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Report & Results: 2018 Oxfordshire & District BBA Entertainment Contest

Michelmersh Silver and Emley lead the way in the music and entertainment stakes in Oxfordshire.

  Taking the silverware home: Emley and Garry Hallas certainly enjoyed their trip to Oxfordshire

16 bands from all sections produced an enjoyable entertainment battle at the recent Oxfordshire & District BBA contest held at Marlborough School in Woodstock. Adjudicated by Russell and Mareika Gray, there were a host of interesting and inventive programmes on show from the competitors, some of who had travelled as far afield as Yorkshire for the event.

In the end it was Michelmersh Silver and Emley Bands taking the respective honours.

Michelmersh experience

In the Upper Section, Michelmersh's MD Melvin White used all his years of experience to come up with an excellently delivered entertainment set that opened with Manuel de Falla's 'Firedance', before euph player Paul Griffiths gave a 'Best Soloist' rendition of 'My Favourite Things'.

Comedic contrast came with music from the great cartoon films of 'Tom & Jerry' before a real gem with the 'Sarabande' from 'Solitaire' by Malcolm Arnold arranged by the MD. The winning set was rounded off with the finale from Oliver Waespi's 'The Raid'.

Speaking to 4BR, Melvin was delighted by the result and the way in which his First Section band bought into his entertainment approach. "I always enjoy bringing something a little different to these contests, so the mix had something both old and new.

The band is always open to try something new and I was so pleased at the way in which they approached the programme and especially the way they delivered on stage."

Emley success

Meanwhile, Emley Brass finished their contesting season a high by taking the Lower Section title and a host of awards in the process. Not only did they top the music discipline, but also added the entertainment element with horn payer Marie Bedford claiming the 'Best Soloist' award and MD Garry Hallas picking up the 'Best Compere' accolade.

He told 4BR: "This victory completes a year of steady progression having started out in January with a fourth place finish at Butlins, followed by coming third at the Yorkshire Area and then runner-up at Bolsover before hitting the top here.

With the arrival of a new principal cornet Jennifer Turner, it's nice to see the trophy cabinet filled up before we start our community appearances at Remembrance Sunday and our usual fund-raising carolling."

The band opened its programme with 'Hogarth's Hoedown' followed the flugel solo 'Nessun Dorma' played by Elizabeth Hallas, 'Nobody does it better', 'Jericho Revisited' and the foot tapping 'Happy' to close.

Good response

Following a successful day, ODBBA Secretary David Roberts told 4BR: "We were delighted to get such a good response from bands again this year, and we were very nearly at full capacity.

Our thanks go to all the bands who took part, and also to our talented adjudicators, who both made lots of very helpful suggestions to the competitors."

ODBBA's next event will be the popular Winter Contest which takes place over 23rd and 24th February 2019, and which provides bands with an opportunity to try out their Area test pieces.

I always enjoy bringing something a little different to these contests, so the mix had something both old and newMelvin White


Upper Section:

Adjudicator: Russell Gray

1. Michelmersh Silver (Melvin White) — 94*
2. Littleport Band (Ian Knapton) — 92**
3. Kidlington Concert Brass (Ben Ruffer) — 91
4. Chinnor Silver (David Pegram) — 89
5. Egham Band (Gareth Green) — 87

* 2 point time deduction
** 1 point time deduction

Adjudicator: Mareika Gray

1. Michelmersh Silver
2. Littleport Band
3. Chinnor Silver
4. Kidlington Concert Brass
5. Egham Band

Lower Section:

Adjudicator: Russell Gray

1. Emley (Garry Hallas)
2. Olney Brass (Kevin Nicholls)
3. Arrow Valley Brass (Andy Culshaw)
4. Oxford Cherwell Band (Terry Botherhood)
5. Egham Youth (Gareth Green)
6. Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)
7. Witney Town (Steve Sizeland)
8. Coleshill Youth Brass (Stephen Fagg)
9. Pangbourne & District (Stewart Lewins)
10. Abbey Brass (Abingdon) (Rob Tompkins)
11. Marsh Gibbon Silver (Lewis Wallington)

Adjudicator: Mareika Gray

1. Emley (Garry Hallas)
2. Arrow Valley Brass (Andy Culshaw)
3. Coleshill Youth Brass (Stephen Fagg)
4. Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)
5. Olney Brass (Kevin Nicholls)
6. Egham Youth (Gareth Green)
7. Oxford Cherwell Band (Terry Botherhood)
8. Witney Town (Steve Sizeland)
9. Marsh Gibbon Silver (Lewis Wallington)
10. Abbey Brass (Abingdon) (Rob Tompkins)
11. Pangbourne & District (Stewart Lewins)

Section Prizes:
Championship Section: Kidlington Concert Brass
First Section: Michelmersh Silver
Second Section: Littleport Band
Third Section: Emley
Fourth Section: Wantage Academy
Unregistered Section: Coleshill Youth

Best Soloist Prizes:
Championship Section: Tom James (cornet) — Kidlington
First Section: Paul Griffiths (euphonium) — Michelmersh Silver
Second Section: Janet Wyndham (flugel) — Littleport
Third Section: Jim Jennings (bass trombone) — Arrow Valley Brass
Fourth Section: Eddie Hindson (euphonium) — Wantage Academy
Unregistered Section: Olivia (flugel) — Coleshill Youth Brass

Best Conductor: Melvin White (Michelmersh)

Best Percussion: Michelmersh
Best Tenor Horn: Marie Bedford (Emley)
Best Soprano Cornet: Martin Mills (Olney)
Best Compere: Garry Hallas (Emley)
Band with most players under the age of 19: Coleshill Youth Brass
Youngest Player: Coleshill Youth Brass

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