A HIGH-FLYING brass band has topped off a successful year by appointing a popular figure as its president.

This summer, Leyburn Brass Band won best hymn and best solo and came second overall at Ripon Brass contest in May.

They followed-up on this by taking top place at September’s Hardraw Brass Band contest by one point. They also won best march by an unregistered band and Rebecca Lundberg as winning conductor won an engraved tankard and her sister Emma was the best soloist.

For a number of years, Leyburn Band has been without a president. Mary Sanderson was their first, and only, president and was given this accolade for resurrecting the band in 2003. Since her death, many people have been suggested for the title but it was felt that no one really fitted the bill.

However, they have now appointed George Lundberg as president.

Along with Mrs Sanderson, George was instrumental in helping reform the band and as its conductor brought together an unlikely bunch of trainee musicians and persevered with his vision, by challenging them and entering competitions.

Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s and cancer, no one expects George to take a back seat – on the contrary, the band fully expect him to flex his musical muscles with increased vigour.

Mr Lundberg said: “It was totally unexpected, I hadn’t a clue and I feel extremely humble and proud to be honoured by the band in such a way. “

Leyburn Band helped to raise £3,000 for the victims of the recent floods in Swaledale and Wensleydale when they performed as part of massed bands with players from Reeth and Muker at a pre-auction concert in Tennants Garden Rooms.

Their annual Christmas Concert takes place there on December 23 with fireworks at 6.30pm, and the concert starts at 7.30pm. They are expected to perform a new arrangement of Infant Holy by their musical director Rebecca Lundberg. Should any bands be looking for new Christmas music, it is available from Kirklees Music.