2007 Midlands Regional Championship - Postcard


Lots of things of interest in the Midlands, but perhaps the time has come to seek a new venue.

The 2007 Midlands Regional Championship was an interesting affair. In the Championship Section you have several bands that have achieved great success at the highest level, any of whom have shown the ability to pull top class results out of the bag when it matters. However, these bands can also be incredibly inconsistent at times, making it hard for seasoned observers to judge how they may perform in a competition. The other sections are also filled with bands that are more than capable of making a mark at a national level.

What was sometimes frustrating on Saturday and Sunday in Burton-upon-Trent was the inconsistency mentioned in the above paragraph. Listening to every band that took to the stage in the Town Hall, it was surprising how many basic things went wrong, things which could have been so easily fixed, and which could have dramatically affected the overall result. It was not so much that the band's could not cope with the pieces, but more that poor tuning and ensemble got in the way of any kind of successful music-making.

Although the team at Burton are a wonderful bunch of people, it is unfortunate that both venues, the Town Hall and the Belvedere Club, are not up to hosting a brass band contest. Acoustically they are not ideal, with much detail often being obscured, and the Town Hall is devoid of any kind of catering facilities or bar. Contests are important social occasions as well as musical ones, and facilities such as these greatly enhance the atmosphere on the day. A point which could be seen as trivial, but contest atmosphere is what it is all about, and when bandspeople can interact with each other at such events the atmosphere is all the better for it.

Despite these shortcomings, the Midlands Championship is run extremely well by the efficient and dedicated team. From a light-hearted atmosphere inside the draw room to a great system of getting bands on and off the stage in very quick succession, the team there are delight to deal with, and are happy to provide any relevant information which may be needed. 4BR would like to wish them sincere thanks, and is looking forward to meeting them again in the future.

The weekend saw some great performances, and also some middling ones, so work will have to be done at grass roots level to ensure that a good standard of playing is maintained in the region. Let's hope it is.


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