Brass in Concerts 2011 Bands

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by B(r)assBone, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. B(r)assBone

    B(r)assBone Member

    Hi,

    I just had a look at the Brass in Concert 2011 Homepage and was surprised that Cory and Black Dyke were not listed. Isn't it THE Championships in the UK? Why don't they take part? I had a look at their Schedule and saw that they will be at the British Open Brass Band Championships. Does this contest have a higher priority in the UK?
     
  2. B(r)assBone

    B(r)assBone Member

    By the way, does anybody know what pieces will be placed??
     
  3. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    The Open is the most prestigious contest in the UK, followed by the Nationals. Brass in Concert is up there, but not at the very top tier. Dyke famously don't do entertainment contests, and it's a long way from South Wales for a band that has little to prove i.e. Cory.
     
  4. B(r)assBone

    B(r)assBone Member

    Okay, this explains a lot. Hhm, thought about coming over to Brass in Concert this year, but was a bit disappointed to see, that my favourite bands were not listed. The question is, what top bands will be there and rock it? ;-)
     
  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

  6. tuba70

    tuba70 New Member

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  7. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    I can confirm, that even without your favourite bands, it is a very good contest and well worth going to listen to!
     
  8. Mark Time

    Mark Time New Member

    Having spent 100 quid on 4 tickets for BIC I'm a little disappointed by the withdrawal of B&R, who we were looking forward to seeing along with Grimethorpe and all the others. Hope they are replaced with another band. Mark
     
  9. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    Yes, it is disappointing that they've withdrawn and would hope they're replaced but even if not, we're still getting 10 top class performances for £25 - to me that is a bargain whichever way you look at it.
     
  10. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    Now that it has been officially announced in yesterdays BB I can confirm that we, the Reg Vardy Band, have accepted an invitation to compete in Brighouse' place
     
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  12. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    Yes, a pity B & R aren't playing, but with valid reason. B & R always have one of the most entertaining programmes for my taste, and their 'fun' piece has always been first class. Irrespective, the BiC comp is one of the highlights of the banding year for me 'cos I don't have to sit and listen to the same piece played over and over. Whether the bands are top flight or not this competition always provides excellent value for money and is a great day out! :D
     
  13. Paddy Flower

    Paddy Flower Active Member

    A couple of weeks to go until the last major of the year, here's my reckoning at the moment

    (Florida are playing this weekend at the US Open, I'm not expecting them to win but if they do then beating Fountain City will shorten their odds for Gateshead)

    [TABLE="width: 255"]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl25, width: 285, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
    [TD="class: xl26, width: 55, bgcolor: transparent"]Latest
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Foden's
    [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]11/4 fav
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Fairey (Geneva)
    [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]100/30
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Grimethorpe Colliery
    [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]7/2
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Tredegar
    [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]4/1
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Carlton Main Frickley Colliery
    [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]11/2
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Leyland
    [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]12/1
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Rothwell Temperance
    [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]33/1
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Reg Vardy
    [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]33/1
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Redbridge Brass
    [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]40/1
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Brass Band of Central Florida
    [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]66/1
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Exchange Communications Whitburn
    [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]66/1
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]


    So this one is wide open IMHO
     
  14. Paddy Flower

    Paddy Flower Active Member

    The league have been having their say and they are definately backing Grimethorpe over Frickley...

