facebook twitter rss vimeo

*
banner

2016 Midlands Regional Championships
As it happened

All the action from the 2016 Midlands Regional Championships — as it happened.

Midlands • Sunday 13, 20:33:23

Result:
Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Cambridge Variations' - Philip Sparke
Adjudicators: Steve Sykes and Jim Davies

1. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)*
2. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)*
3. Desford Colliery LCIWTF (Thomas Wyss)
4. Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles)
5. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)
6. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
7. Spal Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)
8. Newstead Brass (Phil Goodwin)
9. Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)
10. Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)
11. Leicestershire Co-operative (Graham Jacklin)
12. Shirley (Dave Bishop Rowe)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final


Midlands • Sunday 13, 19:11:44

Championship Section: Summary and Prediction

It's been an intriguing contest in the Civic Hall with a handful of very fine but often differing performances.

Chris Thomas is going for a top four of:

1. Desford
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. Jaguar Land Rover
4. Thoresby Colliery


Midlands • Sunday 13, 19:05:09

Championship Section:

12. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

The opening sits well and the cornets are nicely balanced within the textures.

With Thomas Fountain on principal cornet it's an incredibly young front row that GUS is sporting, the fruits of an enlightened youth policy through Youth Brass 2000......but then they also just happen to have the principal trumpet of the RPO on repiano!!

It progresses well and the Molto Vivace gathers pace although not without the ocassional questionable moments in ensemble.

Fine timpani transition into the Liberamente although the cornet fanfares are not the best we have heard today.

What a meltingly lyrical cornet solo from Thomas Fountain. Open toned and so expressive. The dynamic levels are good and the lower band sings so well as we approach the end of the slow section. Lovely trombone solo from Chris Jeans and expressive flugel solo lead us into the Vivo.

This crackles and there is electricity running through the performance now. Entries are neat and tidy and we hear seamless cornet figurations as the sounds from the lower band build. It seems to be garnering more and more energy as we approach the conclusion.

The contrasts of dynamic are excellent and the MD builds the excitement so well to a barnstorming ending.

Overall: A performance from GUS that grew in stature as it progressed. By the end it was seriously flying!


Midlands • Sunday 13, 18:42:47

Championship Section:

11. Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)

The opening certainly has a unique hue to it as the cornet section use harmon mutes......its unlike anything else we've heard today but is (it must be said) something that isn't going to appeal to all.

There are one or two stray entries along the way but as the Molto Vivace progresses there is huge effort going in from the Championship Section debutantes.

The players put their all into the Lento espressivo and although there are slips there is also passion.

The MD takes no prisoners in the Vivo and certainly There is no compromise on tempo......this is rattling along like a train.

It's not all clicking but there is so much of credit here for the newcomers......a truly great effort as it hurtles to an exciting if somewhat untuneful conclusion.

Overall: Full credit to Bilton. This was a gargantuan effort from the Championship Section newbies.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 18:21:39

Championship Section:

10. Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)

The opening cornet figurations don't dovetail and it all feels very insecure.

We can sense that the band are trying to inject some spirit into the performance but there are simply too many slips and entries that are clearly not together.

The Lento espressivo continues in the same vein with some nasty moments as tuning causes problems and several miscued entries unsettle the musical picture.

The Vivo is better but it's as if the blood has already drained from the performance in the first half of the piece. Cornets are very untidy in the dash to the conclusion capping a lack lustre show.

Overall: A performance that never quite settled from Staffirdshire with some very uncomfortable moments causing problems along the way.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 17:59:05

Championship Section:

9. Newstead Brass (Philip Goodwin)

It's been a difficult run up to the contest for Newstead with long standing MD Duncan Beckley taken ill just a week before the contest and Black Dyke's Eb bass ace Phil Goodwin stepping in with the baton.

It's a good opening though and the balance is carefully matched between the cornet figurations and the lower band.

The Molto Vivace sets off at the perfect tempo and there are no histrionics here, just straightforward playing with everything sitting tidily.

Into the Lento espressivo and the solo cornet just clips an opening note in his solo but recovers. One or two uncomfortable moments just disturb the balance as the slow section progresses but dynamic contrasts are made and the MD keeps the dynamic low.

It's a little scrappy during the transition into the Vivo and it's just losing its way here as the detail is often obscured. The Vivo doesn't always sit in the groove but it builds well to a solid ending.

Overall: Started with so much promise but lost its way in the final stages. There's huge credit due to the band and Phil Goodwin here though given the circumstances of the last week.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 17:38:06

Championship Section:

8. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)

A nice atmosphere at the opening and the music unfolds well as the trombones announce the chorale figure. Entries are all generally secure and only minor blemishes are heard.

The Molto Vivace sets off well although the chromatic runs are not entirely in synch. Again there are no major issues though and this has the feeling of a well constructed and executed performance.

Cornet fanfares could be a little better measured but the transition into the Lento is nicely done and the cornet solo is played with expression if just a hint of strain. Warm sounds from the bass end.

Flugel just hesitates as we head into the Vivo and the transition is a little uncomfortable as a result.

Stylish bass trombone solo in the Vivo and this is motoring along nicely. Just gets a tad scrappy as it progresses though and we can sense the concentration levels dropping a little.

Overall: A decent show from Derwent Brass that just became more scrappy as it progressed. Some fine moments though.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 17:15:41

Championship Section:

7. Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles)

The opening has presence and the detail is heard with clarity.

As we hit the Molto Vivace it trips along well although it doesn't always sit tightly in the groove with some of the running figures sounding a touch scrambled. The MD is always in control though and the performance is never less than well measured.

Cornet solo in the Lento espressivo is fine and there are some glowing sounds here as the MD turns to to the band with his finger to his lips.

Nice flugel solo into the Vivo which sets off at a well chosen tempo. This is all quality playing if not setting the hall alight with excitement.

The Walton like approach to the close builds well and the ending is effective, capping a solid competant showing.

Overall: A solid account from Ratby, generally well executed but not quite catching light.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 16:54:17

Result: Fourth Section:
Test Piece: 'The Journal of Phileas Fogg' - Peter Graham
Sunday 13th March
Adjudicators: David Roberts and Chris Wormald

1. Cleobury Mortimer Concert (David Maplestone)*
2. Syston (Chris Banks)*
3. Moulton 77 (Nicholas Garman)*
4. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
5. Cubbington Silver (Mark Phillips)
6. Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)
7. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
8. Porthywaen Silver (Dougie Graham)
9. Ratby Co-operative Mid (Geoff Newman)
10. Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (Tony Wilson)
11. WEM Jubilee (Roger Thorne)
12. Malvern Hills District (Chris License)
13. Whitwell Brass (Robert Woffinden)
14. Skegness Silver (Steve Walker)
15. Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
16. Kirkby Colliery Welfare (Neville Buxton)
17. Ilkeston Brass (Jeff Shaw)
18. Bilton Silver (Rugby) Training (Jack Fisher)

*Top three bands qualify for National Final


Midlands • Sunday 13, 16:40:48

Championship Section: Half Time Round Up

The quality has improved as the first half of the contest has progressed in the Civic Hall with three high quality performances leading the way. For us it's Desford ahead by a nose from Jaguar Land Rover in second and Thoresby Colliery in third.

1. Desford
2. Jaguar Land Rover
3. Thoresby Colliery


Midlands • Sunday 13, 16:37:35

Championship Section:

6. Spal Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)

The opening doesn't quite sit tightly and as the tempo quickens (and it's very quick!) it threatens to run out of control.....this really sounds like edge of the seat stuff.

The cornet fanfares are safely despatched leading into the Lento espressivo. Solo cornet does well and there are some nice lower band sounds here but there are also some nasty little slips and clips along the way. The tempo needs to move on a little for us.....this is in danger of languishing.

