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2013 English National Championship — As it happened

All the action from the 2013 English National Championship — as it happened.

General • Sunday 30, 11:15:59


General • Sunday 30, 11:13:28


General • Saturday 29, 18:23:37

Black Dyke has made it a hat trick of wins at the English National in Birmingham and qualifies for The European in Perth next May. This concludes our live coverage from the contest. Video galleries and retrospectives to follow.


General • Saturday 29, 18:05:35

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General • Saturday 29, 18:00:03

Results:

Test piece: 'Diversions on a Bass Theme' (George Lloyd)

Set Work adjudicators: Philip Harper & Paul Norley
Own Choice adjudicators: Alan Morrison & Steve Sykes

Set Work + Own Choice = Total

1. Black Dyke(Dr Nicholas Childs): (6/3) 1st/1st = 2
2. Virtuosi GUS (John Berryman): (4/2) 3rd/2nd = 5
3. Milnrow (Marieka Gray): (5/7) 2nd/5th = 7*
4. Hepworth (Michael Fowles):(7/6) 4th/3rd = 7*
5. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray):(8/1) 7th/4th = 11
6. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Stig Maersk): (1/8) 5th/8th = 13*
7. Redbridge (Jeremy Wise): (2/4) 6th/7th = 13*
8. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths): (3/5) 8th/6th = 14

*Placing on Set Work take precedent for tied marks

Best Soloist on Set Work: Gary Curtin (euphonium) - Black Dyke
Youngest Player: Joe Hainsworth, (15), Hammonds Saltaire


General • Saturday 29, 17:10:43

Overall

So, based on the two legged competition today we have a top six overall of

1. Black Dyke
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. Hepworth
4. Reg Vardy
5. Milnrow
6. Redbridge


General • Saturday 29, 17:06:16

An intriguing afternoon has seen three hours of music-making on offer that has witnessed a variable standard with some of the bands coming unstuck.

Black Dyke delivered a terrific reprise of Wilby’s ‘Revelation’ that should give them take the section with a very confident reading from Virtuosi GUS of ‘Contest Music’ to finish second for us.

Behind that, it could really come down to personal preference in the box as to how they rank Reg Vardy, Hammonds and Hepworth.

4BR Prediction

1. Black Dyke
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. Reg Vardy
4. Hammonds
5. Hepworth
6. Redbridge


General • Saturday 29, 16:45:07

Editor's Spot:

One of the iconic works of the brass band repertoire, 'Blitz' retains it menace and ability to produce shock and awe.

Its a wonderful piece of dark writing - even the lyrical interludes are soaked in a sense of loss and despair. Its beautiful though in the same breath - some feat of composition for a brass band.

The power and the sense impending destruction is wound up like the time fuse on a bomb dropped from a Stucker. There is something about the work that makes you uneasy but joyful too - despite the terminal sentence of oblivion brought by the final note.

Takes some playing even today - both by soloists and ensemble. A stunner if played to perfection.


General • Saturday 29, 16:43:00

8. Pemberton Old DW Wigan, (Stig Maesrk)
Blitz, (Derek Bourgeois)

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Bringing the contest to a close with a thunderous 'Blitz'

There is plenty of ferocity in evidence to open as Pemberton gets to grips with Bourgeois’ challenging work. The funeral march has a sense of reverence about it. The MD captures the malevolent nature of the work well, but it just has more than a hint of untidiness about it at times to really grab you by the throat.

Tiredness does creep in though as the piece reaches its conclusion, although the sense of impending doom is brought to us with growing anxiety and excitement.

Overall: A timely reminder of just how tough Blitz is as the band found the piece tough going today.


General • Saturday 29, 16:24:23

Editor's Spot:

Philip Sparke's 'Music for Battle Creek' is one heck of a showstopper in anyone's book.

Written for the world class talents of the home town band with funds from the foundation set up by the bonkers Mr Kellogg it is almost equally bonkers in the challenges it imposes on the various players around the stands.

