Areas 2009.


The test-piece for the Championship Section:
Salute to Youth (Gilbert Vinter)
Introduced with the booklet notes to the 2009 Regional CD on the Doyen label, reproduced courtesy of World of Brass

The Music Panel’s choice of the brilliant Salute to Youth marks next year’s centenary of the birth of Gilbert Vinter and the 40th anniversary of his death.

Written in 1961 and first used as a regional championship test-piece the following year, this three-movement suite was inspired by the composer’s son, Andrew, who was then 17.

The movements are entitled Resilience, Romance and Relaxation, the latter marked so as to evoke the rough and tumble of youthful exuberance.

The piece was used as the set test for the qualifying rounds of the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain in 1962.

Salute for Youth costs £50.00 (plus £4.00 plus P&P) for a full set of parts and a score, or £20.00 (plus £2.00 P&P) for a score. Available from all the usual band dealers or, in case of difficulty, from Studio Music Company. Telephone 01582 432139. Fax: 731989. E-mail: Address: Cadence House, Eaton Green Road, Luton, LU2 9LD.

About Gilbert Vinter
Gilbert Vinter was born on 4 May 1909 in Lincoln. He played bassoon in the BBC Wireless Band and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and taught at the Royal Academy of Music. During World War II, he was a member of the Royal Air Force Central Band and later served with several RAF bands. After the war, he was Staff Conductor with the British Broadcasting Corporation and many of his works were written for brass band. Among his finest works was The Trumpets, which is scored for a large brass band, chorus and bass soloist.

Vinter died in Tintagel, in Cornwall, on 10 October, 1969.

The test-piece for Section 1
Pentacle (Graham Cole)
Introduced with the composer’s notes to the score, reproduced courtesy of Faber Music

The music is modern and originally conceived as a test-piece, but developed in the composer’s own stylistic way.

The origins of the Pentacle go back to remotest historical antiquity and have been honoured by many civilisations. To the Jewish people, it symbolically designated the Pentateuch, the Five Books of Moses. To the followers of Pythagoras, it was called the Pentalpha and composed of five interlaced As or alphas. The ancient Celts considered the five-pointed star to be a symbol of life and of the divine human. This ‘star of life’ became stigmatised as a sign of heretical thought and eventually as something evil. In more dangerous times, to be caught in possession of a pentacle could very well endanger life. Despite being over 8,000 years old, the pentacle became the most famous symbol of witchcraft.

The pentacle is an image of an upright, five-pointed star drawn inside a circle with a single continuous line making the five points equally spaced. To a witch or magician, it is symbolic of the mysteries of creation. Pentangles are used in rites and rituals for consecration, evocation, transformation and banishment. Traditionally, each of the five angles has been attributed to the five metaphysical elements of the ancients. These provide the titles of the sections, which are to be played as one continuous movement, as follows:

1. Earth: (lower left hand corner) represents stability and physical endurance.
2. Wind: (upper left hand corner) represents intelligence and the arts.
3. Fire: (lower right hand corner) represents courage and daring.
4. Water: (upper right hand corner) represents emotions and intuition.
5. Quintessence: (at the topmost point) represents the all and the divine spirit.

It is interesting to note that five-fold symmetries are rarely found in non-organic life forms but are uniquely inherent to life, as in the form of the human hand, a starfish, flowers, plants and many other living things. This pattern of five exists even down to a molecular level. Five therefore embodies the form and formation of life - the very essence of life - and this is reflected in the way the piece has been composed.

There are many uses of the number five in the composition, some more obvious than others. Quintuplet and other combination rhythms based around five are used frequently throughout the piece. Much of the harmony is based on the motifs being a fifth or combined fifths apart. There are five sections to the piece and many of the phrases are five bars in length. Each movement follows each other based around a harmonic cycle of fifths and has a time signature based on each of the numbers one to five.

