*
banner

Editor's Christmas Picks: 5 Most Enjoyable Contest Performances

4BR Editor Iwan Fox picks five of his personal favourite contest performances of 2016.

4BR Logo
  Five of the 4BR Editor's most enjoyable contest performances of the year.

There have been many outstanding contest performances during 2016 — brilliant technical and musical showcases that took the breath away. However, there were also a few that were equally enjoyable in a very different way.

These may not have been ones that all went on to win, or even the best that didn't, but these were five that simply put a smile on the face — and stayed in the memory banks for a variety of different reasons, not just the playing.

In date order:

1. St Dennis Band — (Essay for Brass Band)
First Section: West of England Regional Championships)

Perhaps the best bit of interpretative Essay writing heard anywhere around the country this year — and a delight to note that it came from such a youthful band led by a talented young conductor, packed with locally produced talent.

Where others seemed bemused and befuddled by the sparse, transparent 45 year old scoring, Darren Hawken and his players lapped it up.

All this and it came off the number 1 draw against a field of 14 other pretty solid rivals. Six months later they won the National title in Cheltenham.


2. Beginners Section — National Youth Band Championships

Could have picked any one of the eight ensembles that took part on the day, but it was the overall enthusiasm, fun and sheer determination from them all that made it a real joy — from winners Wardle Junior Blast as well as Lions Beginners, Ysgol Bontnewydd Primary, Tewit Youth Junior, Stockport Schools Junior, Astley Youth Training, Macclesfield Youth Training and Dobcross Juniors.

All the bands were brilliantly led by conductors who smiled and winked, cajoled and supported their players from first note until last — and there wasn't a dry eye left in the house from their supporters either.


3. Elland Silver Youth
European Youth Championships Development Section

Memorable not just for their performance, which saw them come runner-up to a wonderful Tertnes Skoles Musikkorps, but for the way in which they also shamed the organisers who in a decision of mean spirited short sightedness had decided to charge children and families to come and listen to the contest.

Off the number 1 draw at 9.00am on a Sunday morning, there were more children performing on stage under Samantha Harrison than people in the audience.

However, instead of being deflated they did themselves proud with their playing, and soon after they played they sat in the hall, listened and supported their rivals. They were an absolute credit to their organisation, conductor, town and their country.

At the time it was like a musical trip through the MGM studios like you see at the end of the anarchic film 'Blazing Saddles' — although this time written by Salvador Dali4BR

4. Kleppe Musikklag — (A Trans-Siberian Railway blog)
Siddis Entertainment Championships

At a time when audiences are starting to get a bit miffed at having to sit through themed sets that are little more than A Level info-documentaries with accompanying music, this was a delightful reminder of what an innovative brass band entertainment programme can be like.

A simple idea under conductor Vidar Nordli brought thrilling to life; with music from Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky to Mongolian throat singing and Glenn Miller — all played with musical wit and choreographed imagination. It even had a Blue Peter 'one we made earlier' steam train making an appearance...


5. MG Risch-Rotkreuz — (Blue Horizons)
Elite Division: Swiss National Brass Band Championships

An absolute riot of a piece by Bertrand Moren that paid a very peculiar homage to all that jazz...

Blues, Swing, Stomp, Big Band, Trad, Cool... You name it — it was in it; from Glen Miller and Gershwin, to Jelly Roll Morton and even a touch of Ennio Morricone.

At the time it was like a musical trip through the MGM studios like you see at the end of the anarchic film 'Blazing Saddles' — although this time written by Salvador Dali. That said, it was also played rather well too...

Become a supporter and help make our future secure.

4barsrest continues to be a proudly independent voice. There are no paywalls to overcome to be able to enjoy what we do to keep our journalism at the heart of the brass banding world. Support us with a one-off donation or subscribe from just £2.50 per month.

Support us    


Oliverio

4BR Friday Interview with Dr Jennifer Oliverio

May 14 • 4BR talks to Fountain City's principal cornet Dr Jennifer Oliverio about her up-coming CD project 'Enigma', her inspirations and how she is looking forward to a return to performing with her band.


QUIZ

4BR Weekend Quiz: Doubles all round...

May 14 • Come up with the right brass band double answer from the clues to win a great prize worth over £200.


BBEPROMS

Brass Bands England launch playground inspiration

May 14 • A new initiative can get bands connecting with the next generation of potential players...


Dan Jenkins

Radio 3 spotlight for Jenkins

May 14 • Composer Dan Jenkins will be featured on Radio 3 today in a broadcast by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins.


Contest: 168th British Open

Saturday 11 September • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA


Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Saturday 18 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Race Course, Prestbury, Cheltenham GL40 4SH


Contest: Lower Section National Finals

Sunday 19 September • The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse, Prestbury, Cheltenham, GL40 4SH


Contest: National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain

Saturday 2 October • Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP


Contest: Youth Brass in Concert

Saturday 20 November • St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR


Essex Police Band

May 11 • Percussionist required. Preferably with experience playing in Brass Band, Wind Band or Orchestra. We do not contest but play to a good standard and play a variety of contempory and historical music.


Essex Police Band

May 11 • Musical Director required. We are a friendly band, based in Chelmsford Essex with a core of competent players and perform at a variety of events across Essex and in surrounding areas. We rehearse every Wednesday evening at Police HQ Chelmsford


St Dennis Band

May 10 • The St Dennis Band - Cornwall (Championship Section/Grand Shield) invites expressions of interest for the position of PRINCIPAL CORNET. Based in Mid Cornwall and just 5 minutes off the A30, the band rehearses every Monday and Thursday at 19:45.


John Ward


Conductor, Adjudicator


               

 © 2021 4barsrest.com Ltd