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A packed Campbeltown Brass Christmas concert was described by conductor Katrina Barr as ‘a great end to a great year’ – one in which the senior band discovered it is to play the national anthem at two Scottish rugby matches.
All 35 members of the senior band will perform before the Scotland v England women’s rugby match at Scotstoun Stadium on February 9, and again at Murrayfield Stadium before the men’s Six Nations Scotland v France match on March 8.
Katrina told the Courier: ‘It is amazing but a bit scary – there will be 60,000 people in the stadium and it will be televised.’
Campbeltown Brass was selected to perform the ‘potentially once-in-a-lifetime’ Murrayfield gig after being recommended by Whitburn Band, Scotland’s national stadium’s resident brass band. Whitburn is unavailable on March 8 due to performing at the Scottish Championships, at which Campbeltown Brass will compete the day before.
Despite the recommendation from one of the most successful bands in Scotland, Campbeltown Brass still had to go through an audition process, submitting sound recordings and video footage of performances, before finding out it was successful.
To make sure the band is looking smart during the outdoor performances, Springbank Distillery has sponsored a full set of soft-shell jackets, emblazoned with the logos of both the band and the distillery.
The jackets will be used at other outdoor events, besides the rugby, including remembrance services and while playing carols.
In addition, the band has recently discovered that it is a finalist in the Argyll and Bute Youth Awards, which only take place once every three years, and members expect to find out in February if they are successful.
The recent Christmas concert, at which Ranald Watson from Springbank Distillery officially presented the new jackets to the band, was described as ‘a great success’, and featured members of all Campbeltown Brass’s bands, from beginners, to intermediates and seniors.
Held at the Kintyre Community Education Centre, the concert featured festive songs, as well as film hits and pop songs.
‘One that went down really well was the Schneewalzer,’ Katrina said. ‘It’s a German snow waltz, which got the audience involved, standing up and sitting down, that kind of thing. And we played the 12 Days of Christmas, which is always good.’
Katrina added: ‘Thank you to everyone for their continued support, especially parents of band members who take their children to practices every week.
‘Also to Tesco and the Coop for allowing us to play carols in the lead up to Christmas and to everyone who donated for their generosity.’