Bi-tonal melodies and harmonies that rapidly shift between major and minor scales, as well as triads, are used extensively throughout the piece. This gives the music an ambiguity of tone, time and place - echoing the use of the pentacle across the many factions of history.

Pentacle was conceived as a brass band test-piece, but I have interpreted the conventions of that genre in my own stylistic terms. For example, the passages using pulsating polyrhythms, certain ‘scalic’ combinations and tone painting – such as the twisting figures heard in the movement Wind, the rippling of the movement Water and the flutter tonguing in the Fire section. Whilst certain sections of the piece are highly dissonant and use irregular beat groupings and layers (the chaotic, semi-aleatoric climax in Fire, for instance), I have also brought a strong lyrical element to the slow sections and have included the traditional ‘big finish’.

Percussion requirements for Pentacle
Timpani: 3

Percussion: 2 players.
Player 1: Glockenspiel, xylophone, mark tree, bongos, medium tam-tam (28”). Performance note: At bar 238, the composer asks for the tam-tam to be bowed. The player is requested to use a well-rosined double bass bow on the back-edge of the instrument.

Player 2: Snare drum, tenor drum, suspended cymbal, cowbell (fixed), vibraslap and whip.

Pentacle is available from usual brass band suppliers, as well as from Faber Music. The set, score and parts (item code: 0-571-56949-8) are £69.95. Scores (item code: 0-571-56948-X) are also available separately at £19.95. To order, telephone: 01279 828982. Or log on to the Faber Music website.

About Graham Cole
Graham Cole gained a Master of Music with distinction at Leeds University in 2004, specialising in composition and film scoring under the supervision of Professor Philip Wilby. In 1998, after completing his first music degree and teacher training at the University of Huddersfield, Graham Cole was appointed to the music staff at Heckmondwike Grammar School. As well as teaching music, he is Course Leader for A- level Music Technology and conducts the school orchestra, for which he arranges a wide range of music. He has also arranged concert tours abroad for the groups, including to Florida in 2006. Graham Cole also enjoys playing trumpet and flugel for big band, the electric guitar and studio recording.

His involvement with brass bands began with Drighlington Band, for which he played solo horn until 2001, since when he has devoted more time to composing and teaching. However, Graham Cole was reunited with Drighlington Band in 2006, when he recorded and produced the band’s double CD.

Leading bands in Graham Cole’s native West Yorkshire have played his original compositions and arrangements, including Hepworth (Cookson Homes) and Drighlington bands. His Brass Quintet No. 2 was performed by Fine Arts Brass in 2004 and his work, Seven Wonders of the World, won the 2005 Clocktower Composition Competition, for which Lindley Band gave the winning performance.

The test-piece for Section 2
New World Sketches (Daniel Price)
Introduced with the composer’s notes to the score, reproduced courtesy of Kirklees Music

New World Sketches is a descriptive journey through the landscapes and images of America in the early part of the 20th century. The images and caricatures chosen epitomise all that is the ‘New World’, and the musical language draws upon influences of sound and technique that American composers have introduced into the musical vocabulary.

The work is cast in three movements as follows:

The work opens with a busy street scene from 1930s New York. The hustle and bustle of the city can be heard through percussive scoring of car hooters, trams and pedestrians going about their business. There is the sound of a Broadway show at Figure B and a two-bar glimpse of a Tom and Jerry cartoon, just before Figure D, where the music enters a change of both mood and neighbourhood into a Harlem jazz club, or a speak-easy. A reprise of the main theme (seven bars before Figure F) heralds a return to the sidewalk, which brings the first movement to a close. A two-bar quote from George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue adds to the authenticity of this ‘symphonic jazz-style’ movement.

The Deep South
As the sub-title suggests, the second movement of New World Sketches evokes images of the Deep South of the 1890s, beginning with a simple spiritual. Played first on unaccompanied solo euphonium, the melody is then joined by bass trombone, depicting a slave ‘work song’. The tempo increases at Figure 1 and a resounding tubular bell announces the arrival of a steam locomotive. The music is marked ‘ritmico’ and care must be taken to ensure that the ‘laziness’ in the melody is not lost. The train’s ‘love chime’ whistle can be heard on back row cornets and trombones.

