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2016 British Open Championship
As it happened...

All the action from the 2016 British Open Championship — as it happened.

Saturday 10, 19:25:24

That's it folks...

That concludes our formal live coverage from the 2016 British Open Championship at Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

There will be interviews, news stories to come.

We hope you have enjoyed our coverage. Congratulations to Cory, the newly crowned British Open champion.

Good night from Birmingham.

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Saturday 10, 19:18:16

Result:

Full official result of the 2016 British Open Championship.

Test Piece: 'The Triumph of Time' — Professor Peter Graham
Adjudicators: Dr Michael Ball, Rob Wiffin, Allan Withington

1. Cory (Philip Harper)
2. Brighouse & Rastrick (Prof David King)
3. Black Dyke (Prof Nicholas J.Childs)
4. Brass Band Willebroek (Frans Violet)
5. Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr Robert Childs)
6. Desford Colliery (Leicestershire Miners Trust Fund) (Michael Fowles)
7. Leyland (Thomas Wyss)
8. Co-op Funeralcare (Allan Ramsay)
9. Fairey (Garry Cutt)
10. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)
11. Flowers (Paul Holland)
12. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
13. Woodfalls (Howard Evans)*
14. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Erik Jannsen)
15. Tredegar (Ian Porthouse)
16. Wellington Brass (David Bremner)
17. Foden's (Bramwell Tovey)
18. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)*
19. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

Stanley Wainwright Memorial Trophy: Helen Williams (flugel) — Cory
Brian Evans Memorial Trophy: Steve Stewart — Cory
The Geoffrey Whitham Memorial Trophy: Glyn Williams — Cory

* Hammonds Saltaire and Woodfalls are relegated (To be officially confirmed)


Saturday 10, 19:04:33

'Fraternity'

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Composer — Thierry Deleruyelle

It has been announced, during the results ceremony, that 'Fraternity' by Thierry Deleruyelle will be the 2017 British Open test piece. The piece was the set work in Lille at The Europeans earlier this year.

Inspired by the tragic circumstances of a 1906 mining disaster in Douai (a short distance from Lille, France) that claimed over 1,000 lives, it's written in an open, tonal fashion — eschewing the trend for high-energy injections of volume and speed for more considered pacing and texture, subtly scored balances and lengthened lyrical lines.

Narrative

The musical narrative sets the scene, tells the tale and recalls the aftermath. It comprises seven linked sections that open mysteriously with cold timbres evoking an early morning trek to the pit head — before building in anxiety and industry as the miners first descend the shaft before starting their shift of work — from the light above to the dark below to extract the coal.

The catastrophe is ignited by a fractured, frenzied forcefulness, the prelude to which is the ghostly on-rush of air through instruments; life or death a matter of luck as the explosion devastates the underground passages that lead from the coal face to the pit head.

Hopes

The solemn task of bringing out the dead leads to a bleak paean of reflection before the piece ends in uplifting fashion in the form of a 'Fraternity Prayer' that pays tribute to those lost.

Thierry Deleruyelle, composer of the work, hoped bands would be able to identify with something within the piece. It was heartfelt request that truly found resonance given the historic association many bands have to heavy industry and coal mining in particular all over Europe.


Saturday 10, 18:27:12

The Final Say...

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(L-R) The Adjudicators — Allan Withington, Dr Michael Ball & Rob Wiffin


Saturday 10, 18:19:15

Final Analysis

Chris Thomas' Final Analysis and Prediction

It's been an intriguing contest in Symphony Hall, with Peter Graham's The Triumph of Time raising some interesting questions, not least of which being the number of bands that did or did not succeed in uniting the technical traps of the score with its very real sense of emotion and drama.

Only two bands came close in the first half of the draw but it was in the second half that the contest really came to light with a clutch of exceptionally polished performances, three or four of which could potentially be vying for the judges attention as possible champions.

1. Cory
2. Black Dyke
3. Brass Band Willebroek
4. Grimethorpe Colliery
5. Brighouse & Rastrick
6. Fairey

Dark Horses: Desford Colliery and Tredegar

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Final Marks

Steven Mead

Pts. Band.
196. Cory (Philip Harper)
191. Black Dyke (Prof Nicholas J.Childs)
190. Brighouse & Rastrick (Prof David King)
188. Brass Band Willebroek (Frans Violet)
187. Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr Robert Childs)
186. Fairey (Garry Cutt)
183. Desford Colliery (Leicestershire Miners TrustFund) (Michael Fowles)
180. Flowers (Paul Holland)
176. Tredegar (Ian Porthouse)
173. Foden's (Bramwell Tovey)
171. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Erik Jannsen)
171. Co-op Funeralcare (Allan Ramsay)
168. Wellington Brass (David Bremner)
165. Leyland (Thomas Wyss)
164. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)
163. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
157. Woodfalls (Howard Evans)
155. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
143. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)


Saturday 10, 18:06:05

18. Tredegar

Conductor: Ian Porthouse

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On Stage — Tredegar (Ian Porthouse)

The opening is immediately marked by spectacularly wide ranging dynamics and the running demi semi's fly around the band with impressive precision leading to a darkly powerful transition into the Sotto with fine Eb bass.