The Vivo sets off at pace (this has been a performance of extreme tempi) and although the notes are going in it never quite feels comfortable. The cornet detail is inaudible at the back of the hall and the approach to the end is satisfactory if a tad perfunctory.

Overall: A disappointing show from Sovereign that never quite ignited.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 16:15:37

Championship Section

5. Desford LCIWTF (Thomas Wyss)

A fine opening, well balanced and the detail is heard with clarity.

Fine trombone chorale and as the band opens up the sound impresses......the dynamics are being used to great effect here.

The Molto Vivace sets off at a cracking pace but is so well controlled with the chromatic runs not totally perfect but there is so much other good work going on that we are carried along by the momentum.

Superb timpani solo as we head into the Liberamente.......that's how to do it!!

Cornet fanfares are good and the sounds are beautifully sonorous. Cornet solo is fine (just the slightest of slips) and those glowing American harmonies in the lower band are so well delivered.

Lovely flugel solo into the Vivo and this is now flying......but the temp is bang on the money. Fine detail and transparency of texture in the cornet figurations and the push for the conclusion is so well paced.

The elements of Walton in the music seem to be very audible in this performance as the race for the conclusion gets up a huge head of steam and leads to a cracking ending.

Overall: Desford delivers another fine Cambridge Variations. So much detail and brilliantly paced. This is turning into quite a contest!


Midlands • Sunday 13, 15:59:13

Section 4: Final round up and prediction:

Some very good playing has been on show here today. Some bands have been more successful than others in portraying all the different images within the music, but there have been lots of very good attempts. For me, the top six are:

1. Cleobury Mortimer Concert
2. Audley Brass
3. Cubbington Silver
4. Syston
5. University of Warwick
6. Skegness Silver


Midlands • Sunday 13, 15:57:50

Section 4:
16. Porthywaen Silver (Dougie Graham)

Nice opening statement here with lush sounds heard in the lower end. As the music links to the Can-Can, there are just a few moments of untidiness, but as the music links to the Russian section, it is a lot steadier and works well.

Good dynamic contrast as well following the lower band tune. Nice feel in the waltz thanks to the percussion and good cornet solo to follow.

Nice dynamic contrast, but some slight intonation issues creep in. Nice build up into the recap, and a well balanced final chord. Great sounds heard.

Star Player: Percussion and Principal Cornet

17. Malvern Hills District (Chris License)

Opening of real intent hear as the band jumps right into the music. Unfortunately there are a few uneasy moments due to lapses in tuning and togetherness, but it links and flows well overall.

Again, it's not quite together in the Can-Can which detracts from some nice sounds produced. The Russian section seems to work better with good basses and dynamic contrast.

Good cornet solo, played with a nice style and some good band sounds in the following section, just not quite sitting well unfortunately at times. Good balance to close and a nice final chord.

Star Player: Principal Cornet

18. Ilkeston Brass (Jeff Shaw)

Steady opening here, but one full of clarity and good balance. Good muted cornets and trombones. The link into the Can-Can works well with good dynamic contrast, just a few clips and timing issues, but they don't distract from the overall picture.

Good Russian section with the cornets bringing all the detail out of the music and good lower end too. The waltz settles well, but tuning issues detract from the image being portrayed. Good cornet solo, but again tuning issues are present.

Very steady recap, but it allows the music to build well and the music draws to a close with a nice final chord.

Star Player: Principal Cornet


Midlands • Sunday 13, 15:52:46

Championship Section

4. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

Cornet detail at the opening is on the edge of audibility but there is a fine atmosphere about this.....so delicate and delivered with great care.

There are a couple of uncomfortable moments over the trombone chorale but as the band opens up we hear great sounds but always with a feeling of control.

The chromatic runs come off (just!) and the tempo is perfect allowing the music to flow naturally. This really sits so well and the cornet fanfares of the Liberamente are effective.

The solo cornet is so freely expressive in the Lento espressivo. Fabulous playing! The glowing textures that follow are finely done and the basses sit warmly over the glistening percussion. There's just a hint of wayward intonation but it settles and the trombone and flugel solos are so delicately delivered.

Into the Vivo and there's great detail to be heard in the middle and lower band. Nice bass bone solo!

Soprano does well.......the soloists are delivering in spades here. Good cornet detail and the dynamic level builds well as does the excitement level.

The drive for home is a breathless one and Dave Lea keeps the momentum under control as we head to a powerful ending. Great stuff!

Overall: Top draw stuff from Jaguar Land Rover. Soloists on top form and a performance of real character and detail.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 15:35:25

Section 4:
13. Croft Silver (Ian Needham)

Bright start with rich sounds from the lower brass. Good balanced sounds through to the Can-Can. Here the excitement builds and links well to the Russian section.

Good dynamic contrast throughout here, just a few moments of uncertainty detract from what was a good movement overall. The waltz takes a bar or so to fully settle, but nice waltz feel when it does.

Nice cornet solo here and the following movement settles straight away and is balanced well. Just a shame that some clarity is lost in the lower end. Nice feel in the recap, just some tuning issues unfortunately. Steady build up to the ending, which is played well with a big sound.

Star Player: Soprano Cornet

14. Cubbington Silver (Mark Phillips)

Energetic opening with good dynamic contrast. This leads well into the Can-Can, which has lots of contrast in it, bringing out things that haven't been heard yet today. This is repeated in the Russian section, with a good balanced sound and the band settles straight away, especially the tenor horns.

Nice cornet solo and good ensembles accompaniment. Good feel in the Spanish section and again, there are different aspects of the music brought out here. Just a few nervy moments seem to follow, but they are banished in the recap, with good balanced sounds in the build up to the end. What a finish, huge last chord!

Star Player: Principal Cornet

15. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)

Nice opening played with good style. Good dynamic contrast leading through Can-Can and into the Russian section. Well held back in the first half of it, then the taps really open for lower end tune. Nice waltz feel, played with a good sense of rhythm.

The second cornet soloist to stand and face the audience and it seems to work. Just some untidiness creeping in at times, but that doesn't effect the band. It builds nicely to a big finish with the cornets facing the audience as well.

Star Player: Principal Cornet


Midlands • Sunday 13, 15:29:23

Championship Section

3. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)

A nicely balanced opening and the music unfolds naturally with increasingly warm sounds, textures and delicate percussion. Sonorous trombone chorale with just a hint of strain in the flugel solo but this continues to build well.

As the pace quickens we'd like this to dance a little more. Its a touch square but we are hearing detail that we have not heard so far today and there is an increasing sense of confidence about the playing now.

Good cornet fanfares into the Lento espressivo and solo cornet has a lovely sound......just the slightest of slips but otherwise played with stylish expression.

The transition into the Vivo is deftly handled and there is transparency in the textures that is noticeable. The Vivo rattles along but there is always a sense of everything being under control and the approach to the conclusion is well paced.

An excellent ending to a highly persuasive account of Cambridge Variations.

Overall: The first real marker of the contest so far. A fine sonorous band sound and the first band of the day to give us the kind of detail required to catch the judges ears.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 15:21:58

Result: Second Section:
Test Piece: 'Mermaid of Zennor' - Philip Harper
Adjudicators: Paul Norley and Gordon Higginbottom

1. Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)*
2. Glossop Old (Les Webb)*
3. Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)
4. Hucknall & Linby MC (Paul Whyley)
5. Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield)
6. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
7. Avonbank (Evesham) (Ceri Thomas)
8. Burbage Buxton (Steve Critchlow)
9. Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)
10. Brackley District (Alexander Webb)
11. Foss Dyke (Simon Oates)
12. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final


Midlands • Sunday 13, 15:07:13

Championship Section

2. Leicestershire Co-op (Graham Jacklin)

Good opening sounds from Leicestershire Co-op and although the cornet detail is indistinct there's a spirit about this that engages.