The final movement steers away from the jazz influences synonymous with America’s musical history and turns towards the music of Aaron Copland for inspiration. The opening unison rune, played on trombones and cornets, accompanied by poly-chords (Ab major superimposed on Bb major), creates a ‘big country’ sound, whilst the fast pseudo-Irish jig, accompanied by ‘bodhran’ (played on floor tom), provides the energy and flair of a rodeo. Section B is a slightly more relaxed folksong portraying images of cowboys at a campfire, or village folk dancing a cakewalk at a party.

The folk song evolves rapidly in this middle section and the choral scoring represents that of a small church. The contrasting nature of the way in which the melody is scored is, perhaps, the preacher ‘wisening’ us to the frivolities and sins occurring at the village dance. A reprise of the opening rodeo music and a quotation of the opening city motif bring New World Sketches to a close.

New World Sketches is only available from Kirklees Music. A full set is £55.00 and a score is £25.00 (+£2.00 P&P). Telephone: 01484 722855; fax: 01484 723591. Or e.mail: Address: Kirklees Music, 609, Bradford Road, Bailiff Bridge, Brighouse, West Yorkshire. HD6 4DN.

About Daniel Price
Born in the Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire, Daniel showed an interest in music from an early age.

Starting on trombone, he soon moved on to tuba, which became his main instrument, and he joined his local youth band, Perscoran Brass. After gaining a few years’ experience, he joined Alcester Victoria Silver Band and, for a short period, City of Coventry Band.

At high school, Dan Price also learned double bass and clarinet, and developed a keen interest in composition and arranging. After leaving school, he embarked upon a career as an hotelier but continued to take his music seriously. In addition to playing with the many town bands in his area, he also started his own 1920s and thirties dance band, using his own transcriptions and arrangements. He developed his jazz musicianship further during the late nineties through playing sousaphone, double bass and bass saxophone in a number of ensembles, including the internationally acclaimed Pasadena Roof Orchestra.

In 2003, the composer decided to return to full-time education and studied for a music degree at the University of Salford. In the final year of his degree, he gained his first real taste of recognition as a composer/arranger when he was asked to arrange That’ll Do from the film Babe for Black Dyke Band. He was also runner-up in The Mouthpiece March competition in 2005 with The Traditional, and finalist in Brighouse and Rastrick’s 125th anniversary composers’ competition, in 2006, with Celebration Prelude.

In 2007, Dan Price’s 4th Section test-piece, An Elgar Portrait, was chosen as the set work for the Swiss National Brass Band Championships and has subsequently been chosen to test the 4th Section at the Pontin’s championships, Prestatyn, in October 2008. Earlier in 2008, he completed a Masters Degree in composition under the direction of Peter Graham, and was awarded a distinction. Dan Price is currently working on several exciting projects alongside some of the UK’s top brass bands.

The test-piece for Section 3
The Once and Future King (Andrew Baker)
Introduced with the composer’s notes to the score, reproduced courtesy of Jagrins Music Publications

The Once and Future King is a suite of three movements, each inspired by an Arthurian legend. The title is taken from King Arthur’s legendary dying words and gravestone inscription: “Bury me in Britain, for I am the Once and Future King.”

The first movement, Tintagel, concerns the famous Cornish promontory said to be the birthplace of King Arthur. In Arthur’s time, Tintagel was part of the court of King Mark of Cornwall and the music imagines a visit by the King of the Britons to his Cornish neighbour and the place of his birth. Reflecting the ceremony and drama of such an occasion, the music is strongly antiphonal, contrasting the more strident fanfares of the cornets and trombones with the warmth of the saxhorns and tubas.