Lovely melting solo cornet sounds and the Sotto immediately settles into its twilit, nocturnal world. Just the tiniest of hesitations are noted but the atmosphere is so beautifully created.

Good trombones at the announcement of the Jazz section and this builds impressively, with an excellent groove that aids what is impressive playing around the sections.

Well balanced trombone chorale but solo horn is nervy as the love theme approaches. Flugel does well and the band pianissimo is remarkably quiet — almost too much so as there is a sense of the players struggling to keep the air flowing.

The ending is one of massive sounds and emotional positivity.

Overall:
An interpretation of high quality and a performance of impressive technical command. Not without a few uncomfortable moments and just outside the top six for us.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Suitable choice of tempi: 19
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 18
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 15
Artistic expression/musicality: 17

Total: 176


Saturday 10, 17:42:16

18. Wellington Brass

Conductor: David Bremner

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On Stage — Wellington Brass (David Bremner)

The New Zealander's show there intentions straight away and launch into the piece headlong. It's fast and furious stuff — not always pristinely precise but with huge inner energy.

Good transition into the Sotto and there are fine solo cornet sounds heard here whilst the MD creates a convincing and atmospheric musical picture — arabesques are just a touch rushed though and need more space.

Darkly hued introduction into the jazz section is effective and trombone section does well with the MD finding the essential style of the jazz feel to impressive effect.

Flugel is so nicely done and the picture is created with innate musicality.

A slightly tired ending but a performance to be admired for its commitment and musical honesty.

Overall:
A creditable performance from Wellington that although not with out slips, succeeded in getting to the musical heart of the score.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 15
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 17
Suitable choice of tempi: 16
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 16
Tuning/intonation: 16
Band sound quality: 18
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 17
Artistic expression/musicality: 18

Total: 168


Saturday 10, 17:32:51

'The Triumph of Time'

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Composer of the 2016 British Open test piece — Peter Graham


Saturday 10, 17:30:17

You can't beat experience...

There can't be too many players who have noticed up 53 years of playing and 35 appearances at the British Open this year. The man who has is John Clough of Milnrow — and he still had plenty of puff in his lungs to talk to 4BR


Saturday 10, 17:17:16

17. Milnrow

Conductor: Mark Bentham

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On Stage — 17. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)

Opening detail is not clear and as the momentum increases, so does the untidiness of the ensemble.

Soloists acquit themselves well however and the Sotto is so much better, finding a haunting atmosphere although the lines of arabesque do not always sit comfortably.

Understated trombone to open the Jazz section and again the ensemble is often ragged. Flugel delivers the love theme with sensitivity but a clip on the euphonium unsettles the picture and there is a sense that the performance needs to relax more.

That climactic statement of the love theme sounds tired and although there are reserves of strength for the final chord, it caps an untidy performance that never quite got off the ground.

Overall:
An untidy one from Milnrow that tired drastically towards the close.

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 16
Suitable choice of tempi: 17
Control of full dynamic range: 16
Ensemble precision: 16
Tuning/intonation: 16
Band sound quality: 16
Balance/clarity of textures: 17
Quality of soloists: 16
Artistic expression/musicality: 17

Total: 163


Saturday 10, 17:01:20

Cory ecstatic

Cory may well have done it again it seems — with fans and supporters pouring out of the auditorium to congratulate the players and the MD. That one seems to have struck a musical nerve — and a lot of bodies are still jangling with emotion.

The MD is currently in the middle of a Welsh scrum of well wishers — so it may be a while before we found out his reaction to his band's performance.


Saturday 10, 16:51:17

16. Cory

Conductor: Philip Harper

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On Stage — Cory (Philip Harper)

Fine percussion to open and we are immediately thrust into a technical maelstrom of rhythmic drive and power. The detail, particularly at low dynamic levels, is razor edged.

Yet, suddenly it's an eerie, twilit world of shadow and shapes in the semi darkness as the Sotto emerges gradually from the darkness via an equally darkly intoned Eb bass solo.

And this is melting stuff. Tom Hutchinson's solo cornet is beautifully done and it's notable that none of the soloists are standing — which seems to enhance the atmosphere even more.

Terrific trombones leading into the Jazz section and this hits the groove immediately, it's high octane but never wooden or over exaggerated.

The stillness of the love theme is touching, although it's slower than some that have adopted a more flowing feel to the music here. Steve Stewart is masterful in the soprano solo, so well articulated and the pianissimo is simply sublime — it's a heart stopping moment.

And once again that technical storm is unleashed as the music is propelled, quite literally, towards the close.

