Whitburn Band is celebrating after becoming the Scottish champions for the 20th time.

Whitburn was conducted to victory by its musical director Professor Nicholas Childs. Performing the test piece Odyssey by Kevin Norbury, the West Lothian outfit won the contest at Perth Concert Hall on Sunday, which was adjudicated by Dr Michael Ball and Paul Holland.

The band retained its title playing off a number one draw, and the result means Whitburn has not been defeated by any Scottish band in any competition since August, 2016. Whitburn has also qualified to represent Scotland at the National Championships of Great Britain, which will be held at the Royal Albert Hall in October.

For Professor Childs, the victory represented another record. He has now won the Scottish championships nine times, one more than the legendary Major Peter Parkes.

It was a special weekend overall for the Whitburn Band organisation. Chris Bradley (cornet) and Paul Kiernan (trombone) won individual awards, while Chris Yule, Heather McMillan, Amy Gray and Ryan Bradley were named the Best Percussion section of the contest.

Whitburn’s percussion section (from left Ryan Bradley, Chris Yule, adjudicator Paul Holland, Heather McMillan and Amy Gray)

Adjudicator Dr Michael Ball (left) presenting Paul Kiernan with the medal for Best Trombone.


Meanwhile, Whitburn Heartlands – who are part of the Whitburn Band structure – finished runner up in the Fourth Section of the Scottish Championships with its conductor Iain Fleming.

It was also a successful weekend for conductors who play with Whitburn Band. As well as picking up the award for Best Trombone, Paul conducted Campbeltown Brass to victory in the Second Section.

Chris Bradley conducted Dunaskin Doon band to a runner up spot in the First Section, while Iain Fleming also led St David’s Brass to a fourth place in the Second Section. Chris Shanks finished in the same position with Langholm Town Band in the Third Section.

Whitburn’s John Fraser (second right) is presented the awards by SBBA President Carrie Boax and adjudicators Paul Holland (second left) and Dr Michael Ball.


Whitburn Heartlands Band finished second in the Fourth Section

Whitburn’s focus now turns to a landmark concert with the Cory Band – the number one ranked band in the world – at the Parish Church of St Cuthbert in Edinburgh on Thursday, April 5.

Following that, the band will represent Scotland at the European Brass Band Championships in Utrecht in the Netherlands in May.

Whitburn Band Manager Charlie Farren said: “We were delighted with the win, which is the first time the band has retained the Scottish title since 1993. I want to thank the entire band and our conductor Professor Nicholas Childs for leading us to victory once more.

“It was a great weekend overall, with Heartlands finishing runner-up in the Fourth Section. We are all looking forward to performing in our exciting concert with Cory and at the European Championships.”