THREE bands from the district placed in the top ten at this year’s National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, with Brighouse and Rastrick Band claiming the top prize.

Brighouse and Rastrick beat off competition from other bands from around the country to finish first in the championships, held at the Royal Albert Hall in London at the weekend.

Queensbury’s Black Dyke Band finished in seventh place, followed by the City of Bradford Brass Band who claimed ninth place in the band’s first appearance in the Championship section.

The victory is Brighouse’s first win since 2011 and its ninth championship title. Brighouse cornet player Kathleen Gaspoz also picked up the award for best instrumentalist.

Brighouse will now represent Britain at the 2019 European Brass Band Championships in Montreux, Switzerland, following the victory.

Each band performed their own arrangement of Gallery by Howard Snell. Mr Snell was also one of the three judges on the panel, along with former Black Dyke cornet soloist Phillip McCann, and Belgian Luc Vertommen.

The Hammonds Saltaire band, which started in Saltaire but is now based in Huddersfield, finished 15th out of 20 entrants.

A tweet from Brighouse and Rastrick’s official page said the band was “over the moon” to finish first.

John Mallinson, City of Bradford band manager, said the band was “completely overjoyed” with the result. He said: “It was our first time in the championship section so it was huge for us.

“Five years ago we were in the third section and now we’re competing with some of the best bands in the world, and finishing just a couple of spots behind Black Dyke.

“It was a privilege just to perform on stage and it was a fantastic experience. We have worked really hard and our conductor Lee Skipsey has been fantastic.

“We have made the city proud, it has been amazing and hopefully we will do the same again next year.”

The ninth-place finish followed sister-group BD1 Brass’ victory in the Third Section National Championship last month.

Black Dyke Band offered its congratulations to Brighouse.

Philip Morris, managing director of the championships, said: “The test piece was incredible, and we were very pleased the event was a success.

“The standard of playing was very, very high.

“The composer of the test piece was also one of the judges, and he was very happy with how his piece was interpreted.”

Mr Morris added there had been some logistical worries, with increased security at the Royal Albert Hall meaning more than 600 musicians had to have their instruments all checked, but added the event went smoothly.

Brighouse has automatically qualified for next year’s national championship thanks to its victory, while Black Dyke and City of Bradford will have to qualify again at next year’s regional contest.