    [TABLE="width: 348"]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl28, width: 75, bgcolor: transparent"]League win pay-out[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl26, width: 285, bgcolor: transparent"] [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, width: 55, bgcolor: transparent"]Latest[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, width: 49, bgcolor: transparent"]From[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl29, bgcolor: transparent"]1.83[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Grimethorpe Colliery[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]6/5 fav[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]7/2[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl29, bgcolor: transparent"]3.14[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Foden's[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]5/2[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]11/4[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl29, bgcolor: transparent"]6.21[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Fairey (Geneva)[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]11/2[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]100/30[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl29, bgcolor: transparent"]9.31[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Tredegar[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]8/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]4/1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl29, bgcolor: transparent"]11.13[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Brass Band of Central Florida[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]12/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]66/1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl29, bgcolor: transparent"]21.18[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Redbridge Brass[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]25/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]40/1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl29, bgcolor: transparent"]40.00[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Carlton Main Frickley Colliery[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]25/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]11/2[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl29, bgcolor: transparent"]30.00[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Leyland[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]28/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]12/1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl29, bgcolor: transparent"]43.20[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Rothwell Temperance[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]50/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]33/1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl29, bgcolor: transparent"]56.84[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Reg Vardy[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]50/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]33/1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl29, bgcolor: transparent"]54.00[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl27, bgcolor: transparent"]Exchange Communications Whitburn[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"]66/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, bgcolor: transparent"] [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
     
  15. Paddy Flower

    Paddy Flower Active Member

    So then, who's going up tomorrow?

    Here's Paddy final prices for you to ponder...

    [TABLE="width: 536"]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl29, width: 188, bgcolor: transparent"]League win pay-out[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl27, width: 382, bgcolor: transparent"] [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl31, width: 55, bgcolor: transparent"]Latest[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl26, width: 49, bgcolor: transparent"]From[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl24, width: 40, bgcolor: transparent"][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl30, bgcolor: transparent"]2.21[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl28, bgcolor: transparent"]Grimethorpe Colliery[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl32, bgcolor: transparent"]6/4 fav[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]6/5[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]7/2[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl30, bgcolor: transparent"]3.49[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl28, bgcolor: transparent"]Foden's[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl32, bgcolor: transparent"]3/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]5/2[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]11/4[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl30, bgcolor: transparent"]3.78[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl28, bgcolor: transparent"]Fairey (Geneva)[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl32, bgcolor: transparent"]100/30[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]11/2[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]100/30[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl30, bgcolor: transparent"]9.15[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl28, bgcolor: transparent"]Tredegar[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl32, bgcolor: transparent"]9/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]8/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]4/1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl30, bgcolor: transparent"]12.06[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl28, bgcolor: transparent"]Brass Band of Central Florida[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl32, bgcolor: transparent"]14/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]12/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]66/1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl30, bgcolor: transparent"]19.38[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl28, bgcolor: transparent"]Leyland[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl32, bgcolor: transparent"]20/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]28/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]12/1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl30, bgcolor: transparent"]21.60[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl28, bgcolor: transparent"]Carlton Main Frickley Colliery[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl32, bgcolor: transparent"]20/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]25/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]11/2[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl30, bgcolor: transparent"]27.00[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl28, bgcolor: transparent"]Redbridge Brass[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl32, bgcolor: transparent"]28/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]25/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]40/1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl30, bgcolor: transparent"]41.24[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl28, bgcolor: transparent"]Rothwell Temperance[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl32, bgcolor: transparent"]40/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]50/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]33/1[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl30, bgcolor: transparent"]51.55[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl28, bgcolor: transparent"]Reg Vardy[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl32, bgcolor: transparent"]50/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"]33/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"] [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD="class: xl30, bgcolor: transparent"]63.00[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl28, bgcolor: transparent"]Exchange Communications Whitburn[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl32, bgcolor: transparent"]66/1[/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"] [/TD]
    [TD="class: xl25, bgcolor: transparent"] [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  16. Flumpet

    Flumpet New Member

    Well...been over 24 hours and no comments about the contest!! Any news, gossip, thoughts? First time ever (I think I read on 4br) that a band won the title without winning either discipline
    I wasn't there, but by all accounts, Tredegar played very well, and I'm guessing will be perhaps a little dissapointed with the low marks on entertainment, especially since they won the entertainment prize last year. It seems that cross-dressing is entertaining then :p
     
  17. Mark Time

    Mark Time New Member

    I went with daughter and her friend. Enjoyed Carlton Main, Fairey and Grimethorpe none of whom won! Great day out though enjoyed it.
     