And what a close it is. Seething with emotion and unbridled power.

Overall:
Another tour de force of a performance from Cory. Soloists of the highest quality and what technique and accuracy.

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 19
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 20
Suitable choice of tempi: 19
Control of full dynamic range: 20
Ensemble precision: 20
Tuning/intonation: 19
Band sound quality: 20
Balance/clarity of textures: 20
Quality of soloists: 19
Artistic expression/musicality: 20

Total: 196


Saturday 10, 16:32:33

15. Black Dyke

Conductor: Prof Nicholas J.Childs

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On Stage — Black Dyke (Prof Nicholas J.Childs)

Opening has such presence and Gary Curtin and Richard Marshall rise to their feet to deliver solos of exceptional quality.

The playing crackles with energy and there is such confidence about this. As we head towards the Sotto Katrina Marzella delivers the baritone solo with impeccable artistry and the cornet arabesques float over haunting, twilit textures. Beautiful stuff.

Back in the Dyke fold, Brett Baker rises to his feet for the trombone solo in the same trombone section that premiered the piece in 2014. It's quick but never rushed and still succeeds in sounding laid back at the same time — no mean feat.

Well balanced trombone chorale and what a fine Eb bass solo leading into the love theme which Zoe Hancock delivers on the flugel with such sweetness and sensitivity. There's such a lovely atmosphere about this and the pianissimo that follows has a stillness at its heart that is deeply touching. My goodness that was a magical moment indeed.

The momentum to the final statement of the love theme is superb and there is so much feeling as we are given a final flourish of crushing emotional power and triumph.

Overall:
A towering performance from Dyke. Emotionally wrought and delivered with breathtaking panache.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 19
Suitable choice of tempi: 19
Control of full dynamic range: 20
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 19
Band sound quality: 20
Balance/clarity of textures: 19
Quality of soloists: 19
Artistic expression/musicality: 19

Total: 191


Saturday 10, 16:30:50

14. Leyland

Conductor: Thomas Wyss

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On Stage — Leyland (Thomas Wyss)

Opens well but the cornet Demi semi's are not metronomic prompting the MD to turn in to face the section. Solo euphonium rises to the pyrotechnics and the MD drives the performance on. There's energy but not always total accuracy on display here.

Fine solo cornet in the Sotto and this has a lovely nocturnal feel to it. Transition into the Jazz section is good but opening is scrappy in trombones and we don't sense the groove that is essential to this section.

John Doyle walks to the front of the stage for the flugel solo with a pink clothes peg mysteriously attached to the back of his jacket (??!!) — maybe it was a good luck charm as he delivers the flugel solo with a lovely sense of line and space.

The drive to the final paragraphs is well handled and there is a fine breadth to the band sound here leading to an ending of quality.

Overall:
Moments of undoubtedly but quality from Leyland but overall a performance that also saw one two many slips today.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 15
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 16
Suitable choice of tempi: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 17
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 16
Balance/clarity of textures: 16
Quality of soloists: 16
Artistic expression/musicality: 17

Total: 165


Saturday 10, 16:23:30

The King and I

Prof David King is on fine form when he speaks to 4BR after the performance of Brighouse & Rastrick at Symphony Hall.

You have to say — he seems to be very pleased at the way his band played and how a certain Mr Mead marked his interpretation.


Saturday 10, 15:37:05

13. Brighouse & Rastrick

Conductor: Prof David King

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On Stage — Brighouse & Rastrick (Prof David King)

Atmospheric opening although the ensuing trombone Demi semi's are not audible. The momentum drives through though and the energy is always evident.

Solo baritone not entirely comfortable and there are one or two fleeting moments of insecurity as we head into the Sotto. The atmosphere here is carefully created but again there are one or two hesitations that although minor, just ruffle the musical picture.

Excellent solo trombone into the Jazz section and this has a swagger and confidence that is infectious.

Trombone chorales are a touch bottom heavy but it's a fine transition into the love theme and there's a melting lyricism about this. The band pianissimo under the flugel is good but hasn't the touch of magic that one or two have had today but the power of the build up to the close is majestic leading to a triumphant final affirmation.

Overall:
A fine performance but did it quite have the ingredients of a winner? Not quite for us today.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 19
Suitable choice of tempi: 20
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 19
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 19
Quality of soloists: 19
Artistic expression/musicality: 20

Total: 190


Saturday 10, 15:16:54

Champagne!

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Champagne Gallery at Symphony Hall — Champagne playing in the auditorium


Saturday 10, 15:07:46

12. Co-op Funeralcare

Conductor: Allan Ramsay

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On Stage — Co-op Funeralcare (Allan Ramsay)

A highly effective opening which builds inexorably and with a notable contribution from solo euphonium. It's big and bold but also undeniably involving.

