2003 Welsh Regional Qualifying Championships
Third Section - Retrospective
Adjudicator: David Read
Test Piece: Northern Landscapes - Peter Graham
David Read told 4BR that he had enjoyed the bands performances
in the 3rd section and was particularly complimentary about the
standard of performance of the winners, Newbridge Celynen and Conway
Town who came second. In fact he was very complimentary about the
standard of the section as a whole.
Newbridge were our dark horse choice before the contest, and they
certainly upset the form book with a performance that was a good
length or more ahead of the rest. Directed by ex Black Dyke and
Tredegar horn player Paul Holland, they benefited from well chosen
tempos, very secure soloists especially on solo cornet and a balanced
rounded sound – just the right ingredients in fact for success
at any level. The MD gave the music the time to flow and the control
was excellent. The two point winning margin was well deserved and
they can look forward to the finals with confidence.
Conway pushed them close, and actually followed Newbridge on stage
as band number 9. They too were very well directed by K. Jones and
once more the MD kept things under control with sensible tempos.
The band sound was rounded and blanced, and although they had a
few slips here and there it was a very polished rendition and fully
deserved the second qualification spot.
Third place went to Ynyshir who were directed by Alan Gibbs and
they set the early marker for others to follow with a compact performance
off the number 3 draw that very nearly got them a place at Dundee.
It didn’t quite have the control of the top two and sometimes
the balance went awry but it was a good solid show.
Outside the podium places the errors started to cost the bands
more and more, but all of the bands brought something to the music
and all didn’t sacrifice their chances on just trying to blow
their way through at the expense of a balanced sound. It was also
nice to report that the tuning was pretty good all day – especially
flugel horns (something that wasn’t the case elsewhere we
Trefor put in a decent showing off the number 1 spot to gain 4th
place, whilst Royal Buckley came in 5th and Beaumaris B sixth. All
three bands were sporting youngsters galore and they will surely
return back next year stronger. They all had their moments as well,
bu the overall band sound wasn’t as full and rounded as the
bands above them and the error rate was slightly higher. They could
have come in any order really for us, but we suspect next year they
will be higher up the table. 7th place went to Cross Keys who performed
well under Keri Bowden but also fell foul of the same mistakes that
bedeviled the three bands above them, but there were signs that
this is a band for the future.
Ebbw Vale came in 8th with a performance that was a touch ragged
in places and overblown – it spoilt some nice work, whilst
Pontypool came home 9th with a performance that was riddled by too
many individual and ensemble errors. Both of these though had plenty
of raw material to work with for the rest of the year, so all is
not lost for sure.
Finally two bands that found it hard going, but nevertheless gave
brave accounts of themselves and the music. Llanelli with Rob Owen
never quite met the technical challenges for us and tended to overblow
– something which David Read we knew would penalise. If they
had taken 20% off in places they would surely have done better,
whilst Vale of Glamorgan under David Short found the work just a
bit too tough for them. They will come back next year though stronger.
So Newbridge and Conway make the trip North and with a lot of compliments
from the movements most experienced judge to boost them, confidence
will be high. Well done both.