St Keverne Band has qualified for the National Finals after winning a coveted top two place in the qualifying stages.

Band members travelled to Torquay on Saturday for the West of England Regional Finals of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain.

With 14 brass bands performing, competition was fierce as only the best two bands would qualify for the National Finals, which are to be held in Cheltenham at the end of September.

This was former Royal Marines band master and recently appointed musical director Karl Long's first competition in charge of St Keverne Band.

He said: "The band has been working extremely hard over the last few months preparing for this competition.

"We arrived in Torquay with just enough time for the briefest of warm ups before moving to the stage for the performance. Being the first band on stage meant that nerves barely had time to take hold before it was all over and the band were back on the transport returning home inside the hour.

"The performance itself was fantastic, full of character and finesse. All their hard work, commitment and dedication was rewarded on Saturday and the band should be extremely proud of their achievement."

Careful consideration was given to whether the band should attend the competition amid the current coronavirus situation, but Mr Long added: "With considered and detailed extra measures put in place by the organisers, added to our own special measures ensuring that the band did not come into contact with anyone else while we were in Torquay and everyone adhering to the government's current advice on maintaining exemplary personal hygiene, the band remained as safe as possible throughout."

Band members will now begin preparations for a busy summer season of concerts and engagements including the annual Ox Roast, this year for the first time being held on the first Saturday of August.

This year is also the 60th anniversary of this event and St Keverne Band is putting together a band of former players to celebrate. To take part contact a band member.

Any new players interested in joining the band as a member can call band manager on 07446 273718.