Good transition into the Sotto and again soloists acquit themselves with aplomb, including Jonny Midnight himself, Jim Hayes. Arabesques don't quite sit at times and Allan Ramsay turns to the cornets to direct but the atmosphere is carefully created.

Jazz section is effective if not amongst the most stylistically attuned we've heard today but there's a vigour about it that engages.

Love theme is nicely done although flugel just wanes in the closing bars as nervousness or tiredness takes hold? The music is shaped impressive musicality though.

Broad sounds as we approach the closing bars and it's a blazing final climax that closes an attractive account.

Overall:
A confident account from the Scots. One or two tuning issues and minor slips but a fine interpretation and impressive soloists.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 16
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 17
Suitable choice of tempi: 17
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 16
Tuning/intonation: 16
Band sound quality: 18
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 17
Artistic expression/musicality: 18

Total: 171


Saturday 10, 14:59:38

Brass for Africa Appeal

The brilliant Brass for Africa charity has launched its latest appeal at Symphony Hall — and 4BR found out more about it from Chris Fower.


Saturday 10, 14:52:32

Defending champions give it their all

Dr Robert Childs certainly looked pleased as he was met by his wife Lorriane and son David after Grimethorpe's performance.

Not surprising really — although they were usurped by a wonderful Irish supporter who came running through, shook Bob's hand and simply said, 'Fantastic, Fantastic, Fantastic!' .... and then disappeared. Last seen heading to the bar...


Saturday 10, 14:45:24

11. Grimethorpe Colliery

Conductor: Dr Robert Childs

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On Stage — Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr Robert Childs)

The defending champion opens its account in bold, confident fashion with bristling detail and a huge band sound.

There's a real swagger about this coupled with a sense of cumulative energy that drives the music onward.

The Sotto presents a haunting, nocturnal image with beautifully open toned solo cornet and touches of delicacy in the accompaniment that add subtle touches of light and shade.

Excellent solo trombone to open the Jazz section and this is a full blood approach — perhaps it could just sit back a touch but it's certainly both exciting and involving.

A darkly hued trombone chorale sits under solid horn and soprano solos and the love theme is intoned with glowing lyricism. What a glorious pianissimo as the flugel theme re-emerges — a magical moment.

The build of momentum approaching the final paragraphs is superbly paced and flugel again excels, culminating in a final peroration of crushing emotion.

Overall:
A magnificent title defence from Grimethorpe in a powerful musical marriage of technique and emotion.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 19
Suitable choice of tempi: 19
Control of full dynamic range: 20
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 18
Artistic expression/musicality: 19

Total: 187


Saturday 10, 14:16:07

Halfway opinions from the experts

We have asked the two men doing our coverage to give their midway top three and they seem to be pretty much in agreement.

Meanwhile, we also asked the great Philip McCann too — so watch this space for their views in a few minutes


Saturday 10, 14:10:42

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Chris Thomas' Half Time Summary

It's been an engaging contest so far but with only two performances that have truly risen head and shoulders above the field.

Brass Band Willebroek under the indefatigable Frans Violet gave us something very special indeed from their draw of eight with Fairey following on at nine with another impressive account.

With many of the big guns yet to come however it's going to be quite an afternoon ahead we fancy!

Half Time Prediction

Brass Band Willebroek
Fairey
Foden's


Saturday 10, 14:01:10

10. Jaguar Land Rover

Conductor: Dave Lea

embedded pictureOn Stage — Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

Opening comes off well. Detail in the music that follows is sometimes lost in the volume but the momentum builds effectively and there is a bristling sense of drama as the score unfolds.

Excellent solo baritone and Eb bass does well as the transition passes into the Sotto.

Lovely cornet sound and lyricism and this is musical playing; shaded with the colours of night. Arabesques do not always sit entirely comfortably but there's a good deal to enjoy here.

Jazz section is a touch wooden and needs that groove that so few bands have been successful in finding so far.

Well balanced trombone chorale and soloists acquit themselves well including fine flugel as the love theme emerges. Fleeting moments of insecurity threaten to upset the balance at times but again, we sense the pacing and musicality of the approach.

The ending clearly tires as the exertions on the players take their toll.

Overall:
A brave account from Jaguar Landrover as the band returns to the Open following a long absence.

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 13
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 14
Suitable choice of tempi: 15
Control of full dynamic range: 14
Ensemble precision: 15
Tuning/intonation: 15
Band sound quality: 15
Balance/clarity of textures: 13
Quality of soloists: 14
Artistic expression/musicality: 15

Total: 143


Saturday 10, 13:57:37

Solid Flowers

Flowers star sop player Paul Richards seemed pretty pleased when we spoke to him as the West of England band came off stage. He enjoyed the soprano part — although he admitted he had lost count how many top Cs there were in it.

How times have changed from Journey into Freedom eh?