As with Shirley the awkward runs don't knit together and for a second it seriously falters but fortunately recovers. The MD really tries to find the shape of the music and to the band's credit, we can sense that they are giving everything they can.

Well done solo cornet in the Lento espressivo, an excellent effort indeed. Tuning proves problematic at times and the Vivo certainly motors but again without all of the detail being audible through the textures.

Again the spirit is good towards the end but tired embouchures are now very evident.

Overall: A very creditable attempt from Leictershire Co-op. At times the demands of the piece were beyond the band but the players really threw everything at it.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 14:49:04

Championship

1. Shirley (Dave Bishop Rowe)

Warm sounds to open but the cornet figurations do not run seamlessly. Chorale is a touch lumpy and running quaver/semi quaver lines are not together as the pace quickens.

Solo cornet finds the going very touch in the Lento espressivo and the poco Piu mosso needs more subtlety........voices need to stay within the textures.

The Vivo sets off at pace but so much detail is lost along the way and it never sits rigidly in the groove meaning that the detail is often wayward. The band does try to use the dynamics to its advantage however and we can sense that there is an attempt to build excitement levels as we approach the closing stages.

The ending is somewhat brutal and concludes what has been a touch challenge for the Championship Section debutantes today.

Overall: A brave attempt from Shirley but one that was ultimately lacking in detail and rhythmic cohesion.

Draw:
Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Cambridge Variations' - Philip Sparke
Sunday 13th March
Commence: After Second Section results
Adjudicators: Steve Sykes and Jim Davies

1. Shirley (Dave Bishop Rowe)
2. Leicestershire Co-operative (Graham Jacklin)
3. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
4. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
5. Desford Colliery LCIWTF (Thomas Wyss)
6. Spal Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)
7. Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles)
8. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)
9. Newstead Brass (Duncan Beckley)
10. Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)
11. Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)
12. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)


Midlands • Sunday 13, 14:29:49

Section 4:

10. WEM Jubilee (Roger Thorne)

Sparkling opening with just the faintest touches of the lower end pushing forward. Nice quiet dynamics before the Can-Can section, which then feels very controlled and together. Just a bit of untidiness detracts from a good Russian section.

Well balanced between upper and lower band here, and good dynamic contrast to close. Nice waltz feel and good cornet solo. Just a few tuning issues here.

Very nice euph playing in the solo and good balance after it, especially in the quieter dynamics. Nice ending and big band sound to close.

Star Player: Euphonium

11. Whitwell Brass (Robert Woffinden)

Steady start here but good balance throughout. Just a few moments where the tuning seems to wander and I feel more could be done dynamically. The Can-Can section feels fairly safe, but very controlled.

Through the Russian section, it feels like the band is feeling more confident and the sounds seems to really open up and t leads into a nice waltz movement. Good cornet solo, stylish playing. Again, just some tuning issues and moments where it feels unsteady.

Nice euph sound, and nice lyrical playing in the lower end. Good balance in the recap, leading to a big finish.

Star Players: Euphonium and Principal Cornet

12. Bilton Silver (Rugby) Training (Jack Fisher)

Nice opening and good sounds throughout the band. A few moments of uncertainty in the link to the Can-Can, but it's steadies well through to the Russian section.

Some big band sounds heard here, you've got to commend the effort! Nice waltz feel leading into a very good cornet solo, played with lots of style. Following this, it feels unsteady and the tuning is a bit suspect, but the euph steadies it up well.

The recap works well tempo wise, linking back to the start well. What a sound on the final chord! So much effort put into it and the hall erupts!

Star Player: Principal Cornet


Midlands • Sunday 13, 13:56:17

Section 2: Final opinion and prediction:

What a fine Second Section contest it's been in Bedworth.

Hardly any bands conquered the difficulties of the slow movement but many gave us colourful, engaging and committed performances that really tried to find the story behind the music. We are going for a top four of:

1. Rushden Town
2. Ibstock Brick Brass
3. City of Coventry
4. Hucknall and Linby

Dark Horse: Raunds Temperance


Midlands • Sunday 13, 13:48:34

Section 2:

12. Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)

A fine opening to the first movement is so descriptive and the use of contrasting dynamics is excellent. We really sense the movement of the water and the detail is heard with clarity as the story unfolds. This is colourful, carefully conceived music making. The celebrations of the close are so well controlled, dance like but never out of dynamic control.

At last!! We hear an opening of the slow movement that is generally in tune and secure with the soloists all acquitting themselves well. Congratulations! Just a hint of intonation trouble as the Euph sings over the chorale but this is so musical and the style so natural. The warmth of the final singing of the hymn comes across with genuine feeling.

A taut opening to the final panel and the band sound comes to the fore. This is together and it simply 'sits' correctly. It's well controlled and paced and as we approach the final bars the excitement builds to a majestic conclusion.

Overall: What a cracker! A performance of real stature from Rushden Town and the only band on the day to get close to mastering the treacherous difficulties of the slow movement.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 13:33:04

Section 4: Halfway opinion and prediction:

There's been some good playing on show so far today, with different bands opting for different approaches.

Some have been steady and controlled, whereas others have gone for excitement and really gone for it.

Cleobury Mortimer Concert achieved the best of both worlds with a great performance, closely followed by Audley Brass with Syston close behind at the halfway stage - but it is still all to play for!

1. Cleobury Mortimer Concert
2. Audley Brass
3. Syston


Midlands • Sunday 13, 13:31:51

Section 2:

11. Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield)

The opening movement is not the most vividly colourful we've heard today but it's generally neat and tidy until a few rhythmic issues start to creep in later on. Closes well and the transition into movement two is well handled.

For us the middle movement is too slow. The dynamics are excellent but soloists find it very hard at the slow tempo and we can sense the uncertainty. It warms up as the congregation join in the hymn but once again the slow movement has caused a band considerable difficulty here.

The final movement doesn't quite hang together in the opening bars although there's certainly no shortage of commitment on show......keeping this rhythmically taut isn't easy. The ending is well shaped and it's a great final chord.

Overall: Lots of energy and commitment from Long Eaton but the band didn't always find it easy. A mid table finisher for us.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 13:25:53

Draw: Fourth Section:
Test Piece: 'The Journal of Phileas Fogg' - Peter Graham
Sunday 13th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: David Roberts and Chris Wormald

1. Kirkby Colliery Welfare (Neville Buxton)
2. Cleobury Mortimer Concert (David Maplestone)
3. Moulton 77 (Nicholas Garman)
4. Syston (Chris Banks)
5. Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)
6. Ratby Co-operative Mid (Geoff Newman)
7. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
8. Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (Tony Wilson)
9. Skegness Silver (Steve Walker)
10. WEM Jubilee (Roger Thorne)
11. Whitwell Brass (Robert Woffinden)
12. Bilton Silver (Rugby) Training (Jack Fisher)
13. Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
14. Cubbington Silver (Mark Phillips)
15. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
16. Porthywaen Silver (Dougie Graham)
17. Malvern Hills District (Chris License)
18. Ilkeston Brass (Jeff Shaw)


Midlands • Sunday 13, 13:15:49

Section 4:

7. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)

Big opening with good balance across the band. Some uncertainty between the opening and Paris is unfortunate, but the excitement and big dynamics are back for the Can-Can!

Dynamics are huge throughout the Russian section, but that's not to say the quieter dynamics aren't there. Slight intonation issues in the link, but nothing major.

