If there is a band that now believes fully in the Force of Destiny, then it will surely be Aldbourne, following their deserved victory to claim the First Section National title in Cheltenham on Sunday evening.
Finger of fate
And the fickle finger of contesting fate didn’t desert them either as the adjudicators, Malcolm Brownbill and John Berryman found their thrilling interpretation under the baton of MD David Johnson finally gave them just what they were looking for off the late number 17 draw.
The MD in particular seems to be the most ardent believer in destiny after he revealed that at the beginning of the year he predicted that the band would win a hat trick of major titles.
"The band work so hard," he said, clutching the National Trophy and displaying his own pink painted little finger nail of good luck. "But I did say at the beginning of the year that if we do put in the hard work then I believe we would win the Area, Senior Trophy and National title."
I did say at the beginning of the year that if we do put in the hard work then I believe we would win the Area, Senior Trophy and National titleDavid Johnson
They have now done that, and although Dave didn’t reveal his weekend lottery numbers, he did give an insight into the secret behind the band’s success.
"These are hard times for people so to be successful I think there must be a reason to come to band practice for four hours a week, and work so hard. I like a bit of fun, but the credit goes to the players. They are a great band and great people."
On a day when all 18 competitors produced their own take on Verdi’s tale of death, deceit and down right dubious coincidences, it was David’s subtly coloured, nuanced approach which built in excitement and drama that painted the most vibrant of musical pictures.
The adjudicators were in fact impressed by the overall standard with three outstanding performances filling the eventual podium places.
"The first three were exceptional," Malcolm Brownbill told 4BR. "Lots of bands played well, but these had that something extra that we felt came from the MDs. The winners were very good. The MD must be a good musician."
John Berryman agreed: "The bands did very well. The winners in particular sound well equipped to make the step up to the Championship Section."
It was a performance that also gave the West of England a deserved one/two finish, as Bournemouth Concert Brass, conducted by Dave Barringer delivered a high class rendition to take second place, thanks in no small part to the outstanding individual contribution of ‘Best Instrumentalist’ winner Alfie Hughes on principal cornet.
It was just enough to beat off the challenge of a high-octane thriller from Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel under Dave Nesbitt in third.
The remaining top six places fell to three classy performances from Longridge , Pontardulais and Ratby Co-operative. Each delivered performances of considerable merit under Mark Peacock, Paul Jenkins and Michael Fowles respectively, which were enough to consign a slightly error strewn account from pre-contest favourites Hammonds Saltaire to seventh.
A full retrospective of the contest will appear on 4BR on Wednesday.
Sunday 25th September
Test Piece: La Forza Del Destino (Verdi arr. Frank Wright)
Adjudicators: John Berryman & Malcolm Brownbill
Additional comments and thoughts on our twitter site:
1. Aldbourne, David Johnson, (West of England), 17
2. Bournemouth Concert Brass, Dave Barringer, (West of England), 11
3. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel, David Nesbitt, (Yorkshire), 6
4. Longridge, Mark Peacock, (North West), 10
5. Pontardulais Town, Paul Jenkins, (Wales), 15
6. Ratby Co-operative, Michael Fowles, (Midlands), 2
7. Hammonds Saltaire, Morgan Griffiths, (Yorkshire), 14
8. Harrogate, Craig Ratcliffe, (North of England), 9
9. Bedford Town, Andrew Kershaw, (London & Southern Counties), 12
10. Kirkintilloch Kelvin, Charles Keenan, (Scotland), 5
11. East London Brass, Jayne Murrill, (London & Southern Counties), 16
12. Hathern, Dave Newman, (Midlands), 18
13. Roberts Bakery, Colin Cranson, (North West), 8
14. Haverhill, Mark Ager, (London & Southern Counties), 7
15. Phoenix West Midlands, Trevor Jones, (Midlands), 13
16. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith), Gareth Ritter, (Wales), 1
17. Westoe, Jason Smith, (North of England), 4
18. Broxburn & Livingston, Charlie Farren, (Scotland), 3
Best Instrumentalist: Alfie Hughes (principal cornet) — Bournemouth Concert Brass