The bands principal cornet Stewart Hepburn won the Bill Shaw Slow Melody contest on Sunday, ensuring the trophy stayed at home for the first time in seven years.

The 8th annual Bill Shaw slow melody contest was held in Lochgelly on 25th April. Such was the response to entries in the Junior section that the contest organisers this year split that section into a Junior and Intermediate section, in line with SBBA age guidelines. Coupled with a strong field in the Open contest the audience were guaranteed an afternoon of good music.

The Junior section were first up. A field of twelve players took part, all vying to be the first winner of the new Bill Shaw Junior Cup. Adjudicator Andy Duncan congratulated all of the youngsters taking part and awarded two Gold, four Silver and six Bronze medals. The two Gold medal winners were Cameron McMahon and Frances Lole. Winning silver medals were Susan Carruthers, Leighton Griffin, Lewis Murray and Kalvin Sneddon. The successful bronze medalists were Gillian Lally, Holly McGoldrick, Arran McMahon, Charlotte Reid, Ammara Sarwar and Quaila Sarwar. All of these youngsters played well but the two Gold medallists in particular were outstanding for their age. The adjudicator had a hard decision to make and eventually chose Cameron McMahon's performance of "Danny Boy" as the winner of the Bill Shaw Junior Cup.

The Intermediate section for players aged 16 and under took to the stage with eleven players looking to lift the Flames of Youth trophy. The standard in this section was particularly high and reflects the good standard of teaching that these kids are receiving. Christopher Hamilton of Unison Kinneil became the first person to retain the trophy with a great performance of "Demelza". Just behind Christopher, in second place, was his sister Joanne Hamilton, with Kate Cooper of Dunfermline Town third. The good news for Christopher is that he is still young enough to make it a hat trick of wins next year.

The Open contest had a field of eight players all looking to get their name on the trophy for the first time. Again, the standard of playing in this section was extremely high with several performances straight out of the top drawer. The adjudicator awarded the trophy to Stewart Hepburn of Lochgelly for his performance of "Swedish Hymn" which, whilst not without some clips, was delivered in exactly the style that the adjudicator was looking for. Stewart becomes the first winner from Lochgelly since John Martin in 2003 and his victory continues a great year both for him and his band. Following closely behind Stewart was Christopher Hamilton of Unison Kinneil. Fresh from winning the Intermediate trophy Christopher showed what an exceptional young talent he is by stepping up to the higher level and almost taking that too. Completing a double for Unison Kinneil was Lauren Robb who came home in 3rd place with a great performance of "All That I Am".

A very successful contest this year then. The Lochgelly Band would like to thank all of the competitors for taking part and also everyone who helped in any way to make the day a success. Plans are already under way for next years contest and a special celebration for the tenth anniversary contest in 2012.



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