  18. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    I'll post up my usual thoughts and info on the bands when I've had time to arrange my scribbles in to some format.

    Here's one for thought, Nick Childs and Black Dyke led the remembrance of Roy Newsome, with a March on the big screen. In the waffle Nick called it the biggest entertainment contest in the world - if that's what he believe's why aren't he and his band taking part??
     
  19. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Excuse me if I'm missing something obvious here, but isn't it because Dyke famously don't enter entertainment contests on principle?

    Or are we debating whether that's a reasonable stance?
     
  20. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Tredegar I thought a bit hard done by on the entertainment, but maybe a bit fortunate on music, so I guess that one evens itself up. Either way, a very enjoyable showing and some good new works. Lovely lyrical playing from the top man too.

    Interesting choice on the solo prize. It takes some bottle to give it to a slow melody over a player who made a creditable job of 'neath dublin skies', but then it was an exceptionally well-crafted slow melody.

    Faireys and fodens both great performances. I though the use of the jazz/peashooter trombone in Fodens set particularly enjoyable as it really showed the different tone of the instrument.

    The Americans were an interesting set - for me the best stage craft of the day - and lots of good walk-on-walk off playing, a lot of it from memory. Disappointingly, despite an obviously high level of ability, they seemed almost entirely lacking in middle sound when compared with the domestic bands. I don't mean to be unfair on their horns/baritones etc. I think it was more a matter of the cornets getting a little bit wild and blowing over the top of them, but I certainly missed qa good deal of depth and balance. And they did have a very hard cornet section. Even the flugel playing was very trumpet-like.

    One of my main reactions was one of surprise on how many bands turned up with five basses.... or even six in the case of Rothwell. There can be no argument about where the best basses prize went though. The addition of a Mr Greswell to Grimey's ranks helped them win that one hands down on only four.

    There were a couple of things that just didn't come off for me. Whitburn's tuba-quartet arrangement of a bass-guitar solo (I forget which) suffered badly from having the two Ebs pointed out at the audience, and the two BBs pointed at the back of the hall. I dare say the balance was fine around the stand, but it sounded a bit odd in the hall.

    Honourable mention for Reg Vardy's top man as well. One of the better solos on the day for my money, and a very sympathetic band accompanying her. Never threatened to overpower the solo line at all but held all the detail.

    Sandy Smith's Waistcoat Vs Philip McCann's Jacket = no-score draw. One has to wonder how big the bet was for them to wear those..... ;)

    (Oh, and some nupmty arranger from yorkshire way got some poor effort of a sop solo played.....)
     
  21. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    For what there worth, and because I am a complete Geek, here's what I thought of the day, and who played what and how etc etc. .. .
    I was writing in the dark, so apologies if names of pieces etc aren't 100%.

    9.30 (ungodly hour).

    Redbridge.

    Psalm 148, Let Everything Praise.
    Love Theme from Serdico Paradiso (Feat, Cello & Cornet)
    Night in Tunsia
    Scherzo for Motorbike & (Brass) Orchestra
    Go Lovely Rose
    Dance of Vengance

    Religous feel to the start of the program, nice playing, tuning suffered early doors. Cello!! a lovely piece this, as with all things mic'd up the balance didn't quite work, in the duet with the cornet you lost the cornet a touch, however the Cello was beautifully played and was a lovely item. Night in Tunisia had a lively feel, great style in the Latin/Swing changes, solo's were OK. Scherzo, was very neat and tidy, a touch safe, It was accompanied by a film (mock Indiana Jones - from where the piece originally came) Jeremy Wise playing the part of Indy - tongue in cheek bribery of adjudicators etc, very funny to me! the audience were generally laughing along too. Go Lovely Rose is a Eric Whitacre piece, fantastic stuff, not always accurate playing, shame overall a great gentle piece, accompanied by the poem above on the big screen. To finish the chairs went away and we had a full Ballet scene in The Dance of Vengeance, not as slick as last years Bolero as all the players had lyre's and music, however it was very effective, especially sat on the upper levels where you got a good view of the whole stage.. . .

