A new name will eventually be engraved on the Doctor Martin Wainstones Cup when it arrives back in its new home of Rainford, after the North West band claimed the silverware plus a cheque for £4,500 with a thoroughly deserved victory under the baton of MD Gareth Brindle at Yarm School in North Yorkshire.
A trio of high quality performances of the march 'The President', two movements from Philip Wilby's 'Euphonium Concerto' and their test-piece own choice of Philip Sparke's 'Dances & Alleluias' secured a commanding 8-point margin of victory over nearest rivals City of Bradford, with defending champion Reg Vardy five points further back in third.
Little wonder adjudicator Sandy Smith said that Rainford had "stamped their authority" all over their programme as the band opened with a bold rendition of the classic William German composition to gain the 'Best March' accolade.
Euph star Seth Livingston's classy playing of the middle movement and the plate smashing 'Zeibekikos' finale that followed was a display of controlled brilliance, whilst victory was confirmed with an imposing performance of the Sparke test-piece — led with stunning command from the principal cornet chair by Movern Sinclair.
Unfortunately, the supportive audience was unable to enjoy the presentation of the trophy to the new champion as the tachometer demands of Rainford's bus driver meant a hasty return home after they had played — leaving the rather sad sight of no-one being on hand to raise the Wainstones Cup on high.
Speaking to 4BR earlier today, MD Gareth Brindle apologised for nobody being unable to be present at the results, but was still delighted by what was both a lucrative and important success.
"We received news of the results travelling back on the coach. We had to leave due as the driver's hours would have run out before the end of the contest. We're sorry we were unable to have a representative on hand for the results, but our thanks go to the understanding contest organisers who ran such a great event."
He added: "I've always liked 'The President' march and thought it would give a good opportunity to showcase the lower brass and hopefully get us off to a good start.
Seth was superb and showed again why he's becoming such a well respected top flight euphonium player, whilst the test piece was one I've been waiting to perform again for a while — especially as it gave Morvern the chance to shine.
She was amazing and the band was too. This is an important step in our development and shows we're making solid progress in the right direction."
The was also further evidence of City of Bradford's continued top-flight progress under MD Lee kipsey as they took a prize package of £2,250 home with them as runner-up.
A bright 'Simoraine' march was followed by trombonist Daniel Eddison's engaging 'Concert Variations' before they rounded their assault off with a y captivating rendition of 'Trittico'.
"It's a wonder why more bands haven't found out about this contest, because it's a wonderful venue to play in', said 'Skippy' after the event. "It was a great day, a great result, and the money comes in very handy too!"
Hit and miss Reg Vardy
For defending champion Reg Vardy, it proved to be a rather hit and miss defence of their title off the number 1 draw under Russell Gray. Their decision to perform the British Open set-work 'A Brussels Requiem' showed just what a difficult piece it had proven to be at Symphony Hall their previous day in Birmingham.
The march 'Knight Templar' and Andrew Hedley's fine euph take on 'Bravura' kept them in with a sniff of the title, but in the end they could have no cause for complaint as they finished third with a prize package of £1,250.
Behind them there was joy for Elland Silver as they finished fourth, thanks in no small part to Daniel Brook's intelligent direction especially on their test-piece choice of 'Montage' and the outstanding contribution of 'Best Soloist' Ben Jarvis with a sumptuous performance of 'Concerto No 1' — described by adjudicator Sandy Smith as being, "absolutely stunning".
Dalmellington also enjoyed their trip south of Hadrian's Wall as they ended fifth — with a bold 'Rococo Variations' the pick of their set, whilst the fancied Milnrow never settled into their usual form under Mark Bentham, especially on their test-piece selection of 'Paganini Variations' to finish sixth.
Sandy Smith clearly enjoyed his first visit to this contest, remarking on the excellent facilities found at Yarm School, the warm welcome and the desire of the competing bands to perform works that both showcased their current strengths and future ambitions.
From humble beginnings, the Doctor Martin contest continues to grow, and with hosts, Cockerton Silver Band and contest organiser Steve Goodwin continuing to work hard, the event certainly has a fine future ahead of it.
This is an important step in our development and shows we'e making solid progress in the right directionMD, Gareth Brindle
Adjudicator: Sandy Smith
March + Solo + Test Piece = Total
1. Rainford (Gareth Brindle): 22 + 23 + 197 = 242
2. City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey): 21 + 20 + 193 = 234
3. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray): 19 + 22 + 188 = 229
4. Elland (Danny Brooks): 18 + 24 + 185 = 227
5. Dalmellington (Nigel Boddice): 18 + 18 + 190 = 226
6. Milnrow (Mark Bentham): 17 + 19 + 189 = 225
7. Fishburn (David Hirst): 20 + 17 + 186 = 223
8. Thoresby (David Hollings): 17 + 17 + 187 = 221
9. Easington (Jonathan Beatty): 15 + 19 + 183 = 217
Best March: Rainford
Best Soloist: Ben Jarvis (Cornet) Elland Silver