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2017 British Open Championship
Podium adjudications

This is what the judges had to say in their written remarks about the top three bands at the 165th British Open Championships in Symphony Hall.


1: Valaisia Brass Band
Conductor: Arsene Duc

Well shaped opening section.
Rather brash sounds at 18, but it is confident and true.

48 - solo horn is fine - but why break the phrase?

Solo cornet does well. 65 - fluent duet.  76 - good clarity here and it continues well. Fine detailed playing is a feature of the whole section.

Firedamp - also impressive in its clarity, detail and dynamic versatility. 
390 - excellent colour and balance.
Great pp from trombones and wonderfully evocative atmosphere.

413 is fine, if not perfect, but 425 is fantastically beautiful and affecting and it just keeps getting better and more moving.

A FANTASTIC performance - so full of emotional charge and splendid detail in the fast passages.
Many congratulations to you all!

Stephen Roberts

A fine opening with brilliant euphonium (last note b (flat))

FF - A bit harsh but well together. 42 - Holes in the euph line. 

Very hard, brash tone, but exciting. Good horn (broken phrase)

Brilliant cornet. Top note 60 could be longer. 65 - some insecurity. 70 - Not quite in tune. Fine sounding trombones.
78 - Good tempo and rhythmic style. Good clean, precise playing.

162 - Terrific ensemble and character.
Impressive. Dynamic in style.
This is all very impressive. Just a bit too brassy at times.

397 - Fabulous control. Well done troms.
413 - Beautiful
429 - Not quite in tune

Fabulous. I have a tear!

Terrific - Bravo!

Ray Farr

1 - 48: Atmospheric and very tasteful euphonium playing. Very brassy sound for the character (rather overblown) 
Good detail and baris and euphs.

48 - 76: Good horn (breaking the phrase?)
Cornet confident and assured playing. Bari and flugel play well - (more space?)
This section is generally well played.

76 - 259: Good clarity, excellent balance, very good. This is very ggod stuff - bravo!!

259 - 390: Terrific playing all round the band.
Ensemble is excellent as are the dynamics. Impressive playing throughout this movement.

390 - End: Marvellous balance and beautiful textures here. Troms make a real pianissimo!! 

Wonderful playing here. Simple and emotional.

This performance just got better and better.

Simply wonderful. Stunning.

Thank you so much.
So emotional. Bravo!!   

Paul Cosh


2: Whitburn
Conductor: Florent Didier

Detailed start and very fine solo euph.

Fabulous sound at 18 and good detail in fast passages - very impressive. Good solo horn - so stylish, but why the breath?
Splendid solo cornet - so assured. 

65 - good atmosphere. Well detailed after 76.

234 - more horn? 292 - well shaped dynamics and phrases.
351 - Scintillating
390 - atmosphere well captured

Well controlled trombones and good dynamic shading. Fine control into 413 and lovely solo cornet. Beautiful quiet playing - fabulous control and quality loud sounds too.

A truly outstanding performance - the breath control was breathtaking!

Stephen Roberts 

A fine opening, although the timp is a bit flat. Fine  euphonium.

A great ff - perhaps more sost.
Great detail.
51 - breath?? Loud timps

Fine cornet – bravo! Lovely flugel.
92 - Rhythm? 117 - Not quite in tune.

Fabulous playing - Great ensemble
222 - bit messy. A bit untidy.
Balance weak

Timps not in tune.

397 - Could be more sustained and balanced.

413 - Nice ncornet. 420 too loud.
424 - W.N? (Wrong Note sic) 429  - Not in tune
433 - Not in tune
What a fabulous sound!
Terrific playing
A fine performance

Ray Farr

1 - 48: Excellent Euph (just a little loud) but you play great!! Bravo!!

A lot of detail is being heard throughout and all is very well balanced.

48 - 76: Horn is terrific!! Cornet plays with ease and an assured style. Flugel and baritone are excellent.

76 - 259: All good and correct rhythms at 92/3/4 from the baris and horns - Bravo.
This is terrific playing - great ensemble - great dynamic range.

