THE gleam of highly polished brass dazzled the eyes. The boom of the big bass drum shook the ears. The twirling batons, the epaulettes, the bearskins and the feathered plumes ensured that the immaculately-uniformed team could not be missed. The marching band of Wellington College gave a performance of military discipline and complexity during the closing ceremony of the Wellington College Athletics Meet held recently at the Kowloon Sports Ground. The school can boast one of the few marching bands in Hong Kong. Its unexpected presence conferred an especially festive atmosphere to the day's sporting activities. The bandmaster, Mr Peter Chau, said: ''There are very few marching bands in Hong Kong and the recent withdrawal of the British military bands have cut the numbers quite considerately. They are now mainly run by schools. Even so, there are at most onlyabout 20 operating in Hong Kong.'' ''All the band members are from the school and undergo approximately 10 months training. There are about 70 members in the group, of which 50 perform at any one time. We perform at our own school functions, such as speech days or sports days, at charity events, at old people's homes and at district festivals.'' The band's impressive performance rounded off a day of closely-contested athletics. Ultimately, Integrity and Harmony Houses emerged triumphant to claim the victor's laurels in the men's and women's competitions respectively. Honours must go to Yeung Tak-keung whose outstanding individual performance inspired his team to victory in the men's category. Ng Yuk-lai of Earnestness House won the women's competition. Mr Cheng Chi-sun, the Education Officer of Kwun Tong District, was present to hand out the prizes. He took the opportunity to stress the importance of improving students' health through organised outdoor activities to enable them to undertake more challenges and hopefully to inspire them to further academic achievement. The Wellington School seems to have embraced this philosophy with great success. The results are as follows: Overall House Champion: Humanity; Overall Individual Boys' Champion: Yeung Tak-keung (Integrity); Overall Individual Girls' Champion: Ng Yuk-lai (Earnestness).