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2012 North of England Regional Championship — First Section retrospective

Malcolm Wood looks back at the First Section Area contest in Darlington.

2012 NE Area First Sec tion winners Shepherd Group
Flock to Cheltenham for the victorious Shepherd Group
Picture: Steve Jack


The North of England First Section was all about quality as opposed to quantity.

Just five bands had made it to the starting line to give their performances of 'Mountain Views', but the end result was a contest of an impressive standard.

Musical pictures

Adjudicator, Mike Kilroy was looking for the bands to paint descriptive musical pictures, and the well matched quintet certainly did that and more on the day.

Shepherd Group's winning interpretation was one of energy, drive and purpose under MD Richard Wilton.

It was also complimented by very fine individual contributions too – notably from the prize winning bass and percussion sections, which complimented a quite outstanding trombone trio.

It was mighty fine stuff – which consolidated together delivered a performance that was as good as any heard at the Regional Championships.

Richard Wilton’s direction was neat and precise, his interpretation broad and colourful. They will be a band to fear come Cheltenham on this form.

Merit

Westoe
claimed the second qualification place on offer with a performance of real merit. It bubbled with the type of energy that seemed to fizz through the veins of MD Jason Smith.

At one point he lifted himself off the floor as if hit by the type of punch George Foreman once elevated Joe Frazier with.

You couldn’t fault the desire and you couldn’t fault the approach. It was seat of the pants stuff at times, but it never for a moment did anything other than keep you fully engaged.

Commiserations


With two such fine qualifiers, it was a case of commiseration for Catterick Brass.

Brenden Wheeler's band can consider themselves a touch unfortunate not to be heading to the finals after a fine performance that was based on control and consideration of dynamics and tempo.

It perhaps just lacked the vibrancy of its rivals, but it was still a very fine effort.

Robust

Both Harrogate and GT Group Peterlee will have headed home proud of their efforts – even if they were a little way off the pace of the top three.

These were robust accounts, that at times just lacked that extra degree of finesses, although MDs Craig Ratcliffe and Jo Cook kept the music flowing.

Two emerging bands with two emerging conducting talents showed a great deal of potential.

Quality not quantity

It may have been a short contest, but it was certainly one where it was the quality and not the quantity that won though.

Two excellent qualifiers will head to Cheltenham with high hopes of claiming further glory – even if they may be up against quite few more rivals.

Malcolm Wood



Regent Hall Concerts - Trafalgar Brass

Friday 6 August • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London SE7 8RE


Epping Forest Band - Proms on the Green

Sunday 8 August • On the green outside the Epping Forest District Council Civic Offices CM16 4BZ


Regent Hall Concerts - Arc Brass

Friday 13 August • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London . SE7 8RE


Regent Hall Concerts - The Wind Ensemble of the Band of the RAF Regiment

Friday 20 August • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London . SE7 8RE


Regent Hall Concerts - The Brass Ensemble of the Central Band of the RAF

Friday 27 August • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London . SE7 8RE


Deepcar Brass Band

August 2 • Musical Director required from September onwards who will help to continue developing and motivating the band.4th section band next year we are keen to regain 3rd section status. We are open to discussions with conductors of varying ranges of experience.


Chapeltown Silver Prize Band

August 2 • MUSICAL DIRECTOR, we invite applications from enthusiastic, hardworking, motivated individuals, who will challenge and further develop the success of the band. Based North Sheffield, 5 mins from M1 jct 35/36, with a sensible balance of concerts/contests.


Lydney Band

August 1 • Vacancies exist for a TROMBONE and an Eb BASS to strengthen the team. We are a 3rd section band (West of England), based in the Forest of Dean, Glos. Rehearsal - Friday evenings. Good travel links from Gloucester, South Wales and South Gloucestershire.


Morgan Griffiths

Dip. Performance
Conductor, Peripatetic Music Teacher, Lower brass specialist


               

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