Saturday 10, 13:38:20

9. Flowers

Conductor: Paul Holland

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On Stage — Flowers (Paul Holland)

The opening is effective and it's a big band sound that emerges. There is a real sense of drive about this and Grant Jamieson impresses on solo euphonium. Clarity of detail is good and it's a fine Eb bass solo that leads into the Sotto.

Fine atmosphere in the Sotto with a nice sense of poise and again, soloists are uniformly secure. Solo trombone doesn't sit quite in the slot at the opening of the Jazz section and although it's high octane stuff this needs more of a groove for us as we head towards the love theme.

The dynamics tend to the heavy through the slower music, including some of the soloists, although we do get down to a genuine pianissimo as the flugel theme re-emerges. Soloists again deliver competent accounts all round.

The approach to the conclusion is well built and it's an excellent final flourish of affirmation.

Overall:
A solid show from Flowers with quality soloists all round. Perhaps didn't quite ignite as the best have so far though.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Suitable choice of tempi: 19
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 18
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 18
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 18
Artistic expression/musicality: 18

Total: 180


Saturday 10, 13:27:39

A smiling Marple Maestro

The man who won with Kennedy Swinton, Marple and Foden's was wearing that crafty smile that comes when you know you have just delivered a performance to be proud of.

Garry Cutt is always a cheerful chap — but that smile today had an extra bit of substance to it after he came off stage. Plenty of praise for his players — and especially his wife on flugel. Fairey are in the mix it seems.


Saturday 10, 13:23:41

British Industrial Musical Association

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Detail on the famous British Open Shield


Saturday 10, 13:14:29

8. Fairey

Conductor: Garry Cutt

embedded pictureOn Stage — Fairey (Garry Cutt)

Excellent atmospheric opening and the impact of the ensuing bars is huge. Already there is a sense of musical authority about this that impresses.

Driving energy and the detail, notably in the cornet section, is admirable indeed.

What a fine Eb bass solo from Gavin Saynor leading into the Sotto. Laced with tantalizing darkness. The Sotto itself is glowing — due in no small part to lyrical playing of the highest standard with Owen Farr on horn shining through.

Quality trombone playing to open the Jazz section and the feel is just right. There's a sonorous depth to the trombone chorale and the horn cadenza is spot on, as is Eb bass once again. This is slower than Willebroek but so elegant and shaped with tenderness.

Lovely flugel playing from Lucy Cutt and as the momentum builds the pacing is sure footed yet fleet of foot at the same time. Fine detail from lower and middle band and the heart on sleeve emotion of the closing paragraphs is so finely done leading to a fabulous closing statement.

Overall:
A heroic account from Fairey. Detailed, emotional and with fabulous soloists.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 19
Suitable choice of tempi: 19
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 18
Tuning/intonation: 19
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 19
Artistic expression/musicality: 19

Total: 186


Saturday 10, 13:03:30

Wonderful Wonderful Willebroek

It's seems the Belgians have produced a performance that has sent a 1000 volts of musical electricity through the hall. People have come out into the foyer and are simply saying that they were a class apart. What price a first European winner now then?

Their euphonium player Kevin Van Giel was also stunned — "We played with confidence and we are happy." I bet you are. That has put the cat amongst the pigeons.


Saturday 10, 12:52:06

7. Brass Band Willebroek

Conductor: Frans Violet

embedded pictureOn Stage — Brass Band Willebroek (Frans Violet)

Fine opening and my goodness, does this fly. Precise, detailed and with a motoric energy that grabs us by the back of the neck. And what superb use of dynamic extremes!

Lovely solo baritone sound although not without a couple of slight clips. There's a melting, haunting lyricism about the solo cornet in the Sotto (what gorgeous music this is!) and the MD directs in his customary baton free manner, shaping the music as it flows.

There's a darkness to the opening of the Jazz section that is so effective and what fine work from the trombones underpinned by solid rhythmic foundations. This is impressive stuff indeed.

The transition between the various sections are so well handled by the MD. This is intelligent music making. Nicely balanced trombone chorale and what follows is beautifully done.
The music flows so well and the lines of arabesque coalesce so naturally. Glorious pianissimo dynamic as the flugel once again emerges with such a wonderful sound.

Superb crescendo into the driving rhythms which once again are both edgy and detailed with great use of percussion. And as the love theme is reprised it all feels so natural, leading to a blazing final affirmation. Bravo!!

Overall:
A magnificent performance from the Belgians. So detailed yet laced with palpable emotion. Simply stunning.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 18
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Suitable choice of tempi: 19
Control of full dynamic range: 19
Ensemble precision: 19
Tuning/intonation: 19
Band sound quality: 19
Balance/clarity of textures: 19
Quality of soloists: 18
Artistic expression/musicality: 20

Total: 188


Saturday 10, 12:48:47

Maestro!

embedded pictureThe Mortimer Maestro trophy presented each year to the Winning MD


Saturday 10, 12:38:53

Cracking Rothwell

The Triumph of Time is certainly bringing the best out of the bands — and Rothwell's MD Dave Roberts is wearing a smile as wide as Geoffrey Boycott's bat in forward defence mode. He felt his band was 'cracking' — and he's as straight talking as they come.

