Double Victory for Virtuosi GUS at Butlins Mineworkers

By Darren Ashman, 25 Jan 2013

Photo used courtesy of Iwan Fox at

The Virtuosi GUS Band is thrilled to be crowned Butlins Mineworkers Champions for 2013. A win at this contest had eluded the band somewhat over the years, with several podium places and runners up spots. But this year's performances, last weekend in Skegness, were met with high regard from the adjudicators, band press and audience alike.

The contest was spread across two days, Saturday being a set work performance, then an entertainment programme on the Sunday. Virtuosi GUS won in both disciplines, from a field of 13 championship bands. This was only the second time this has been done during the past 10 years, the only other time being in 2010, by midlands rivals, Desford.

Winning the Warwick Vase Trophy and £10,000 first prize was a great start to 2013 for the band, particularly as this is the band's 80th anniversary year. Band manager Simon Smith commented on 4barsrest:

"Absolutely fantastic - it's been a long time coming for the band. It's our 80th year and there's a lot to look forward to; lots of good concerts coming up and hopefully some more good contest performances as well! There is a lot of maturing young talent in the band, plus the more experienced players. It's gelling as a unit and sounding mature as a band now".

Programme content adjudicator Michael Fowles remarked:

'Jealousy': The duelling trumpets are in good taste and we hear a very stylish mood from the band. This has just the right feel and shows another of your abilities. I'll just listen! This was an item of real quality!"

"A well constructed programme, which I thoroughly enjoyed. So much to admire in the execution".

In his adjudicator's comments, David Read MBE said: "A mature and musical performance throughout with good soloists".

Professional trumpet player Chad Shoopman, who was the entertainment adjudicator at this year's contest, said:

"There was some wonderful soprano cornet playing from Virtuosi GUS; that player was brilliant today! I was very impressed and I've got to actually go home now and practise"!