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2011 West of England Regional Championship — Third Section retrospective

The clearest winner of the weekend came in the Third Section — although the MD of Sidmouth missed the chance to celebrate on stage...

Sidmouth
Sweet taste of victory for soprano player Christine Sweetapple of Sidmouth

The clearest winner of the whole West of England weekend came on Saturday afternoon, when Sidmouth Town conducted by Adrian Harvey, produced a stamp of authentic class to take the Third Section title in considerable style.

Capital letters


Until they had played from the late number 10 draw the contest was wide open: After they played, the first prize of £200, the trophy and the winner’s banner had their name on it in big, bold capital letters.

Philip Wilby’s ‘A Little Light Music’ had caused no end of troubles from the word go, with Sidmouth the only contender to deliver the opening fanfares with the degree of precision and security required.

A bright ‘Clog Dance’ was followed by a warm lyricism in the middle section, and a well paced colourful ‘tarantella’, all topped off by ensemble control in the reprise to close.

No other close

No other band really came close to denying them their second successive title.

On this form they will be a band to watch out for come the finals in Cheltenham.

Sidmouth
Let the celebrations begin

Lovely sound


Despite only having three basses (but augmenting the numbers with an extra baritone), they produced a lovely ensemble sound, and allied to secure soloists (especially a fine soprano and solo cornet) the MD was able to bring extra touches of quality in dynamics and neat phrasing (the ‘tarantella’ was played with real bounce and free flowing style).

There was no doubt about the ‘convincing winners’ in the opinions of the judges, Ian Brownbill and Kevin Wadsworth.

Straight forward task

The judges also had a fairly straight forward task in picking out the band that qualified with them, as in their opinion, the early marker off the number 1 draw from Downton Brass was as Ian described, ‘a good second’.

They also took to the stage with the three tubas (and sat in a slightly odd formation with the horns to the conductors left), and whilst they took time to recover from a very un-regal like ‘National Anthem’  (the tune never sounds great on a glock) they soon delivered a quality marker, with the flugel horn leading the way in fine fashion.

Harder task

Behind the top two, the judges would have had a much harder task separating the contenders out, as the overall standard fell away appreciably at times.

In the end they plumbed for Weston Brass under Anthony Osborne, with a well worked account that featured solid individual contributions most notably from the soprano and flugel horn.

It was a performance that held together its constituent parts with a degree of authority.

downton
On our way to Cheltenham for Downton

Poor start


Behind them, Bream Silver under Huw Cole recovered from a poor start with a precise ‘Clog Dance’, although the directional cornets at the end of the slow movement heralded a period of uncomfortable tuning.

It clawed its way back in the ‘tarantella’ but the damage to their qualification chances had been done.

With the sound of some of the performances coming through the doors at the start of Denmead’s performance, Estelle Flood did remarkably well to keep her concentration – as did the great little girl on the timps who gave it her all from start to finish.

Just a few too many scrappy moments took the gloss of a well worked performance as they ended in 5th.

Robust

St Stythians
meanwhile just got a little too robust in places – with the five tubas providing a purposeful foundation and the enthusiastic percussion team doing their bit to add colour and a bit of spice to their rendition to come 6th.

There was a noticeable gap between these bands and the rest of the field, with Gillingham Imperial overcoming an errant percussion entry right at the beginning of their performance to close the contest in 7th place.

Weston
Just missing out this time for Weston Brass

Stand and deliver


Tewkesbury
meanwhile took the opportunity to play to the Wilby score and stand for the opening fanfares in what was a lively, if slightly scrappy account in coming 8th, whist Weymouth Concert Brass followed suit only to find that they too delivered a performance that had a few too many structural errors in it to have come any higher than 9th.

The bottom two bands did struggle, but the youngsters of Test Valley Brass gave it their all under Steve Dunster to come 10th whilst Pillowell Silver just found it tough going despite some brave individual contributions to end in 11th.

Confident and complete


For the winners though, no such problems and a performance that must rank as one of the most confident and complete we have heard so far on our travels.

More of that come Cheltenham and they could well be celebrating an even bigger prize.

Iwan Fox



Foden's Band - St Michaels & All Angels Church

Saturday 25 May • Egerton Road, Ashton on Ribble, Preston PR2 1AJ


St Pinnock Brass Band - Rock Choir Cornwall

Sunday 26 May • Sterts Theatre, . Sterts, . Liskeard, . PL14 5AZ PL14 5AZ


Contest: All England International Masters

Sunday 26 May • The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering Conference Centre, Thurston Drive NN15 6PB


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Eastbourne Bandstand - 1812 concert

Wednesday 29 May • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Black Dyke Band - George Lawton Hall, Mossley

Thursday 30 May • George Lawton Hall, Stamford St, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 0HR


Lindley Band

May 24 • FRONT ROW CORNET required to join our friendly band who enjoy a sensible mix of engagements and contests. Our inspirational MD Mike Golding takes rehearsals on Monday and Wednesday evenings in our own modern bandroom located only 1m from M62 Jcn 24.


Littleport Brass Band

May 24 • Littleport Brass are currently a second section band in Cambridgeshire and rehearse every Wednesday evening 7.30-9.30. We are looking for an Eb bass and tuned percussionist. We are a friendly, active band playing at a variety of exciting concerts.


Stannington Brass Band

May 23 • A rare opportunity has arisen to join one of Sheffield's leading bands with a vacancy for an EEb TUBA PLAYER to complete our bass section. We have a good band room atmosphere and a calendar of interesting concerts and contests.


Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen

D. Phil. (Oxon) [Ph.D Oxford University], GBSM, LTCL, ABSM, ALCM, Cert. Ed.