Who would want to be a solo cornet player at the start eh? Its such demanding writing that only the very best in the world can carry it off with the required suave aplomb. The ensemble writing is some of Sparke's very best - the lyrical interlude aches with emotion.

The technical challenges offer finale take some playing too - so by its close if you have come close to conquering this leviathan then you can say you are a pretty decent band in anyone's book too.


General • Saturday 29, 16:17:59

7. Milnrow, (Mareika Gray)
Music for Battle Creek, (Philip Sparke)

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The 'Battle' unfolds with Milnrow

Purposeful start that leads to a duet cadenza that is nervous to say the least. Not quite enough verve and excitement on show. There is some cautious playing on show here in what is a carefully structured approach by the MD on a very brave own choice work.

The Elegy continues to find the band challenged in ensemble and solo lines—well done euphonium, held on for dear life.

There is a lovely elegiac feel though and the tranquillo and luminoso are handled with musical flexibility.

The Rondo Finale just proves too much for them though, - its a mess to start. It just doesn’t get into gear with scrapiness on show throughout and especially as it tires towards the end.

Overall: A brave choice and as hard as they tried today, it just didn’t come together. Just sounded beyond them.


General • Saturday 29, 15:59:46

Editor's Spot:

Herman Pallhuber's wonderfully inventive take on all things Mahler certainly has its tongue placed firmly in its cheek at times, but you can't deny its brilliantly dramatic and packed with style and colour.

It was originally written for the amazing talents of Brass Band Oberosterreich and the main show piece moments do fall to their usual suspects, so it takes some playing. The wit of the writing is as dry as a bone on places, but is balanced by the superb craftsmanship of the lyrical writing.

It's certainly a titanic piece of writing that has the ability to inspire as well as sink bands chances on equal measure.


General • Saturday 29, 15:53:23

6. Hepworth, (Michael Fowles)
Titan's Progress, (Hermann Pallhuber)

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Dramatic sounds within 'Titan Progress'


Not a bad opening that has lots of sonority and dignity about it. Lacks accuracy at times but enjoyable on the ear nevertheless.

There’s a nice sense of wit, but it’s a touch heavy handed in places and could do with a little more finesse at times. Some of the lyrical episodes are a touch wobbly though.

It’s certainly all going in during the closing section, but it’s a touch robust at times and in need of more precision and free flowing style, despite the exciting close.

Overall: Full credit to Michael Fowles for the interpretation, but Hepworth weren’t able to pull off his musical intentions today.


General • Saturday 29, 15:38:02

Editor's Spot:

An interesting one this from Hammonds Saltaire' - and something of a refreshing change to the massive blockbusters that most bands tend to favour as own choice selections.

'Pursuing Horizons' was written with the Staff Bands in mind in 2011 and there is a real biblical inspiration behind the music. it's a tone poem that sets out to save a few errant souls along the way.

The construction is bold but very typical of its type - think of 'Infinity' etc - and you get the picture. Lots of different solo spots and warm lyricism - a very happy clappy one this


General • Saturday 29, 15:36:13

5. Hammonds Saltaire, (Morgan Griffiths)
Pursuing Horizons, (Dudley Bright)

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Morgan Griffiths conducting the opening bars of the test piece

Intriguing opening that starts the listener off on its spiritual journey although it’s more tone poem than sacred. The reflective section is nice on the ear. Jamie Smith delivers his cornet lines in a composed and calm manner.

You can hear references to composers such as Holst, Debussy and even Respighi, as the band thrives on playing something a little different. MD Morgan Griffiths pulls out all the stops and his young band responds.

The hymn tune, 'St Luke' makes its presence felt in the closing section that certainly kept you on the edge of your toes.

Overall: An interesting piece that certainly was a courageous choice today. The band certainly gave it their all. What they will make of it in the box remains to be seen though.


General • Saturday 29, 15:17:36

Editor's Spot:

Peter Graham's clever triptych homage to the great and good of musical Americana with 'On the Shoulders of Giants' certainly caused a stir when it was used first as an own choice work by Cory at the European and then at the Open.

