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2017 Spring Festival
Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering
Sunday 28 May

Live comments

Comments: Chris Thomas (Grand Shield), James McLeod (Senior Cup) and Malcolm Wood (Senior Trophy)

Grand Shield

Saturday 13, 19:00:18


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Symphony Hall bound for Wingates

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Just missing out for third place for Reg Vardy

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A delighted NASUWT Riverside ended fourth

The Grand Shield:

The Opera House
Test Piece Reflections on Swan Lake (Stephen Roberts)
Adjudicators: Allan Ramsay and Steve Sykes

1. Whitburn (Prof. Nicholas Childs)*
2. Wingates (Paul Andrews)*
3. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)
4. NASUWT Riverside (David Roberts)
5. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)
6. Woodfalls (Dr Robert Childs)
7. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)
8. Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie)
9. Aldbourne (David Johnson)
10. Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)
11. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
12. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
13. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)
14. Tongwynlais Temperance (Michael Fowles)
15. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
16. Kirkintilloch (Bryan Allen)
17. Llwydcoed (Chris Turner)**
18. Unite the Union (John Roberts)**
19. Northop Silver (Paul Hughes)**
20. Burry Port Town (Andrew Jones)**

Best Instrumentalist: Andy MacDonald (cornet) — Wingates

*Promoted to British Open
**Relegated to Senior Cup

Senior Cup

Saturday 13, 18:52:33


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Senior Cup:

Pavilion Theatre
Test Piece: Fragile Oasis (Dr Peter Meechan)
Adjudicators: John Doyle & Paul Holland

1. Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)*
2. Friary Guildford (Chris King)*
3. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)*
4. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) (Nigel Seaman)*
5. St Dennis (Darren Hawken)
6. Ratby Co-operative (Howard Evans)
7. Goodwick Brass (Matthew Jenkins)
8. Co-operative Funeralcare (North West) (Jeff Sparkes)
9. Skelmanthorpe (Jim Davies)
10. Oldham (Lees) (John Collins)
11. Blackburn & Darwen (Neil Samuel)
12. Newtongrange Silver (Andrew Duncan)
13. Kingdom Brass (Paul Drury)
14. Staffordshire (Steven Walsh)
15. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (Simon Platford)
16. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Dr David Thornton)
17. Redbridge (Jeremy Wise) **
18. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard) **
19. Marsden Silver (Alan Widdop) **
20. Fishburn (David Hirst) **

Best Instrumentalist: Gary Curtin (euphonium) — Co-operative Funeralcare (North West)

*Promoted to British Open
**Relegated to Senior Trophy

Senior Trophy

Saturday 13, 18:17:13


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Senior Trophy:

Spanish Hall
Test Piece: Salute to Youth (Gilbert Vinter)
Adjudicators: Thomas Hutchinson and Ian Porthouse

1. Dalmellington (Richard Evans)*
2. Aveley & Newham (Alan Duguid)*
3. Lydbrook (Glyn Williams)*
4. Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt)*
5. Drighlington (Duncan Beckley)
6. Unison Kinneil (Raymond Tennant)
7. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)
8. Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Stephen Crooks)
9. SPAL Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)
10. Roberts Bakery (Mark Wilkinson)
11. Tylorstown (Gary Davies)
12. Shepherd Group (Richard Wilton)
13. Downshire Brass (Prof Michael Alcorn)
14. BTM (Jeff Hutcherson)
15. Eccles Borough (Mareika Gray)**
16. Medway (Melvin White)**
17. Newstead Brass (John Davis)**
18. Bo'ness & Carriden (Thomas Wyss)**
19. Longridge (Mark Peacock)**

Best Instrumentalist: Rebecca Wilson (cornet) — Dalmellington

*Promoted to Senior Cup
**Must re-qualify

Senior Cup

Saturday 13, 18:10:16

James McLeod's opinion and prediction:

Great day of banding in the Pavillion theatre. So many performances that had merit but then lost their way through poor tempos choices or poor ensemble — only a handful of complete performances that were good throughout and they are my top 3.

4BR Prediction:

2. Friary Guildford
3. Filton Concert Brass
4. St Dennis
5. Oldham (Lees)
6. Derwent

Senior Cup

Saturday 13, 18:07:54

Senior Cup:

20. Jackfield Brass (Simon Platford)

Confident opening, but some errors in percussion cause the long notes to rub a little. Not faultless in the sop but good job before the solos; both just a little uncomfortable. Excellent horns and baritones at I. Drums are at just the right dynamic to provide rhythm while not intruding on the inner parts.

The storm is well played by the solo cornets and then the euphs. The storm is really good; accurate and exciting. V is scrappy and though flugel does well, it’s too scrappy to get away with really.

‘Freya’ starts ok and euph does well. Lots of great band playing here, it’s taken a little while to settle in the slow stuff but it’s working well before DD. Cornet solo is excellent—well done. The band tuttis are great. Shame about the stray hi-hat just before the storm comes back.

Storm and the trombone does well, and great detail bought out in the cornets on the chromatics. It’s just a bit rough in some of the technical passages. Once again in the full band passages it’s great—lovely sounds from MM.

Powerful end from what another performance with so much good but too many errors to unseat my top four.

Grand Shield

Saturday 13, 17:54:55

Chris Thomas' round up and prediction

It's been an engaging, but also a somewhat infuriating day of contesting here — where the test piece more than proved its worth by separating the wheat from the chaff. Why so many bands tried to bludgeon it into submission was beyond us — some of the dynamics were bizarre.

