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Post Match Analysis:
Midlands Regional Championships 2002


Second Section:
Saturday 2nd March, Belvedere Club
Adjudicator: Steve Sykes
Commences: 11.00am approx

Results:

1. Langley Band, M. Vause, 187, 13
2. Shirley Band, D. Lea, 186, 11
3. Brackley & District, J. Glynn, 184, 19
4. Bilton Silver (Rugby), B.E. Clarke, 183, 3
5. The Wigston Band, G. Sleath, 182, 7
6. Harworth Brass, J. Davis, 181, 1
7. Snibston-Desford, K.J. Steward, 180, 14
8. Harborough, C. Groom, 179, 5
9. Porthywaen, D. Thomas, 178, 20
10. Hopkins Solicitors Blidworth, M. Wardle, 176, 18
11. Fairfield (Buxton), C. Kitchen, 175, 8
12. Moulton '77 Brass, J. Rainer, 174, 15
13. Stourport-on-Severn, D. Maplestone, 173, 16
14. Stamford Brass, R. Prew, 172, 9
15. University of Warwick, S. Hogg, 171, 2
16. Shirebrook Miners Welfare Unison, M. Battersby, 170, 10
17. Croft Silver, S. Burton, 169, 12
18. Whaley Bridge, R. Wyatt, 168, 17
19. City of Stoke-on-Trent, M. Caveney 167, 4
20. Shipston Town, G. Coleman, 166, 6

Top 3 bands qualify for the National Finals.


Top prize in the second section was deservedly won by the Langley Band who off a number 13 draw headed the 20 band field with a performance that was a little belter.

Lots of detail in the Ewald music was missed by many of the bands on the day, but not Langley who benefited from some super individual playing from all their soloists (especially the solo cornet player) and some very fine direction from the MD, M. Vause (sorry don’t know the Christian name). It was a reading that made the most musical sense of the day and gave the band time and space in which to perform. They in fact sounded a band of a slightly different class – which up until this year they in fact were. No doubt about their win.

Also going to the Finals in Torquay will be the Shirley Band conducted by Dave Lea who gave a very mature (appropriate really as they appeared to be the oldest band in the section on the day) performance that had some lovely individual moments of playing from all around the stand. It didn’t quite have the polish of Langely, but was nevertheless still a very compact and solid performance of a difficult piece.

The final qualifying spot went to Brackley and District under J. Glynn who gave a good account of themselves as last but one band on, that made the piece sound fresh and interesting after a whole series of pretty bland performances that had gone on before. Some neat and tidy ensemble passages were the highlight for us and a fine bit of trombone playing throughout really made the mark and it was of little surprise that they came up with a qualification spot to Torquay.

These three bands were slightly head and shoulders above the rest for us and even though there was other good quality shows, no one else really got to grips with the piece as the three prizewinners did. It made for interesting listening for both audience and Steve Sykes, but it also conformed that the top three were deserved qualifiers.

Bilton Silver took 4th spot, and although they were only a point behind Brackley they just didn’t do enough for us to really justify a place in the top three. Plenty of good solid stuff though, but it didn’t quite have those earcatching moments the others above them had. Good result though.

Wigstone were 6th and put up a decent enough showing, as did Harworth off the dreaded number 1 spot, that set the early marker for the rest to follow and 6th in the circumstances was a fine result.

Below this it was a bit more difficult for us to place the bands in the same order as Steve Sykes as for most of the time each performance had it’s good moments and it’s bad, but the bands that came in the top half of the final table had more good than bad – if that’s a fair way of outing it, and showed that there is plenty of good young talented players in the lower sections.

Intonation spoiled much of the work of many performances and so many flugel players were flat it was nearly unbelievable. Those who came in the bottom half of the table can’t have much to complain about as many of their performances didn’t quite catch the spirit of the music and many just tried to blow their way out of trouble – only to find themselves in more of the same as a result.

The bands at the very bottom, found life very tough indeed and perhaps the piece was too difficult for them as a whole. Every one of them had little moments to merit, but so much of the basics of good balance and intonation were of a poor standard and it at times was hard on the old ears. Some MD’s may have to rethink their strategies in future as just trying to play loud and hope to sound like a good band won’t work.

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