The Bruckner/Chicago Symphony Orchestra brass section opener is a real bobby dazzler, although the jazz purists still raise an eyebrow or two over the middle section - which is a puzzling mix of styles and jazz icons.

The free wheeling finale is a bit of bravura snake oil salesmanship of the highest order - bite sized chunks of scene stealing gobstoppers.

It's a real Tonker Toy of a selection though - and a brave choice too.


General • Saturday 29, 15:10:29

4.Redbridge, Jeremy Wise
On the Shoulders of Giants, (Professor Peter Graham)

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Redbridge percussion section attack the opening bars of their piece

Powerful opening statements certainly capture the Bruckner style. It doesn’t all sit comfortably but it certainly has the drama, drive and sense of powerful purpose.

There is a nice sense of lyricism coupled with a safe dynamic that proves to be effective. Jazz interlude features some fine contributions from the flugel in particular as Jeremy Wise brings a sense of simplicity to the flowing music.

The Fantasie Brilliante section is certainly full on. It's a no nonsense approach at times, whilst the horn has a nice presence to counter balance the bold aggression. There is plenty of scrappiness around the stand as the piece closes though and tiredness creeps in. The final few bars are very messy as perc goes a bit AWOL.

Overall:Brave old choice this and a brave old effort as well, that just didn’t quite come off today.


General • Saturday 29, 14:49:13

Editor's Spot:

Nearly 20 years after it was first performed 'Revelation' remains a gargantuan test piece.

It's hard to remember just what a fuss was made over it at the British Open in 1995 - with the choreographed solo spots, false notes and pedals. It was a real ground breaking work - and has retained its relevance years later.

Masterfully composed by Philip Wilby it is perhaps the most detailed test piece of modern times - and takes a band of some pedigree to overcome its challenges.

You can see why huge sounding bands like Dyke like it - as it gives them the ideal showcase to display their talents. It has also served them well at this contest in the past too. Perhaps Wilby's greatest and most influential test piece.


General • Saturday 29, 14:42:40

3. Black Dyke, (Dr Nicholas Childs)
Revelation, (Professor Philip Wilby)

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Jonathan Bates at the rear of the stage at the opening

Huge opening with one heck of a bass sound that sends shudders down the spine. The balance in the quality of the ensemble playing is top draw. Messrs Duffy & Rigg deliver impressive cornet contributions that is matched by Brett Baker, Richard Marshall and Rob Westacott.

Nicholas Childs has lifted his band once again to deliver a performance of real musical stature—it’s imperious stuff at times. Sheona White delivers a fabulously bit of horn playing—take a bow

Zoe Hancock revels in her flugel lines as does Gary Curtin on euphonium and Principal Cornet, Richard Marshall—top quality contributions all round.

Dyke are in cruise control in the final section, powerful, persuasive stuff that just hits you between the eyes as everybody plays their part. What a close.


Overall: Simply superb from the Defending Champion and it’s going to take a performance of the highest calibre to beat that performance in this section today.


General • Saturday 29, 14:26:02

Editor's Spot:

Its remarkable how Contest Music still retains such a resonance even 40 years after it was written. It really is a remarkable composition - the Everest of test pieces as Howard Snell described it.

Each of the three movements is so well structured and proportioned - from the drive and angularity of the opening to the austere beauty of the middle section and unbridled vivacity of the finale.

They don't write them like this anymore - more's the pity...


General • Saturday 29, 14:21:27

2. Virtuosi GUS, (John Berryman)
Contest Music, (Wilfred Heaton)

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GUS playing the opening movement

Warm colourful opening to the Adagio with an effective balance. Percussion does well and there is a really nice style to the ensemble playing on show here—confident stuff from John Berryman’s band and the opening section closes nicely.

Middle section has a measured approach with the soloists being given lots of time and space here to shine. Cornet does well and overcomes the odd uncomfortable moment. Nice ethereal feel to the music.

It’s a big bold and exciting approach to the Vivo. There is lots of drive and detail as the band digs deep to deliver here, and it’s an enthralling closing section that has lots to commend.

