Confirmation has been given by the current National Champions, Fairey FP (Music) that they will not be competing at the 2004 All England Masters Championships.
As we speculated just a few days ago, the band will in fact be making a tour to Belgium on the same weekend and will therefore not be making the trip to Cambridge.
Trevor McCormick on behalf of the band told 4BR, “I can confirm that the Fairey FP (Music) Band will not be competing at the 2004 All England Masters Championship. It is a decision that we have had to take in light of the increased commitments we have to meet due to the success of the band in retaining the National Championship of Great Britain. We were very aware that we were unable to attend the European Championships last year due to financial considerations, and we have made that contest in Glasgow in May next year a primary objective. Although the band has been able to secure strong long term sponsorship we still have to operate within a strict budget, and we must maximise opportunities to broaden our profile—the concert tour in Belgium is such an opportunity.
We are of course disappointed that we are unable to accept the invitation to compete at Cambridge. We have been strong supporters of the Masters Contest ever since it started and we hope this decision will only effect our participation at next years contest. We also hope to be able to accept further invitations to compete at the contest in the future and wish the organisers every success for the 2004 event.”
Trevor also informed 4BR that a decision concerning the position of the vacant Principal Cornet seat will hopefully be resolved in the New Year, although he did confirm that Phillip McCann has been helping the band out in the mean time. “We are very grateful to Phillip for his assistance in helping the band out during the last few weeks. He will be continuing to assist us over the next month or so as we have a number of high profile engagements and recordings. His playing has been quite brilliant and we have been delighted with his contribution. However, no decision has been made as yet with respect to the Principal Cornet seat on a permanent basis.”
The band have also given the following official press release:
Fairey FP (Music) Band Release — 18.12.03
As announced at the beginning of the sponsorship with FP (Music), we are now in a position financially to be able to select what is best for the band and the players at any point in the banding calendar. Fairey FP (Music) will always be a contesting band however this year the band has decided that it would like to put its resources towards the European Championship in Glasgow and a number of tours rather than compete at the All England Masters. The necessary people have been informed of the band's decision and there is no issue with any of the organisers.
In relation to the position of Principal Cornet, the band are still considering a number of options available to them and will make decision when the time is right for everyone involved. We still have an excellent Principal Cornet in Ian Porthouse and more than enough strength in the cornet section as a whole to make sure the right selection is made to fill the position.