The Wellington (Telford) Band conducted by Stephen Curtis put the musical boot into their rivals at the International Conference Centre on Saturday afternoon by taking the Third Section National title.
Full of praise
Adjudicator Kevin Wadsworth gave a detailed analysis of the pitfalls and problems faced by each of the 19 competitors on the day before the announcement of the results, but was full of praise for the winners and in particular, the overall standard of soprano cornet playing on show from all the bands.
Wellington’s performance of the deceptively testing set work, ‘Suite for Brass’ was highlighted not only by their secure ensemble playing and sense of style but the solo contributions of soprano player Melanie Whyle who won the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ Award.
Fourth consecutive appearance
It was enough to give the Midlanders, who were making their fourth consecutive appearance at the Finals, the title by a clear two point winning margin over second placed Verwood Concert Brass.
They had impressed many people in the hall off the number 14 draw with a powerful performance that eventually secured the runner up spot ahead of City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith), whose 11 year old soprano player Matthew Rees was one of the star performers on the day.
Behind the top three, the final podium places went to the fancied Oldham (Lees) Band from the North West, with a tremendous performance from the students of the University of Warwick (back in rehearsal for one week since returning to studies) taking fifth. The final top six spot was grabbed by a delighted Flookburgh from the North of England.
Suite for Brass — John Rutter, arranged Sandy Smith
Stan Lippeatt and Kevin Wadsworth
1. Wellington (Telford), Stephen Curtis, 3, 186
2. Verwood Concert Brass, David Johnson, 14, 184
3. Mellingriffith City of Cardiff, Gareth Ritter, 18, 183
4. Oldham (Lees), John Collins, 5, 182
5. University of Warwick, Simon Hogg, 19, 181
6. Flookburgh, John Iveson, 6, 180
7. Dalkeith and Monkontonhall, Jim Chamberlain, 8, 179
8. Pemberton Old JJB B, Peter Ashley, 4, 178
9. Bath Spa, David Hayward, 2, 176
10. Annan Town APD, David Shanks, 13, 174
11. Brighton & Hove City Brass, Matthew Hackett, 12, 172
12. Littleport Brass, Nigel Bramley, 17, 171
13. Hangleton, Matthew Pollard, 7, 170
14. Eagley, Gareth Westwood, 9, 169
15. Billingham Silver, V. Evans, 11, 168
16. Garforth, Steven Bailey, 1, 167
17. Blaenavon Town, Lyndon Price, 16, 165
18. Matlock, Roger Jepson, 10, 164
19. Rockingham, Frank Hoyland, 15, 163
Soprano, Melanie, Whyle, Wellington (Telford)