Overall: Well, Mr Berryman dug deep to really bring an intriguing account from GUS that certainly had lots to admire and it could well be rewarded today.


General • Saturday 29, 14:05:55

Editor's Spot:

There is little doubt that Thomas Doss has produced a quite stunning work in 'Spiriti' - such an inventive amalgam of ideas and inventive construction.

It does inhabit the rarified atmosphere that can only be breathed by the very best bands though - such are the demands it places from the very start. The mysterious middle section with its haunting vocals and glooping accompaniment to a lead sop solo is one of the great pieces of modern brass band writing.

All this and a thumping close too. Its a brave band that takes it on..


General • Saturday 29, 13:59:38

1. Reg Vardy, (Russell Gray)
Spiriti, (Thomas Doss)

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Reg Vardy open the own choice section

Nice atmospheric start that has some intriguing leading lines that are boldly coloured. It’s not lacking in drama or energy that’s for sure as Maestro Gray encourages his troops.

Cadenza’s are a bit of a mixed bag with some being more effective than others (the solo cornet plays the majority of the main sop solo too) and it’s a section that doesn’t quite knit together as well as it could have done. The blues section certainly has it moments though but just a touch harsh in places.

Reprise isn’t too bad - once again very boldly covered and a hint of tiredness creeps in at the end.

Overall: It started off well but they were not able to pull the piece off in the manner they’ll have wanted to today.


General • Saturday 29, 13:55:14

Own Choice Draw

Adjudicators: Alan Morrison & Steve Sykes

Main Comments: Malcolm Wood
Twitter Comments: Iwan Fox

Black Dyke, Dr Nicholas Childs, 3
Hammonds Saltaire, Morgan Griffiths, 5
Hepworth, Michael Fowles, 6
Milnrow, Mareika Gray, 7
Pemberton Old DW Wigan, Stig Maesrk, 8
Redbridge, Jeremy Wise, 4
Reg Vardy, Russell Gray, 1
Virtuosi GUS, John Berryman, 2


General • Saturday 29, 12:55:02

Halfway Point:

Twenty seven years after first being used, Lloyd’s ‘Diversions’ has proved to be a stern test this morning with some uneven performances.

Black Dyke’s title defence commenced with a purposeful musical reading that has them in front at the half way point for us. Behind them there isn’t too much between two or three of the contenders with Virtuosi GUS, Hepworth and Milnrow battling it out for the other podium places.

4BR Prediction

1. Black Dyke
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. Hepworth
4. Milnrow
5. Reg Vardy
6. Redbridge


General • Saturday 29, 12:35:40

Editor's Spot:

Russell Gray is now one of the most complete MDs around - so secure and sure of what he wants to set out to achieve.

The flowing style also incorporates such as clear beat and his eyes are everywhere - one minute glancing at the score the next making contact with the player he wants. Its such engaging and commanding direction of a top section band.

Not everything comes off for him with the music but this has been such a classy personal performance.


General • Saturday 29, 12:29:34

8. Reg Vardy, (Russell Gray)

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Russell Gray and Reg Vardy prepare for their performance

It’s a neat and tidy opening that is taken at an effective pace. Russell Gray brings out a nice balanced sound with plenty of drive and energy from the North East challengers.

Typical Russell Gray this. A measured well thought out approach designed to bring out the best from his ensemble and despite a few blips along the way, it’s paying dividends—although we wonder if we have spoken too soon as the errors are creeping in.

The energy and drive is there but it just needs some more solidity in the ensemble to create a greater impression.

Whilst it is a touch scratchy in places it recovers to close well


Overall: One that promised plenty but it just didn’t come off for them


General • Saturday 29, 12:25:14

Editor's Spot:

The Michael Fowles method has not changed a jot over the years - not surprising as it is so effective and clear cut.

There are hints of Howard Snell about the style at times, but also other influences too, including a pinch of Withington spice.

The Hepworth certainly knew where they were and what was wanted from them from the word go.


