Area Opinions

Dan

Member
MRSH said:
Dan said:
I absolutely love Coventry Variations.

With you on this. I thought the piece was fantastic too.

Once the percussion parts had been......ermmm......"sorted" I enjoyed playing it as well. Although I did find some of the percussion writing a little difficult to comprehend in places. But, overall, thoroughly enjoyed it.

Argghhhhhhhhhhhhhh, was hoping it wasn't that noticeable!! :oops: :oops: I was actually the most composed I have ever been walking onto an area stage (normally get v v v nervous), and then things started to go downhill :shock: The very kind man who was helping moved the timps put his hand on one of the gauges and slipped all the notes down to the bottom. Whoever you were Mr Helper - sorry for snapping at you twice on the stage for doing that, I know you didn't do it on purpose!! Then left music and sticks on the other side of the stage. Held the whole band up. Yeah, yeah yeah, excuses, excuses :oops: :oops:

Nevermind, it was still great fun and wish we could go and do it again!!! :D :D
 

Dave Payn

Active Member
14 years worth of test pieces suitable for 4th section? Not necessarily based on whether they're 'good pieces of music', (they are to me, but that's just my opinion!) how's this for a selection to choose from. Some that are easily 4th section standard and some that would provide a challenge. As far as I'm aware, none of the following have been used in the 4th section areas over the last ten years (though I'm sure someone will correct me!)

Malcolm Arnold: Little Suite no. 2 (not 1! that was used in 1995)

Philip Sparke: Tameside Overture

Gilbert Vinter: Simon Called Peter

Eric Ball: Second Rhapsody on Negro Spirituals

Boellmann arr. Ball: Suite Gothique

Bryan Kelly: Divertimento (used for 3rd section a while back, but not over challenging for 4th section IMO)

Eric Ball: Call of the Sea

George Hespe: The Three Musketeers

Denis Wright: Tam O Shanter's Ride

Goff Richards: Saddleworth Festival Overture

Edward Gregson: Variations on Laudate Dominum

Hamish MacCunn arr. Glyn Bragg: The Land of the Mountain and the Flood

Philip Sparke: Triptych

Peter Graham: Dimensions

Vaughan Williams arr. Frank Wright: English Folk Song Suite

Percy Fletcher: Labour and Love

Rimsky Korsakov arr. Drake Rimmer: Scheherezade

Gordon Langford: Sinfonietta

Eric Ball: Devon Fantasy (that'll please Kirmat! ;-))

Philip Sparke: A Celtic Suite
 

Will the Sec

Active Member
<See DP1's list of Pieces>

I'd query a few of those, Dave, but your swift response emphasises my point. Why did it need to be Partita again :?: (Great Piece though it is :!: )

Let's see. Negro Sprituals was 1992.

Wasn't Call of the Sea at the Nationals a year ago?

Three Musketeers? Daa Daa Daa Da Da ***

*** Insert split/tuning/intonation problem here

Simon Called Peter is a doozy, except for the need for Glock ("Bells" according to the score) and Xylophone. All this would mean is a lot of bands would play it without percussion, and that would be unfiar on those whose percussion players put in a load of effort.

Tam O'Shanter's Ride? It would be a very good fourth section band that could play that well.

Laudate Dominum: Overly percussive - too much lost if bands play without percussion.

Celtic Suite? Fourth Section? Not sure about that either.

Similarly, Malvern is oft trotted out for 3rd/4th Section own choice contests, but it's rarely played well.

That said, give DP1 another 10 minutes to think, and he'll doubtless come up with another 30 suggestions!
 

Dave Payn

Active Member
Will the Sec said:
<See DP1's list of Pieces>

I'd query a few of those, Dave, but your swift response emphasises my point. Why did it need to be Partita again :?: (Great Piece though it is :!: )

Let's see. Negro Sprituals was 1992.

Wasn't Call of the Sea at the Nationals a year ago?

I said 'not used at the areas over the last ten years' ;-)

Three Musketeers? Daa Daa Daa Da Da ***

*** Insert split/tuning/intonation problem here

Happens a lot in 4th section contests.....

