A “free ride” turned into a celebration for the senior band as they finished 7th in the First Section National Finals.
The afternoon began with the usual pre-contest rehearsal: “Vastly experienced MD” Steve reminded the band that they were to enjoy the occasion, regardless of the result – the band have had a tough few months, and should recognise that qualifying for the finals was prize enough – “there’s hundreds, maybe thousands, of players that will never play in the national finals”.
Despite the challenges of the venue and the stage, the band put in a solid performance, full of musicality, and were rewarded with one of the best results in their history.
Senior Band – First Section
Test Piece: King Arthur — Scenes from a Radio Drama (Benjamin Britten arr. Paul Hindmarsh)
Adjudicators: Alan Bourne, David Hirst, John Maines
1. Oldham Band (Lees) (John Collins)
2. Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)
3. Johnstone (Martin Ramsay)
4. Amersham (Paul Fisher)
5. Dunaskin Doon (Chris Bradley)
6. Ebbw Valley (Gareth Ritter)
7. Chalford (Steve Tubb)
8. Sandhurst Silver (David Johnson)
9. Enderby (Simon Oates)
10. Freckleton (Paul Dalton)
11. Bournemouth Concert Brass (Howard J Evans)
12. Skelmanthorpe (Martin Heartfield)
13. Harrogate (Dean Jones)
14. Foresters Brass (John Davis)
15. Burry Port Town (Gareth Robinson)
16. Houghton Brass (Lee Morris)
17. Strata Brass (Jonathan Bates)
Overture: Good fanfares. Timp not entirely rhythmic and tempo pushes. 30 Eb tuning in troms & cornets. Tempo causes ensemble issues. Unlucky Euph! 53 well done mutes. [E] doesn’t work – tempo! 85 unclear semiquavers. Poor ensemble to end.
Gallahad: Opening a little uncertain. Timp is too loud at [I] Cornet and Flugel need to balance at Andante. Sop not entirely comfortable. Flugel does well into 146. Tuning issues at high G’s. Tuning in horns 155 is poor
Death: Dynamics build well but tuning in chords is not secure. Tempo at [Q] is very fast – difficult to hear and semiquavers scramble. 316 balance? 326 scrappy [U] -> is frantic and loses structure. 349 tuning poor.[W] is effective and cornets play well. Eb bass shapes well. 370 poor tuning Cornets/flug. Brave attempt from horn. Some unlucky splits.
A mixed performance today – some great contributions but tempo made some things difficult. Intonation and tuning were not always secure. Thank you.
Clean opening but horns sound somewhat rushed. Euph does well just the odd slip [E] is good. Good detail at [F] It sounds a little rushed to end
Gallahad: Good to open [I] Cornets link up well. One or two uncomfortable moments in Andante but this improves [K] is not together. Some intonation to end.
Death of Arthur: A bit heavy to start but a good build to [Q] [S] Be careful perc, not to overshadow the detail. From [U] I don’t hear a lot of contrast dynamically. [V] Intonation in lower band. [W] some nice cornet work, well done Eb bass. Nice horn sound. Some slips in top of band spoil. Moves to a solid end.
Overall some decent playing but could have been more dynamically varied. Thanks.
I. A confident opening – not all detail is clear from bar 7 and ensemble is not always precise. Allegro a good tempo but not all the technical challenges are met.
II. Good to open and fairly well in tune and [I] is effective. Andante Comodo – well done solo lines [J] Well done soprano and a good attempt at the dynamics in 146. Andante Moderato – well played. [K] is controlled – good to close
IV. [Q} a bright tempo but the detail is heard [S} well done and good approach to [T] There is some spirited playing and there is good ensemble cohesion. Good approach to the moderato. Well done to the end.
Some good sounds and ensemble had a sense of purpose. Good solo lines and percussion effects. Well done.