General • Saturday 29, 12:12:32

7. Hepworth, (Michael Fowles)

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Sally Coleman introduces Hepworth Band

It’s a well chosen tempo to open and the musical presentation is good. There is the odd edgy moment but there is a nice approach from Michael Fowles in the middle who is allowing the music to evolve with fluidity.

The energy and drive is in evidence and there is nice complimenting balance of sound within the ensemble. The odd edgy moment takes a bit of the sheen but there is no doubting the MD’s well thought out musical intentions here.

The purposeful performance continues and there is brimming sense of confidence around the stand—the percussion blends in to the ensemble without being over-powering and to aggressive.

So much to admire here with the control from the MD who kis keeping a tight reign on things and the close is effectively.

Overall:A reading that benefited from a well thought approach but it did have some edgy moments at times to take the overall shine of it.


General • Saturday 29, 12:07:19

Editor's Spot:

It's not often you see the Black Dyke MD in such a workmanlike mode. This was him grafting out a contesting winning performance from his band.

All the small gestures were slightly enhanced - no minimalism here. The familiar chopping left hand can into force as did that double down beat with both arms. On occasions he smiled and acknowledged the playing on show, but he certainly kept an a cast iron grip on his emotions with this one.


General • Saturday 29, 12:05:56

6. Black Dyke , (Dr. Nicholas Childs)

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The horn section of Black Dyke make their musical statement

An excellent opening that is so well shaped and delivered with musical intent. Dr Childs is bringing out the character and nuances of the work so effectively. There is lots of clarity in the ensemble playing and the tempo bristles along.

Tasty stuff this, the basses make their presence felt whilst the balanced ensemble around the stand really catches the ear.

Dyke move through the musical gears with such fluidity and precision with nothing being pushed beyond the boundaries. The balance of sound around the stand and quality of the ensemble work really catches the ear.


Overall:A purposeful reading from a Defending Champion who have laid down the marker.


General • Saturday 29, 11:43:31

Editor's Spot:

Marieka Gray exudes confidence at the helm. The no nonsense articulate style of conducting is so clear and defined that the players have so much obvious confidence in it too.

She has also pinpointed the tempo to a tee, making sure it dies not lag by keeping the energy in her beat patterns. Lots of eye contact and the odd smile help along the way.

You can both see and hear why this is a band very much on the up.


General • Saturday 29, 11:37:42

5. Milnrow, (Mareika Gray)

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Mareika Gray sets out with Milnrow

There is a real sense of style and shape with the opening—it works. The approach is deliberate but so well measured and thought out. Mareika Gray is allowing her band to play with real musical freedom, and whilst there are tiny blemishes, it’s so effective.

The energy and drive is in evidence but it’s not being pushed beyond its limits—the music breathes and there is a nice balance between the ensemble and percussion.

This is an engaging performance that doesn’t just keep you on your toes but is benefiting from an MD who knows what she wants to do and the band are responding and despite one or two moments towards the end, it closes well.


Overall:A purposeful musical performance that had lots to admire. One for the judges to ponder.


General • Saturday 29, 11:35:14

Editor's Spot:

Great to see John Berryman in action. Always busy, almost impish with his conducting. Never afraid to keep the music flowing (and he was bang on the tempo here).

The eyes are fixed on the score - occasionally lifting to just persuade his players to give a little more here a little less there.

He maintain so much energy and never resorts to artifice. He will be missed greatly at the top flight level of banding when he retires.


General • Saturday 29, 11:19:46

4. Virtuosi GUS, (John Berryman)

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John Berryman opens the GUS performance

A bold presence to open bodes well and there is a real sense of musical purpose on display.

There is energy, drive and musical style on display and John Berryman’s approach is so effective—he allows the music time and space to evolve with lots of colour and persuasive dynamics.

From the tempo markings through to the ensemble playing, a very deliberate musical picture has been laid out and GUS are responding here—good balanced sounds around the stand with the percussion blending in unobtrusively.

Whilst there is the odd moment of discomfort, the closing section maintains the standards and approach that have gone before it and they close confidently and in a controlled manner.


Overall: The first band to grab hold of Diversions today. Band and MD should be happy with their morning’s work.