Another good waltz feel and stylish cornet solo follows. Massive sound coming from the lower band again, and good euph sound in the solo. Lower band shows its quiet dynamics, before a broad band sound fills the hall. Huge chord to finish the piece!

Star Player(s): Principal Cornet and Basses

8. Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (Tony Wilson)

Good start, just some little niggles that detract from the overall picture. Again, some tuning issues and insecurity are unfortunate.

The Can-Can really pushes forward and creates excitement that is seeping out of the conductor and whirling through the band. Big sounds heard in the Russian section, and nice playing in the waltz is just let down by tuning issues.

Cornet solo is played with real vigour and style, it really creates an exotic image! Nice euph and a close that captures the essence of the opening. Nice ending with the cornets turning to face the audience.

Star Player: Principal Cornet

9. Skegness Silver (Steve Walker)

Nice balanced opening played with good control. Steadier Can-Can than some we've heard today, but the clarity is there. Again, the balance is good across the band in the Russian Cossack section.

The tuning just seemed to waver towards the end of the movement leading into the waltz. Nice cornet solo, just feels a bit disjointed in the following Spanish section, but settles down after a few bars.

Nice sop detail and good euph. Steady build up to the end, and one that feels like there's more to give, but as with the rest of the performance, the balance is good.

Star Player: Soprano Cornet


Midlands • Sunday 13, 13:15:06

Section 2:

10. Foss Dyke (Simon Oates)

A high quality opening from Foss Dyke that really gets to the heart of the music. Just a few little blips along the way but the shape and style of this is both musical and colourful.

The opening of the slow movement once again opens up a few cracks with nervy entries and voices not speaking. Tuning wobbles as a result...... A real shame as the good work of the opening feels as if it's unraveling here. Closes well though.

This picks up where it leaves off in the first movement and again we hear a vivid musical picture. Tuning suffers towards the end though.

Overall: There was so much good work in the outer movements but the slow movement exposed a multitude of cracks for Foss Dyke.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 12:59:12

Section 2:

9. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)

A nicely shaped opening and there's a nice swell to the music as we sense the tide rise and fall. Ensemble is not always entirely precise as the movement progresses but the story is being conveyed with clarity.

The slow movement commences slightly uncomfortably with tuning raising it's head once again (every band has struggled here so far). The hymn tune is better but there remain those uncomfortable moments that detract.

The final panel opens well and as in the first movement there is drama but also passages where the momentum loses its focus. Full marks for effort though and great work from some of the younger players on stage.

Overall: Quality playing in parts from Shirland but concentration seemed to wane at times.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 12:41:27

Section 2:

8. Brackley & District (Alexander Webb)

The painting of the musical picture is so important in this very descriptive music and we don't feel the drama and story behind the music in the opening movement with several wayward entries adding to the difficulties.

Tuning rears its head in the opening passages of the central movement with several solo voices also failing to speak clearly. A very sharp ships bell Closes the central movement on a somewhat sour note.

The band battles through the final movement but ensemble is never quite as tight as it should be with tuning also continuing to cause problems and a tired sounding conclusion.

Overall: Sadly Brackley's Mermaid could be one that sinks close to the bottom of the ocean today.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 12:28:54

Section 1:

4. Syston (Chris Banks)

Different set-up with Euphs and Bari's behind the horns, but you can tell the difference in the opening with rich lower band sounds. Again, it helps in the Can-Can movement, but just some untidiness creeps in unfortunately.

Nice dynamics in the waltz with lower brass really showing off their depth. Good cornet solo, but the following section suffers some timing issues. Euphoniums steal the show towards the end, with great sounds filling the hall, which leads to a good ending.

Maybe a bit reserved, but they enjoyed it in the hall!

Star Player: Euphoniums

5. Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)

Another steady start, but a very controlled one. Just feels a bit tentative at times which leads to some uncertainty. It feels like there is more to be given, but the reigns are off for the latter stages of the Russian section, and broad sounds fill the hall, very good!

Nice waltz feel, the most Viennese so far for me. Good cornet solo follows with dynamic contrast to match. Maybe a bit too much bass end in Spain, but stylish Euphonium leading into the recap, which is very balanced in the build up to the end.

Big final chord which crescendos to a close. Nice!

Star Player: Euphonium

6. Ratby Co-operative Mid (Geoff Newman)

Bright opening with good lower band chords. Nice muted cornets as well,must some untidiness between upper and lower band in the Can-Can section unfortunately. Good pompous feel follows leading into Russia.

Again, big bass sounds lead the way for some very good dynamic contrast before the Waltz. Nice cornet solo with a deliberate bit of extra shake on the last note, nice! Good euph sounds, maybe could've had a bit more, but good link to the recap.

Just a few little tuning niggles, but nothing too dramatic with good muted cornets. Good full ending, and a long last chord which was held brilliantly!

Star Player: Principal Cornet


Midlands • Sunday 13, 12:25:38

Section 2:

7. Avonbank (Evesham) (Ceri Thomas)

Progresses well enough initially but we are missing the inherent drama in the music. Loses its rhythmic focus part way through and the ensemble rocks as the MD tries to steady the ship.

The slow movement opens very tentatively with one or two nervous solo entries adding to the feeling of insecurity. It does settle down towards the close though and the ending is nicely done.

The opening of the final movement doesn't quite sit rhythmically and for a while it all feels very unsteady. Once again the MD manages to regain control although the momentum does build well towards the closing bars.

Overall: A performance that didn't settle with rhythmic inaccuracies and a nervous slow movement causing difficulties.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 11:51:33

Section 4:

1. Kirkby Colliery Welfare (Neville Buxton)

Nice nice bright opening here, but some tuning issues detract slightly. Good dynamic contrast leading into the Waltz, but seems to take a few bars to settle.

Good cornet solo, but some timing issues after just let it down. Good final chord, but could've maybe had a bit more leading into it for me.

Star player: Principal Cornet

2. Cleobury Mortimer Concert (David Maplestone)

Electric opening here with rich sounds across the band, and mute sounds that really zing! Good dynamic contrast, and rich bass sounds with the soprano being heard delicately on top. Good waltz section followed by a very musical cornet solo.

The conductor is very animated throughout the performance, and it seems to be bringing the best out of the band as the follow suit, so much musicality on show here. Again, good dynamics as we arrive back at the start. What a finish, A performance of real quality!

Star Player(s): Principal and Soprano Cornets

3. Moulton 77 (Nicholas Garman)

Steadier start than previous bands, but great bass end sound on show. The tempo pushes on when the Can-Can is heard and feels unsteady at times with some clarity being lost, but it does make it that bit more exciting!

This continues through Russia, but when the waltz arrives, there's a nice lilt helped by a big bass sound. Nice cornet solo, but again it unfortunately feels unsteady after it. Good euphoniums and quiet, controlled ensemble, any dynamic risks taken here have certainly payed off. Big ending sound wise, maybe slightly too much, but great effort!

Star Player(s): Basses


Midlands • Sunday 13, 11:38:16

Section 2:

6. Burbage Buxton (Steve Critchlow)

A good opening from a band with some young players around the stands but as the movement progresses this doesn't quite ignite for us. The final celebrations needs to dance a little more and as we enter the central panel there is a tentative feel about the hymn tune with intonation not always consistent.

The final movement doesn't find the innate drama in the music as the best bands have so far this morning and the momentum is lost as we approach the closing paragraphs. Some very creditable playing in parts however from some very promising young talent.

Overall: An inconsistent account from Burbage Buxton but a very creditable attempt from a young band.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 11:21:59

Section 2:

5. Glossop Old (Les Webb)

Another strong opening. Good sounds and it's very much to the band's credit with two cornets and a bass down. We hear the story being told and although ensemble is not always precisely clear the movement ends in lively style.

