A 100 year old brass band from Nailsworth has reached the finals of a national competition – fifty years after its last appearance.

The 30-strong Nailsworth Silver Band will find out next month which piece it will have to play to perfection at the national brass championships in September.

It came third in the regional stage of the competition, to reach the final for the second time – with its last appearance in 1967.

The band – whose age range goes from 14 to the mid-60s - now faces months of intensive practising before the final in Cheltenham.

It will be judged ‘blind’ – so an adjudicator in a curtained box will not know which performance is which – against bands from Redruth in Cornwall and Wroughton in Wiltshire.

Band chairman Pete Dillon said the achievement was a fantastic way to celebrate its centenary. “We’ve worked hard to get the standard up, and we’re really enjoying a high at the moment.”

As the final gets closer, the band will practise up to three times a week but Mr Dillon said musical director Steve Ruck would ensure rehearsals were still enjoyable as the pressure mounted.

Stroud News and Journal:

“Because this goal is there, it’s quite an exciting thing. It won’t become a slog.” He added:

“We have to deliver the best performance we can, with the best interpretation, and solid, good musicality. There will be some butterflies. The nerves never completely go away.”

Mr Dillon, who is head of music at Sir William Romney’s School in Tetbury, said the county had a good brass band scene, but that local government cuts were affecting music teaching across Gloucestershire.

Members are off to Nailsworth’s French twin town of Leves in May, and it is playing at a free concert at the Tetbury school on May 20.

It rehearses on Monday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at its band room in the centre of Nailsworth, where new musicians are always welcome.

It also has a training band for beginners and a Thursday session aimed at retired people.

Anyone wanting to join – or to book the band – can contact Mr Dillon via p.dillon@swr.gloucs.sch.uk

More information about the band is also at www.nailsworth.band