    Fariey.

    Get Back
    Neath Dublin Skies (Euph Solo)
    Bonny Brier Bush
    Triplets
    Roman Festival

    An hour down and the 2nd band taking the stage, looked like it might be a long day!
    Taiko Drums, mystic opening in this arrangement of Get Back, some sloppy tuning early doors too, Effective opener but seemed a shame not to make more of a show of the huge Taiko drums. . . Euph Solo - Matthew White - a PLC number that showed the slow effortless tone of the soloist, and then the technical wizardry, very jolly, but didn't always sit together and the odd blemish appeared, another brilliant performance from Mr. White though! Bonny Brier Bush?? was OK! Triplets, featuring the perc team who were awesome throughout the performance, Snare Drum (brushes) kept time, Marimba & Vibes played the backing and the Xylo solo sat on top was nothing short of perfection, there was a small brass team accompanying too. Roman Festival (Respighi) a big finish and the band playing very well.

    Fodens.

    Malageuna
    Amazing Grace (Trom Solo)
    March "The Temptation"
    Moto Perpeteum
    Dance of the Red Priests from Checkmate
    Finale from Beethoven's 7th.

    Lively start, up tempo and good style and percussion. Amazing Grace, Trombone (John Barber) Awesome deep south arrangement Trom playing was fantastic at the beginning and end, however in the middle, JB moved across to the Piano and a 3 verse impro on piano, didn't quite work somehow though the piano playing was a good, the sound didn't blend well with the band. The march featured various "odd" bars, off tempo feel, 7/8 3/4, very well played. The closing items were introduced together, Red Priests was sublime playing, one of the best slow pieces of the day and then in the fast and exciting Beethoven to finish. Some great sounds and good playing throughout, Program on paper looks varied enough, but I didn't feel that way sat listening, felt a little flat.

    Tredegar.

    Invisible Drum Kit
    There's a Great Day Coming
    Martyr's Dance
    Pie Jesu - Rutter - Flugel
    Dance McCarbe Variations - Violin
    The Smile
    Knightindale Dances (Best New Arrangement Winner) Matt Hall.

    Copy of classic Mr Bean sketch to open, was very well done, but it didn't fit in to the first piece, a great idea but forced in and didn't flow through, as drummers got going in to sing sing sing style drum solo the cornet entered, drum solo had to peter out into a light hi-hat swing and then stop as the cornet came in. . . soon joined by other cornets in this Negro Spiritual style 12 cornet opener, very very good stuff. The rest of the band joins and in to the Martyr's Dance, again quality all round! Lovely quiet moment and some great Flugel playing in the Requiem. Dance McCarbe (Ben Tubb) with mic'd up Violin, was very effective although once again the balance didn't always work, we lost the violin when the band opened up, very classy and dark though!! The Smile (one of my favourite pieces of the band) Written by Matt Hall, in memory of his Granddad (featuring his Favourite Hymn's, songs and his old regimental march tune), it featured a few players dotted around the stage and it was sublime moment. The finisher was a set of dances using the tune from knightingale sang, very cleverly dealt with and very well played. A great program for me, kept you interested throughout, could have been just as good without the little perc starter. . .

    Carlton Main.