Simon Called Peter is a doozy, except for the need for Glock ("Bells" according to the score) and Xylophone. All this would mean is a lot of bands would play it without percussion, and that would be unfiar on those whose percussion players put in a load of effort.

Tam O'Shanter's Ride? It would be a very good fourth section band that could play that well.

How to improve the 4th section, part 1. (I nearly suggested Moorside Suite! ;-))

Laudate Dominum: Overly percussive - too much lost if bands play without percussion.

Trouble is, I know there's an issue here, (also with your comment about Simon Called Peter) but the longer we keep denying that percussion is a very vital part of late 20th and 21st century banding, and efforts be made to adopt that throughout the sections (after all, wasn't there an explosion of lottery grants a few years ago?) then this attitude will prevail.

Celtic Suite? Fourth Section? Not sure about that either.

Similarly, Malvern is oft trotted out for 3rd/4th Section own choice contests, but it's rarely played well.

To be fair and brutallly honest, most lower section contests I've been to have only about 4 ot 5 good performances anyway, whether it's a 'safe' choice or otherwise.

That said, give DP1 another 10 minutes to think, and he'll doubtless come up with another 30 suggestions!

I can't! I'm spending too much time trying to justify my initial suggestions! ;-) ;-) :lol:

Remember, for all the moans about Vizcaya being too hard for the third section, it was used for the fourth section Nationals in 1995. You mentioned that the test piece selectors 'played safe' this year. I admit that some of my choices would be less than 'safe' but isn't that what you're advocating? Where do you draw the lines between 'safe' 'a good test' and 'tooooooooo risky!'?
 

GJG

Well-Known Member
Dan said:
The very kind man who was helping moved the timps put his hand on one of the gauges and slipped all the notes down to the bottom. Whoever you were Mr Helper - sorry for snapping at you twice on the stage for doing that, I know you didn't do it on purpose!!

I wouldn't beat yourself up about it too much, Dan. It was most likely the same person who said to us, very helpfully, as the band was going on stage, "Come on! Hurry up! You've only got four minutes, and your percussion have already taken three of them!"

:roll:

G.
 

WhatSharp?

Active Member
<sarcasm> Aren't those officials SUCH a HAPPY bunch! :D </sarcasm>

Jeez whilst we were signing on I thought "Christ thats the LAST thing I need, nervous already and they make me feel SOOOO much better".

Mind you they did a pretty good job this year, seemed to go fairly smoothly.
 

PeterBale

Moderator
Staff member
WhatSharp? said:
Mind you they did a pretty good job this year, seemed to go fairly smoothly.
Apart from the hold-up while we took away the staging that was nowhere near large enough to accommodate the bands and percussion for "Coventry Variations" :oops:
 

IYOUNG

Member
Thinking some of those stated above are a little optimistic for 4th section

Tam O Shanter IMHO would be way too hard as would be V on LD and Suite Gothique can't possibly be a serious suggestion can it?
Great peices as they are having just about got my band to start thinking about contesting the last thing we need is a test peice way out of everyones league.

Of course we need to challenge but lets be sensible please

Anyone who heard all 17 bands in section 3 at stevenage on Sunday will know what I mean.
 

Will the Sec

Active Member
Where do you draw the lines between 'safe' 'a good test' and 'tooooooooo risky!'?

Maybe that is the problem - if it's too easy you get 33 bands. If it's too hard you end up with 15. If you want to pick apiece that doesn't invoke cries of "You can't do this without percussion" (like Lydian Pictures, other wise an immensely popular choice) then you pick Partita. So, what is a challenging but not horrendously difficult pick for the fourth section that hasn't been as a set piece recently? I'll give you Dimensions as your starter for 10.

I don't know what the answer is, but if they pick the Shipbuilders for the 4th Section Nationals, I'll scream!
 

Dave Payn

Active Member
Will the Sec said:
Where do you draw the lines between 'safe' 'a good test' and 'tooooooooo risky!'?

