Butlins Mineworkers Championship 2006 Test Pieces Announced

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Janet Watkins, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    The test pieces for the 2006 Butlins Mineworkers Championship have been announced.

    Full details on 4BarsRest here:

    In brief:

    Championship Section
    St. Magnus - Kenneth Downie
    First Section
    Purcell Variants - Peter Meechan
    Second Section
    Prometheus Unbound - Granville Bantock
    Third Section
    A Royal Mile Suite - Alan Fernie
    Fourth Section
    A Cavendish Suite - Ian Raynor
  2. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Our band have been talking about entering this contest next year and suddenly Im hoping we dont get the winning result we want at the Nationals. St. Magnus is a pig of a piece and Purcell aint exactly easy, especially not a month before an area. Good choices selection comittee, do you have any say over the area selections??????? I am hoping so
  3. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    OK I don't know "Promethius Unbound" at all. Great title for a test piece I have to say - is the piece as good as the title??

    Don't know the 3rd and 4th section pieces but Purcell and St Magnus are both excellent choices :tup
  4. Frontman

    Frontman Member

    Mineworkers Contest.

    I tend to think that some of you are mixing up Purcell Variants by Peter Meecham, with Kenneth Downie's Purcell Variations. Apparentley Purcell Variants is a new piece that has been mentioned for the areas.

    Regarding Prometheus Unbound, what a magnificent choice, not one for the faint hearted, but intonation and staminer will be for-front in the adjudicator's mind. Remember The Moor of Venice?

    I seem to recall Royal Mile Suite being used over the last few years for a contest but connot remember when and in which section, perhaps someone can help me with the answer?

    Cannot comment on Cavendish Suite as I have never heard it.

    As for St Magnus, Kenneth Downie at his finest!

    Whatever happens, best of luck to all that enter.

    See You There.
  5. jonford

    jonford Member

    I heard Black Dyke play Purcell Variants last year, I think It was at the Bridgewater Hall (Great Northern Arts Festival). I remember it was a nice piece but can't remember much about technical stuff, Black Dyke made it sound easy anyway! :)
  6. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Prometheus Unbound is fantastic. One of Granville Batock's best. Unlike Moor Of Venice, which I loathed. I'm sure Mr Meechan will give us a clue about his piece. ;)
  7. JR

    JR Member

    I totally agree re Prometheus - and you're right about Moor of Venice (how on earth are we to enthuse and engage young people if pieces like that are chosen?)

    Only 2 problems regarding Prometheus - percussion - don't bother coming until the last week! and, I'm afraid it's just asking too much for 2nd Section (again)
    I think we keep mis-judging this grade pretty badly (witness Variations for Brass Band - I conducted it at one area and judged it at another - it was simply a mistake to expect average 2nd section bands to do musical justice to it and I think Prometheus falls into the same category.

    Performing St Magnus at the New Zealand championships earlier this year was one of the best things I've ever done - I think it's terrific - getting a piece like that up - now that's how you motivate young people!

    john r
  8. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm interesting comments about Promethus...

    I was talking to someone today and when I asked him what the piece was like his reaction was "****** hell mate, good luck!" so I'm guessing it would be quite challenging....

    What I do find interesting about this is that the second section this year has had (in the major contests) RVW Variations, Belmont Variations, and now Promethius...all older pieces, all quality pieces (assuming Promethius is as good as I have been told it is) and all stretching the limits of the average second section bands. Not sure why we've ended up with a year of really tough pieces. Perhaps "the powers that be" have decided there is too much of a jump between second and first sections...
  9. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    The problem with these older pieces is that they were written at a time when both women and percussionists knew their place - the kitchen sink ;) They do demonstrate that it is possible to write great music without all the bangs crashes and whistles that someone like Peter Graham seems to need to use.

    It will push most 2nd section bands to their limits, I suspect. There are some very difficult challenges throughout most of the piece. However, unlike a lot of modern 'challenging' music it's also very lyrical.
  10. Anyone know the prize money for first section at butlins?

  11. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Last year's 1st Section prizes:

    1st. Pleasley Colliery Challenge Trophy AND £1200 AND 1st Section Champions Banner (Wooo! A banner, get in!)
    2nd. £800
    3rd. £500
    4th. £375
    Highest Place CISWO Band: The CISWO Challenge Trophy

    I get the impression that Pennine intend to make the most of their pending relegation??!! ;)
  12. postie

    postie Member

    Just as a matter of interest I was on Prima Vista Music's website last night. I noticed that Purcell Variants 1st section piece for Butlins isn't actually available until the 1st of August.
  13. Pete Meechan

    Pete Meechan Member

    I've only just seen this...sorry!!!

    Purcell Variants was composed last year for Black Dyke and is dedicated to their MD, Dr. Childs.

    It was first performed at the Great Northern Brass Arts Festival last September and has since recieved many performances world wide.

    As the title suggests, it is based on music by Purcell - one of my favourite composers - and imparticular, his Funeral Music for Queen Mary. This music has been used in many different guises, notably in the film, A Clockwork Orange.

    It is in 3 movements, typically fast - slow - fast.

    The first movement introduces the listener to the famous melody and is followed by a solo cornet fanfare (Which is interupted by horn calls). The piece then starts on its path, leading us through various re-creations and variants of this haunting tune to a strong climax, and then on to the mysterious codetta.

    The second movement reflects on how Purcells music was used for his own funeral, just a short time after the Queen's. Various solo, duet and trio passages, accompanied by a simple texture in the band make up the outer sections, whilst the polyphonic middle section gives a chance for a band to show off their quality of sound. The movement ends with a slow diminuendo snare drum solo, inspired by a vision of Purcell being loweref into his grave.

    The last movement begins in a fast and furious manner, with the band in unison. This is interupted, when the original Purcell theme make a haugnting re-appearence. The band uses this as a platform to build up a series of jazz-inspired 'licks', or melodic ideas, before taking us back into the main material for the movement. This section builds towards the last section of the piece - the triumphant return of the original Purcell theme.