Forest of Dean Solo, Duet, Quartet & Ensemble Championships 2009

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Kiz7, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Kiz7

    Kiz7 Member

    Details of the 4th Forest of Dean Music Festival which will be held on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July 2009 at Lakers School, Coleford, Glos have been announced.

    Established in 2006, up until this year the Festival was known as the "Forest of Dean Solo, Duet, Quartet and Ensemble Championship" and it catered only for brass players. It quickly grew to being the largest event of its kind in the whole of the UK and in 2008 had over 160 entries.

    This year the event has expanded to a full two-day music festival with classes for many other disciplines including Recorder, Woodwind, Strings, Vocal and Piano.

    Also new this year is the "Forest of Dean Young Musician of the Year" competition which has two categories - Forest of Dean Junior Young Musician for brass, woodwind and string instrumentalists aged 13 and under who are a minimum of grade VI standard and Forest of Dean Senior Young Musician for brass, woodwind and string instrumentalists aged 14 to under 19 who are a minimum of Grade VIII standard.

    Brass classes will be held on Sunday 5th July, all other disciplines including the Forest of Dean Young Musician of the Year 2009 competition will be held on Saturday 4th July. Adjudicator's will be announced in due course. The closing date for entries is 1st May 2009.

    For schedules and further details please contact the Festival Organiser, Ms Kristyann Symonds, on 01594 562778 or email

    (Details of the Brass Classes can also be viewed on my website on the “solo Championship” page)
  2. Kiz7

    Kiz7 Member

    The adjudicator's for the Forest of Dean Music Festival Brass Classes are Mr Philip Harper and Mr Sean O'Neill.
  3. Kiz7

    Kiz7 Member


    Philip Harper graduated from the University of Bristol in 1994 before going on to take a Masters Degree in Composition and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education. He had a successful performing career and was the principal tenor horn of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and the Sun Life Band in Bristol, as well as winning through to the Brass Final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 1991. Between 1996 and 1998 he lived in Japan and was a guest soloist with most of the ‘British-style’ brass bands during this time.

    Philip began his conducting career in 1998 and by 2001 had become the Musical Director of the Flowers Band in Gloucester, a position he held for nearly eight years. During this time Philip guided the band to wins at the West of England Area, the Grand Shield, Butlin’s National Championships and four times at the Yeovil Entertainment Contest. Moreover, with his many new compositions and arrangements he brought a refreshing, innovative approach to concert presentations which led brass band website to comment: “Ever since Philip Harper took over the helm ‘Flowers’ has become one of the most entertaining bands around.”

    Philip is now in demand as a guest conductor and works with bands of all abilities, from non-contesting bands to the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. He is particularly popular as a Youth Band conductor and has had many repeat bookings with both the Gwent Youth Band and the Cornwall Youth Band.

    Philip is a prolific composer, having won the Huntley Cup for Composition and the Prize for ‘Best New Composition’ at Brass in Concert twice, his music is now played all over the world. He has been commissioned by many bands, including the Black Dyke Band and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. His website gives more detail and a chance to listen to excerpts.

    Philip also works as an adjudicator, he is a member of the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators, and he is the Music Editor of the famous ‘Wright and Round’ publishing company.


    Sean O'Neill studied Tuba at the Royal Northern of College Music, Manchester, before being appointed Principal Tuba with the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, a position held for 25 years, covering all the major operatic repertoire, performing and recording with such artists as Pavarotti, Carreras, Sutherland and Bryn Terfel. Sean has performed as a guest with many of the major UK orchestras, including the Royal Opera House, London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic, Halle, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Bournemouth Symphony, Scottish Chamber, Ballet and Opera Orchestras as well as the RTE in Dublin. He was also the first to successfully introduce the "Cimbasso", an instrument preferred by Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi, to main stream British orchestral brass sections.

    Sean's brass playing roots emanate from Silkier Silver Band in Scotland where under the guidance of the late Dave Young, he went on to become Solo Tuba Champion of Great Britain, both at Junior and Senior levels before going to study at the RNCM.