    Bring Back Leroy Brown
    Make Our Garden Grow (Crt & Euph)
    Old South and Plantation Patrol (Spike Jones)
    Shenandoah (crt solo)
    Sabre Dance
    Grand Fanfaria (Venezuelan brass ensemble)

    Bring Back Leroy Brown (Again? I didn't work three years ago when Grimey did it) tired old repeat, except for the addition for banjo's (played for about 5 beats barely enough time for them to be picked up!). Crt & Euph feature next, classy from both ladies yet again. Spike Jones inspired running around, men in costumes etc. . . playing was okay, Marimba playing was good, guest xylo was a little loose sadly. . . Cornet Solo, oh wow! Kirsty Abbots perfection, brought the house down, it was accompanied by media pictures of Shenandoah National Park in the US, the pictures were lovely, but the playing needed no help, a worthy winner of best soloist. Sabre dance and to finish the Grand Fanfaria "borrowed" from the Venezuelan Brass Ensemble, it got a big build up from Frank, and it was very nice, just not quite uplifting enough for me. I suppose I was disappointed the programming was a little old hat (especially the opener, and men in silly costumes) having Leigh Baker on board at Carlton I was expecting a better blended program with great variety, maybe my expectation was the problem.

    Lunchtime - and 30 mins, hardly enough time to queue for a bun, or dash over the tyne for a tray of chips from the market - maybe they could stretch this to 45?? having said that, we got a tray of chips, ate whilst we walked to be back in 30 mins. . .just made it! Then sat for another 10 mins waiting for the next band!! Still the chips were nice!

    Rothwell.

    Hard to get a list of pieces here, it was a "dances" themed program, all strung together on the big screen.

    Mambo
    Samba
    Tango
    Cha Cha
    Ceilidh
    Polka
    Trepak
    Greek Dance (Wilby)
    Danza Orgastica.

    Opening number felt to go at a pace that some of the soloists found too much, and it didn't have a good Mambo feel. Samba Next and the feel was the same, it wasn't toe tapping although the playing settled down. Tango Appasionate (Piazzola) slightly better feel and lovely playing from featured crt, trom struggled abit, shame cos the stuff he did get in was good. Cha Cha from West Side Story not enough style, Ceilidh - featured a quartet, Sop and Euph were the stars and both added some class, again not enough "feel" you didn't find yourself tapping your toe. . . Polka, nice tidy playing featured xylo duet which was mostly accurate and well played and quick Trepak and then in to Greece for Wilby's Duelling Euph's who's playing was very good, but they didn't play the part of those at a duel. Still Danza Orgastica to finish, been done before recently and I'm sorry to be saying yet again, had no feel, was too fast and didn't create that feel. . . I think the idea behind the program was a good one, but the realisation was below par, too many Latin numbers back to back to start with for me, all got a bit samey.

    Florida.

    Reality
    Wheat Dance from Estanzia (Ballet)
    Fandango
    Amis Salgero's
    Oblivion (flugel solo)
    Finale from Estanzia (Ballet)

    Stage cleared of all but a few chairs, bit stepping stools arranged . . . Fabulous opening number, lead from the drum kit, Latin number with a great feel and style to it, Next came the Wheat Dance, Vibes and Marimba set in middle of stage, entire band gathered around the outside in a huge semi circle. . very atmospheric. Fandango, stylish and with some flair from the MD. Next came another jazz feature from Arturo Sandoval (trumpet screamer), again authentic kit really helped feel and drive, Flugel delivered tune with ease, trom impro, but then MD picks up cornet and starts blazing top Z's a plenty, you could help by tap your toe, fans of Sandoval would have been impressed, finished (i'm told) with the MD holding a F# above super C!! jaw dropping from everyone! Flugel Solo, Oblivion, another interesting formation on stage encircled Flugel player, playing brilliantly, and then the Finale from the ballet Estanzia was a solid and impressive climax. The second program of the day the held your attention right throughout, great playing with only the odd slip here of there.

    Reg Vardy.

    Peel Park (from Lowery Sketch Book)
    In Perfect Peace
    Slavonic fantasy (crt solo)
    Arctic Funk
    Finale from Titans Progress

    All delivered in a big band formation, which was odd given the "straight" nature of the program. Peel Park was okay, pretty tidy, In perfect peace was dedicated to Roy Newsome, beautifully played, hints of intonation problems around the middle of the band though. Cornet solo, excellent soloist, and tidy from everyone, she must have run Kirsty close to best soloist award. Artic Funk, very well handled and a bit of variety, Titan's Progress, I'm sure they played much better than this when they won on this piece earlier this year. . . Not what we've seen from RV over the last few years, very safe, static program and bit high brow even!

