An Irvine brass band are “over the moon” to have achieved the top prize at a national championship.

Irvine and Dreghorn Brass band have taken the top place in the Second Section of the Scottish Brass Band Championships on Sunday March 11.

Now the band will be representing Scotland in the national finals in Cheltenham this September and will move up to the first section of the championships for the first time.

Secretary James McGoldrick said: “The band have never won the second section before – this is one of the most successful results that we’ve had as a band in recent history.

“Every single one of us is absolutely over the moon we’re so proud of all the work that we’ve put in.

“The time commitment that people put in both at rehearsals and at home is just phenomenal and as a committee member and secretary I’m really proud of everybody that’s put in the time and effort to get us to this point.”

The band worked with musical director and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland alumni Lewis Bettles to hone their skills for their winning performance of The Pilgrim’s Progress by Rodney Newton.

Throughout the past few years, the band has faced many tough times relating to the pandemic, making their achievements all the more impressive.

He added: “It’s been a challenging couple of years for the band with covid, trying to keep the charity moving, and then coming out of covid and trying to build a membership back up again.

“Covid was a real challenge for us to try and keep people playing music and then afterwards to get people back together again and have to confidence to come together and play.”

With the national championship set for September, the band is preparing to hold fundraisers for their trip to England with more details to come.