    Sean has developed a parallel career in music education and has founded both Brass and Wind Bands at Monmouth School and Caerleon Comprehensive Schools guiding both to National honours. Sean is a former tuba tutor at Wells cathedral School and presently holds teaching positions in tuba performance at Cardiff University and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. He was appointed Senior Brass Tutor for Gwent Music Support Service in 2006.

    Sean has had notable success conducting young wind and brass ensembles and directed Cardiff County & Vale of Glamorgan Youth Wind band to Gold Awards in the London International Wind Band Festival in 2004 and New York Wind Band Festival in Carnegie Hall in 2006. The Band have been invited back to Carnegie Hall to give the Gala Concert of the 2010 New York Wind Band Festival with David Childs as guest soloist.

    Sean has been Chairman of the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales Advisory Panel since 2006 and is also a guest tutor to the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
  4. Kiz7

    Kiz7 Member

    The 4th Forest of Dean Solo, Duet, Quartet & Ensemble Championship took place on Sunday 5th July 2009, at Lakers School, Coleford, attracting over 165 entries from as far afield as Aberystwyth, Cumbria, Crewe, Shropshire and Tongwynlais. Local bands Lydbrook, Lydney Training and Forest of Dean Area Youth were also well represented. The adjudicators were Mr. Philip Harper and Mr. Sean O’Neill who both did a sterling job throughout the busy day. The official accompanist was Mrs Jacquelyn Bevan.

    The adjudicators commented on an extremely high standard of playing across the sections when announcing the results and shared many useful and insightful comments with the competitors to assist them on their musical journey. Special thanks must go to the very dedicated team of helpers who gave their time so willingly to make the contest such a resounding success and to the Friends of Forest of Dean Area Wind Band who provided the catering.

    The results of the 2009 contest are as follows:

    Primary Slow Melody Championship
    1 Maizie Morgan, Lydbrook Training Band, 95
    2 Owen Gillard, Upper Rhondda Band, 94
    3 Stephen East, Forest of Dean Area Youth Brass Band, 93

    Junior Slow Melody Championship

    1 Dafydd Sion Rees, Penweddig School, 96
    2 Hollie Jones, Upper Rhondda Band, 95
    3 Emily Harding, Drybrook Band, 94

    Intermediate Slow Melody Championship

    1 Emma Hocknell, Wem Jubilee Band, 95
    2 Otis Williams, Forest of Dean Area Youth Brass Band, 91
    3 Josh Jones, Upper Rhondda Band, 90

    Open Slow Melody Championship

    1 Glen Philp, Upper Rhondda Band, 96
    2 Nick Birch, United Co-op Crewe, 95
    3 Steve Schramm, Lydbrook Band, 94

    Primary Solo Championship

    1 Maizie Morgan, Lydbrook Training Band, 90
    2 Samuel Calway, Forest of Dean Area Youth Brass Band, 87
    3 Arran Clarke, Aberystwyth Youth, 86

    Junior Solo Championship

    1 Meleri Pryse, Penweddig School, 96
    2 Grady Hassan, Aberystwyth Youth, 95
    3 Emily Harding, Drybrook Band, 92

    Intermediate Solo Championship

    1 Ben Stratford, Forest of Dean Brass, 96
    2 Otis Williams, Lydbrook Training Band, 94
    3 Rory Rolfe, United Co-op Crewe, 90

    Open Solo Championship

    1 Gareth Hann, Tongwynlais Band, 98
    2 Stuart Pollard, Lydbrook Band, 97
    3 Glen Philp, Upper Rhondda, 96

    Youth Duet Championship

    1 Gwern Penri & Dafydd Sion Rees, Penweddig School, 91
    2= Rhun Penri & Meleri Pryse, Aberystwyth Youth, 90
    2= Joshua Edwards & Peter Jones, Penweddig School, 90

