Gaelforce! Is it a test piece?

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by stephenmrry, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    Ok i may or may not be right about this but i was under the notion that Gaelforce by Peter Graham was not a test piece. However I have just found out that the test piece for the Irish National Brass Band Championships is to be Gaelforce. Now i was not aware that this was a test piece and was wondering could people clarify this for me or offer an opinion on what u think of the decision to use it as a test piece. It in my opinion is a fantastic piece(i am bit biased as it is based on three great irish tunes) but as a test piece????????:confused:
  2. Chris Thomas

    Chris Thomas Member

    On a hot stage with a dry mouth and a heart-rate of 160, any piece becomes a test piece!

  3. It is a great piece of music, and to call it a "test piece" in my opinion downgrades any piece of music.

    Was it initially written for Fodens Band?

    IMHO no it should never be a "test piece" - but a great finisher for any concert.....
  4. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    Yea was written for fodens they asked peter graham to do it think they asked him after hearing the coors play two pieces which they wanted composed and he came back with Gaelforce. Totally agree is brill concert finale but not a test piece
  5. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I believe the Central Ohio Brass Band played it as part of their own choice program at the North American Brass Band Championships in the Honors section in 2005 on the way to 2nd place (behind James Madison).
  6. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly Active Member

    A test piece is whatever the contest organisers decide to use as a test piece.

    "In Memoriam RH" has been set for Cambridge in 2007, a fantastic piece of music but not written as a test piece and very different in style to what people tend to think of as test pieces eg pieces by Peter Graham, Philip Wilby, Philip Sparke etc. (just to make it clear, no adverse criticism of Peter Graham, Philip Wilby, Philip Sparke etc. is implied or intended by that comment).

    And Gaelforce is far from being an easy piece to play.
  7. Ali

    Ali Member

    The same has to be said of Shine as the Light as well!!!!
  8. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    Does it matter?!
  9. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    Ok lots of points made there firstly yes it is a difficult piece to play as principal cornet i would be very cocky to say it wasnt but wat about the inner parts they are not exactly the most challenging lets be honest. Secondly it does matter like if it was put as a regional piece what would people say then of course would be uproar. it goes from bad to worse with the decision not to register with EBBA meaning we are competing for really nothing when there is only three bands in the contest at most. We will have to play an own choice as well and more than likely we will do a 12 minute test piece but then to play a six minute concert piece it just makes no sense at all really!
  10. garsop_2000

    garsop_2000 Member

    Gaelforce - test or no test

    Hey Strongbow what's the crack?

    Just read your mail on Gaelforce and also got your text the other morning sorry there was no reply, working nights but when I read your text it nearly knocked the wind out of me Gaelforce 10 !!

    It's our associations choice to select their chosen piece for senior brass or section 1, whatever they call it, I preferably don't see it as a testpiece in the major work mould but more of an entertaining piece/choice for a concert like the other posts have stated,... it not easy of course I fully agree with Chris Thomas's comment,... you know we ran through it a few times but it never really stayed in our folders,...

    Now finally look at this year back in April in Dublin the chosen piece was some welsh thing called Snowdon Fantasy (sorry Chris and any other welsh persons on TMP), and the competing bands selected Aoteroa, Plantagenet’s (Us) and Music for a festival as their own choices, now I’m sure everyone will agree that these are test piece's and they may also agree that Snowdon is a test piece, but it really didn’t test the bands (sorry Mr. TJ Powell),... and no disrespect to Mr. Sparke but neither will Gaelforce. Look at what the adjuctcator wrote about our band when we selected Dimensions as our own choice, so what will the adjuctcator next year say about the choice in Gaelforce been used as a test, will he/won’t he say about the standard of pieces been used in Ireland,

    Suggestion and you take this to plum and the committee in DBB that the association change the format, maybe on a trial basis something in line with the Europeans b section, but without the testpiece, though bands if wished could select a major work Snowdon or Gaelforce along with others. And while your at it mention it to Mickey as own choice to run though Shine as the light, it only needs a bit of dusting off !!

    In respect to all those hard working people attached to IABCB, it’s a shambles of a setup, always was. Ireland (Rep of) is going nowhere on the map,… and I’d put money on it the chosen piece for test next year was picked by a wind/concert representative.

