2004 Welsh Regional Championships - Retrospective
Sunday 14th March
Test Piece: Partita – Edward
Adjudicator: Steve Pritchard
Finally to the Fourth Section where 15 bands took to the stage
to perform Edward Gregson’s “Partita”.
Radyr and Morganstown were the clear winners here
(even though they only won by a point) and congratulations should
go to their young MD, Gareth Hann who directed a very competent
and musical performance from his charges. Radyr benefited from having
a few experienced faces in the ranks – including Alan Gwynant
formerly of Tredegar and BTM who was excellent on solo cornet and
the one and only Philip Morris on soprano, who was on good form
(perhaps he is not busy enough and is practising a few hours a day!).
It was a performance that had all the ingredients adjudicator Steve
Pritchard Jones was looking for – basics of tuning and balance,
some fine solo playing and a real sense of the serious nature of
the set work. They will head for Harrogate with high hopes as they
say in Cardiff.
Joining them were Goodwick Brass who also gave
a very good account of themselves and also mastered the basic requirements
in a very musical performance. Third place went to Ogmore
Valley under the direction of Ivor Barnett who qualified
for the finals for the second consecutive year, whilst fourth place
was taken by Severn Tunnel. The final places in
the top six went to Holywell who made the trip
down from the island of Angelesy and the famous old name ion Welsh
banding, Gwaun Cae Gurwen.
After these performances the standard fell away a little and our
reviewer/unofficial judge felt that many didn’t meet the technical
demands first and foremost. Tuning varied from the good to the downright
horrible, and although nearly every performance had individual lines
that wee excellent, it was the overall ensemble that was poor. Too
many MD’s seem to be content to sacrifice the basics in an
attempt to impress with volume – never a good idea when the
judge at this level is looking for the basics first, the fancy musical
Still overall it was great to report that 15 bands in Wales had
made it to the contest stage at the Fourth Section, with just the
two bands dropping out.
Morganstown and Radyr were the band that left Swansea celebrating
on the weekend, and well worth it they were too. Lets hope they
and the other qualifiers can be doing the same thing come Harrogate
and the Finals.