2nd section test pieces

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by sopranoman1, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. sopranoman1

    sopranoman1 New Member

    Just wondering if anybody knows of any good challenging test pieces for a 2nd section band. Im trying to come up with somemore unusal ones.
  2. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly Active Member

    How about:

    "Chorale" Ray Steadman-Allen (2nd section Nationals test piece 1991, Pontins 2nd section test piece 1994 and 2007)

    "The Plantagenets" Edward Gregson (2nd section Nationals test piece 1995)

    "Chaucer's Tunes" Michael Ball (2nd section Nationals test piece 2004)

    "Apocalypse for Brass (Symphony for Brass)" William Gordon (2nd section Nationals test piece 1997)

    "The Sword, Jewel and Mirror" Philip Harper (2nd section Area test piece 2000)

    "Celestial Prospect" Wilfred Heaton (2nd section Area test piece 2003)
  3. JR

    JR Member

    all good stuff! - Plantagenets would need a top notch 2nd section outfit though

    How about California Legend by Bruce Broughton from 1986?

    john r
  4. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    It's about the same as Oceans isn't it?
  5. JR

    JR Member

    you winding me up dude?
    as my 15 yr old stepdaughter would say on msn...

    john r
  6. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    Do you think it is harder than oceans?
  7. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

  8. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    On oceans vs Plantagenents i think they are of similar standard however they are very different pieces which ask different questions of a band! The plantagenets is sort of straight forward with some very technically stuff for that level of banding however oceans is more about ensemble playing and getting the band to play together and listen to everything. I have in the last year played plantagenets as own choice and at the mo am playing oceans as an own choice for contest in two weeks time so in my opinion thats what i think of that!!!
  9. JR

    JR Member

    not quite!!
    I'm old enough (well over 40) to remember one of the greatest ever Yorkshire Area performances - Grimethorpe 1973 with Elgar Howarth conducting Plantagenets resplendent in red shirt...
    Plantagents was very modern sounding for the time but was extremely well received by the large audience and a very young (28) Edward Gregson was introduced to the audience. To this day I cannot remember very many other area performances having as as much impact on the audience - and the cornet solo by Brian Cooling was something else.

    John R
  10. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    Surely this goes back to the discussion about any band within reason being able to note bash a piece then musicallity is something else. Thats why I get annoyed that so many lower section test pieces ie A Malvern Suite and Royal Mile suite etc are not recorded by top section bands because they are deemed to be easy and really it still needs to sound musical. Not many lower section bands can get the real depth and quality of sound needed.
  11. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    A Malvern Suite is available recorded by BNFL on Cambridge Variations.....

    I'd also argue that your reasoning for why 2nd section pieces aren't recorded by 'top' bands is flawed - it's not because they're too easy, but the programme selection has to make sense in the context of the rest of the disc. It's all about target markets.

    But I'm straying wildy off topic so I'll stop before I get my knuckles bent with a ruler.
  12. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    pieces we have played in own choice 2nd section contests over the last few years that I have enjoyed were:

    1. Prisms -- still would take a good band to pull it off and some excellent players in the end seats
    2. Purcell Variations
    3. Renaissance - Peter Graham - I really think this is a great piece

    we also played one by leslie condon - can't remember the name - I am sure Brian will remind me!

    also how about :

    tournament for brass (ball) - not my favourite but lots of people like it
  13. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    "Festivity", "Present Age", "Song of the Eternal" ?
  14. matthetimp

    matthetimp Member

    Land of the long white cloud may be a option, all depending on players round stand

    Tam O' Shanter would also be a test for a 2nd section band. (used 2005 at the regionals in 3rd section)
  15. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    Was listening to the Elgar in Brass CD last night ,Philip Sparke has done a fantastic arrangment of the Serenade Op20 ( serenade for strings) something different maybe in this celebration year for Elgar ( 3 movs about 12 mins long)
  16. NAS

    NAS Member

    Danceries by Kenneth Hesketh was used for the 2nd section finals a few years ago... Cracking piece!
  17. Scongie

    Scongie Member

    "Land of the long white cloud may be a option, all depending on players round stand"

    Have to disagree with this being suitable for the 2nd section. Ran this through last night in band as an option for a forthcoming lcoal area comp (we're in Championship). Remember not all second section bands are as blessed with players as Newbridge!

    Now then as for suggestions my two favourites have been mentioned (Plantageanents and Oceans). I remember doing Beatrice and Benidict and quite enjoying it at the time.
  18. Aaron

    Aaron Member

    Pieces we've used the last couple of years at own choice & generally had success with:-

    The Land of the Long White Cloud
    Triumphant Rhapsody
    Variations on a Ninth
    Epic Symphony
    Purcell Variations
    Life Devine

    None are easy blows but sound impressive!
  19. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    Leslie Condon piece...do you mean 'Call of the Righteous'?

    Another suitable Leslie Condon one would be his 'Festivity'.
  20. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    Festivity - that;s the one!

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