A Royal Mile Suite...?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by lauren, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. lauren

    lauren Member

    Just wondered if anyone has played Alan Fernie's 'A Royal Mile Suite.'

    My band are looking to go to Pontins this year (where it is the 2nd section test piece) and I was wondering if any one had any thoughts on it, or could tell me a bit more about it, solos etc etc.

    Any info would be appreciated.

  2. barrytone

    barrytone Member

    Royal Mile Suite

    Played this at the CISWO contest, can't remember the year, but it was with Sharlston Colliery Band. Very nice piece to rehearse and play but remember one of the inner movements, Jenny Ha's Reel, being very fast and furious, bit like Gaelforce. Was especially tricky as the tune was split up and played by different instruments following on from each other, so baritones had bars one and two and two beats into bar three, then euphs came in on bar three and played bar three and four and into five and so on.

    Can remember the adjudicator saying that some bands had got round the problem by getting sections to play the tune in full instead of splitting it between sections as written. He said that this was immediately noticable and he had deducted points from bands who had tried it as they had attempted to remove an aspect of the piece that made it a test piece and more difficult.

    Really enjoyed the piece though and we came fourth I think so a good weekend all round. Good luck with it!
  3. tat

    tat Member

    Yes it was used at Butlin's a couple of years ago in the 3rd section. Most bands cope with it, nothing to difficult, some nice sounds in it as well but you'd expect nothing else from Allan.
    Nice piece to play but a bit supprised that it's in the 2nd section, a lot of the 4th sections bands where playing it after Butlin's and where making a decent attempt at it. All the 2nd sections bands will play it and make a very good job of it too.
    Wouldn't like to be in the box for that contest.
  4. lauren

    lauren Member

    Thanks for your comments Barrytone. Much appreciated. I will make sure our conductor doesn't try cheating it then!!!!
  5. lauren

    lauren Member

    Does anyone know how much percussion is in it? Do you need 1, 2 or 3 players? Thanks
  6. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    It's an easier version of Alberta Suite and similar in style to Lydian Pictures with some fanfarey bits and a nice slow movement with a nice cornet solo and a fast reel as was said before and a fastish last movement. Nothing a 2nd section band can't do as I think it was ok for 3rd section really. It does have a bit of percussion but I think we only had one or possibly two on the day.
  7. Di B

    Di B Member

    Was playing with Matlock when they won Butlins 3rd section on this piece.

    From memory.... opening is majestic and fanfare-y - mainly cornets balance and style important here.

    Second movement is where people got caught out - particularly with intonation - some p and pp bits in tune not easy. Biggish cornet solo - goes fairly high (think it might be a C, but nothing that should be beyond a 2nd section player). Very musical and quiet.

    Can't remember the 3rd movement! Hmmm... nothing memorable for euph then! Think this may be the reel actually - nothing overly technical at all.

    4th movement starts with the euph accompanied by basses on a long note - in a scottish style and slightly marchy feel.

    Overall a nice piece - think those that make an impact on the opening movement with balance/style will catch the adjudicators ear. The ones in the prizes will be the ones that nail the quiet movement.
  8. Di B

    Di B Member

    In fact, just got this, courtesy of www.4barsrest.com which backs up 'class playing' is required apparently!

    About the piece -
    The four movement work is typical of the neat and clever compositions that Alan Fernie delivers for bands at this level. The first movement entitled ‘At the Palace Gates' requires control and a sense of dignity and purpose, whilst the reflective ‘Holyrood Park' asks quite difficult questions of soloists, especially the solo cornet's ability to play lyrically at the top and bottom of their range. Then comes the technical section of ‘Jenny Ha's Reel' before an Edinburgh version of Pines of Rome and the slow march of ‘Castrum Dun – Edin'.

    Summing up after the contest-

    There was no doubt about the winners in this section. Matlock sounded a very neat and compact band, ably led and with strong players in all the major seats backed by a solid ensemble. The others tried hard, but just lacked that touch of class that they displayed so well. Overall it was a very good contest and the standard was high. Adjudicators Robert Childs and Alan Morrison couldn't really be faulted with their choices, with the first four quite clearly ahead of the rest, of which the next five or six bands could have exchanged places without too much of a quibble.
  9. i heard it at tameside this last weekend, pleasant enough, but no test whatsoever for a second section band, more like a 4th section piece, come on pontins organisers cant we have something to get our teeth in to?
  10. lauren

    lauren Member

    This seems to be the general feedback that i'm getting from most people. Did think it slightly strange choice for 2nd section seeing as it has been used as the 3rd section test piece so recently at Butlins???!!!! :-?
  11. tojo

    tojo Member

    totaly agree with mat just not enough of a test
  12. caesar romaro

    caesar romaro New Member

    Tojo , Do you know the police station in Colwyn bay is on Fire!! By the way thats not a test piece!
  13. tojo

    tojo Member

    you hum it ill play it lol
  14. flugtastic

    flugtastic Member

    i used to play 2nd cornet on this piece! really love it.. its not just a um pah piece for back row.... theres a really nice cornet solo in the second to last movement... goes up to a top c but shouldnt be that much of a problem in 2nd section :) last movement is great to play as well... remember spending quite a lot of time on the bit where it is passed between sections!!!