Lots of talk about best performance ever etc. How about a list of worst winning performances? Lets not get personal or nasty about it, but I can think of a few performances I've been involved in that won prizes when we didn't think we had a chance!
Railton, you are of course entitled to your opinion, but the performance of Blitz on the 1999 regionals CD is the actual winning performance from the 1990 All England Masters contest.
I hope you enjoyed Indian Summer however, as it was my Band that recorded it.
I remember several years ago when the band I was with at the time (Crystal Palace) entered the 4th section at the Reading Contest. Not only that, we were playing at the Hexagon that year! Anyway, the test piece then was Simon Called Peter. Now it wasn't a particularly BAD performance, but we had no percussion, we started the day out with 6 cornets and ended up with 5 on stage because the rep player came back late having visited the local Pizza Hut! Anyway, we played (drawn 13th out of 13....) and thought that it sounded OK-ish considering the numbers we didn't have!
When it was announced that the first prize had gone to the band that played number 13, were there huge cheers from the Palace contingent? Nope. Stunned silence at first and then a token cheer when we realised they were talking about us! We couldn't believe we'd won! Come to think of it, no-one else there could either! (It should be added that the rules of that particular contest at the time did state that percussion was 'optional'! )
About a year ago 4barsrest ran a feature called 'The top ten most controversial wins', or something like that.
Perhaps someone could do one of those link thingys which I have no idea how to do.
Here's two from me. I was involved in both performances and so don't really know how they came over to the adjudicator, nor did I hear all the other bands...
I conducted a band in the fourth section at Folkstone in the late 80's or early 90's. They had chosen Gregson's Partita and their regular conductor told me there would be a full band. But there wasn't, and one by one the cornets dropped out - I think we had four or five on the day. Oh, and no percussion. We certainly didn't put all the parts in and the band was very nervous on stage. But the adjudicator like our light sound and common sense approach.
Another time I took my band (not current one!) to Weston super Mare in 1994 on Land of the long White Cloud, in section 2. Everyone was trying a little bit too hard, there were lots of splits and poor entries; the flugel soloist had a nightmare and came off the stage in tears. We didn't bother going in for the results, just passed around the tissues. The secretary came into the bar with the cup and we just couldn't believe it.
Apologies to all our rivals that day. But it goes some way to balancing out for all the times we played well and came home with nothing.
With my previous band we went to the Rochdale contest in the mid 90's playing 'Of men and mountains' by Gregson. Rehearsals didn't go very well and we had a very fractious rehearsal on the morning of the contest. Anyway we went on stage and the performance started to go pear shaped. All of the band lost interest at about the same time and the volume and intensity of the performance dropped making for a fairly abject last 1/3rd. We all trooped off feeling fairly low. The adjudicator gave us 1st prize and noted that we had dropped the dynamic level to take account of the acoustics of the hall (bless him!).
I currently play solo cornet for Ever Ready and have done for 21 years , in that time 3 performances come to mind when we were way in front of anyone else but didn't get the result.Images in the area contest 83 i think, we were the only band that were anywhere near it and came 4th.Waverly overture area 84 again we were robbed (my opinion of course)and connotations durham league we were outstanding and i have the recording to prove this ,we came 6th outrageous.There are always highs and lows in banding , you take the knocks and hopefully come back stronger. We are currently 11th in the 4bars rest rankings and last week came 3rd at the brass in concert also winning the prize for most entertaining band, not bad since we have been totally self supporting since 1992 no mean feat with most of the bands above us in the rankings all having sponsorship of some sort.Ever Ready give yourselves a pat on the back you deserve it.I am proud of you all.