Musicians battle it out at the Yorkshire Brass Band Championships

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Brass bands from around Yorkshire are competing for the chance to represent the county in a prestigious musical contest.

Dozens of ensembles are performing in the highly-competitive Yorkshire Brass Band Championships at Huddersfield Town Hall.

The two-day competition brings opportunity of gaining top grades from strict adjudicators and the chance to perform at the Royal Albert Hall.

Brass bands from former mining and textile communities are among those taking part in the competition today (Saturday) and tomorrow.

Robert Turnbull, chairman of the Yorkshire Brass Band Championships, said: "There are quite a variety of pieces, from composers like Gustav Holst to more modern pieces.

"The judges are listening for dynamics, intonation and bands making the music come alive, as well as playing the right notes in the right order.

Huddersfield Town Hall

Huddersfield Town Hall

"The music also brings out the soloists' parts and there are prizes for soloists."

Winners this weekend will progress to the national stages of the competition at Cheltenham Race Course and the Royal Albert Hall.

Mr Turnbull said some bands had disbanded following the decline of industries like mining and textiles, which provided sponsorship.

But participation in bands has been holding up more recently.

He said: "Around Yorkshire it's still very vibrant. Our biggest rivals are probably the north west and Wales. Yorkshire is the hardest contest to get through.

"This is the contest that matters. It's very competitive."

This year's Yorkshire competition is Peggy Tomlinson's last as Yorkshire regional secretary and contest controller after 22 years organising the event, previously held at St George's Hall, Bradford.

Mrs Tomlinson said: "This is an excellent place to have the competition. The facilities for the bands are absolutely wonderful."