The best though brought the character out of the music — none more so than Russell Gray with Reg Vardy. Not perfect by any means technically, but oh so full of dark drama and pathos. Whitburn were close behind — again not perfect, but sounding a classy band.

Hepworth may just spoil the celebrations for the Scots though — they were very good almost to the end — but the last minute may cost. Woodfalls were also coherent and precise and should feature alongside a well managed Tongwynlais, a more robust NASUWT Riverside and our dark horses of Hammonds and Wingates.

4BR Prediction:

1. Reg Vardy
2. Whitburn
3. Hepworth
4. Woodfalls
5. Tongwynlais Temperance
6. NASUWT Riverside

Dark Horses: Hammonds Saltaire and Wingates

Senior Trophy

Saturday 13, 17:48:03

Senior Trophy:

Malcolm Wood's final round up and Prediction:

Salute to Youth has proved to be a stern demanding test today, but one not beyond the best bands in the section. As we said earlier, just like Pageantry, bands have had a timely reminder that just because a piece is dated, it does not make it easy by modern day standards.

The way the bands have controlled their performances rhythmically and stylistically could be the thing that gives them the edge today. The bands that finish in the top four could easily finish in any order for ourselves. That is not us sitting on the fence, more of a realistic viewpoint that there is very little to choose between them.

With two of the finest cornet players and CVs that have won the lot, it is only Tom Hutchinson and Ian Porthouse’s view that counts.

Nothing in it than an old 60s fag paper between East London Brass, Roberts Bakery and Lydbrook for us with

4BR Prediction:

1. East London Brass
2. Roberts Bakery
3. Lydbrook
4. Hatfield
5. SPAL Sovereign
6. Dalmellington

DH: Downshire Brass, Aveley & Newham

Senior Cup

Saturday 13, 17:45:11

Senior Cup:

19. Kingdom Brass (Paul Drury)

Good start for Kingdom, huge euph sound and the good sop. The rhythms are good in the lead up to the solos. Cornet makes it up to the top note and euph sings it out but just falters on the way back down. Good build toward the ff before the storm section.

The storm starts strong but I think the tempo just drops a little to one more comfortable. The tempo continues to drag through the time changes around S. V is well organized and together, which so many others haven’t been. Flugel does well but then there are clips between here and ‘Freya’.

Cornets play quietly at the beginning of the slow movement, but the definition isn’t there. Huge euphonium sound here, what a beautiful noise! Great full band sounds before DD, there is just a little untidiness. DD cornet solo is well shaped and stylish. A shame someone slammed the door on their way out in the middle of it!

The storm comes back with gusto from the principal trombone, it’s a little loose but it’s backs-to-the-wall playing with good intent. Lovely sounds from bass trombone before the close.

Some strong playing, and a wonderful euphonium player for Kingdom, but some unforced errors take the polish off.

Grand Shield

Saturday 13, 17:29:45

Grand Shield

20. Wingates (Paul Andrews)

A nicely nuanced opening from Wingates and there are subtle colours on display as well as careful attention to balance allowing the luminous textures to be heard with clarity.

The pace quickens and this has both bite and edge without being overblown. The MD is doing a fine job at finding the character in the music although it tends to the idiosyncratic at times. There's no shortage of spirit about it though and the players respond with playing of commitment and concentration.

The Lento is delicately done and although once again there are idiosyncrasies there is also refined style in a good deal of the playing, with the band's soloists delivering impressive contributions.

The Tempo di Valse proceeds at a good tempo and lilt and the Mesto forms a delicate transition into the final dash toward the end. The ending itself pushes a little too hard on tired lips…a shame as there was much to enjoy here.

Overall: An interesting account from Wingates to end the day. Different in many ways but played with such verve and commitment. This could surprise a few.

Senior Cup

Saturday 13, 17:29:41

Senior Cup:

18. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)

Really confident opening, lots of good things but intonation across the band is grating. Good cornet and euph solos—but the accompanying long notes aren’t in tune. Inner parts are highlighted but they are scruffy around I. Great dynamics before the storm begins.

Neat technical playing here but again intonation even on semiquavers is telling. It doesn’t sit easy throughout this section, people want to rush and others drag. V too is scrappy, but individually well played. Flugel is good as is the horn contribution. Bass note before ‘Freya’ is out of tune.

The slow music starts well and is well articulated, but again tuning is poor. Excellent euph solo. The slow build towards DD is well-graded, but still poor intonation in the cornets stands out. A real shame. DD is played well, well done.

EE is quick and doesn’t have the space it needs.

The storm is still quick, trombone dragging a little and baritone struggles to keep pace. Percussion overpowering the band and the detail is lost. It’s grand towards the close but also a little tired.

Some powerful playing from Derwent Brass but it was a little too scrappy compared to the bands at the very top.

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Blidworth Welfare Band

April 20 • Assistant Principal Cornet and Percussionist. Having recently secured 5th place at the Midlands Area Championship Section and a new Principal cornet we are looking for applications for the above positions. The band operate a sensible diary of engagements.

Enderby Band

April 19 • Enderby Band are looking for a SOLO TROMBONE. We are a hard-working and sociable band and are looking for committed players to fill these key seats. The band are current Wychavon and Shirebrook Champions and National finalists.

West Somerset Brass Band

April 19 • West Somerset Brass is looking to strengthen its cornet section, if you are a front or back row player we would be delighted to hear from you, you may even still have a chance of coming along to our French tour later in the year.

Sandy Smith

Conductor, teacher, adjudicator and arranger