The second movement, Lyonesse, takes its inspiration from the mythical land that once joined Cornwall to the Isles of Scilly. One legend claims that, after the disastrous battle of Camlan, in which Arthur and Mordred were both killed, the remnants of Arthur’s army were pursued across Lyonesse to Scilly, whereupon Merlin cast a spell to sink Lyonesse behind them and drown the pursuers. Some say the bells of the 140 churches inundated that day can still be heard ringing. All the material in this movement derives from two short motifs heard in counterpoint at the very beginning, which are intentionally dissonant and bi-tonal in character.

The final movement, Badon Hill, takes its title from the legendary site of Arthur’s last battle with the Saxons and is a lively toccata based on the medieval secular song L’Homme Armée (The Armed Man). The music uses a number of medieval devices including ‘hocketing’ (passing melody from one voice to another). Although the actual site of Badon Hill is unknown, it has been associated with Badbury Rings in Dorset and a lot of evidence now points towards the town of Bath. Arthur’s victory at Badon Hill was the last great victory for Celtic Britain over the Saxon invaders but, in the end, it only set the conquest back by a few decades.

Arthur himself was dead by then, betrayed and defeated by his nephew, Mordred, but it is said that Arthur only sleeps and will return in a time of dire need - hence the legend surrounding Arthur’s dying words: “Bury me in Britain, for I am the Once and Future King”.

Percussion requirements
Timpani: 3 timpani; tambourine (shared)

Percussion 1: Suspended cymbal, side drum, tambourine (shared), tam-tam (shared), triangle, tenor drum (or low tom), high tom.

Percussion 2: Clash cymbals, glockenspiel, bass drum, suspended cymbal, tam-tam (shared).

Mute requirements
All cornets, baritones and trombones will require metal straight mutes.

All cornets and trombones will require cup mutes.

The Once and Future King is available direct from the publisher, Jagrins Music Publications. A full set of parts and a score is £60.00 (+ £5.00 P&P). Send a cheque, for the correct amount, to: Jagrins Music Publications, 14 St John’s Drive, Ton Pentre, Rhondda Cynon Taff. CF40 2RQ. South Wales Alternatively, telephone 01443 433618 (24-hour answer ‘phone) or log on to

About Andrew Baker
Andrew Baker began playing the cornet with Northop Youth Band in North Wales. After graduating in Music from Nottingham University (where he studied composition with Nicholas Sackman and conducted the University Wind Band and Student Sinfonia) he worked in orchestra administration with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra, assisting with premières of works by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, James MacMillan and Michael Nyman among many others. He was for a time a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales as well as principal trumpet of the North Wales and Clwyd Youth Orchestras, and the Nottingham University Philharmonia.

Andrew Baker has played at most of the major band contests and, from 2003-2005, was the Musical Director of Blackley Band in Manchester. His composition, The Well of St. Winefrid, for viola, cello and piano, was premièred by the Opus 3 Piano Trio in Chicago, in March 2003. He also won the Morecambe Band Centenary Composition Competition in 2004 with the concert overture, The Cistercians.

Until January 2008, Andrew Baker played for Middleton Band in Manchester, which commissioned and recorded his composition, The Sword and The Star. In November 2007, his test-piece, The Once and Future King, was the set test-piece for the Section 3 of the Swiss National Championships in Montreux and, in January 2008, Gavin Pritchard won the Best Soloist prize at the Butlins Mineworkers’ Championships playing Kopanitsa, commissioned from Andrew for the occasion. Andrew currently conducts Coppull and Standish Band near Wigan.

The test-piece for Section 4:
The Talisman for Brass Band (Frank Hughes)

Introduced with the composer’s notes to the score, reproduced courtesy of MMI Music

This is the first time that a work from this composer, a native of the north west of England, has been selected for the Championships.

The Talisman was initially conceived as a quartet for the then Foden’s Motor Works Quartet. The idea for the piece came to Frank Hughes during a rainstorm when he was with Foden’s Band in Hyde Park, which halted the band’s performance. It lay dormant until the mid-1980s, when the composer was asked to re-score it by the conductor, James Scott, and he enlarged the work for full band and also extended the final movement.

