The Lewis and Harris Youth Concert Band got a gold at the National finals of the Scottish Concert Band Festival held at Perth Concert Hall on Saturday March 16th.

Band conductor Gavin Woods, speaking from the Loch Seaforth ferry during their return voyage said: "We are delighted."

And he added that the Band will be making an EP in June. 

Earlier Stornoway-based hire firm Car Hire Hebrides had come to the aid of the band which faced an expensive challenge getting its array of instruments to the major event.

CHH gave hem a free-of-charge van to take all their cases and instruments to Perth and back –  the group were a bit cash-strapped after hiring three minibuses to take the 40 or so people involved and the problem was they had no space in the minibuses to take everything else – instrument cases, music stands, trombone, trumpets, drums, cymbals and even a double bass and a tuba.  They are pictured on Thursday March 14th before starting to load the van as rain fell.

The group of 38 young people, from various schools, won a place in the finals after being presented with a Gold Award by SCBF adjudicator Alan Friel, who attended a concert held by the band in Stornoway last November.

The Scottish Concert Band Festival is a national organisation which for the past 10 years has organised an annual wind band festival for young people consisting of seven regional heats followed by a final in Perth.

This year 57 bands took part in the heats with 26 school bands going through to the finals. There is no overall winner – the purpose is to encourage each band towards higher achievement and to showcase the best of Scotland’s talent.