NORTH Ayrshire welcomed some of Scotland’s best young musicians at the weekend when it played host to the National Concert Band Festival (NCBF).

Bands from across Scotland – including our very own North Ayrshire Schools’ Senior and Junior Concert Bands – headed to Garnock Community Campus for the regional heats of the UK’s largest wind and big band festival.

On the day, seven bands took to the stage and performed to acclaimed judges to try and convince them that they deserved the prestigious Platinum or Gold award.

Only those successful in obtaining the top titles can progress to the national finals taking place in Manchester this April. It was double success for North Ayrshire’s bands as both the Senior and Junior groups scooped up a gold award – securing their place at the national stage of the competition.

Councillor John Bell, Cabinet Member for Education and Youth Employment, said: “It’s no secret that North Ayrshire has some of the most musically talented young people in the country, having achieved great successes at the National Concert Band Festival in the past – not least the Platinum award at the national finals in 2016 & 2017.

“This year we were lucky enough to be the host region for the festival, which made our own bands’ achievements all the more special. “Their performances were spectacular and for both to receive a gold award certainly finished the festival off in true style.

“Huge congratulations goes to our outstanding young musicians and the very best of luck for the finals this spring.

“We’re all incredibly proud of you.”

See this week's Herald for a full photo spread from the event.