Although based on the novel by Sir Walter Scott, the composition is not programmatic but a tone picture of events at the end of the Third Crusade, set mostly in the camp of the Crusaders, in Palestine.

Scheming and partisan politics, as well as the illness of King Richard the Lionheart, are placing the Crusade in danger. The main characters are the knight, Kenneth, who is the fictional character of David Earl of Huntingdon, who in fact returned from the Third Crusade in 1190, Richard the Lionheart, Saladin and Edith Plantagenet, a relative of Richard.

Kenneth is sent on a mission to discuss a potential peace treaty with the Saracens. He meets, fights and befriends a lone Saracen emir, who eventually turns out to be Saladin in disguise.

The suite contains detailed and demanding music throughout the band parts, and is cast in three movements: A Prelude, which sets the scene of the Crusade and Richard the Lionheart; a short Nocturne - a simple melody that develops depicting a tranquil scene of peace and a lively and a rhythmical Scherzo that portrays the Crusades themselves.

This is set in irregular time of 8/8 – two compound beats and a simple beats. The first movement sets the scene of the Crusades and Richard the Lionheart.

The composer remembers that the second movement is very simple in its plan to be “a little love song” and that it has an unusual rhythmic pattern, which develops into a simple melody that would “fit any tranquil scene of peace.”

The Scherzo is boisterous, depicting the Crusades.

Percussion requirements
Percussion 1: Timpani, glockenspiel.

Percussion 2: Side drum, bass drum, suspended cymbal, triangle, claves, tambourine, tam-Tam.

The Talisman for Brass Band is available from Just Music, Band Supplies, First Brass (which will be selling it at the Harrogate National Finals). A full set of parts and a score costs £50.00 (plus £1.25 P&P) and a score costs £20.00 (+ £0.75 p&p). Or order direct from Telephone: 01280 700000. Address: PO Box 6141, Brackley, Northants. NN13 6YS.

About Frank Hughes

Born in Wigan, Frank Hughes’ musical career began with him playing cornet in his local band, Pemberton Old. He later played with Besses Boys, Wingates Temperance and Foden’s Motor Works Band, and was a cornet player with the latter for a number of years.

Composing has always played an important part in Frank Hughes’ musical life; many of his works were recorded and broadcast by Foden’s and Leyland Vehicles bands, and he has received many requests for solos and band pieces from the various conductors including Harry Mortimer, who took his work to many of his other bands.
Still writing today, Frank has a considerable output and his works feature in many of the country’s band libraries.

All the test-pieces for the 2009 regional championships can be heard on the new recording ‘Regionals 2009’ (stock code 24980) released by World of Brass on the Doyen label and available from the World of Brass website.


Well-Known Member
Hmm, well, Wantage was the only L&SC champ band at Bugle this year... Not sure whether this gives us an advantage or not with Salute to Youth!

I'd be surprised if it didn't!

From the WoE region, several bands must have played at Bugle - a much bigger biassing effect.


Active Member
I thought it was going to be Cambridge Variations? Didn't someone say that, several times? If it's not, it'll be quite embarassing to have got it so wrong !! :p

I am so embarassed.I hate me. Playing at Harrogate this weekend, but thinking of not going due to the humiliation. How could I post a test piece for Regionals, then find out I was wrong. Oh, the shame of it.:oops:

KMJ Recordings

Supporting Member
Many thanks for everyone's kind words, and the PMs I've had; hope you're all as enthusiastic once you've heard it......:eek:;)

I have, and I like it.

my understanding is that Jagrins will have a stand at Harrogate this weekend for those 3rd section bands who want to get hold of the piece nice and early.

Yes they have - it's next to mine opposite the Bar and Restaurant, so there's no excuse ;)


Active Member
"The player is requested to use a well-rosined double bass bow on the back-edge of the instrument."

Gee of course we all have one of those kicking around the bandroom....


