BRASS band members have their sights set on national glory after blowing their horns and cornets into the finals of a musical competition.

Jubilee Brass Band is in the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain after being crowned winners of its regional heat for London and Southern Counties.

The 37-year-old band, based at Oxford Road’s Temple Cowley United Reformed Church, will go to Cheltenham in September.

Conductor Clifford Sadler said: “All the players are on a real high at the moment.

“It’s quite reassuring that the work that we have put in is being recognised because you can go to the contest and you have 24 bands going there thinking they are going out to win and they are all putting in a massive effort and not everybody can be successful.

“So it’s really reassuring to think that we are on the right track.”

The band was founded in 1977 by Littlemore’s Ken Menbury. Aged 43 at the time, he decided to start the band with 18 young people after he had played with the City of Oxford Band for 24 years.

The father-of-six dedicated his life to the band as conductor until five years ago, whenMr Sadler – his son-in-law – became the new conductor.

The band now includes two generations of Mr Menbury’s family as four of his children and three of his grandchildren play together.

Mr Menbury, 80, said: “I would be absolutely over the moon if they won.

“You always hope that your children will carry on that you were interested in, it does not always happen but it’s nice when it does. It gives you a bit of a buzz that you started with them and they are taking it up and continuing with their children.”

With five brass band sections in the country that are based on ability, Jubilee Brass Band usually competes in the Fourth section. They received an invitation to the Cheltenham contest after coming first in their section at March’s London and Southern Counties Region competition.

But after the win, the band decided to try their luck at Cornwall’s West of England Bandsmen’s Festival on Saturday, June 21.

Not only did they receive third place in their section but they triumped in the rank above, becoming Third section champions after their performace of St Austell Suite.

This third win came after their success at February’s Oxford and District Brass Band Association where they came first in their section.

Now the brass band is ready to represent the region in the national finals with the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’s Narnia Suite.

Mr Sadler, 50, said: “It will be like winning the lottery. It’s almost like winning the FA Cup. I think that everybody is just enjoying it at the moment and that’s portryaed in the way we’re playing it. If we don’t win it does not matter so much because eveybody has put the effort in.”


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