A touch tentative to open and the slow movement is proving to be crucial amongst the bands we have heard so far today. The hymn is nicely done but voices are not always heard with security.

We could take a little more drama as the movement unfolds and again there are one or two entries that don't quite come off. There's a good shape to the music though and the ending is effective.

Overall: Some good moments although tuning issues and insecurities in the slow movement will not have been missed by the judges.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 11:11:50

Section 2:

4. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)

A fine opening and we really sense the swell of the seas. This is vivid stuff and there is a sense of both drama and celebration in the latter stages.

Tuning causes problems to open the second movement but it settles and the hymn tune is played with both both warmth and pathos. Fine band sounds on display once again and the close is played with real sensitivity.

Not all of the detail is heard with clarity but the MD paces the movement so well and the ending is bold and exciting.

Overall: Great band sound and plying of vivid excitement from City of Coventry. Could tuning in the middle movement be decisive though?


Midlands • Sunday 13, 10:47:08

Section 2:

3. Hucknall & Linby MC (Paul Whyley)

A good strong opening and again we hear a good band sound on display. There's a nice feel to the shanty and rhythmically the playing is right in the slot. Well done percussion.....you sit very well within the musical picture. There's a real feeling of celebration at the end of the movement as we head into At the Church.

It unravels slightly as one or two untidy solo entries unsettle the hymn tune. It warms though and suddenly the confidence returns and we hear warm lush sounds as the dynamic level increases. The closing bars are very nicely handled indeed.

We don't quite hear the drama in the opening bars of the final movement and it suddenly feels a little tentative as the MD turns around the band and urges his players on. Some great sounds though and the build to the conclusion is very well done.

Overall: There was some fine playing on display from Hucknall and Linby but inconsistencies could be crucial come the results.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 10:42:06

Draw: Fourth Section:
Test Piece: 'The Journal of Phileas Fogg' - Peter Graham
Sunday 13th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: David Roberts and Chris Wormald

1. Kirkby Colliery Welfare (Neville Buxton)
2. Cleobury Mortimer Concert (David Maplestone)
3. Moulton 77 (Nicholas Garman)
4. Syston (Chris Banks)
5. Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)
6. Ratby Co-operative Mid (Geoff Newman)
7. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
8. Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (Tony Wilson)
9. Skegness Silver (Steve Walker)

Bilton Silver (Rugby) Training (Jack Fisher)
Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
Cubbington Silver (Mark Phillips)
Ilkeston Brass (Jeff Shaw)
Malvern Hills District (Chris License)
Porthywaen Silver (Dougie Graham)
University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
WEM Jubilee (Roger Thorne)
Whitwell Brass (Robert Woffinden)


Midlands • Sunday 13, 10:30:59

Section 2:

2. Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)

There's a touch of insecurity about the opening but it settles and there's a nice sense of style about the musical picture that culminates in a very lively celebration. This has real spirit about it.

The opening of the central movement certainly gets down to the low dynamic level required but at the cost of a few nervy solo entries. Soloists just need a little more support from the accompanying voices as the music loses it's flow a little. Full marks for those dynamics though.

The third move to opens boldly and there is a good sense of drama about this. Ensemble is not always totally crystal clear but the story is told in colourful fashion.

Overall: A good musical picture from Raunds but a somewhat nervy slow movement undermined some of the good work in the outer movements. Plenty of excitement and drama though.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 10:13:26

Section 2:

1. Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)

There's a nice sense of the swell of the sea at the opening and we hear a good, rounded band sound. Detail is heard with clarity and solo entries are generally secure. This is a very promising opening movement indeed.

What lovely dynamics in the slow movement. The hymn is played with pathos and there is warmth and sensitivity heard throughout. Solo entries are lyrically compelling and there is such a lovely atmosphere created. The closing bars are quite magical.

Return to the Waves opens in dramatic fashion and as with the opening movement, the detail and ensemble are impressive. Dynamics are wide ranging but always controlled and the ending encapsulates a stylish reading from start to finish.

Overall: What a fine opening performance from Ibstock. Packed with character and a trading that really told the story behind the music in colourful fashion.


Midlands • Sunday 13, 10:03:32

Draw:
Second Section:

Test Piece: 'Mermaid of Zennor' - Philip Harper
Sunday 13th March
Civic Hall
Split Draw: 9.00am & 10.30am
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: Paul Norley and Gordon Higginbottom

1. Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)
2. Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)
3. Hucknall & Linby MC (Paul Whyley)
4. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
5. Glossop Old (Les Webb)
6. Burbage Buxton (Steve Critchlow)
7. Avonbank (Evesham) (Ceri Thomas)
8. Brackley and District (Alexander Webb)
9. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)
10. Foss Dyke (Simon Oates)
11. Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield)
12. Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)


Midlands • Sunday 13, 09:51:04

Good morning from sunny Bedworth!

Paul Norley and Gordon Higginbottom are safely installed in the box and the Second Section contest will commence at 10.00am. Good luck to all of the competing bands!


Midlands • Sunday 13, 06:29:29

Today's action Bedworth is in the Championship, Second and Fourth Sections.

2016 Midlands Regional Championships from the Civic Hall and Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College in Bedworth.

Championship Section:
Test Piece: 'Cambridge Variations' - Philip Sparke
Sunday 13th March
Civic Hall
Draw 1.00pm
Commence: After Second Section results
Adjudicators: Steve Sykes and Jim Davies

Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)
Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)
Desford Colliery LCIWTF (Thomas Wyss)
Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
Leicestershire Co-operative (Graham Jacklin)
Newstead Brass (Duncan Beckley)
Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles)
Shirley (Dave Bishop Rowe)
Spal Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)
Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)
Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)


Second Section:
Test Piece: 'Mermaid of Zennor' - Philip Harper
Sunday 13th March
Civic Hall
Split Draw: 9.00am & 10.30am
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: Paul Norley and Gordon Higginbottom

Avonbank (Evesham) (Ceri Thomas)
Brackley and District (Alexander Webb)
Burbage Buxton (Steve Critchlow)
City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
Foss Dyke (Simon Oates)
Glossop Old (Les Webb)
Hucknall and Linby MC (Paul Whyley)
Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)
Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield)
Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)
Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)
Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)
Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Mark Wilcockson)
Wigston (Garry Sleath)


Fourth Section:
Test Piece: 'The Journal of Phileas Fogg' - Peter Graham
Sunday 13th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: David Roberts and Chris Wormald

Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (Tony Wilson)
Bilton Silver (Rugby) Training (Jack Fisher)
Cleobury Mortimer Concert (David Maplestone)
Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)
Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
Cubbington Silver (Mark Phillips)
Ilkeston Brass (Jeff Shaw)
Kirkby Colliery Welfare (Neville Buxton)
Malvern Hills District (Chris License)
Moulton 77 (Nicholas Garman)
Porthywaen Silver (Dougie Graham)
Ratby Co-operative Mid (Geoff Newman)
Skegness Silver (Steve Walker)
Syston (Chris Banks)
University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
WEM Jubilee (Roger Thorne)
Whitwell Brass (Robert Woffinden)


Midlands • Saturday 12, 18:44:45


Result: Third Section:
Test Piece:'A Cambrian Suite' - Michael Ball
Saturday 12th March
Adjudicators: Paul Norley and Gordon Higginbottom

1. Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geoff Benson)
2. Stourport-on-Severn (Oliver Wilson)
3. Melton (Graham Sutton)
4. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
5. Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
6. (Resdev) Market Rasen (David Dernley)

