Five demanding works will test the qualification credentials of the competing bands at the 2022 Regional Championships.
It follows the announcement made at the Cheltenham National Finals and the release of the CD of the works — ones that are sure to both excite as well as engage performers and listeners alike.
The choices from the Kapitol Promotions Ltd Music Panel of Robert Childs, Sandy Smith, Richard Evans, John Maines, Brian Buckley and Samantha Harrison bridge a time span of over half a century but also encompass works from some of the most accomplished writers for the medium.
Championship Section bands will have to get to grips with Wilfred Heaton's immense 'Contest Music' — famously rejected for the 1973 Nationals but later first heard at the 1978 European Championships and later the 1982 Nationals Championships themselves.
It has since become an iconic test of contesting credentials — used at the British Open, Masters and the Area Championships themselves back in 1985.
First Section bands are faced with another iconic work — this time from the pen of Gilbert Vinter and 'Spectrum'.
Written for the British Open in 1969 it caused a huge fuss then, although it has since become regarded as a classic — played all over the world — and at the Areas in 1976 and again in 1996.
Second Section bands will also get a work from another hugely respected composer — Goff Richards, and his breezy composition 'The Aeronauts' — originally written for the famous West of England Bandsman's Festival in Bugle in 1978 and inspired by his father's love of aviation.
It's been used many times since — including being the Second Section National Finals piece in 1996.
Another wonderful composer, Gordon Langford, provides the Third Section test piece with 'Facets of Glass' — written in 1984 and inspired by the glass making traditions of the Pilkington Glass Company who commissioned it.
Finally the Fourth Section has the most contemporary work — 'Argos' by Stephan Hodel — written not in homage to the ubiquitous UK retail store, but commissioned by the Luzerner Kantonal-Blasmusikverbandes LKBV.
Completed in 2009, it was the set-test piece in the Third Section of the 2010 Lucerne Cantonal Music Festival, Willisau and was most recently used as the test piece for the 2019 Development Section of the European Youth Championships.
Argos is one of the oldest cities in Greece, and was a powerful rival of Sparta, Athens, and Corinth. The word Argos can also be translated as 'bright' or 'shining', which is the meaning that Stephan Hodel has adopted for his bright, festive suite.
2022 Area test-pieces:
Championship Section: Contest Music (Wilfred Heaton)
First Section: Spectrum (Gilbert Vinter)
Second Section: The Aeronauts (Goff Richards)
Third Section: Facets of Glass (Gordon Langford)
Fourth Section: Argos (Stephan Hodel)