Talented young North Ayrshire musicians earned a “fantastic” gold award at the Scottish Concert Band Festival.

The Senior Band – comprised of upper high school students from the area - beat out 25 other teams from across the country to win the top prize at the competition last week.

They wowed the judges with their performances of ‘Star Wars Fanfare’, ‘The Raider’s March’ from Indiana Jones, ‘Big Easy Suite’, and a medley of ABBA hits - arranged by Scottish composer, Alan Fernie.

Trumpet player and member of the Junior Department of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Niamh Milne also shone as a soloist playing ‘Ballad from Trumpet’.

Musical Director Steven Cowling said: “All the musicians have worked incredibly hard over the past few months to prepare for the competition, and they all played beautifully.

“A Gold Award is a fantastic achievement, and they should all be very proud of themselves.”

The two-day festival took place on Saturday March 19 at Perth Concert Hall and was the first competition held in three years due to Covid-19.

The band faced many challenges during the past three years as the pandemic restricted their rehearsals and have been praised for earning such a great result despite the circumstances.

Councillor Alan Hill, cabinet member for communities and islands, said: “Well done to all of our talented musicians who took part and represented North Ayrshire.

“It’s great to see first-hand how our young musicians have continued to hone their skills at home even with the challenges of lockdown and time apart.

“Each of the performances have demonstrated how passionate our young people are and how well our music service has continued to support them.

“They are a credit to us all and I have no doubt that every pupil has a bright future ahead of them.”

Pupils interested in learning an instrument should email musicservice@north-ayrshire.gov.uk.