General • Saturday 29, 11:09:45

Editor's Spot:

Morgan Griffiths has certainly developed into a very solid, technically secure MD.

It's a no nonsense approach that just has those little hints and gestures of his former mentor David King in its DNA.

He kept the pace going from start to finish and brought little subtle enhancements out of the score with a well timed gesture.

He has a young band that is certainly growing in maturity under his watch.


General • Saturday 29, 11:04:55

3. Hammonds Saltaire, (Morgan Griffiths)

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Hammonds Saltaire bass section in performance


It’s a very steady opening but confidence grows around the stand but it’s not without some uncertain moments.

The uncertain moments remain but full credit to the MD as he drives the energy through and brings the music out with a tight reign on the dynamics. The tempo markings are effective but not all of the ensemble playing gels together as one, but the percussion adds plenty of colour.

Full credit to Morgan Griffiths for pulling this together and giving the music a chance as it closes with just a hint of tiredness.


Overall: A performance that never really caught fire and Hammonds are not the first band today to find Diversions tough going.


General • Saturday 29, 11:03:48

Editor's Spot:

Jeremy Wise remains one of the most elegant conductors in top flight banding - a very model of a model George Lloyd conductor in fact.

There is always a clarity about his work in front of a band - just the occasional lack of precision from his band brings the odd grimace to his face.

Nice to see another MD hiding on baritone too in Jayne Murrell. I wonder how she would have enjoyed the challenge of this piece.


General • Saturday 29, 10:47:27

2. Redbridge, (Jeremy Wise)

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Jeremy Wise leads Redbridge in their set work

It’s a bold purposeful opening that engages the ear and works—vivacious and impressive attention to detail and dynamics.

Jeremy Wise is bringing a nice musical style to this reading, lots of colour and controlled contrasts with his players responding and not worrying about the odd uncomfortable moment or two.

Despite the odd blemish, Redbridge are bubbling along nicely courtesy of a well thought approach from the middle and for the most part, the dynamics are kept under control and in check. And kit leads to confident close.


Overall: A performance that benefited from a very sensible approach from the middle.


General • Saturday 29, 10:47:07

Editor's spot:

Stig Maersk is certainly a very elegant conductor to watch in action.

Clear beat patterns and gestures without ever going overboard.

Eyes either on his band on giving a quick glance to the score. Nice little touches to encourage subtle changes from his band too.

Very Danish, Very Borgen....


General • Saturday 29, 10:39:10

1. Pemberton Old DW Wigan, (Stig Maesrk)

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Pemberton commence their performance

Safe opening that takes a bit of time to settle but when it does, does so with some nice musical lines and energy. The tempo is nice and steady but its effective and the percussion adds nice touches of colour.

MD is working his band hard here. There is some nice ensemble playing being heard but it’s not without a few uncertain moments around the stand and is a touch rather bland.

It’s very steady stuff, with more than a hint of caution and dynamics that are pushed in places, but it closes well.

Overall: A rather safe but not totally convincing reading from Pemberton to open.


General • Saturday 29, 10:33:17

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The stage is set


General • Saturday 29, 10:16:50

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An illustrious past


General • Saturday 29, 10:13:41

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The Venue for the 2013 ENC - Bramall Music Building


General • Saturday 29, 10:11:33

English National Championship:
Test piece: 'Diversions on a Bass Theme' (George Lloyd)

Set Work adjudicators: Philip Harper & Paul Norley

Live Comments: Malcolm Wood
Twitter Comments: Iwan Fox

Draw
Black Dyke, Dr Nicholas Childs, 6
Hammonds Saltaire, Morgan Griffiths, 3
Hepworth, Michael Fowles, 7
Milnrow, Mareika Gray, 5
Pemberton Old DW Wigan, Stig Maesrk, 1
Redbridge, Jeremy Wise, 2
Reg Vardy, Russell Gray, 8
Virtuosi GUS, John Berryman, 4


General • Saturday 29, 10:05:45

It's an impressive auditorium here in the Elgar Concert Hall.

