Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by iancwilx, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    Just as a hypothetical exercise, if you were on the Committee that chooses Area Test Pieces, which 5 pieces would you have chosen for 2004.
    It'll be interesting whether you go for old or new, crash bang wallop, or more sympathetic harmonius sounds.
    I think.........
    Champ - Contest Music - Heaton
    1st - Lowery Sketchbook - Wilby
    2nd - Kenilworth - Bliss
    3rd - Main Street - Ball
    4th - Little Suite - M. Arnold

    I'm not criticising the chosen pieces at all - just out of curiosity.
  2. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    I'd choose 5 pieces written by me, coz I'd earn lots of money. Not that I'm suggesting that plays any part, of course! :twisted:
  3. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    Champ - Jazz P.Wilby
    1st - Resurgam E.Ball
    2nd - Sword, jewel & Mirror (no idea)
    3rd - Triptich P.Sparke (i think)
    4th - Pennine Moors - Darrol Barry

    Good tests and good music!
  4. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    triptych, sparke ;)

    very good piece.
  5. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    I don't know which piece's i'd choose, but i'd choose pieces I would be sure would push the bands and something that they'd enjoy.
    If the test piece was too easy the band would get bored easily and they wouldn't improve their abilities as a band.
  6. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    That piece is wicked!!!!!!!

    Champs-Jazz P.Wilby
    1st-Paganini P.Wilby
    2nd-Partita P.Sparke
    3rd-Sunset Rhapsody-E.Ball
    4th-Suite Gothique E.Ball
  7. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    were you in NYBB when it was played?

    ignore me, yes you were! was superb by the way, although obviously lacked me playing bass trom ;)
  8. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    Hey! - Some really interesting stuff here - keep it coming !!
    ( Maybe also contribute to my thread on "Test Piece Comparisons")
  9. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    I think I'd probably have something like:

    Champ: Year of the Dragon (for the music)
    1st: Sounds / the land of the long white cloud
    2nd: Spectrum
    3rd: Shine as the Light
    4th: Dimensions

    ps, that is with ten minutes thought, I'm sure some will be unsuitable for one reason or another!
  10. Bigchap

    Bigchap New Member

    What would you choose for your are test piece

    Good idea for a thread but surely Lowry, Paganini for 1st section, Sparke's Partita and Spectrum for 2nd and Shine as the Light for the 3rd is people "having a laugh".
    The area is the only contest that provides all bands with a chance. It must test the best but also give all bands in that section a chance. They are all great pieces (and there may be an argument for making them National Final pieces) but no band wants to "Show its bottom" at the area and all of those pieces may do that.
    For me:
    Championship Section: Harrison's dream (awesome and thus far under-used)
    1st section: Men & Mountains (Gregson)
    2nd section: Journey into Freedom (Ball)
    3rd section: Music for a Festival (Sparke)
    4th section: Jersey Fantasy (R Thorne, grovel grovel)

    Big Chap
  11. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    Geez!!!! Being a horn player I wouldnt have thought you'd put it as 4th section!!!!! a lot of champ bands struggle with it!!! wicked final movement!

    In my opinion I think Men and Mountains is pushing it for 1st section aswell.. some really tricky solos going round.
  12. Di

    Di Active Member

    Played Suite Gothique in the fourth section at Pontins in, :roll: 1983.
  13. Bigchap

    Bigchap New Member

    I forgot to mention, and Nadia/Aidan is absolutely right, Suite Gothique is a massive piece and not a good 4th section test.

    Big Chap

    PS - Men and Mountains has a great trombone part and playing in a 1st section band I therefore have a vested interest.
  14. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    We were in a 1st section contest last year and the winners (not us) played Paganini really well!!!!!!
  15. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Some very ambitious choices here!

    Lowry Sketchbook for 1st... Paganini for 1st... Sparke Partita for 2nd - I think you've got the wrong composer; this is a Champ section piece!... Suite Gothique for 4th... Spectrum for 2nd... Men and Mountains for 1st...