Amington (Malcolm Read)
Arrow Valley Brass (Andy Culshaw)
City of Birmingham (Iain Masson)
Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)
Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston)
Matlock (Geoff Hawley)
Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs)
Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)
Trentham Brass (Mike Caveney)
Wellington (Telford) (Mark Parry)


Midlands • Saturday 12, 18:40:08

Result: First Section:
Test Piece: 'Essay' - Edward Gregson
Saturday 12th March
Adjudicators: David Roberts and Chris Wormald

1. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (Simon Platford)*
2. Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)*
3. Bedworth Brass (David Maplestone)*
4. Langley (Cliff Parker)
5. Hathern (David Newman)
6. Wigston (Garry Sleath)
7. Kibworth (David Holling)
8. Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Mark Wilcockson)
9. Harborough (Chris Groom)
10. Foresters Brass 2000 (Jack Capstaff)
11. Enderby (Simon Greswell)
12. Gresley Colliery (Dave Purkiss)
13. Oddfellows Brass (Dave Holling)
14. Carlton Brass (Paul Watson)
15. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Richard Windle)
16. Bakewell Silver (Roger Jepson)
17. Daventry Brass (Neil Brownless)

*Top three bands qualify for National Final


Midlands • Saturday 12, 16:23:16

Section 3: Opinion and prediction:

The quality through the 17 bands today has been from one extreme to another. We had 3/4 very good clean, well controlled and disciplined performances. Then there was a group of 10 band or so that were on par with eachother and that part of the results could be a lottery.

1. Ifton Colliery
2. Market Rasen
3. Ammington
4. Arrow Valley
5. Stamford
6. Pleasley Colliery

Dark Horse: City of Birmingham


Midlands • Saturday 12, 16:21:29

Section 3:

16. Matlock (Geoff Hawley)

A really poor performance from Matlock today. 5 and a half hours after the draw must have really taken effect on these players. You can't fault the commitment but it just hasn't worked out today.

17. Pleasley Colliery (Geoff Benson)

A steady performance this from Pleasley, not without it's splits and clips. I think the draw has really effected the performance. Intonation really does suffer at the end of the 2nd movement. The final movement, has character and style, but too many mistakes before to make a mark? Who knows?


Midlands • Saturday 12, 16:12:30

Mids1

The 4BR Prediction.

1 Jackfield
2 Blidworth
3 Hathern
4 Bedworth
5 Gresley
6 Shirebrook


Midlands • Saturday 12, 16:10:34

Midlands 1

17 Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)

The opening Dialogue is incisive and clear headed in its delivery. Solid ensemble, big band sounds and an approach that takes no prisoners. It certainly packs a punch though and the ending is so well executed.

Warmth and dynamic control are the key points in the Soliloquy. Soloists perform well throughout the band and with the exception of one or two minor clips the slow movement is delivered with sensitivity and musical insight.

The Epigram just seems to tire a little as it progresses and we hear the MD audibly counting and pushing his players on. It's a good ending though and caps a performance of quality.

Overall: Good sounds from Blidworth and a performance that really grabbed the score by its collar but found some great contrasts along the way.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 15:40:51

Midlands 1

16. Langley (Cliff Parker)

A bold opening and there is a sense of excitement about this matched by big band sounds and a strong sense of rhythm. The approach to the ending drives on well and it's an excellent final flourish that leads us into the Soliloquy.

The central movement unfolds well and although there are the ocassional tuning issues there is confidence and style about the playing. Ensemble just rocks once or twice as a couple of entries fail to full align but the style is finely captured and there are quality solo contributions including trombone.

The Epigram progresses safely with a good dance like style to the rythmic writing and cohesive ensemble playing. The MD paces the music well and the approach to the conclusion is deftly handled.

Overall: Not without one or two slips but plenty of charachter on display from Langley.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 15:24:55

Midlands 1

15. Daventry Brass (Neil Brownless)

An uneasy opening from Daventry as slips and strained sounds predominate. As a result the Dialogue never quite seems to hang together and although the ending finds some drive, the first movement error count was high.

Good solo cornet in the Soiloquy although the flow of the music is undermined by cautious and sometimes inaccurate entries.

Epigram finds a little more drive and energy than the opening movement but still those clips and uncomfortable moments are very much to the fore.

Overall: A tough Essay for Daventry Brass with a dangerously high error count.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 15:18:27

Section 3:

14. Arrow Valley Brass (Andy Culshaw)

Yet again a performance that is steady throughout, there must have been 7/8 performances of similar standard. This contest is hard to call because of that reason.

Similar problems, poor intonation, balance and ensemble. Good sop playing throughout and a strong ending.

15. Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)

This is a disappointing performance and the band know it. Not much energy from the minute go. There are some positives - the cornet solo was played with great style and and a great sop contribution (who played for Arrow Valley, an emergency dep). But there are wrong entries, over blowing and it never quite sounded at ease.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 15:09:16

Midlands 1

14. Hathern (David Newman)

There is a sense of style about the opening Dialogue with quality work from trombones in particular. Rythmic detail is good and the MD is shaping the performance well leading to a driven conclusion to the opening movement.

The Soliloquy is both atmospheric and haunting with nicely controlled solo contributions and a glowing warmth to the band sound accross all dynamic ranges. Tuning is as good as we have heard today and the sensitivity and shading is finely done leading to a lovely close.

Epigram opens well and the higher end dynamics are kept well under control. The ending could be a touch bolder for us but there was a good deal to enjoy here.

Overall: A quality show from Hathern. Confident playing, expertly paced and delivered with accuracy and attention to detail.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 15:00:24

Section 3:

12. City of Birmingham (Iain Masson)

Another performance that started so well, but the intonation problems that occurred in the second movement effected what happened after that.

Some very animated conducting from the MD, he certainly knows what he wanted out of his band.

13. Shipston (Howard Gibbs)

This is a performance that unfortunately was dominated by nerves. The overall picture that the MD was trying to create didn't work, simply because of nerves.

The last movement has lots energy and is very enthusiastic, sometimes tended to rush.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 14:52:18

Section 1

13. Wigston (Garry Sleath)

The style is good but underneath the surface there are slips and clips. A shame as this has momentum and energy.

The Soliloquy opens well and the MD doesn't allow the tempo to languish whilst creating a nice sense of atmosphere. Once again though little slips threaten to undermine the good work. Tuning ocasionally causes problems but again the style is well captured......this is one of those frustrating performances that could easily be so much better.

The Epigram could be a little bolder. Is tiredness tarting to creep in here? The tempo isn't always consistent and it rocks rhythmically losing its momentum significantly as the band approaches the final flourish.

Overall: A 'nearly' performance from Wigston. There was so much about the style that was good but errors will surely count against the band today.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 14:37:04

Section 1

12. Bedworth Brass (David Maplestone)

A solid opening statement and the approach is bold and direct. Just loses its momentum a little in the middle but settles and the MD draws some exciting playing from his team.....great work trombones! The ending really motors and it's a breathless final statement.

Atmospheric opening to the Soliloquy. Just the odd tuning blemish detracts but there is a lyrical, melting style about this that gets to the heart of the music. Lovely solo cornet and the lower dynamics are well sought out. A fine ending to a well executed movement.

Epigram starts well as the MD leans into the cornet section and the performance continues to grow in stature. We can sense the confidence flowing through the band now. Quality sounds and this is so well paced......the MD is in complete control of the performance and it's a fine concluding flourish.

Overall: A quality showing from the home team of Bedworth Brass. Expertly paced and despatched with both style and bold sounds.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 14:34:13

Section 3:

10. Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)

After a 40 minute comfort break we are back underway with Towcester. A spirited performance and perhaps the most aggressive so far, which at times payed off and others it didn't. Nonetheless a solid account from the band.

