Greatest soloist within a testpiece contest

Apologies if anyone has started this thread before. But who in your opinion has played the best solo part in a testpiece on a contest stage.

For me Dean Wright at Sellers was fantastic on English Heritage, he was principal cornet and Thomas Reudi again for Sellers in Masquerade at the Ope in 199something.


You played pretty damn fine yourself on Sunday Alex but being a Roger Webster fan,think he plays most superbly.Did you hear our sop Martin Roesch-he is class too


In my band, and from a few respected people in the Scottish band world, I hear a lot about Charlie Calders performance of Resurgam at the Princes Street Gardens contest in the 1960's. Apparently Eric Ball was conducting Broxburn at the time and he pulled the perfect performance, to the point of making people cry. Can anybody confirm?

I don't doubt it's true, as it was David James that mentioned it to me (Got to respect his opinion)

Of the current crop, Nick Hudson stands out as the main man at testpiece trombone playing, Morgan Griffiths on Euph, and for me, Roger Webster on cornet

Mark Bousie

A few spring to mind:

Morgan Griffiths playing Masquarade with Faireys at the Nationals in 2002.
Nick Hudson playing Year of the Dragon with Fodens at the European in 1992.
Martin Winter playing Contest Music with YBS at the 2000 Masters.
Martin Winter (again!) and Nick Childs playing Harmony Music with Fodens at the 1991 Masters.
And who could forget Pete Roberts with YBS at the 2001 Open on Les Preludes.

There are many more.....


New Member
Nick Hudson at the European in Cardiff in 1992 playing Year of The Dragon, lucky enough to have played at that contest with Newtongrange (or Scottish Brewers as they were known as then). Got the CD of the contest so I'm just away to listen to it again.



Active Member
Nick Hudson, European, Year of the Dragon 1992.

I was in the band at that time, and I remember Nick turned out towards the audience (unrehearsed I think!) and blew them away! That performance is still my fondest banding moment, and probably will be for a long time.

What's better is that in the Morning Contest he'd split a belting note in Five blooms in a Welsh Garden, as anyone with the recording will have heard!
Martin Winter playing the seventh trumpet part in Gregsons Trumpets of the Angels at the norwegian nationals 2003 with Eikanger, is for me the top of contest soloplaying.

Its on his CD Winters Tale.
(I think you will have to let track no one start and then rewind the Cd for 8 or 9 minutes to find it...)

Absolute stunning.

For me Geoffrey Whitham in 1959 at the Royal Albert Hall in Le Roi d'Ys remains in the top bracket. Lyndon Baglin gave some great performances over the years and the most outstanding was in Le Carnaval Romain at Belle Vue in 1979, when he played with Faireys under Walter Hargreaves.

Phillip McCann of Black Dyke in Contest Music at the 1987 European Championships was perhaps the best controlled cornet playing I have ever heard but Alan Wycherley's soprano solo in Diversions at the Albert Hall in 1986 remains the most memorable performance for me. Never before or since have I witnessed such artistry in a band contest.

This is such an interesting post, because over here we don't usually get to hear the very very best performers in the brass band world 'live' on a real meaty test piece. Don't get me wrong, Australian brass bands I think are quite capable in their own right, (just take a look at a copy of the A grade own choice program from any national contest) but to be able to have such a large number of top bands and soloists to listen to regularly is a luxury most of us don't have.

Moving On...Therefore, it isn't suprising to find keen Australian brass banders ammassing huge amounts of recordings from british/european contests, (and it's test pieces and other major works that the dough is usually coughed up for, not light entertainment) and because of this, a good few solo performances that have been captured on disc have become 'must-haves'. These include...

Nick Hudson - YOTD '92
Peter Roberts - Les Preludes '01
Morgan Griffiths - Maquerade '02
Any of YBS's soloists in the european own choice 96-'03

There's tons more, my mind has gone blank right now!!!


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Not a solo but a duet: David Childs and Nigel John, Revelation, Europeans 2003 - really heart-stopping moment!


Active Member
Morgan Griffiths, Shoena White & Peter Roberts playing 'Dove Descending' at the Open 99. Big cadenza for Morgan (with birdsong in the background), Shoena's awesome high d at pp(!) and Peter Roberts riding the top of the band during the theme in the Nativity section.

Roger Webster - during Dyke's performance of 'Albion'. I remember there had been some fine cornets who had done a good job with the awkward solo but Roger played it without any suggestion of it being tough. He just eased through it like an exercise from the Arban.

Nick Hudson playing 'Year of Dragon' - I haven't been fortunate to have heard his famous performance with Brittania in 1992 but did hear him when Faireys aired the piece at the RNCM a few years ago. Silky smooth player, no tension or strain whatsoever at the end of a recital concert.

Martin Winter in 'Trumpets of the Angels' - NIICCCEE!

Steven Mead playing 'Masquerade' with CWS Glasgow at the Open in 1993.

Peter Roberts in 'Les Preludes' at the Open in 2001 - the daddy of them all!

Paul Drury


I don't think I have a favourite (so many to choose from), but our principal cornet Paul Hughes, has had so many good moments. Especially RAH playing Masquerade 2002, Pontins 2003 - one of the only principals to go for the top D at the end of the piece, Promethus Unbound Senior Cup 2001.......there are so many. Some other favourites would include....

Peter Roberts - Les Preludes Open 2001 <----- Awesome
Nick Hudson - Year of The Dragon 1992 <----- Hair on the back of your neck time!
Ben Godfrey - Tallis Variations 2000 <---- Speechless when I heard it!
Roger Webster - Jazz 2001 Areas


I would like to join the club of Nick Hudson fans.
I was waiting to get on stage in Cardiff back in '92 when he played what must have been the classiest bit of solo playing ever in a contest (the rest of the band didn't play too bad either!!!).

Besides that I really enjoy Morgan Griffith's on the contest stage - both for the big solos (like Masquerade) but perhaps even more for his ensemble playing. If compared to other euphonium stars, they sometimes gives the impression that a testpiece is just a euph-solo in disguise (no names mentioned :wink: ), he just plays his part - no more and no less - that's real class!
euphoria said:
Besides that I really enjoy Morgan Griffith's on the contest stage - both for the big solos (like Masquerade) but perhaps even more for his ensemble playing. If compared to other euphonium stars, they sometimes gives the impression that a testpiece is just a euph-solo in disguise (no names mentioned :wink: ), he just plays his part - no more and no less - that's real class!

Here here, here here, here here, here here.

That is so so true. Whenever Morgan Griffiths plays, the music is treated with the utmost care and respect. I believe his technique is as good or better than any other euphonium players, and his musicality and respect for the dots on the page is a bazillion million trillion times greater than that of his peers!

Not to say that hes the ONLY eupho player worth listening to, but as mentioned above - no more no less - that's real class

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