Maybe that is the problem - if it's too easy you get 33 bands. If it's too hard you end up with 15. If you want to pick apiece that doesn't invoke cries of "You can't do this without percussion" (like Lydian Pictures, other wise an immensely popular choice) then you pick Partita. So, what is a challenging but not horrendously difficult pick for the fourth section that hasn't been as a set piece recently? I'll give you Dimensions as your starter for 10.
Which I mentioned. Nevertheless, how do 4th section bands hope to progress if, as you say, test pieces are chosen with what I would consider to be 'too many' worries about percussion in mind? We have to start accepting that percussion are as valid in a brass band these days as the the brass players themsleves and if enough pieces at lower section level are chosen with that in mind, I believe the sections as a whole will, hard though I appreciate it will be for some financially (and even storage wise -a problem that has prevented Fulham from buying some decent timps as I'm sure you know, Will), catch up with the idea. Harsh though it may sound, I don't think (if ever the idea has entered the test piece selectors' heads) pieces should be chosen with potentially the least percussive equipped band in mind, which does seem to be the general attiude of this part of the thread.

This probably sounds highly contradictory, saying that percussion are as valid as the brass one minute, but bemoaning the idea that we should shy away from using otherwise challenging and enjoyable pieces because of a perceived lack of percussion in the lower sections. Quite the opposite. It is because I feel that percussion should be considered as our equals more generally that bands should be encouraged to do what they can to be able to meet the criteria of the test pieces rather than the other way round.

God, that was a long rant!

:)
 

Will the Sec

Active Member
I think all the points raised lead me to conclude that there will always be an element of playing safe in picking the fourth section test piece, especially the year after rampant negative criticism (albeit aimed at another section).

Boadicea is still on offer...

[/quote]
 
[quote="Dave PaynThis probably sounds highly contradictory, saying that percussion are as valid as the brass one minute, but bemoaning the idea that we should shy away from using otherwise challenging and enjoyable pieces because of a perceived lack of percussion in the lower sections. Quite the opposite. It is because I feel that percussion should be considered as our equals more generally that bands should be encouraged to do what they can to be able to meet the criteria of the test pieces rather than the other way round.


:)[/quote]

I quite agree dave. I think it's ridiculous that because some bands don't have percussion, the hard work done by those players in bands that DO have percussion is nullified. Why shouldn't a fourth section band have a percussion section? If they are serious about contesting, surely they are looking for promotion. At what stage do they then look for their percussionists to allow them to compete in the higher sections? Apart from anything else, where are young/inexperienced percussionists supposed to learn their trade? Finally, why aren't bands without percussion marked down in contests? If they turned up without a sop or bass trombone say, that would be taken into consideration would it not. Percussion is as important a part of any band as any other part and the sooner all sections accept this, the sooner we may have even some more good, lower section new writing.

Bad morning - feel better now! :oops:

I saw a trumpet sticking out of the ground the other day, so I rooted it oot!
 

Dave Payn

Active Member
Come on, let's get the rest of Fulham Brass Band joining in on this one! ;-) ;-) ;-)

(Can you imagine it.... 'London band takes over popular brass forum' :lol: )

:lol:
 

Rebel Tuba

Member
Vizkaya - totally awesome, one of my favs since playing it at Pontins some light years ago.

However, this year is our first shot at the top flight and didn't think we would get close to Tristan, what a piece with some mainly great scoring.
 
Dave Payn said:
Come on, let's get the rest of Fulham Brass Band joining in on this one! ;-) ;-) ;-)

(Can you imagine it.... 'London band takes over popular brass forum' :lol: )

:lol:

Our bid for world domination has begun!! :twisted:
 

Dave Payn

Active Member
Paul McLaughlin said:
Dave Payn said:
Come on, let's get the rest of Fulham Brass Band joining in on this one! ;-) ;-) ;-)

(Can you imagine it.... 'London band takes over popular brass forum' :lol: )

:lol:

Our bid for world domination has begun!! :twisted:

Well.... just Harrogate would do! ;-)
 
Dave Payn said:
Paul McLaughlin said:
Dave Payn said:
Come on, let's get the rest of Fulham Brass Band joining in on this one! ;-) ;-) ;-)

(Can you imagine it.... 'London band takes over popular brass forum' :lol: )

:lol:

Our bid for world domination has begun!! :twisted:

Well.... just Harrogate would do! ;-)

There is nothing else in the world until Sept 10th! :twisted:
 

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