Best Reception/Applause witnessed/received in banding?


Active Member
I have listened to Desford's 1986 winning performance of 'Year of the Dragon' recently and had a little smile at the massive applause that arupts about 8 bars from the end of the piece, whilst the band are still in full flight. Got me thinking about some of the best responses I have witnessed.

As a player - Winning the Senior Cup with RTB 'Pagannini Variations'. Last note felt like it went on forever and as soon as we hit the final note you could hear whistles, cheers and see a number of people on their feet. Great feeling!

In the Audience - YBS performance of 'St Magnus' at the Euros seem to create histeria. As they hit the final note you could see almost a Mexican wave of people standing to applaud. Another last pause that felt about 20 seconds long!

Also, Faireys Uk premiere performance of Heatons 'Variations'. Again, a standing ovation but more diginified. Heatons family were present and they were clearly moved plus a number of prominent musicians were on their feet to applaud such as Edward Gregson, Bram Tovey, Elgar Howarth etc. Felt like a recognition of everything they had heard: band, MD and most of Heaton's music....awesome stuff.

Whats the best reception you have recieved or witnessed? What was so special about it?


Active Member
YBS 1995 Open....having just come up from the Grand Shield , YBS had a fantastic reception from the Audience at the free trade hall...really unlucky not to win the Open..the ending was totally different to any other interpretation...I think the Soloists on the day were brilliant and the band sound was as good if not better than the top 2..was a real revelation. :roll:


1996 National Finals at RAH and CWS Glasgow Winning Performance of Issiah 40 - people where appluading, whistling, cheering, standing even before the last 8 bars of fanfares followed by crescendo'd last note

Great stuff and the appluse for Grimethorpe in second wasn't far behind

Still to this day one of the best finals iv'e been to.


Just as a metter of interest I agree about YBS St Magnus this year but note the sort of strange atmosphere at the end of Music of the Spheres by YBS, seems like the audience wasn't quite sure what they had just witnessed. I was there and it seemed like that to me.


Staff member
Rather a strange one this: Grimethorpe on "Maunsell Forts" at the Open in Birmingham; a very different reading to most of the others, but received a tremendous reception in the hall. Unfortunately the adjudicators didn't see it that way, placing them 13th :shock:


Weirdest... Conducted Hootenanny (yes i know...) as an encore while on tour in france - had 200 odd french forming a konga around the concert hall. Place went mad...

Power Tooba

About 8 years ago whilst playing for a then 4th section band we played as background music at a private black tie business dinner in the Harragate conference centre.

After the dinner, and the after dinner speaker, we played a few more well known easy numbers (floral dance and the like) and the guests started to gather round the band singing and carrying on. I should perhaps point out that most of these guys had clearly been drinking all night. :guiness :guiness

We tried to finish several times but the audience cheered on demanding more, and at about midnight we said that was it, and we'd play Bohemian Rhapsody to finish. All these blokes went bonkers during the piece and at the end they were cheering like mad and started throwing 5 and 10 pound notes into a cornet case which one of the players had inadvertantly left lying around. The atmosphere was amazing! :shock:

When we finally managed to clear off to our dressing room, we counted up and we'd collected about 1500 quid on top of the fee we were being paid. it was awesome! :D


most amusing - at bugle contest one year it started to rain during our performance and when we finished there wasa chorus of car horns beeping amidst the clapping coz most of the people there were hiding in their cars!

(i'm sure they were beeping as if applauding, rather than telling us to get off the stage! :wink: )


best audience response-
Ohio State University vs. University of Michigan football (not soccer) game, November, 1992. The 192 member all- brass and percussion OSU marching band performing the incomparable Script Ohio to a standing ovation from 98 000 screaming fans :shock:
(if you don't believe me, ask Keppler all about it :D )

as an audience member-
Nationals, 2002 Gala Concert featuring Steven Mead, the Childs Brothers, Derrick Kane, Dave Thornton, and David Childs (Peter Graham's Bravura, I think)- awesome!


As a player:

Canadian Staff Band at the 1995 Nabba Gala Concert in Toronto. We finished Resurgam to an intense silence, then the place went nuts. We went right into Praise (Heaton) and you could just feel the electricity

As a member of the audience:

Enfield Citadel Band at Roy Thompson Hall in 1986. They finished the first half with On Ratcliff Highway (Steadman-Allen) and the place went nuts. We couldn't believe what we just heard.

