Bands from across Scotland recently headed to Perth to take part in the Northern Counties BBA Open. Eight bands took to the stage with each given 20 minutes to impress adjudicator Bryan Allen with their own-choice programmes.
In the end it was reigning champion Kingdom Brass under Paul Drury who claimed the spoils, with the Fife band just pipping a determined challenge from Kirkintilloch Kelvin and take home a hefty haul of seven trophies.
Bryan Allen commented that the two bands had really separated themselves from the field, delivering what he called a "consistently high" level of performance. However, he added that he felt that "although very close", the winning band just delivered that "extra bit of excitement, precision and musical interest to tip the balance."
He added: "Every band, from Championship to Fourth Section, brought something interesting to the stage. All bands and MDs are to be congratulated on well-conceived and delivered programmes, with something for everyone to enjoy."
Kingdom opened with a muscular 'Birdland', before trombonist Alex Philip claimed the 'Best Soloist' prize with his lyrical rendition of 'Autumn Leaves'. MD Paul Drury's own march 'Jubilee', complete with ribboned Salvation Army tambourine, was followed by the haunting Welsh folk song 'Lisa Lan', before finishing with Tan Dun's vibrant 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' — helped by the band's 'Best Percussion' team.
Kingdom also won the trophies for 'Best First Section Band' and 'Best Non-NCBBA Member Band', as well as a deserved 'Best Soprano' award for Dave Prentice.
Kingdom Brass secretary John Todd told 4BR: "We've worked hard to put together a whole new programme in a short space of time following our trip to the Senior Cup and a recent concert.
We're therefore delighted to have come away with the win, and now look forward to a deserved summer break."
So near for Kirky
For runners-up Kirkintilloch Kelvin it was a case of 'so near and yet so far', as their colourful set took the 'Most Entertaining Programme' prize, but just failed to snatch top spot.
Paul Lovatt-Cooper's 'Enter the Galaxies' was followed by solo baritone Laura Good on 'With His First Breath', Kabalevsky's 'Dance of the Comedians' and the small ensemble feature of the Billy Joel 'Lullabye — Goodnight My Angel'. They closed with Tom Davoren's vivid 'Visions of Kolkhis'.
Third for Clackmannan
Clackmannan District under Paul McKelvie OBE took third and the 'Best Second Section Band' trophy, thanks to a set that included 'Malaguena' the horn solo 'And Everything Is Still…' played by Graham Caldwell,the 'Dambusters March', 'The 49th Parallel', 'Under the Boardwalk', and 'Cossack Wedding Dance'.
Elsewhere, Brass Sounds Inverclyde picked up the 'Best Third Section' trophy, just ahead of local favourites Perthshire Brass who took home the award for 'Best NCBBA Member Band', while Dundee Instrumental continued to build on their solid showing at the Scottish Championships by winning the 'Best Fourth Section' prize.
We've worked hard to put together a whole new programme in a short space of time following our trip to the Senior Cup and a recent concertKingdom Brass secretary John Todd
1. Kingdom Brass (Paul Drury) — 92
2. Kirkintilloch Kelvin Brass (Charles Keenan) — 91
3. Clackmannan District (Paul McKelvie OBE) — 88
4. Lochgelly (Paul McKelvie OBE) — 87
5. Brass Sounds Inverclyde (Chris Mansfield) — 86
6. Perthshire Brass (George D Annan) — 85
7. Dundee Instrumental (Robert McDonald) — 84
8. Bon Accord 'B' (Jennifer Cook) — 83
Best First Section Band: Kingdom Brass
Best Second Section Band: Clackmannan District
Best Third Section Band: Brass Sounds Inverclyde
Best Fourth Section Band: Dundee Instrumental
Best NCBBA Member Band: Perthshire Brass
Best Non-NCBBA Band: Kingdom Brass
Most Entertaining Programme: Kirkintilloch Kelvin
Best Percussion: Kingdom Brass
Best Soprano: Dave Prentice (Kingdom Brass)
Best Soloist: Alec Philip (trombone) — Kingdom Brass
Winning Conductor: Paul Drury (Kingdom Brass)