The West Of England Bandsmen’s Festival 2023 

Following the successful return of the famous West of England Bandsmen’s Festival in June this year after the enforced pandemic break, arrangements for the 97th Festival on June 17th 2023 are well in hand. 
The organisers have announced that the Adjudicator for the open air competition will be Steve Sykes. Well known in the West Country his musical roots are firmly based in Yorkshire Brass Bands, particularly as former Principal Tuba and Soloist with Grimethorpe Colliery Band. 
He now works as a freelance musician appearing around the world, as well as undertaking a wide range of adjudicating appointments including the National and Regional Finals. 
The Festival, popularly known as the Bugle Contest, has the unique distinction of awarding The Royal Trophy, presented to them in 1913 by the then Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall. This is the premier prize in the Championship Section, won this year by The St Dennis Band conducted by Darren R Hawken. The Present  Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall is Patron of The West of England Bandsmen’s Festival.   
By virtue of their success in holding The Royal Trophy St Dennis received an invitation to play for Guests at a Garden Party hosted by The Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, at Boconnoc House in Cornwall on 18th July. Attended by The Prince of Wales, and The Duchess of Cornwall it was held to mark the 70th Anniversary of His Royal Highness becoming head of The Duchy of Cornwall on Her Majesty The Queen’s accession to the Throne in 1952.    
During the Garden Party Their Royal Highnesses took time out to meet members of the band and to be photographed with the St Dennis Band and The Royal Trophy, shown in the attached photograph. Alongside their Royal Highnesses, are on the left Darren R Hawken, Musical Director of The St Dennis Band and on the right Geraint Richards MVO FICFor who is Chairman of The West of England Bandsmen’s Festival. 
Image Credit: Charlie Sainsbury Plaice 


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