11. Stourport-on-seven (Oliver Wilson)

Stourport start off well but as the performance goes on, it derails slightly and more and more mistakes creep in. Great band sound, but the ensemble is not together at all at times. Rushing in the 3rd movement, MD is working hard to keep it going. Nice solo playing.

The ending gets back on track a performance really did have its moments.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 14:23:42

Section 1

9 Gresley Colliery (Dave Purkiss)

It's a robust Dialogue from Gresley, with good character on display but some untidy moments of ensemble and tuning. It's going for the jugular though and we like the no nonsense approach and solid sounds on display.

Soliloquy could flow a little more freely, it's a touch rigid particularly in the louder passages but soloists all acquit themselves well and there is good dynamic control evident.

A nice opening to the Epigram that immediately settles into the style. One or two slightly unsteady moments in the cornet ranks and a stray entry on timp but this is a fine account from Gresley and it's an excellent closing flourish too.

Overall: A performance of style and fine band sounds from Gresley. Right up there in the mix for us.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 14:22:03

Section 1

8 Oddfellows (Dave Holling)

Confident sounds from Oddfellows to open. Solid solo entries, strong band sounds and good drive and energy. Not without some moments of twitchy intonation but all of the bands have suffered from that today.

Again there is a sense of style to the Soliloquy that impresses. Nice Euph to open and individual entries are generally fine. Could be a little more relaxed perhaps but this is a confident band.

Epigram starts well and there is neat playing on display once again. Tempo is a touch steady perhaps but the band sound is well balanced and there is cohesion to the ensemble. A strong ending caps a solid, engaging account.

Overall: A gutsy, well constructed and boldly executed account of Essay from Oddfellows. One or two tuning issues but otherwise plenty to enjoy.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 14:19:55

Section 1

11 Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (Simon Platford)

What an excellent opening movement. Packed with drama, detail, dynamic contrasts and playing of both confidence and verve. This is ear opening stuff and we can sense the energy running through the band.

There is so much light and shade in the Soliloquy. Delicate contrasts of timbre and it flows so beautifully. Solo entries are of high quality (well done trombone, lovely stuff!) and the sounds are warm even at the lowest of dynamics. A fine close to a beautifully executed slow movement.

The Epigram opens in ebullient fashion and again the drive and energy is first class, the sounds are never forced and the rythmic elements click together seamlessly. Excellent runs from the cornet section and we sense the measured approach to the conclusion. The final flourish is controlled but so exciting. Well done!

Overall: A performance out of the top drawer from Simon Platford and his team. Executed with precision and packed with detail and brio.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 14:03:54

Draw: Third Section:
Test Piece:'A Cambrian Suite' - Michael Ball

Saturday 12th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 9.000am & 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: Paul Norley and Gordon Higginbottom

1. Amington (Malcolm Read)
2. Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston)
3. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
4. Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
5. Trentham Brass (Mike Caveney)
6. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
7. Wellington (Telford) (Mark Parry)
8. Melton (Graham Sutton)
9. (Resdev) Market Rasen (David Dernley)
10. Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)
11. Stourport-on-Severn (Oliver Wilson)
12. City of Birmingham (Iain Masson)
13. Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs)
14. Arrow Valley Brass (Andy Culshaw)
15. Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)
16. Matlock (Geoff Hawley)
17. Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geoff Benson)


Midlands • Saturday 12, 14:03:31

Section 1

10. Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Mark Wilcockson)

Strong sounds to open the Dialogue and it moves along well. There's good drive about this and the interplay between the instrumental voices is well done.

Soliloquy could be a little quieter to open and cornet solo is a touch strained but generally clean. Some nice sounds are heard around the stands and again the band sound is warm and sonorous.

Epigram is bold in style and it's very well measured by the MD. Tempo is bang on the money, ensemble is accurate and the approach to the conclusion is well handled.

Overall: A competant and well constructed account from Shirebrook.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 13:55:14

Draw: First Section:
Test Piece: 'Essay' - Edward Gregson
Saturday 12th March
Civic Hall
Draw 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: David Roberts and Chris Wormald

1. Enderby (Simon Greswell)
2. Bakewell Silver (Roger Jepson)
3. Foresters Brass 2000 (Jack Capstaff)
4. Carlton Brass (Paul Watson)
5. Kibworth (David Holling)
6. Harborough (Chris Groom)
7. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Richard Windle)
8. Oddfellows Brass (Dave Holling)
9. Gresley Colliery (Dave Purkiss)
10. Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Mark Wilcockson)
11. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (Simon Platford)
12. Bedworth Brass (David Maplestone)
13. Wigston (Garry Sleath)
14. Hathern (David Newman)
15. Daventry Brass (Neil Brownless)
16. Langley (Cliff Parker)
17. Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)


Midlands • Saturday 12, 13:50:54

Section 1:

7. Ireland CollIery Chesterfield (Richard Windle)

Dialogue drives forward with energy and although there are blips and one or two ensemble issues the style is well captured.

Good opening to the Soliloquy although not perhaps the most sensitive playing we have heard today. It's a little heavy and we would like to hear the band exalt get down to the quiet dynamics.

Epigram is spirited but a little lumpy. Needs a little more lightness of touch and the tempo slows where the players have tricky entries, notably in the front row. A shame as it hinders the flow of the music.

Overall: A mixed account from Ireland Colliery that needed a greater degree of consistency.

6. Harborough (Chris Groom)

Dialogue opens well with good sounds and spirited playing. Just the odd moments of intonation and unsteady ensemble but the approach is good and it's an exciting build to the end.

Good atmosphere to open the Soliloquy but again tuning intervenes, a recurring pattern in most performances so far today. Good cornet solo and the MD really takes the band dynamics down.

Epigram opens boldly and there is some neat playing on display from the front row. The movement progresses without major incident and and is well measured, building to a controlled but exciting conclusion.

Overall: An enjoyable account from Harborough. Solid playing and directed with a clear head and stylistic intent.

5. Kibworth (David Holling)

A neat and tidy opening to the Dialogue that shows promise. Good dynamics and there's a good sense of style to the playing as it builds to an exciting concluding First movement statement.

Soliloquy is well handled with some lovely delicate touches and the MD is really some finding some light and shade in the band sounds. Confident and solo entries and a fine central cornet solo. This is engaging, musical playing.

Epigram opens boldly and there's a spirited confidence about this that we like. Rhythms are well executed as are the changing moods and styles and there is a precision about the ensemble that impresses leading to a lively final flourish.

Overall: A highly enjoyable, energetic and well executed account from Kibworth that really caught our ear.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 13:49:10

Section 1:

4. Carlton Brass (Paul Watson)

Dialogue opens with a few tuning issues and it's a little hesitant at times. The tempo has a tendency to pull back at key moments. There's a nice cornet solo at the heart of Soliloquy though and the slow movement is flowing with a little more ease. Just a little more dynamic contrast would help the musical picture.

Epigram is again cautious in Tempo and this really feels like it needs to find another gear as it approaches the conclusion.

Overall: A somewhat monochrome account from Carlton that never really founds its feet.


Midlands • Saturday 12, 13:12:06

Section 3:

9. Market Rasen (David Dernley)

A good performance this, without a few lapses in concentration is could of been excellent! Great ensemble work shown, the MD has fragged a contender out here.

The odd clip does take away some of the quality though! Glockenspiel work was very good and really added to the performance. Dynamics are well contrasted.

Star player: MD - great performance!

4BR Half-way prediction:

1. Ifton
2. Market Rasen
3. Ammington
4. Stamford
5. Melton
6. Wellington (Telford)


Midlands • Saturday 12, 13:08:00

Section 3:
7. Wellington (Telford) (Mark Parry)

A brave attempt by Wellington, although intonation is a major problem throughout the performance.