    Mixed Duet Championship

    1 Rory Rolfe & Andy Rolfe, United Co-op Crewe, 93
    2 Samantha Ford & Kerry Ford, Lydney Training Band, 91
    3 Rhiannon Symonds & Lori Warsop, Forest of Dean Area Youth Brass Band, 90

    Open Duet Championship

    1 Alanah Moulsdale & Glen Philp, Upper Rhondda Band, 94
    2 Steve Schramm & Robert Morgan, Lydbrook Band, 93
    3 Nick Birch &Alan Birch, United Co-op Crewe, 91

    Open Quartet Championship

    1 Large Bore, United Co-op Crewe, 95
    2 Relative Harmony, United Co-op Crewe, 93
    3 The Soundtracks, United Co-op Crewe, 88

    Youth Quartet Championship

    1 Whitecross G & T, Whitecross School, 91
    2 The Cream Puffs, Forest of Dean Area Youth Brass Band, 89
    3 Aberystwyth Joshua, Aberystwyth Youth, 88

    Open Ensemble Championship

    1 United Co-op Crewe, United Co-op Crewe, 93
    2 Quintessential Brass, KixMusic, 91
    3 Aberystwyth Youth, Aberystwyth Youth Band, 88


    Best Girl in Class 1 Maizie Morgan, Bb Cornet, Lydbrook Training Band
    Best Boy in Class 1 Owen Gillard, Eb Bass, Upper Rhondda Band
    Best Girl in Class 2 Hollie Jones, Bb Cornet, Upper Rhondda Band
    Best Boy in Class 2 Daffyd Sion Rees, Bb Cornet, Penweddig School
    Oldest Solo Competitor Robert Morgan, Bb Cornet, Lydbrook Band
    Most Promising Junior Performance Emma Hocknall, Tenor Horn, Wem Jubilee Band
    Most Outstanding Performance Gareth Hann, Bb Cornet, Tongwynlais Band

    Taking place on Saturday the 4th July as part of the Forest of Dean Music Festival was the fiercely contested new “ Forest of Dean Young Musician of the Year” competition. The adjudicator was Mrs. Sarah Hall and the results are as follows:

    Forest of Dean Junior Young Musician 2009 – 13 years and under

    Winner Rhiannon Symonds, Euphonium
    Rhapsody for Euphonium by James Curnow,
    Funk from 20 Dances for Solo Euphonium by Vizzutti

    Runner Up Adele Franghiadi, Flute
    Poco Allegro by Stanley,
    Study in C Sharp Minor,
    Polka by Madeleine Dring

    Forest of Dean Senior Young Musician 2009 - 14 to under 19 years

    Winner Lori Warsop, Euphonium
    Song For Ina by Philip Sparke,
    Euphonium Concerto Mvt 1 by Joseph Horovitz

    Runner Up Benjamin Horton, French Horn
    Concerto No 1 in D by Mozart
    Give Me the Simple Life by Bloom
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  5. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    We had a wonderful time at this Festival! Given that Festivals generally aren't well attended by brass players it was great to have such healthy competition. It's only the second time our band has done a q'tet comp and we're looking to the next - watch out Skelmanthorpe!!! ;)

    It's helped us no end - we're having to look at our individual playing, it's building our confidence and giving us something fresh to aim for. The adjudicator's comments were truthful and constructive, and we certainly will take on board their comments. It was smashing to see Philip Harper sit and clap and smile after every performance, and really take an interest in the competitors. Good show! :clap:

    Everyone was really friendly - we spoke to lots of locals who somehow gathered that we weren't locals ourselves (Mmm maybe the accents gave it away..) and the youngsters and families at the comp itself took great interest in the fact that we came from afar! We had a smashing night out the previous night and hope to go back next year, maybe making a whole weekend of it for the band. If we can we'll encourage our Youth Band to go too. I even managed to get through a slow melody without feeling like I was having a nervous breakdown! :D

    Well done Kristyann - I hope you get more and more players each year! :clap:

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