the band, under the capable hands of its conductor Wesley Thompson, secured the trophy.  This is a fantastic achievement for the band and testament to the hard work and dedication of its players and conductor.