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2012 North of England Regional Championship — First Section retrospective

Malcolm Wood looks back at the First Section Area contest in Darlington.

2012 NE Area First Sec tion winners Shepherd Group
Flock to Cheltenham for the victorious Shepherd Group
Picture: Steve Jack


The North of England First Section was all about quality as opposed to quantity.

Just five bands had made it to the starting line to give their performances of 'Mountain Views', but the end result was a contest of an impressive standard.

Musical pictures

Adjudicator, Mike Kilroy was looking for the bands to paint descriptive musical pictures, and the well matched quintet certainly did that and more on the day.

Shepherd Group's winning interpretation was one of energy, drive and purpose under MD Richard Wilton.

It was also complimented by very fine individual contributions too – notably from the prize winning bass and percussion sections, which complimented a quite outstanding trombone trio.

It was mighty fine stuff – which consolidated together delivered a performance that was as good as any heard at the Regional Championships.

Richard Wilton’s direction was neat and precise, his interpretation broad and colourful. They will be a band to fear come Cheltenham on this form.

Merit

Westoe
claimed the second qualification place on offer with a performance of real merit. It bubbled with the type of energy that seemed to fizz through the veins of MD Jason Smith.

At one point he lifted himself off the floor as if hit by the type of punch George Foreman once elevated Joe Frazier with.

You couldn’t fault the desire and you couldn’t fault the approach. It was seat of the pants stuff at times, but it never for a moment did anything other than keep you fully engaged.

Commiserations


With two such fine qualifiers, it was a case of commiseration for Catterick Brass.

Brenden Wheeler's band can consider themselves a touch unfortunate not to be heading to the finals after a fine performance that was based on control and consideration of dynamics and tempo.

It perhaps just lacked the vibrancy of its rivals, but it was still a very fine effort.

Robust

Both Harrogate and GT Group Peterlee will have headed home proud of their efforts – even if they were a little way off the pace of the top three.

These were robust accounts, that at times just lacked that extra degree of finesses, although MDs Craig Ratcliffe and Jo Cook kept the music flowing.

Two emerging bands with two emerging conducting talents showed a great deal of potential.

Quality not quantity

It may have been a short contest, but it was certainly one where it was the quality and not the quantity that won though.

Two excellent qualifiers will head to Cheltenham with high hopes of claiming further glory – even if they may be up against quite few more rivals.

Malcolm Wood



Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Chamber Ensemble

Friday 23 February • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C 2DJ (opposite RESERVED) W1C 2DJ


The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - Chirst Church Ilkley

Saturday 24 February • Christchurch,. The Grove,. Ilkley LS29 9LW


Elland Silver Band -

Saturday 24 February • All Saints Church Savile Road Elland HX5 0NH


Milton Keynes Brass - "Blow away those Winter Blues"

Saturday 24 February • The United Reformed Church. High Street. Newport Pagnell MK16 0FH


The Cobham Band -

Saturday 24 February • The Vera Fletcher Hall . 4 Embercourt Road. Thames Ditton. KT7 0LQ KT70LQ


The Corsham Band

February 22 • Having now been promoted to the 2nd Section for the forthcoming Contest season, the band are now looking for a back row cornet player, 2nd or 3rd, to join our team


Thundersley Brass Band

February 20 • Thundersley Brass, a Championship section band based in Benfleet, Essex are welcoming applicants for the following positions (seats negotiable)from April 2018:. Eb Bass. BBb Bass.


The Corsham Band

February 20 • Having now been promoted to the 2nd Section for the forthcoming Contest season, the band are now looking for an experienced Front Row Cornet Player to join our friendly and enthusiastic team.


Howard J Evans

MA (Dist), Mus.B (hons), ARCM (hons), LRAM, LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, composer, arranger, tutor and pianist