259 - 390: Brilliant stuff throughout. All the small dynamics are well observed.

390 - End:  Great atmosphere - troms sonorous (double tick)
Cornet is magnificent at 413 (smiley face)
Dynamics are wonderful.

What a performance.
Individually, collectively and the overall shape of the piece was terrific.


Paul Cosh


3. Cory
Conductor: Philip Harper

Atmospheric opening - good solo euph - but perc is a bit too insistent.
18 - well sustained - careful A - intonation on quiet horns to follow.
Well judges diminuendo. 

Stylish solo horn - but why break the phrase?
Fine solo cornet if a bit frenetic in style.
65 - fluent duet. Cresc well paced.

76 - very clear tempo - we hear so much detail. However it lacks a bit of intensity because of ths as well.

275 - tubas a bit lost in mix. Some excellent detail at 306 - fine tubas.

Some splendid passage work here - bravi!
390 - Very dramatic in character
397 - sombre and well shaped from trombones - good control. 413 - not quite together but sensitive and flowing musicality in ensuing passage and an uplifting crescendo in to 437.

Really fine shaping of a fff climax and splendid close.

A refined and dramatically musical performance of outstanding merit. 

Stephen Roberts 

A fine opening. Brilliant euphonium. Terrific sounds. I like the sostenuto.
48 - not in time 
50 - broken phrase
V. G. (very good sic) cornet. Lots of detailed playing. Steady tempo. Fine clear ensemble.
186 - Intonation. Fabulous dynamics.
Great playing.

Terrific ensemble - dynamic style.

390 - Timps not quite in tune.

397 - Fine trombones - Love the style.

413 - Lovely (A=#?)

425 - Intonation a bit suspect.


Ray Farr 

1 - 48: Very atmospheric and euphonium plays well. Bar befire 22 not together.
Balance in chorale has a good sense of the piece and the overall sound is majestic.

48 - 76: Horn plays confidently and in great style (the break in the phrase doesn’t work)
Cornet is fine if a little rushed. 
65 - needs more poise. This whole section needs to relax more.

76 - 259: Just slightly under tempo but all is very clear (very good). It picks up a little speed and benefits from that.

259 - 390: Basses are lost in the percussion dynamics. Bravo trom at 298. This is very good. All detail is heard. Bravo.

390 – End:  Excellent atmosphere here.
Trombones play so well - bravo!!
The chorale at 413 is beautiful and all the lines are played with expression. The climax is very nicely done and played with just the right amount of passion.

Bravo!! Terrific.

Paul Cosh 

Black Dyke Band - Mirfield Parish Church

Thursday 22 March • Mirfield Parish Church, 38 Church Lane, Mirfield WF14 9HX

The Fairey Band - Ensembles from Bramhall High School

Friday 23 March • Bramhall High School. Seal Road. Stockport SK72JT

Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama Brass Band

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

The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - Boobs & Brass at Huddersfield Town Hall

Saturday 24 March • Huddersfield Town Hall. Corporation St,. Huddersfield HD1 2TA

Croydon Citadel Band - The International Staff Band of The Salvation Army

Saturday 24 March • The Salvation Army. Booth Rd. Croydon. CR0 1XY CR0 1XY

Amesbury Town Band

March 20 • Players of any standard are always warmly welcomed especially some more solo cornets and a spare percussionists to help out existing players. We don't contest, so feel free to drop in, even if you just fancy a blow or want to try another instrument.

Elland Silver Band

March 20 • We have a vacancy within our Championship Section senior band for a 2nd Trombone player. This is a great opportunity for an experienced or young player looking to join one of Yorkshire's progressive bands, conducted by Daniel Brooks.

Crofton Silver Band

March 20 • Yorkshire 2nd Section Champions are looking for the following players:. . FRONT ROW/ SOPRANO CORNET. BASS. . The band are heading back to the National Finals in September to try and repeat their success from 2016.

Alan Fernie

Arranger, composer, adjudicator, conductor