    Whitburn

    Brooklyn
    Immortal Bach
    Slava
    A Portrait of Tracey
    Entry of the Gods into Valhalla.

    Young Blood brass band opener, good feel, little rough and again tuning issue's, tuba feature near the end was loose too. The Bach featured the band in 5 groups gathered round candles on black tables (shame the lights didn't go lower to show the effect) the 5 groups create dissonances as they play their sections in close cannon but all resolves to the end, different but likeable. Slava, we have technique and were gonna prove it to the adjudicators style piece! Tracey - a Jaco Pastorious number, arranged by Simon Dobson (conductor for the day) featuring 4 basses each playing the part of one Bass Guitar string, a sound theory, but i didn't find much favour in the hall, and presented with the 4 tuba's facing each other with the MD in the middle (ish) which meant we got lots of Eb's (facing out) and sod all BBb's (facing away), bad planning. Valhalla, big blow, tuning a problem once or twice. Difficult to know what to say, They tried the new stuff, it was out there and pushing the boundaries a little and they mixed it with a real tried and tested finisher but it didn't all come together. Alot of Audience comment was very negative about the Bach and the Bass feature.

    Grimethorpe.

    Devil's Dream Hoedown
    Aria from the Merry Widow (Sop solo)
    Gresford
    Feel So Good (Flugel solo)
    Baba Yaga segue
    Great gate of Kiev.

    Hoe down was nice and tidy, Sandy Smith in the middle as Brian Grant was taken ill last week (hope he's ok). Kevin Crockford playing Andi Cook's arrangement, Classy soloist, even though he had to hang on a little on the last note, but the whole thing didn't feel comfortable, almost as though band, MD and soloist weren't quite on the same wavelength, Gresford, featured classy quartet and then descant from cornet on balcony. Flugel Feature was pretty well played, and a change of pace. Baba yaga and Great Gate, well. . . . . very nicely played, but we've been here so many times before. Someone behind me asked what I thought, I said at the time, great playing but I hoped they didn't win as it wasn't furthering the boundaries of brass band entertainment. You couldn't deny the quality though. Last years Kings of Invention, this years Kings of retro

    Leyland.

    Top Cat
    Imperial Echoes
    People (trpt John Doyle)
    Got to get you into my life
    Melita
    Allegro Viva (finale from opera, missed name!)
    Top Cat

    Band started on stage clicked in by drummer, Top Cat, Richard Evans certainly is that here, although sadly you might also say. Imperial echoes, the slowest quick march you will ever hear, well played. People (trpt solo), again very well played, great work from JD especially as he was playing sop, then on to Bb trumpet and back to Sop! Lovely hymn arrangement followed by four trumpets stage right, four troms stage left beatles number that was stylish and well done, big finisher. now I think here's where opinion will vary greatly. It Was not that entertaining, however the banter between every piece between Dick and Frank was great. The program has been put together based around Dick's memories so that gave lots of material for the two old friends to go at, and they played it for all it was worth, the band were superb, and it was a nicely varied program (a little plain at times) but with another man in the middle that program would not have won, or another man as compère for that matter!

    Well there you have it, as best as I can remember, a blow by blow account of the days contest, with some of my thoughts thrown in. Special mention to the Rochdale Borough Youth band who performed their "Birds and Bees" program to sadly less than half a hall, they played brilliantly, great Tuba soloists to start, and a fantastic young lady on horn playing Lark in the Clear Air!

    It's all opinion at this style of contest and that's what makes it so interesting. My Top 6 would have been, Tredegar, Florida, Leyland, Grimethorpe, Fodens, Fairey.
     
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