facebook twitter rss vimeo

*
banner

2011 Yorkshire Regional Championship — Third Section retrospective

Two very fine performances made light music of Philip Wilby's test piece to gain their place at Cheltemham.

Horbury
A Horbury quintet celebrate victory

Philip Wilby, the composer of the Third Section test piece, 'A Little Light Music', was in St George's Hall on Sunday to listen to all twelve bands tackle his demanding, but highly enjoyable work.

Mischievously he described it as ‘the triangle players revenge’ in his lovely little analysis before the announcement of the results – although on the evidence that was heard, the triangle player perhaps got off lightly.

Intriguing

At the end of an intriguing contest, Philip Harper and Major Paul Norley gave insightful comments as to what they'd been listening to.

For Philip, with notebook in hand, it had been a question of style as well as substance; from the opening fanfares, through the bouncy clog dance and romance of the lady in the lake, to the high paced ice cream tarantella and final reprise.

Desire


He welcomed the desire to play with lyrical warmth in the romance and with a degree of pace ‘on the rev counter’ as he said in the 'tarantella', which showed that a number of bands had worked their socks off to be able to play with a feel for the Neapolitan flair required.

Paul Norley reinforced the point and welcomed the approach of a host of bands to producing lyricism and a sense of plaintive sonority along with a warm tone and balance in the second movement in particular.

As always at this level the difference between the best and the rest was consistency – something that Paul earmarked in his written comments.

Winners
Looking more more People... for Band rep John Craven of Horbury

Beckley inspired


You've got to hand it to Duncan Beckley. 

Over the years he has shown an uncanny ability to inspire all the bands he takes at the Areas (his record is quite something).

Once again he showed just how effective an appreciation of good basic brass band playing can be at this level.

No bluff

Off the number 1 draw he led Horbury Victoria to a victory based on the solid, no nonsense delivery of the elements required to bring the character of each movement from the page without resorting to bluff and camouflage.

In a way it was a performance of old fashioned values – something the piece rather emphasised in its engaging Welsh inspired (but Yorkshire written) portraits.

A solid fanfare opening was followed by a breezy clog dance, warm romance and bright reprise.

It did what it needed to do, with an emphasis on delivering the technical aspects with clarity and detail. It proved to be a marker that no one could match thereafter.

Skipping to Cheltenham

The runners up spot went to the most colourful – make that, flamboyant performance of the whole weekend from Lee Skipsey with the City of Bradford.

That’s the right way to formally describe it too – as the former Black Dyke percussionist led from the front with a performance of almost theatrical artistry.

His band of experienced players and younger performers responded in kind too, despite his idiosyncratic conducting style.

Principal cornet, Tim Pool took the ‘Best Soloist’ award for his fine contribution, despite still suffering the after effects of a recent canoeing accident that split his lip and gave him a nasty gash on the hooter.

Best Soloist
Canoe Man - Tim Pool wins the Best Soloist Award

Opposed


It was a performance almost diametrically opposed to Horbury Victoria in terms of musicality, although it did suffer the occasional nasty clip in the execution.

There was also a reminder that at this level you can’t take anything for granted either.  

Lee's little bit of show-boating in turning to bow to the audience as the final note sounded reminded you that even at this level you can suffer the same fate as Icarus if you are not too careful.

He won’t want to do it again too often.

City of Bradford
Heading to Cheltenham for City of Bradford

Solid and safe

Behind the clear qualifiers came a batch of well managed performances, headed by Chapeltown Silver and Elland Silver.

At most other areas you suspect they would have qualified in some comfort, but here they came up against two bands that sounded more than a match for most in the Second Section the day before.

Chapeltown’s solid account benefited from well chosen tempos and good quality ensemble work from start to finish, whilst the same applied to Elland under James Shepherd – lots of detail and carefully chosen speeds, added to with some refined solo interventions from the likes of Samantha Harrison on cornet who was a lovely ‘Lady of the Fountain’.

Chapeltown
Just missing out - Helen Irvine and Chapeltown

Merit

Lofthouse 2000
and Crofton Silver both produced accounts of merit in claiming the final top six places – performances studiously managed with real sensibility by the MDs.

Variable

Behind these the standard was more variable with enjoyable, but uneven accounts from Skelmanthorpe 'B' and Worsbrough Brass, full of spirit and vibrancy but also pockmarked with noticeable unforced errors and tuning difficulties.

It was a similar story for Huddersfield & Ripponden and Thurcroft Welfare too as they found problems early on despite some fine lyrical playing in the middle movements in particular.


Admiration


For Gawthorpe Brass '85' and Maltby Miners Welfare it was a case of total admiration, as both bands didn’t quite have the security in the personnel to deliver the well thought out readings from the MDs.

There was plenty of grit and determination on show but high error counts and some nasty slips and untunefulness consigned them to the bottom two places.

Overall though, this was a very enjoyable contest that produced two outstanding candidates for possible long overdue Yorkshire success at the finals themselves.

Malcolm Wood



Gloucestershire Brass Band Association - Own Choice March & Test Piece Contest

Sunday 19 November • All Saints’ Academy. Blaisdon Way. Cheltenham GL51 0WH


Rotherham Schools' Youth Brass Band - Fountain City Brass Band

Monday 20 November • Rotherham Minster - Rotherham s60 1pd


Foden's Band - Matt Ford - Lichfield Cathedral

Friday 24 November • 19A The Close, Lichfield WS13 7LD


Lofthouse Brass Band - Pudsey Churches Together Christmas Concert

Saturday 25 November • Pudsey Parish Church, Church Lane, Pudsey, LS28 7BD LS28 7BD


Lofthouse Brass Band - Lofthouse Christmas Fair

Saturday 25 November • Lofthouse Methodist Church, Leeds Road, Lofthouse, Wakefield WF3 3NE


Hucknall & Linby Brass

November 20 • Hucknall and Linby Band - 2nd section- Require a front row cornet player. We rehearse Thursdays 7.30 -9.30 in Hucknall, Nottingham. With great transport links to the city centre and the universities.


Newstead Brass

November 18 • Bb Cornet (position negotiable). . Newstead Brass, established Midlands Championship section, have opportunity for an additional cornet player. Suitable for experienced player or someone looking to take the next step in their development.


Wakefield Metropolitan Brass Band

November 17 • FRONT ROW CORNET. SOLO TROMBONE. . The band have an exciting concert/contest/marching schedule ahead. We are looking for a committed front row cornet and solo trombone player to come and join us in the Yorkshire 1st Section! MD: Richard Larder.


Julian Bright


Conductor, Compere/MC, Cornet Soloist