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Report & Results: 2022 BBNI Festival of Brass

1st Old Boys lead the entertainment at the Maldron Hotel, with section awards claimed by CWA Brass and Dungannon Silve

First Old Boys
  First Old Boys took the title — presented by adjudicator Thomas Fountain

The popular Brass Bands Northern Ireland Festival of Brass Championships returned on the weekend after an enforced three-year Covid-19 break.

Seven bands competed at the Maldron Hotel at Belfast International Airport — each giving mini-concert programmes for a supportive audience to enjoy, as well as the judges Thomas Fountain (music) and John Ball (entertainment) to compare and contrast.

1st Old Boys win

The Blue Riband Championship Section title was claimed by the resurgent 1st Old Boys Band led by Dr Jonathan Corry. They secured the Harry Dalzell Section Trophy as well as the 'Most Entertaining Band' prize, with their solo baritone star Brian Downey taking the 'Best Soloist' award.

1st Old Boys opened their set with the colourful fizz of 'Malaguena', followed by cornet soloist Louise Bell's lyrical lead in Goff Richards' 'Pastorale'. The bold William Rimmer march 'The Australasian' was followed by 'My Sister Kate' featuring Conor Branigan and the award winning Brian Downey with his fine performance of 'Carrickfergus'. The band closed with the energetic 'Glorifico Aeternum' by Dean Jones.

Fine year

Speaking to 4BR, Dr Jonathan Corry said: "This was a great way to round off a fine year for the band — one which has seen us continue to make solid progress and development. The players are giving me everything I ask for and we are now all looking forward to the festive season and then the 2023 contest season."

Runner-up Laganvale certainly pushed the winners hard, as did third placed Third Carrickfergus Band, who took the 'Best March' prize with their rousing rendition of TJ Powell's 'The Spaceman'.

CWA Brass

CWA Brass earned a clean sweep in the Second Section under MD David Johnston, who was making his conducting debut with them.

Along with the overall section prize they claimed the awards for 'Most Entertaining Band' and 'Best March' for a razor sharp performance of the classic 'Knight Templar', with Principal Trombone Bert Shaw taking the 'Best Soloist' prize for his super rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's 'Stardust'.

Dungannon

Dungannon Silver Band led by Boris Pinto bagged the inaugural David Leonard Third Section trophy, as well as the Jeanette Morton Trophy for 'Best Horn Section' and 'Best March' award for their splendid rendition of 'Castell Caerffili'.

Dynamic Brass claimed the 'Most Entertaining Band' accolade with their principal cornet David Johnson taking the 'Best Soloist' prize for his superbly stylish performance of John Doyle's arrangement of 'Blue'.

A spokesperson for the event organisers BBNI told 4BR that they would like to thank the bands for "the sheer amount of talent which was on display and for supporting our event", which they hoped would return in 2023, as well as the staff at the Maldron Hotel.

Results:
Championship Section:


Adjudicators:
Thomas Fountain (music) and John Ball (entertainment)
Music/Entertainment: Total

1. 1st Old Boys' Association Silver (Jonathan Corry): 10/10 = 20
2. Laganvale (Metal Technology) Band (Keith Anderson): 9/8 = 17
3. Third Carrickfergus Band (Brian Connolly): 8/9 = 17

Most Entertaining Band: 1st Old Boys
Best March: Third Carrickfergus Band (The Spaceman)
Best Soloist: Nigel Downey (baritone) — 1st Old Boys


Second Section:

Music/Entertainment: Total

1. CWA Brass (David Johnston): 10/10 = 20
2. Comber Silver Band (Wesley Thompson): 9/9 = 18

Most Entertaining Band: CWA Brass
Best March: CWA Brass (Knight Templar)
Best Soloist: Bert Shaw (trombone) — CWA Brass


Third Section:

Music/Entertainment: Total

1. Dungannon Silver Band (Boris Pinto): 10/9 = 19*
2. Dynamic Brass (Andrew Quiggan): 9/10 = 19

*Music award takes precedent

Most Entertaining Band: Dynamic Brass
Best March: Dynamic Brass (Castell Caerffili)
Best Soloist: David Johnson (cornet) — Dynamic Brass
Best Horn Section: Dungannon Silver Band

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