ISB again at Roy Thompson Hall in 1994 at the Int'l Brass Spectacular. We have not heard a sound like the beginning of Corpus Christi (Redhead)since then. Still referred to by many around as the best sound heard in Canada by a brass band.

Mark Bousie

Electric endings, I can remember:

1. Fairey's on Masqurade at the Open in 1993. One of the 1st contests I had ever attended, but still the most memorable contesting listening experience I've ever had and what a reception! One of the few times everybody REALLY knew that there could only be one winner.

2. Fairey's on Revelation at the Open in 1995. Jim Gourlay's first contest with them and what an impact.

3. I wasn't there, but from what I'm lead to believe and from listening to the recording, Desford's own choice of Epic Symphony at the 1988 European absolutely brought the house down.

4. Grimethorpe on New Jerusalem, winning the 1992 Nationals.

There are plenty more!
aside from many positive audience reactions I've seen, the entire audience booing is almost as powerful. e.g. the results of the 1999? European when YBS were announced 8th on Blitz and 4th overall.

Have also witnessed an entire audience silent after a piece at the dutch open. We weren't to know they had asked for a minutes' silence!


Dianamite said:
best audience response-
Ohio State University vs. University of Michigan football (not soccer) game, November, 1992. The 192 member all- brass and percussion OSU marching band performing the incomparable Script Ohio to a standing ovation from 98 000 screaming fans :shock:
(if you don't believe me, ask Keppler all about it :D )

I assume you weren't the sousaphone dotting the "i" that day, were you? 'Cause that'd be a rush!!

Ahhh, Big Ten college football - there's nothing like an autumn afternoon spent in a stadium with 80- or 100,000 screaming fans!! (I grew up in State College, PA and went to all the Penn State home games. Although I went elsewhere for college, I'm still a die-hard Nittany Lion fan.) Anyway, back on topic...

Best audience response: November 2002, PBB played a concert in a church as part of their local concert series. We opened with the Williams "Olympic Fanfare and Theme", and blew the place away - several audience members gave us a standing ovation. When your concert opener has that response, you just know the rest of the show is going to go well!

Best show from the audience: April 2003 at the NABBA Championships in Little Rock, Arkansas. Stavanger were touring in the USA and competed. They followed their performance of the test piece ("Montage") with Ardross Castle and Dundonnell from "Hymn of the Highlands". HotH was part of their regular tour repertoire, and they played it from memory and with on-stage choreography. It meant nothing to the judges, who couldn't see it, but it just brought the house down!! Grimethorpe that night at the gala put on a great show too, but it just didn't have the same electricity.


Ozzie Cornet

New Member
Its kind of appropriate really but 15th September 2000 at Stadium Australia, Sydney for the opening ceremony of the Olympics. In a 2000 peice marching band in front of over 125,000 people the noise was deafening and the atmospehere was amazing. That we had two dress-rehearsals in front of two other crowds the same size made it even better.


Supporting Member
craigster said:
Canadian Staff Band at the 1995 Nabba Gala Concert in Toronto. We finished Resurgam to an intense silence, then the place went nuts. We went right into Praise (Heaton) and you could just feel the electricity

I remember being in the audience for that. It was great to have the audience wait until the last note stopped resonating. Almost like we wanted to keep soaking it in because we hadn't had enough. Isn't it something when a lack of applause can actually be more impressive than a huge applause.


Active Member
The best reception I’ve ever received was in Italy at a Youth Band festival. Each band played a set before the big massed band, and we got a standing ovation at the end of ours… It was a really nice feeling!!


Best ever for me was whist touring on Brazil with Salford Uni Band, we played an outdoor concert to what must be about 50000 people. Whilst leaving the stage we had to sign autographs and have minders to get back on the bus! Weird coz in this country when you play outside you always get a few idiots shouting 'giz a blow on your trumpet mate' while making assorted clarinet and trombone hand movments!

Dave Euph

YBS at the areas this year. There had been some mighty impressive applauses for Dyke and Brighouse, but after the performance by YBS I thought the roof was going to come off!
Well when I read the first post on this thread, I didn't have to think and try to remember - it just jumped out at me............

It was last Christmas......I had been very busy for three weeks playing in two bands and fulfilling all the Christmas jobs......

We did a carol type concert at the Grocott Centre in Stoke on Trent. It is a centre that caters for handicapped folks (physical and mental). I must say that I have never ever witnessed such appreciation. You really would have thought that these folks had been given a lump of gold each.

It really was amazing.

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