Well-Known Member
Cheer up, at least you've got something a bit different. Those who pick the pieces appear to have a policy of picking harder and more interesting pieces for the 1st section than the Championship at the moment.


Well Done Nigel from all at Bletchington Band on getting The Talisman selected, although we probably won't be thanking you in the future when we have to play it !!!


Active Member
Cheer up, at least you've got something a bit different. Those who pick the pieces appear to have a policy of picking harder and more interesting pieces for the 1st section than the Championship at the moment.

I guess so, I might be pleasantly suprised when I hear it ( after all I like Chain, Energy, Blitz hardly the most "tuneful" pieces ) ..... I'd say "swapsies" but I had enough of GV last year with Jimmy the Chef.. :D

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
Cheer up, at least you've got something a bit different. Those who pick the pieces appear to have a policy of picking harder and more interesting pieces for the 1st section than the Championship at the moment.

The same folk who pick harder pieces for the areas than they do for the finals too...

Being first section I'm quite glad to have something new to have a pop at, rather than some hackneyed old chestnut brought low by the passage of time.

At least this way we won't have to stand and listen to the adjudtcator standing on the front of the stage and pontificating... "I remember playing this in 1963 with crossleys carpets band... and what a band we had back then.... it's a lost art in band music is this piece.... you youngsters today.... " etc etc ad nauseam.

Quite glad we didn't get promoted now as well. Two vinter pieces in two successive areas would have had me reaching for the razor blades....

Always good to see new music being given it's chance. Will have to reserve judgement on pentacle until I've read/heard/played it.

PS - Just to add to the chorus... well done Andy!


Supporting Member
Quick plug (since Nigel and Shawn are at it) - my understanding is that Jagrins will have a stand at Harrogate this weekend for those 3rd section bands who want to get hold of the piece nice and early. For those who want to listen to it, the only commercially available recording is the 2009 Areas CD. The performances at the Swiss Natinals last year were recorded but these seem to be available to members of competing bands only.

Yes, Andy is dead right, we will have sets of his Once and Future King for sale at our trade stand over the weekend. In fact you will only be able to buy this piece from us (even after the weekend).

In addition to Andy's test piece, we will also have with us other pieces of his and from the rest of our ever-burgeoning catalogue.

Please note; if you are a member, or you join our very successful subscription scheme*, you can buy 'The Once and Future King', and any of our other pieces with up to a 20% reduction! That works out at only £48 for the 3rd Section Area test piece!

*you will have chance to do this over the weekend

JAGRINS Music Publications


Just listening to The Talisman now.. Love the first movement, broad and full of great chord work, Basses should have a bit of fun, nice to see them get a decent melody line for a change.. Not sure about the 2nd Movement, may get a bit boring but will sure show off the bands tonal work. 3rd Movement sounds like a fantastic challenge for any band upto First Section, lots of counter work..

Will have to try and get along for a listen to the 4th Section in March.. Great stuff.. :D

Anno Draconis

Well-Known Member
"The player is requested to use a well-rosined double bass bow on the back-edge of the instrument."

Gee of course we all have one of those kicking around the bandroom....

Here ya go... (the Black Dyke model ;))

or for those who don't want to spend quite so much...


Easy! ;)


Active Member
Try asking a local school, if they're like us they'll have loads of old bows kicking around in a cupboard! - Anyone who knows me, ask me!

Well done Andy. Looks like a good selection this year, plenty of variation to make it worth sitting through the sections, I lovely the musical imagery challenges so cant' wait to get stuck into a score of Once and Future King.

I'll be grabbing my CD this weekend, and maybe a set too if I can get my treasurer to part with a cheque!!


Active Member
Try asking a local school, if they're like us they'll have loads of old bows kicking around in a cupboard! - Anyone who knows me, ask me!

Lol the old "Nicked from the local school cupboard" option.. :D

( if my sons school is anything to go by the only thing in the school music cupboard is the music teacher hiding from the pupils )...

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