One of the perennial dark horses of major championships could this be the year in which they make a mark on the podium spots?


Saturday 10, 12:26:23

Evans pleased with Woodfalls

Debutant conductor Howard Evans was certainly pleased when he came and spoke to 4BR after Woodfalls had performed today. The vastly experienced MD was making his first appearance at the contest — and confessed he enjoyed every minute of it to.


Saturday 10, 12:25:34

6. Rothwell Temperance

Conductor: David Roberts

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On Stage — Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)

Effective opening and the MD really drives the music onwards — the running detail is not always entirely clear but there's a real vigour about this.

Soloists are solid and the transition into the Sotto is effective.

Fine solo cornet in the Sotto and the band finds a suitably nocturnal feel to the atmosphere with effective use of colour.

Good solo trombone to open the Jazz section and there's a swagger about this that works. Quality flugel in the love theme and again, this has a nice feel to it. Dynamics are brought right down but voices are occasionally lost as a result.

Not always rhythmically precise as the driving demi semi's return but the closing paragraphs are well handled leading to a strong final statement.

Overall:
A fine show from Rothwell. Exciting, involving and with quality solo accounts, notably from flugel.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 17
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 16
Suitable choice of tempi: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 16
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 16
Balance/clarity of textures: 17
Quality of soloists: 16
Artistic expression/musicality: 14

Total: 164


Saturday 10, 12:03:00

5. Woodfalls

Conductor: Howard Evans

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On Stage — Woodfalls (Howard Evans)

Effective opening although the crescendo generates sheer power rather than breadth of sound.

Excellent solo euphonium and soloists are generally solid. Underlying driving rhythms don't always maintain a strict tempo but there is much to admire here.

Sotto has a suitable nocturnal feel and again despite one of two minor slips, we hear quality contributions from the principal players.

Good solo trombone intro to the jazz section but trombones are untidy collectively. This needs more of that laid back yet uneasy feel that isn't easy to find.

Trombone chorale is safe and solo horn and Eb bass do well. The accompaniment could do with a little more ebb and flow but there is a good sense of style about this.

Driving rhythms not always precise and it loses focus a little. Strong ending though and powerful sounds.

Overall:
A solid show from Woodfalls soloists but inconsistent at times in other areas.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 15
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 15
Suitable choice of tempi: 17
Control of full dynamic range: 15
Ensemble precision: 16
Tuning/intonation: 16
Band sound quality: 15
Balance/clarity of textures: 15
Quality of soloists: 16
Artistic expression/musicality: 17

Total: 157


Saturday 10, 11:55:30

Desford make a mark

Well now. That amazing bunch of talented individuals that make up the brass band equivalent of the Barbarians rugby team may have pulled on out of the hat here.

Lots of people coming up to the players in the foyer congratulating them on their performance — and they mean it too. The band looked very happy and the MD felt it was a cracker. Old Dean Morley was on great form too. Now then, now then...


Saturday 10, 11:38:26

New Invention

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The BBE cogs have been turning!

A fantastic 3D printed idea to help people with physical disabilities is looking for investors! The plastic connectors can fix onto a cymbal stand and onto an instrument — from cornet to baritone at the moment to help posture and handling.

Dragon's Den here we come!!!


Saturday 10, 11:34:29

Happy Hammonds

Morgan Griffiths has been speaking to 4BR has seemed very happy at the way his young band performed. He revealed they had been working on the pice for some time and that his young players really stepped up to the mark.


Saturday 10, 11:34:17

4. Desford Colliery (Leicestershire Miners Trust Fund)

Conductor: Michael Fowles

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On Stage — Desford Colliery (Leicestershire Miners Trust Fund) (Michael Fowles)

Opening tubular bells a little quiet but when the band opens up.
Its a big, bold sound. Running figures don't have the clarity and sheer precision that the best will have today but there's no shortage of momentum about this. Solid solo contributions and fine Eb bass into the Sotto.

Good solo cornet as the Sotto opens and there's a good atmosphere about this — excellent transition into the Jazz section and terrific solo trombone playing from Jonathan Pippen — a class act indeed!

Glowing sounds in the trombone chorale but perhaps a little heavy dynamically. Solos are all despatched well and it's refreshing that we don't see players walking to the front of the stage and standing — proof that it really isn't necessary.

Controlled dynamics in the love theme and stylish flugel — leading to a powerful drive to the final apotheosis and a final chord of unbridled power.