    Bring back the pieces of yesterday era when DBB were playing A Moorside Suite, Entertainments, Tournament for Brass, Pageantry, California legend, Suite gothique, Resurgam, these were good pieces which made all members rehearse and enjoy coming to band.

    What’s their next trick ?

    Talk later

    PS - in no way am i putting down or getting at any composer/arranger, Mr. Sparke's music is great along with everyone else's it's a pleasure to play and listen to,.... it's just the wrong choice.
  11. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    Hehe no need to worry about Mr Sparke with regards to Gaelforce, it was written by Peter Graham! Easy mistake to make!! Welcome to tMP, awesome first post, look forward to reading more!!
  12. garsop_2000

    garsop_2000 Member

    Gaelforce - test or no test


    Whoops !!

    Thanks for the correction of composer,... i just got excited and all mixed up and said hell yeah, give it a lash, give them all a lash, though whoever sparke or graham, they do write great music and enjoyable to perform,....
  13. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Not sure that it's necessary that every test piece be purpose-written as a test, however, Gaelforce is a bit shy of the normal length for modern test pieces, isn't it?

    Also, the original post in the thread says that it's to be used as a test at the Irish National Championships. I must profess ignorance of the Irish contest scene, so I'll ask a couple of questions that might seem a little simple:

    Is the Irish Championships in sections?

    If so, what section is using Gaelforce as the test?
  14. garsop_2000

    garsop_2000 Member

    Gaelforce - test piece

    No need to protest your ignorance of the Irish (Republic) contest scene, got to make sure i put in the Republic part as there are two scenes, NIBA (Northern Ireland) & IABCB (Republic), with huge differences.

    The Irish (Republic) Scene is in sections, they are section 1, 2 & 3. Section 1 been the senior one or as it was once called championship, section 2 been the old intermediate and section 3 been junior.

    Gaelforce is been used in section 1 (old championship section) for 2007. Also 2 years ago maybe 3, the association picked Snowdon Fantasy as test for section 2 and this year in April 2006 it was picked for section 1.

    Explain that one !!
  15. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    Yea we have three sections but hey lots not get carried away cause banding in our country is probably worse than its ever been with three bands competing usually in first section and then you would be lucky to see one or two in any of the other sections. As garsop said 2006 test piece in 1St. Section was used two years previous as a 2nd section piece. Now if you where to anaylise banding and compared the choices from previous years 2001- William Tell Overture 2002-Fantasy for Brass Band 2003- Variations for Brass Band 2004- Resurgam 2005- Purcell Variations 2006 Snowdon Fantasy 2007- Gaelforce now i know the number of bands have gone down but in my humble opinion the standard is still quite good so this might explain my reason for been a little annoyed at whats going on!
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2006
  16. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    I do remember some years ago while at the agm for the Irish Association for Bands, suggesting that the test pieces should be aligned with the UK area or National pieces but it wasn't adopted.
    Advanced == 2nd Section
    Senior == 3rd Section
    Intermediate == 4th Section
    Junior == Own choice.
  17. On the Horn

    On the Horn Member

    Come on lads, Gael force is still a hard piece - I know it will give you lads a run for your money!!
  18. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    To continue my post.. got lost in Edit!!

    I seem to remember that there are no promotion / relegation rules either. We won (I think) 3 Senior titles in a row during the 80's with St Patricks from Waterford (now City of Waterford Brass).
    Test pieces we played during that spell include Shipbuilders, Promenade Overture, Provonce Overture, Tameside Overture, Facets of Glass, Suite Partita
    For our own choice we either played the test piece from the previous year, or pieces such as Malvern Suite, Colliseum etc..
  19. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    Yea i know that its not easy but a test piece is suppose to test all the players in the band and lets face it some of the parts are not exactly the hardest. It would be a worthy test in an entertainment contest but it is a bit short to really be classed as a test piece i think!
  20. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    @ garsop_2000 - Thanks for the explanation!

    I'm sure that choosing a test-piece is probably the most difficult thing to do for a contest committee, but it seems like the lack of consistency is over the top in this case.

    @ On the Horn - difficult doesn't necessarily mean good test in terms of a test piece for a contest situation. Particularly when the association seems to be regressing - using the second section piece from a previous year in the first section this year - not showing much confidence in your bands. Even if the association thought that the standard in the first section warranted that level of difficulty, there are plenty of other pieces on the same level that would not have garnered the same amount of controversy simply because this one was used so recently in a lower section.

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