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Report & Results: 2017 West of England Bandsmen's Festival

Wonderful weather and great music making ensured that the 93rd Festival was a great hit with competitors and listeners alike in Cornwall.

bUGLE
  The weather was as good as the music making at the famous festival this year.

The traditional pre-contest march through the village of Bugle by the competing bands heralded the start of a glorious 93rd West of England Bandsmen's Festival — with the performances every bit as warm and bright as the weather that bathed a very special part of Cornwall.

Ideal conditions

Not surprisingly, a large and appreciative audience also enjoyed the elements, and was in full agreement with adjudicator David Marshall who stated that he had heard 'a selection of good music' in the ideal conditions.

Commenting on the playing, he praised the high standard, although he reminded bands that '…the score is your Bible'.

Camborne victory

In the Championship Section the honour of winning The Royal Trophy went to the Camborne led by Kevin Mackenzie, with a fine performance of 'Les Preludes' that also saw Les Kneebone take the 'Best Soprano' and 'Best Player' awards with solo cornet Lee Wilde and the band's tuba team also picking up well deserved accolades.

Rivals and defending champion St Dennis came runner-up with 2013 winner St Austell in third.

Section awards

In the First Section, West of England Regional champion SW Comms continued with their remarkable form under MD Chris Spreadbury — claiming their fourth consecutive contest title in the process with a fine rendition of the set-work, 'Royal Parks'.

Meanwhile, welcome Dutch visitors Brassband Excelsior Ferwert were the sole entrant in the Second Section, but thoroughly entertained everyone under MD Herman Sibma, whilst there was a wonderful victory to celebrate for local favourites Bugle Silver as they claimed a first contest success since 2010 under their hard working MD, Steve Osborne.

Indian Queen's retained their Fourth Section title under the direction of Mark Arnold, whilst St Dennis Youth and Soundhouse took the Youth and Training Section honours.

Honours

Geraint Richards, great grandson of F J Richards, one of the founders of the Festival in 1912, was introduced as the new Festival Chairman — on the day it was also announced that he had been awarded the MVO in the Birthday Honours List.

Presentations were made to Gareth Roberts MBE, who stepped down after judging the Deportment Section for the last 36 years, and to Michael Mortimore, to mark his 50 years as a member of the Festival Committee, in particular for his efforts as Honorary Groundsman in preparing and maintaining the field throughout the year.

In the Championship Section the honour of winning The Royal Trophy went to the Camborne led by Kevin Mackenzie, with a fine performance of 'Les Preludes'4BR

Results:

Championship Section:

Adjudicator: David Marshall
Test Piece: Les Preludes (Franz Liszt arr. Bram Gay)

1. Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie) — 96
2. St Dennis (Darren Hawken) — 94
3. St Austell Town (Steve Sykes) — 90

Melody: Irish Tune from County Derry (Percy Grainger arr. Denis Wright)
1. St Dennis (Darren Hawken) — 97
2. Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie) — 95
3. St Austell Town (Steve Sykes) — 93

Best Player Award: Les Kneebone (soprano) — Camborne

First Section:

Test Piece: Royal Parks (George Lloyd)

1. SW Comms (Chris Spreadbury) — 94
2. Bournemouth Concert Brass (Melvin White) — 90
3. Hyde (Jonathan Lush-Camps) — 89

March: Glemdene (John Carr)
1. Bournemouth Concert Brass (Melvin White) — 85
2. Bodmin Town (John Maines) — 84
3. Hyde (Jonathan Lush-Camps) — 83

Best Player Award: Andrew Stark (cornet) -SW Comms

Second Section:

Test Piece: The Mermaid of Zennor (Philip Harper)

1. Brassband Excelsior Ferwert (Herman Sibma) — 97

March: Carnival King (William Rimmer)
1. Brassband Excelsior Ferwert (Herman Sibma) — 95

Best Player Award: Bert de Ruiter (euphonium)

Third Section:

Test Piece: Sinfonietta for Brass Band (Gordon Langford)

1. Bugle Silver (Steve Osborne) — 90
2. St Stythians (James Burns) — 87

Best Player Award: Leanne Osborn (flugel) — Bugle

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: Four Little Maids (John Carr)

1. Indian Queens (Mark Arnold) — 90
2. Redruth Town (Keith Anderson) — 85
3. Okehampton Excelsior (Richard Beardon) — 80

Best Player Award: Tracey Kistle (euphonium) — Indian Queens

Youth Section:

Own Choice

1. St Dennis Youth (Rachael Sargent) — 85
2. St Austell Youth (Anna Minear) — 82

Special Awards:
Best Player: Amy Bristow (baritone) — St Dennis Youth
Best Cornet: Holly Sargent (St Dennis Youth)
E J Williams Memorial Trophy to the Winning Conductor: Rachael Sargent

Training Section:

Test Piece: 10 minutes — own choice

1. Soundhouse (Gary Thompson) — 90

Special Awards:
Best Player: Alastair Blakely (Percussion)
Best Cornet: Miles Gilhespy

Special Awards:

(Open to all sections)

Best Soprano: Les Kneebone (Camborne)
Best Solo Cornet: Lee Wilde (Camborne)
Best Euphonium: Kimberly Bazeley (St Dennis)
Best Solo Horn: Francesca Bazeley (St Dennis)
Best Set of Basses: Camborne Town

A R Trudgian Youth Awards:
Grace Denford (Bodmin Town)
Matthew Opie (Bodmin Town)

Deportment Class:

Adjudicator: Gareth Roberts MBE

1. Bugle Silver
2. Okehampton Excelsior Silver



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Duncan A. Beckley

BA, QTS, LTCL, FTCL, ARCM
Conductor, adjudicator, band trainer and teacher