Overall:
A engaging performance of extremes from Desford that certainly had its moments and has gone down very well in the hall.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 17
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 18
Suitable choice of tempi: 19
Control of full dynamic range: 19
Ensemble precision: 18
Tuning/intonation: 18
Band sound quality: 18
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 19
Artistic expression/musicality: 19

Total: 183


Saturday 10, 11:14:39

3. Hammonds Saltaire

Conductor: Morgan Griffiths

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On Stage — Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)

A safely negotiated opening with big band sounds on display although the fast moving detail is sometimes lost as the dynamic drops to lower levels.

A succession of soloists walk to the front of the band and we have to question whether this is really necessary for musical reasons....solos are generally well executed but care is needed with accompanying dynamic levels at times.

The florid lines of arabesque don't always sit entirely comfortably and as we enter the Jazz section it's certainly high octane but we miss the the combination of edge and laid back style that is crucial to this section.

Lyrical solo flugel and again, we hear solid playing but lacking the palpable emotion that the best performances will surely offer today.

The closing blazing treatment of the love theme needs greater breadth and although it's a bold final statement we needed a greater degree of heart on sleeve emotion from the music.

Overall:
Solid playing from Hammonds Saltaire but missing sheer emotional clout the score calls out for.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 14
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 15
Suitable choice of tempi: 17
Control of full dynamic range: 15
Ensemble precision: 16
Tuning/intonation: 16
Band sound quality: 16
Balance/clarity of textures: 17
Quality of soloists: 14
Artistic expression/musicality: 15

Total: 155


Saturday 10, 10:53:28

2. Foden's

Conductor: Bramwell Tovey

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On Stage — Foden's (Bramwell Tovey)

Such an effective opening, the tinges of minimalism so well captured and the crescendo into the following bars has awesome power.
The dynamics are so wide ranging and there is a razor edge to the detail as the driving rhythms take hold.
This is playing that really draws us in.

Fabulous baritone transition into the Sotto although Eb bass not entirely comfortable. Melting lyricism to follow and fine solo cornet from Mark Wilkinson. This has such a haunting atmosphere about it and the maestro draws such passion from his players.

Great jazz trombone solo from John Barber and again this has just the right feel to it, edgy yet with a laid back feel that really hits the spot.

Beautifully intoned trombone chorale and flugel takes to her feet at the front of the stage to deliver such a controlled and melting melodic line — followed by magically controlled pianissimo sounds from the band — this is emotionally compelling indeed.

The driving rhythms return with a vengeance and the sheer breadth and emotional power of the close is very special indeed.

Overall:
A performance wrought with emotional power. Not without slips but this was such an involving and musical account led with aristocratic aplomb by Bramwell Tovey.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 17
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 17
Suitable choice of tempi: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 18
Ensemble precision: 17
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 18
Balance/clarity of textures: 18
Quality of soloists: 15
Artistic expression/musicality: 18

Total: 173


Saturday 10, 10:49:27

Delighted!

Carlton Main MD Erik Janssen has told 4BR that he felt 'delighted' at the way his band performed off the number 1 draw today. "If they are looking for the music in the middle movements then it will be hard to beat."

He sounded a very confident Dutchman.


Saturday 10, 10:35:15

Next!

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The stage door of the 2016 British Open


Saturday 10, 10:19:58

1. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery

Conductor: Erik Jannsen

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On Stage — Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Erik Jannsen)

Opens atmospherically. Trombone figures not entirely clear but the motors suddenly kicks in and individual solos are dispatched well even though background detail is not always 100% tight.

Driving transition into the Sotto and solo baritone delivers a suitably elegiac solo from the front of the stage. Beautifully artistic solo cornet from Kirsty Abbotts although this could perhaps flow a little more freely......just the odd little insecurities in solo lines.

The jazzy section that follows starts well in solo trombone and builds well....becomes a touch have perhaps but it's exciting stuff.

Sonorous trombone chorale heralds well delivered horn and Eb bass solos and flugel rises to her feet for a beautifully lyrical solo. Just the odd intonation issue here but the style and emotion are impressive.

The drive to the end gathers momentum and it's a rousing final florist. What a fine opening performance this has been.

Overall:
An engaging opening account from Carlton Main.
Full of colour and marked by impressive solo contributions all round.

Chris Thomas

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: 17
Rhythmic precision and clarity: 16
Suitable choice of tempi: 18
Control of full dynamic range: 17
Ensemble precision: 17
Tuning/intonation: 17
Band sound quality: 16
Balance/clarity of textures: 16
Quality of soloists: 19
Artistic expression/musicality: 18

Total: 171


Saturday 10, 10:18:54

Interviews

We will be doing our post-performance interviews with the MDs and players as soon as they come off stage — so keep an eye out for them. Carlton Main have had the honour of giving the first performance of the day, so we will see what they thought of it in a couple of minutes time....


Saturday 10, 10:10:27

Real buzz...

The action has started and the hall is just about fill to capacity already — what a great atmosphere we have here today. There is a real buzz about the place and the draw has already created a great deal of debate.

