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Report & Result: 2023 Band Supplies Scottish Challenge Shield

Kirkintilloch enjoy their time to rejoice in Perth as they round off their contesting year with a fine victory under the baton of Hedley Benson.

Kirkitilloch
  The Kirkintilloch Band celebrates with the Band Supplies Scottish Challenge Shield

Thankfully there was still time for the Kirkintilloch Band to 'rejoice' in the Perth Contest Hall bar on Saturday evening as they claimed the Band Supplies Challenge Shield honours after a marathon day of competitive music making.

As the 24th competitor in a 26 band multi-section field, their performance of Edward Gregson's 'The World Rejoicing' led by MD, Hedley Benson secured a clear three-point margin of victory over fellow First Section rivals Bathgate. A delighted Clackmannan District claimed the final podium spot and the 'Best Second Section Band' honours.

Fellow Second Section contenders Newmilns & Galston was fourth ahead of First Section Newtongrange and Granite City who completed the top-six.

Suited

Speaking before the announcement of the results, adjudicator John Doyle said: "It was really important that bands choose pieces that suited them. We were looking for the basics — and that bands can handle the piece."

Those sentiments were also echoed by fellow judge Owen Farr, although he added that one word that they did use a lot in their written remarks was 'intonation' before making a telling point about dynamics.

"It's becoming a bit of a trend for bands everywhere to play louder," he said. "In doing so it can get quite violent and out of tune. We forget the other end of it — playing softy, which bands do better than any other ensemble, but we are losing it. When it does happen it is magical."

Really excellent

He added: "We had a great variety of music on offer — such a mix was very interesting to hear. One band today really stood out for myself and John though and were really excellent."

That band was the rejuvenated Kirkintilloch, who rounded off a highly encouraging contesting year under the baton of the principal trumpet of Scottish Symphony Orchestra with a victory that offers a very solid foundation on which to build in the future.

Over the moon

Reflecting on their success on their Facebook page they said: "We've only gone and done it! Absolutely over the moon to say the least! The whole band played a blinder and really pulled it out of the bag!"

In addition, the band's trombone player Luke Williams won the 4Barsrest Award as 'Best Soloist' as well as the Anthony Hope Memorial for the best horn section.

Their nearest rivals on a long but enjoyable day followed them immediately on stage as Bathgate, conducted by Craig Anderson, took the runner-up spot with an admirable rendition of 'St James's — A New Beginning' by Philip Harper.

A thrilled Clackmannan District was third, with the Second Section led by Paul Drury, giving an excellent rendition of Edward Gregson's 'Connotations' aided by the outstanding contribution of principal cornet Lorraine McLeod who was presented with the Paul Dornan Memorial Trophy — a former principal cornet of the band.

Brass Sounds Inverclyde (Joshua Parkhill) took the 'Highest Placed Third Section Band' award with their performance of 'Albinus Variations' by Etienne Crausaz, whilst Buckhaven & Methil Miners (Steven Craig) was the top Fourth Section contender thanks to their well worked account of 'The Dark Side of the Moon' by Paul Lovatt-Cooper.

Standing ovation

With a record field of 26 competitors, contest sponsor Ronnie Tennant of Band Supplies said that it was "like going back to the days of the famous Edinburgh Charities contest", whilst he also took the time to lead the thank to Peter Fraser MBE.

Returning to the contest day after a period of ill health, the stalwart SBBA committee member continues to do so much for the well being of the banding movement in the country. The standing ovation given to him was one of the most heartening moments in a memorable day of a well organised event.

Absolutely over the moon to say the least! The whole band played a blinder and really pulled it out of the bag!Kirkintilloch Band

Result:

Adjudicators: John Doyle, Owen Farr

1. Kirkintilloch Band (Hedley Benson): 198
2. Bathgate (Craig Anderson): 195
3. Clackmannan District (Paul Drury): 194
4. Newmilns & Galston (Alan Friel): 193
5. Newtongrange Silver (Anne Crookston): 190
6. Granite City Brass (Bruce Wallace): 189
7. Coalburn Silver (Gareth Bowman): 188
8. Broxburn & Livingston (Andrew Duncan): 187
9. Dunaskin Doon (Paul Drury): 186
10. Lochgelly (Chris Shanks): 185
11. St David's Brass (John A Dickson): 184
12. Newmains & District (Paul McKelvie): 182
13. Renfrew Burgh (Mark Good): 181
14. Brass Sounds Inverclyde (Joshua Parkhill): 180
15. Perthshire Brass (Willie McMullan): 179
16. Campbeltown Brass (Andrew McMillan): 178
17. Arbroath & Carnoustie (Eoin Tonner): 177
18. Kilmarnock Concert Brass (Scott Walker): 176
19. Dysart Colliery (Robert Fraser): 175
20. Shotts St Patrick's (Andy Shaw): 174
21. Buckhaven & Methil Miners (Steven Craig): 172
22. MacTaggart Scott Loanhead (Peter Holmes): 171
23. Turriff Silver (Matt Bailey): 169
24. Dundee Instrumental (Bob McDonald): 168
25. Tullis Russell Mills (George Cameron): 166
26. Forfar Instrumental (Donald Innes): 165

4Barsrest Best Soloist: Luke Williams (Kirkintilloch Band)
Paul Dornan Memorial Trophy: Lorraine McLeod (Clackmannan District)
Anthony Hope Memorial for the Best Horn Section: Kirkintilloch Band

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