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2018 Spring Festival test pieces announced

'The Triumph of Time', 'Diadem of Gold' and 'A Kensington Concerto' will provide the tests to be overcome at the Spring Festival in Blackpool next May.

Spring Festival
  Who will get their hands on the trophies and qualification places at Blackpool next year?

The set-works that will be used at the 98th British Open Spring Festival on 12th May 2018 at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool have been announced.

As has become the custom in recent years, a recently performed British Open work will be utilised for the Grand Shield.

The Triumph of Time

Peter Graham's 'The Triumph of Time' will provide a stern test for the bands wishing to get to gain one of the two qualification places to Symphony Hall.

Commissioned by Prof Nicholas Childs for Black Dyke to perform at the 2014 European Championships, it was subsequently used at the British Open in 2016, as well as around the banding world since. Once again, the opening introductory segment featuring chiming bells will not be required.

Two other popular works will also be used at the Senior Cup and Senior Trophy respectively.

Diadem of Gold

Frank Wright's arrangement of Guillaume Balay's 'Diadem of Gold', first heard at the National Championships of Great Britain in 1953, and subsequently at the British Open in 1977, will test the bands in the Senior Cup.

Originally known as 'Ouverture Caractéristique', it was wrongly attributed to an anglicised non-de-plume of G. Bailey, a mistake that has perpetuated since. Balay, a remarkable cornet player, composer and conductor succeeded Gabriel Pares as the Head of Music of the Republican Guard in Paris in 1911. He died in 1943.

A Kensington Concerto

To complete what promises to be a popular selection, is one of Eric Ball's later contest works -'A Kensington Concerto', which will be heard in the Senior Trophy.

First performed in 1972 at the National Brass Band Championships in London, it is a touching homage the what the composer called '…that gay company of friends, now scattered, who in times past met annually in the Royal Albert Hall, London, on the occasion of the National Brass Band Championships.'

Publishers:

The Triumph of Time (Peter Graham)
http:/­/­www.gramercymusic.com/

Diadem of Gold (G. Bailey arr. Frank Wright)
https:/­/­www.justmusicuk.com/­publications/­details/­JM30959

A Kensington Concerto (Eric Ball)
https:/­/­www.justmusicuk.com/­publications/­details/­JM36539

Our congratulations go the bands who have already qualified to compete in the Senior Trophy in the three contests this autumn with further opportunities for those wishing to compete at Brass at the Guild and the Welsh OpenBritish Open

Qualification routes

The interest from bands wishing to gain entry to the qualifying contests for the British Open remains as popular as ever, with qualification routes now open through the Bolsover Festival of Brass, Wychavon Festival of Brass, Fife Charities, Brass at the Guild and Welsh Open.

A British Open spokesperson told 4BR: "Our congratulations go the bands who have already qualified to compete in the Senior Trophy in the three contests this autumn with further opportunities for those wishing to compete at Brass at the Guild and the Welsh Open early next year."

Further information:

British Open website: www.thebritishopen.net



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Phil Lawrence

ARCM PGRNCM MFTCL ARCM B.Mus.
Composer and conductor