A great weekend in Torquay for both bands, with the senior band qualifying for the national finals by coming second, and then the academy band demonstrating a brilliant team ethos, by electing to go on stage with an unregistered player, even though they knew that would mean disqualification.
Those setting off early on Friday got stuck in the some horrendous traffic, so Kelly thought she’d get the band some national exposure and phoned into Simon Mayo on BBC Radio 2.
The band assembled in St. Luke’s Church on Saturday afternoon, warming up by playing Eventide, which with the church’s resonance sent shivers up the spine. After a bit of work on the piece, the session ended with (fairly strict) adjudication on the limerick competition.
Drawn 10 out of 16 (Andy Powis wasn’t involved, so we got a reasonable draw!), we were on stage at 5:30pm. Coming off stage, the band were a bit unsure about the performance, but Steve was pleased: “a good performance, perhaps not played with as much conviction as in rehearsal”. Nevertheless the banding press were fairly receptive, with 4barsrest.com predicting second place, behind favourites Bournemouth.
Results were out around 8:15pm, and the WhatsApp group went unusually quiet for a few minutes after Andy Godwin posted “We came 2nd”, before it sank in and everybody chimed in.
Senior Band – First Section
Test Piece: Brass Metamorphosis (James Curnow)
Adjudicators: Brett Baker and Stan Lippeatt
1. Bournemouth Concert Brass (Howard Evans)*
2. Chalford (Steve Tubb)*
3. Forest of Dean Brass (Bryn James)
4. Michelmersh Silver (Melvin White)
5. SW Comms (Chris Spreadbury)
6. City of Bristol Brass (Paul McLaughlin)
7. A W Parker (Drybrook) (Joshua Ruck)
8. Roche Brass (David Hamilton)
9. Glastonbury Brass (Simon Jones)
10. Sherborne Town (Ian Lowes)
11. Otterbourne Brass (Melvin White)
12. Bodmin Town (John Maines)
13. Sidmouth Town (Adrian Harvey)
14. Andover Town (Steve Large)
15. Wotton-under-Edge & District (Ian Dickinson)
16. St Keverne (Gareth Churcher)
*Qualify for National Final
Good confident start.  Good clean work -> Good solo lines, just small blips -> Good tempo and gen clean playing. Good contrasting dynamics noted  Softer to start please, but yes clean. Good ending to a good opening section  Good mood change  Confident flugel  Horn obligato comes out well  Fine sop sound just small blips. Keep up the good work  Fine section work from the horn section. Euph ok but more musicality for me please  Good horn, timp loose to end!!  Steady tempo and working well. Some good clean playing through this section and good to end  Well balanced solo lines  Good horn playing, just the small blip  Good bass lines Sop/Euph  Good work noted  trom plays well also. We have had good contrasting dynamics in this performance  was a shade untidy!  Melodic line lost in the balance. Good build to a controlled ending.
A very good performance (small blips)
Good start. Contrasting and confident. Clear entries from cornets at   well done trombones  Exciting playing  Clean entries from euphs  was a little sloppy. Good dynamic contrasts  Effective playing. Good cornet balances at  Solo entries observe dynamics. Good stuff.  is not quite lined up but playing is musical. Soprano just gets there  convincing playing, a few tuning issues at   important lines come through the texture. Basses and euphs observe dynamics at   Exciting tempo, but precise playing and just the odd scrappy moment such as   Effective playing, a little scrappy through   This a little shakey to start  this could be more legato in the solo line  even more legato please  cornets play as one  nice trombone solo  Good balance  Shame this is a little scrappy. Approach to  goes well. Nice trombones in molto rit
Academy Section – Fourth Section
An early start for the academy band, with the section starting at 9am. Nevertheless, they got in an early rehearsal and were in the Riviera Centre listening to the early bands, before getting ready to play, drawn 6th.
Unfortunately, one of the players wasn’t registered, so although they knew they would be disqualified by playing, they played anyhow. As one of the players put it: “it’s a long story, but we were all in agreement about it, and we decided to play because we’re a family”
Steve later commented: “Very proud of academy on 2 counts. Firstly the performance, but secondly and more importantly the unanimous support for wanting the whole band to play knowing the consequences. You are all winners in my eyes. Thank you. PS we did beat 4 bands!”
Test Piece: World Tour (Rodney Newton)
Adjudicators: Brett Baker & John Winterflood
1. Gosport Solent Brass (Colin Garner)*
2. Pendeen Silver (Leonard Adams)*
3. Test Valley Brass (John Heritage)
4. Okehampton Excelsior Silver (Robert Julian)
5. Bideford Town Band (Mark Durham)
6. Nailsworth Silver (Steve Ruck)
7. Verwood Town (Emma Button)
8. Redruth Town (Keith Anderson)
9. Shanklin Town (IoW) (Malcolm Lewis)
10. Wincanton Silver (Steve Sykes)
11. Exeter Railway (Graham Eaton)
12. Tiverton Town (John Fitton)
13. Shaftesbury Town Silver (Martin Hill)
14. Torbay Brass (Gareth Davies)
15. Chalford Academy (Steve Tubb)** (placed 11 by adjudicators)
*Qualify for National Final
**Disqualified due to registration infringement. Played at contest with agreement of contest organisers
- Some mispitching in the opening statement [A] Intonation in the upper cornets/sop [B] Not quite balanced between parts [C] This rushes along and cornets not quite together
- Some mispitching in the semiquaver lines. [F] Good euphs. Tempo a little too fast for ragtime style. A steadier tempo would the players around the solo lines
- Well done Flugel, Euph. A little hesitant with the accompanying chord [K] Intonation Cornets. A good attempt at the phrasing through here. [L] through to end good.
- Opening good. Troms very good [M] Good band sound. [P] Intonation suffers though this passage and balance of the parts within the ensemble. It sounds a little tired to end
- Good start, top Gs are crashing in terms on tuning. Balance issues are occurring on approach to [B] The forte and ff could be bigger [C] feels a little rushed and therefore scrappy [D] we lose the middle of the band balance. Early could be bigger
- It is a little shakey to start. This also feels a little rushed and we get casualties as a result. Bar 132 well done cornets
- This starts a little nervy, but recovers. There are some tuning issues at [J] Well done percussion into [K] Tempo alters a lot but it’s not quite musical. Tuning issues occur to close
- Good start but forte could be bigger. Trombones not bad through to [M] Good work Euphs at [N] Tuning issues again occur at  Confident close but tuning issues are still evident.
Some good playing but everything seemed a little rushed therefore insecure.