GUS Crowned Champions Under New Conductor Cooke

Virtuosi GUS band were crowned Midland Area Champions at Bedworth last weekend

By Caroline Dean, 14 Mar 2014

Midlands Area Champions (Photo:

Virtuosi GUS band is delighted to have been crowned Midland Area Champions in the Championship section contest, held at the Civic Hall in Bedworth last weekend.

Playing 6th out of a total of 11 bands in the contest, the Northamptonshire-based band produced an outstanding performance of Kenneth Downie's challenging test piece, St Magnus, to take the title in style. The Virtuosi GUS band, which celebrated its 80th year in 2013, has now earnt an invitation to play in the prestigous National Finals, which will be held at the Royal Albert Hall in London this October.

Speaking on behalf of the band, Chairman Nigel Love, was extremely happy with the win:

"The band has worked hard to achieve this result. There has been a real team spirit amongst the players and we are delighted that our new conductor Adam Cooke has experienced his first win with GUS. He has been meticulous in his preparations and this result is testament to his vision for this difficult piece and to his immense talent as a conductor".

Adam, conducting at his first area contest with the Virtuosi GUS band, was magnanimous in victory:

"The band played outstandingly and their performance really blew the judges away. We extend our congratulations to all the other bands who competed at the Midlands Area on a very difficult test piece and we look forward to meeting up with Desford in London at the National Finals. The band would also like to take the opportunity to thank all friends, partners and families of our players, whose constant support is vital whilst we rehearse and contest".

Ranked amongst the top 10 English bands, Virtuosi GUS will now be focussing upon a new recording project with the composer Simon Dobson and will be releasing a CD in the next few months, before setting their sights on the Royal Albert Hall to compete with the best bands in the UK.