Oddly, Carlton Main and Foden's didn't look too displeased at their draw — could it be a blessing in disguise today?


Saturday 10, 10:08:02

Ready, Steady...

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Celebrity chef Brian Turner CBE meets 4br editor Iwan Fox at the stage door of the 2016 British Open


Saturday 10, 10:01:57

The box...

The three men in the box today are Allan Withington, Michael Ball and Rob Wiffen — and this is where they will be working...


Saturday 10, 09:47:34

Music in the Foyer

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Birmingham Citadel Salvation Army Band


Saturday 10, 09:38:17

Draw

The draw has been made and the judges are now disappearing into the box — so we will put the official running line-up in the next few minutes straight from compere Dave Hayward...

Test Piece: 'The Triumph of Time' — Professor Peter Graham
Commence: 10.00am

Adjudicators: Dr Michael Ball, Rob Wiffen, Allan Withington

1. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Erik Jannsen)
2. Foden's (Bramwell Tovey)
3. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
4. Desford Colliery
(Leicestershire Miners Trust Fund) (Michael Fowles)
5. Woodfalls (Howard Evans)
6. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)
7. Brass Band Willebroek (Frans Violet)
8. Fairey (Garry Cutt)
9. Flowers (Paul Holland)
10. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
11. Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr Robert Childs)
12. Co-op Funeralcare (Allan Ramsay)
13. Brighouse & Rastrick (Prof David King)
14. Leyland (Thomas Wyss)
15. Black Dyke (Prof Nicholas J.Childs)
16. Cory (Philip Harper)
17. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
18. Wellington Brass (David Bremner)
19. Tredegar (Ian Porthouse)


Saturday 10, 08:54:50

Adjudicators

Good morning from Symphony Hall where the bands have arrived for the draw.

Your judges today are Dr Michael Ball, Rob Wiffen & Allan Withington.

We will post the draw later on before the start at 10.00am.

Till then, Birmingham Salvation Army is playing in the foyer. If you are here go and have a listen, visit the trade stands and grab your programmes and a study score — £15 combined price.

We will be with you soon, ladies and gentlemen.


Saturday 10, 06:45:36

Good morning

Good morning everyone from Birmingham.

The early morning sun is yet to show any sign of breaking through the mist, but by the end of 19 performances of 'The Triumph of Time' one band will be basking in glory.

The draw takes place in a couple of hours time before the first band takes to the stage on the stroke of 10.00am.

Time then for a bit of breakfast, a quick natter with some early risers from a couple of the bands and then it's off to the hall to set up and start bringing you our coverage.

Hope you enjoy it — it promises to be a great day.


Saturday 10, 03:55:38

4BR Editor Iwan Fox talks to Steven Mead and Adam Rapa about the criteria based adjudication system that Steven hopes will bring clarity to the judging process of contests.

Here's an example of how we will display Steven's criteria based marking:

Criteria mark sheet

Marks by Steven Mead.

Technical accuracy: out of 20
Rhythmic precision and clarity: out of 20
Suitable choice of tempi: out of 20
Control of full dynamic range: out of 20
Ensemble precision: out of 20
Tuning/intonation: out of 20
Band sound quality: out of 20
Balance/clarity of textures: out of 20
Quality of soloists: out of 20
Artistic expression/musicality: out of 20

Total: Out of 200

Additional comments:
comments here...


Saturday 10, 03:21:30

Competing bands

Black Dyke (Prof Nicholas J.Childs)
Brass Band Willebroek (Frans Violet)
Brighouse & Rastrick (Prof David King)
Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Erik Jannsen)
Co-op Funeralcare (Allan Ramsay)
Cory (Philip Harper)
Desford Colliery (Leicestershire Miners Trust Fund) (Michael Fowles)
Fairey (Garry Cutt)
Flowers (Paul Holland)
Foden's (Dr Bramwell Tovey)
Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr Robert Childs)
Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
Leyland (Thomas Wyss)
Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)
Tredegar (Ian Porthouse)
Wellington Brass (David Bremner)
Woodfalls (Howard Evans)




Concert - Brass in Concert Gala Concert

Friday 17 November • St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR


Contest: Brass in Concert

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


The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - Billingham Forum Theatre

Saturday 18 November • Billingham Forum Theatre. Queensway. Stockton-on-Tees. TS23 2LJ


Foden's Band - Morley Town Hall

Saturday 18 November • Queen Street, Morley LS27 9DY


Cory Band - Brass in Concert Gala Concert

Saturday 18 November • St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR


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


East London Brass

November 17 • Champ band under their INSPIRATIONAL MD Jayne Murrill are looking for a top quality BASS TROMBONE player to join our team. Lots of exciting projects (concerts and contests) lined up in the next 2 years.


Ian Holmes

BA (hons), PGDip (RCM), ARCM, ALCM
Conductor, piano accompanist and educator