    All of these are being under-rated by at least a section, some of them more. Harrison's Dream for the Championship, despite it being a fantastic piece, is also pushing it a bit, as is Journey into Freedom for the 2nd...

    Various others are ineligible because they've been recently used as Area pieces:

    Main Street (3rd, 1999)
    Jazz (Champ, 2001)
    Sword, Jewel and Mirror (2nd, 2001?)
    Pennine Moors (4th, 2000ish?)
    Sunset Rhapsody (2nd finals, 2003) - haven't we had enough Eric Ball for now?
    Sounds (Champ, 1996)
    The Land of the Long White Cloud (1st, 1995?)
    Spectrum (1st, 1996)

    Devon Fantasy is another Eric Ball one, if I recall correctly; can't be giving Mr Thorne all the credit!

    My suggestions:

    Champ: Odin (Arthur Butterworth)
    1st: King's Messenger (George Lloyd)
    2nd: Evocations (Martin Ellerby)
    3rd: Salute to Youth (Gilbert Vinter)
    4th: Devon Fantasy (Eric Ball)

    but these are probably too tricky as well! It's hard this, isn't it?

  16. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    salute to youth is way too hard for 3rd section, i know 1st setions who coudn't play it!

    however big chap, you say spectrum is too hard for 2nd section (1st not too long ago, and i've heard 3rd section bands play it...), but then put journey into freedom in as second section? and shine as the light isn't hard, just sounds impressive (my youth band can play it).

    lowry would be a challenge, but achievable for first section bands, although paganini is too hard in my opinion.
    i thought the problems would have been sounds and year of the dragon from mine!
  17. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    sorry :lol: i didnt mean to upset anybody, :oops: I thought this was just for a bit of fun!
    I've only been playing for 4 yrs (3 of them in a youth band so big that I never got to play at the area) and 1 yr in a 1st section band and NYBB so i've only been to the area once, and don't no that many test pieces! Apart from sunset rhapsody, I've played all of these pieces in the last year and are are my personal favourites!!!!! :lol: :D
  18. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    i dont think paggannins too hard we played it at preston contest earlier this year and were 2nd section and we did a quite reasonable performance of it!!

    i like oceans and pagganini and purcell kalidascope, partita. i dont really know that many either :cry:
  19. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Choosing pieces which are very demanding for the lower sections would seem to have two very negative consequences:

    1) the less able bands in that section will be excluded. Once a band withdraws from the Area contest it can have serious consequences for that band, and I'm sure that all of our bands have been through sticky patches now and then. Our choices should be designed to help bands put together effective performances on which they can be judged, and if you want to razz through Paganini with your third section band there are plenty of own choice contests to attend. Let's have challenges by all means but there can be no greater disincentive than an unattainable outcome.

    2) like it or not, selecting a work for the Area contests gives that piece a 'grading' in the same way that bands are graded. Since 'Spectrum' and 'Land of the Long White Cloud' were chosen for 1st section, Championship bands are reluctant to play them and I personally feel that's a great shame because there is music in these pieces which only the very best bands seem to find. There are musical challenges as well as technical ones, and 'Journey into Freedom' (for example) still tests the best. I'd hate to see it become a piece which only ever received 'second section' performances.

    There ought to be a framework for choosing area pieces. I'd like to see a rotation system so that each year there is:

    one new commission
    one work pre-1960
    one work 1960-1980
    one work 1980 - present
    one orchestral transcription

    This would ensure plenty of variety for everyone and maintain a steady turnover of repertoire, without neglecting areas of our musical heritage. It would also provide a continuing stream of new works to enrich our repertoire.

    So my choice for 2005 might be something like:

    Championship: Between the Moon and Mexico (Sparke)
    1st section: Essay (Gregson)
    2nd section: Downland Suite (Ireland)
    3rd section: Beethoven's 5th (arr Denis Wright)
    4th Section: New work from James McFadyen

    I'd be interested to see what selections others could put together using my framework, and what interesting music emerges from the shadows.

  20. Top Section - Chivalry (Ellerby) :p

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