Neat and compact, modern and with a very big stage to accommodate the bands. It's just a question of how many people will be to get here to listen - the university campus is a difficult place to find and so is the hall, and there are no signs for the contest about either.

It all kicks off in half an hour and there is only a sprinkling of hardy supporters to be seen so far.

The draw has been made for the set work and will be posted around 10.15am.


General • Saturday 29, 10:04:18

It's an impressive auditorium here in the Elgar Concert Hall.

Neat and compact, modern and with a very big stage to accommodate the bands. It's just a question of how many people will be to get here to listen - the university campus is a difficult place to find and so is the hall, and there are no signs for the contest about either.

It all kicks off in half an hour and there is only a sprinkling of hardy supporters to be seen so far.

The draw has been made for the set work and will be posted around 10.15am.


General • Saturday 29, 06:57:26

Just a couple of interesting pointers on 'Diversions on a Bass Theme'.

The style marking the composer uses at the beginning of the piece is the adjective 'vivaciously' minim = 96. Not vivace.

The only other tempo marking comes 430 bars later - when it just dips to minim = 90.

According to the old 4BR Latin teacher that comes from the root 'vivax' meaning to live - not to go bloody hell for leather.

It is sometimes used to refer to a certain type of woman - like Catherine Hepburn in those old films with Cary Grant and a leopard: Clever, waspish, quick witted, lithe and elegant. Not a Jamaican sprinter on drugs.

Vivace means lively or brisk, 'vivacetto' takes it up a notch to 'rather lively' and 'vivacissimo' to 'very lively'. We were told that if George wanted it vivace he would have said... No. He wanted is vivaciously.


General • Saturday 29, 06:27:10

Eight bands will battle it out over the set-work, George Lloyd’s ‘Diversions on a Bass Theme’ and their own choice selections to see who will claim the title and the all important ticket to represent England at the 2014 European Championships in Perth.

The event starts at 10.30am with a one hour interval between the two disciplines.

Reigning champion Black Dyke will be challenged by Hammonds Saltaire, Hepworth, Milnrow, Pemberton Old, Redbridge, Reg Vardy and Virtuosi GUS, whilst the own choice music to be heard includes, ‘Music for Battle Creek’ (Sparke); ‘Blitz’ (Bourgeois); ‘Contest Music’ (Heaton); ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ (Graham); ‘Pursuing Horizons’ (Bright); ‘Revelation (Wilby); ‘Spiriti’ (Doss) and 'Titan's Progress' (Pallhuber).

The adjudicators for the event are Philip Harper and Paul Norley (set work) and Alan Morrison and Steve Sykes (own choice).


General • Wednesday 26, 03:18:12

Thinking of going?

Tickets: £15 adult, £5 children 8-16, under 8s free
Available from the Bramall Box Office: 0121 345 0492


General • Wednesday 26, 03:10:53

Featuring some of the top brass bands in England who will performing the test piece (George Lloyd’s Diversions on a Bass Theme) in the morning followed by their own choice works in the afternoon.

The winners will also be invited to represent England at the European Brass Band Championships in 2014.




Walsall Brass Band - Willenhall Singers

Saturday 18 November • Sneyd Communnity Centre, Vernon Way, Bloxwich, Walsall. WS3 2PA


Rushden Town Band -

Saturday 18 November • Park Rd Baptist Church, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 0RW


Contest: Brass in Concert

Saturday 18 November • Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead NE28 2JR


Foden's Band - Morley Town Hall

Saturday 18 November • Queen Street, Morley LS27 9DY


Black Dyke Band - Waterford, Ireland

Saturday 18 November • Carriganore Arena, Waterford Institute of Technology Sports Campus tbc


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.


Glossop Old Band

November 17 • SOLO TROMBONE. The Glossop Old Band Welcomes applications for the Solo Trombone Chair. The Band will be competing in the First Section as of 2018 and are looking to continue its progression back to the top levels of performance


Darren R. Hawken

PGdip, BMus(hons) PGCE, dipABRSM, LRSM
Conductor, Arranger, Teacher, Adjudicator, Band Trainer