Nice solo Euph work in the middle movement. Hints of rushing in the final movement. Very controlled dynamically. A solid performance from Wellington but it had the potential for more.

Star Player: Solo Euph

8. Melton (Graham Sutton)

Another performance that is consistent throughout without ever being real top quality stuff.

This is turning out to be a tough contest to call. Some nervy solos and again intonation right from the beginning! A lively ending may help keep this performance in the adjudicators minds!

Star player: Solo horn


Midlands • Saturday 12, 12:32:42

Section 3:

5. Trentham Brass (Mike Caveney)

We are really racing through the bands today - it may be an early finish!

Trentham seem have become a victim of Michael Ball's work here. Right from the opening they struggled to get going. The MD is forced to work hard to keep it together in places. Despite this, some excellent solo playing from the flugel and in particular the young trombone player - bravo!

Star Player: Solo Trombone

6. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)

This performance was neither brilliant or bad, it was a safe, well led and came to a big ending. Nervous solo playing will hinder them today. It was a pity it never quite came to life as all the right elements were there.

Star player: Solo Cornet


Midlands • Saturday 12, 12:10:50

Section 3:

3. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)

Rolls Royce never seem to settle down today which is a shame because they showed glimpses of being able to pull of a great performance.

The transition from the 2nd to 3rd movement is causing big problems today. Far too splitty in the upper band. The band give it there all, but tired slightly towards the end.

Star player: Euphonium


4. Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)

A steadier approach to the first movement as it was controlled well and transparent. The second movement doesn't quite go to plan, a few slips and clips in the solo lines unfortunately.

Solo horn plays very well! A quick and exciting final movement to finish of that a couple of times had the tendency to rush. Not a bad effort from Stamford!

Star player: Solo Horn


Midlands • Saturday 12, 12:01:53

Section 3:

1. Ammington (Malcolm Read)

A good marker from Ammington. All soloists played well and with only minor issues. The middle movement is a pitfall in this piece, and intonation suffered a little. A very good start!

Star player: Flugal/Horn

2. Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston)

Ifton's performance today was inconsistent. At times it was pretty good, but intonation and ensemble was not 100%. Again a lot of good solo playing. The last movement suffered through a little bit of sloppy percussion. It won't detract too much, but it did affect the band. However, this performance could still do very well.

Star player: Sop and Solo Horn


Midlands • Saturday 12, 11:47:13

Draw: First Section:
Test Piece: 'Essay' - Edward Gregson
Saturday 12th March
Civic Hall
Draw 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: David Roberts and Chris Wormald

1. Enderby (Simon Greswell)
2. Bakewell Silver (Roger Jepson)
3. Foresters Brass 2000 (Jack Capstaff)
4. Carlton Brass (Paul Watson)
5. Kibworth (David Holling)
6. Harborough (Chris Groom)
7. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Richard Windle)
8. Oddfellows Brass (Dave Holling)
9. Gresley Colliery (Dave Purkiss)

Bedworth Brass (David Maplestone)
Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)
Daventry Brass (Neil Brownless)
Hathern (David Newman)
Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (Simon Platford)
Langley (Cliff Parker)


Midlands • Saturday 12, 10:44:50

Draw: Third Section:
Test Piece:'A Cambrian Suite' - Michael Ball

Saturday 12th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 9.000am & 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: Paul Norley and Gordon Higginbottom

1. Amington (Malcolm Read)
2. Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston)
3. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
4. Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
5. Trentham Brass (Mike Caveney)
6. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
7. Wellington (Telford) (Mark Parry)
8. Melton (Graham Sutton)
9. (Resdev) Market Rasen (David Dernley)

Arrow Valley Brass (Andy Culshaw)
City of Birmingham (Iain Masson)
Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)
Matlock (Geoff Hawley)
Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geoff Benson)
Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs)
Stourport-on-Severn (Oliver Wilson)
Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)


Midlands • Saturday 12, 05:49:41

Competing bands at the 2016 Midlands Regional Championships from the Civic Hall and Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College in Bedworth.

Championship Section:
Test Piece: 'Cambridge Variations' - Philip Sparke
Sunday 13th March
Civic Hall
Draw 1.00pm
Commence: After Second Section results
Adjudicators: Steve Sykes and Jim Davies

Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)
Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)
Desford Colliery LCIWTF (Thomas Wyss)
Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
Leicestershire Co-operative (Graham Jacklin)
Newstead Brass (Duncan Beckley)
Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles)
Shirley (Dave Bishop Rowe)
Spal Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)
Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)
Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)


First Section:
Test Piece: 'Essay' - Edward Gregson
Saturday 12th March
Civic Hall
Draw 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: David Roberts and Chris Wormald

Bakewell Silver (Roger Jepson)
Bedworth Brass (David Maplestone)
Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)
Carlton Brass (Paul Watson)
Daventry Brass (Neil Brownless)
Enderby (Simon Greswell)
Foresters Brass 2000 (Jack Capstaff)
Gresley Colliery (Dave Purkiss)
Harborough (Chris Groom)
Hathern (David Newman)
Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Richard Windle)
Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (Simon Platford)
Kibworth (David Holling)
Langley (Cliff Parker)
Oddfellows Brass (Dave Holling)


Second Section:
Test Piece: 'Mermaid of Zennor' - Philip Harper
Sunday 13th March
Civic Hall
Split Draw: 9.00am & 10.30am
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: Paul Norley and Gordon Higginbottom

Avonbank (Evesham) (Ceri Thomas)
Brackley and District (Alexander Webb)
Burbage Buxton (Steve Critchlow)
City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
Foss Dyke (Simon Oates)
Glossop Old (Les Webb)
Hucknall and Linby MC (Paul Whyley)
Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)
Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield)
Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)
Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)
Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)
Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Mark Wilcockson)
Wigston (Garry Sleath)


Third Section:
Test Piece:'A Cambrian Suite' - Michael Ball

Saturday 12th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 9.000am & 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: Paul Norley and Gordon Higginbottom

Amington (Malcolm Read)
Arrow Valley Brass (Andy Culshaw)
City of Birmingham (Iain Masson)
Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)
Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston)
Matlock (Geoff Hawley)
Melton (Graham Sutton)
Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geoff Benson)
(Resdev) Market Rasen (David Dernley)
Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs)
Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
Stourport-on-Severn (Oliver Wilson)
Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)
Trentham Brass (Mike Caveney)
Wellington (Telford) (Mark Parry)


Fourth Section:
Test Piece: 'The Journal of Phileas Fogg' - Peter Graham
Sunday 13th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: David Roberts and Chris Wormald

Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (Tony Wilson)
Bilton Silver (Rugby) Training (Jack Fisher)
Cleobury Mortimer Concert (David Maplestone)
Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)
Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
Cubbington Silver (Mark Phillips)
Ilkeston Brass (Jeff Shaw)
Kirkby Colliery Welfare (Neville Buxton)
Malvern Hills District (Chris License)
Moulton 77 (Nicholas Garman)
Porthywaen Silver (Dougie Graham)
Ratby Co-operative Mid (Geoff Newman)
Skegness Silver (Steve Walker)
Syston (Chris Banks)
University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
WEM Jubilee (Roger Thorne)
Whitwell Brass (Robert Woffinden)



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


Chinnor Silver

November 20 • Despite winning the 2nd section at the GBBA contest we still need a Bb BASS to complete our line up. Good but realistic book of concerts and concerts planned.. We have well attended rehearsals on a Wednesday in our own bandroom.


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.


Christopher Houlding

MMus, GGSM, LRAM
Conductor, Performer, Educator