BRADFORD'S world-famous Black Dyke Band is ending the year on a crescendo of joy.

Members of the Queensbury-based musical institution are, quite rightly, still beaming after winning the 2023 National Brass Band Championships, held at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall, in October.

It was the ensemble's 24th national title, leading its skilled musicians to proudly proclaim they are part of the most successful brass band in history.

Professor Nicholas Childs, principal conductor and director of music at the Black Dyke Band, said he will never forget the achievement.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Professor Nicholas Childs, the band's principal conductor and director of music Professor Nicholas Childs, the band's principal conductor and director of music (Image: Newsquest)

He told the Telegraph & Argus: "It was like winning the Holy Grail.

"When you win that sort of prize, it's really special.

"The more competitions you win, the more concerts you have a chance to perform at.

"Next year, after winning the title, we know we have 40 concerts in this country and we’re also visiting places abroad including Switzerland for the World Band Festival and, this is really exciting, we’re off to Japan in October for a two-hour slot on national TV."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Members of the band with the impressive trophy they won in OctoberMembers of the band with the impressive trophy they won in October (Image: Black Dyke Band)

Prof Childs, who has been a member of the band for more than 20 years, said he was "very proud" to be part of the historic group.

"There's an abundance of talent and an amazing amount of dedication from all the members," he added.

"We practice in Queensbury at least twice a week - one man comes all the way up from Leicester, which is an example of the level of dedication we’re talking about.

"But we all do it because, quite simply, we absolutely love what we do - performing for our wonderful audiences.

"It's an incredible band and it's a joy and a privilege to be a member of it - I will always adore it."

'The band is phenomenal'

With a heritage dating back to 1855, the Black Dyke Band's pedigree is unrivalled.

More than 350 recordings and numerous national and European competition titles have made the name Black Dyke synonymous with musical excellence.

The band is well-known for performing the theme to Ground Force, the BBC gardening makeover show, and it starred in the 1999 Christmas edition of the sitcom Dinnerladies.

The ensemble has also featured on recordings and live appearances by acts including the Beatles, Elton John, Tori Amos, Peter Gabriel and the Beautiful South.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The band in action at the Royal Albert Hall The band in action at the Royal Albert Hall (Image: Black Dyke Band)

Richard Marshall is the longest-serving principal cornet player with the Black Dyke Band, having joined in 2006.

"It's phenomenal being part of the band," he said.

"It's so prestigious and known the world over - it's a real honour to be a member of it."

He said he had enjoyed countless highlights with the band over the years, including October's huge win and a concert at a packed-out Sydney Opera House during a tour of Australia in 2009.

"As we perform, I love seeing the faces of people in the audience," he added.

"It's so exciting to see their smiles."

'A jewel in Bradford's crown'

Siobhan Bates, principal horn player, described the Black Dyke Band as having a "real family feel".

The year two teacher said: "The band came into my school the other week and did some Christmas tunes for the children which was so lovely.

"It introduced them to brass bands and it was so nice to see their little faces light up."

She added: "We all put a lot of time and effort into the band - but it's definitely worth it.

"It's a highly rewarding serious hobby."

Logan Thompson, who plays in the percussion section and has just celebrated six years with the band, said: "What I love about being a member is it takes you all over the world and you also make lots of wonderful friendships.

"They're the type of friendships which will last for life."

Cornet player Dave Smith said it was an "extraordinary honour" to be involved with the Black Dyke Band.

"Millions of people across the globe have heard of this band - it's a jewel in Bradford's crown," he added.

"It's very special."

Looking ahead to next year, he said: "We'll continue to do what we all love doing - work hard, perform plenty and amaze lots and lots of people."

For more information about the Black Dyke Band, visit