Members of Johnstone Band are able to blow their own trumpet after enjoying success on the international stage.

The group has not been able to meet in person for more than a year, as a result of the Covid pandemic, but is still competing online.

And the musicians were delighted to secure third place in the prestigious Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championships, which saw entrants from far and wide showcasing their skills on YouTube.

The brass band, which competes in the First Section, also scooped the prize for the best cornet section at the event.

Keen to shine a spotlight on its home area, the band commissioned a new piece – Black Cart Water – especially for the occasion.

It was composed by Nicholas Olsen, a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and evocatively paid tribute to Johnstone’s history of thread and cotton mills.

The music was brought to life with stirring images of the local area, including drone footage by Kukscinema Scotland and snaps provided by Johnstone History Museum.

Enjoying the solo spotlight were principal cornet player Clare Thomas and principal euphonium player Wesley Stuart, who performed a tender rendition of Ben Hollings’ Novella before the band closed its programme in energetic fashion with Olympiada, arranged by Jonathan Bates.

Members recorded their parts at home, with the individual lines woven together by Ryan Bradley, Keith Johnson and musical director Mark Good.

“Like musicians in communities all over the country, members of Johnstone Band have dearly missed getting together over the past year because of the pandemic,” said Mark.

“Events like the Kapitol Cory Online Brass Band Championship were a great way of helping players keep motivated during this challenging period and I am delighted for everyone who worked so hard in the build-up.

“While we may have been unable to play together in person, the band has enjoyed a busy schedule of online rehearsals and performances and hard work is continuing in the background to ensure it is ready to hit the ground running as soon as we are given the green light to do so.”

June Deans, chair of Johnstone Band, added: “Thanks to the whole team involved, we were able to enjoy taking part in this international event and were very happy with the result.

“Everyone in the band recorded an individual video at home, mostly using their own mobile phones, and it’s been exciting to see the performance put together online.”

For more on Johnstone Band, visit HERE.