Issue 5970

Egon Virtuosi Brass - An inside story

The Owen Farr Seminar - the first in a monthly series of brass masterclasses by the tenor horn virtuoso

Besses Boys' Band - Celebrating 75 years

Grimethorpe Youth Band feature

LIVE - North of England Championships - 3rd Section

Sunday 12 March, 2017

Adjudicators: John Doyle and Andrew Warriner

Test-piece: Darkwood (Dan Price)

Steve Jack reporting 


1. Barton Community

2. Kingsways Printer

3. Ferryhill

4. Murton

5. North Skelton

6. Swinton & District


In the BB Frame*

1. North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson)

2. Barton Community (Gary Oglesby)

3. Swinton & District Excelsior (Robin Rutter)

4. Ferryhill Town (Andrew Hall)

5. Murton Colliery (Richie Wallace)

6. Marske (Alun Prest)


*NOT the official result!

Any one could win this-its that simple/difficult. We go for North Skelton and Barton. Very hard for the adjudicators to sort this lot out.

9. Ferryhill Town Band (Andrew Hall)

Give the top man credit-he has a lovely sound and is doing a sterling job in leading his section. It big, bold and verging on the harsh. Tiredness creeps in and because of the overblowing it becomes scrappy. Still they are doing the work—may be in with a shout.


8. North Skelton Band (Lewis Wilkinson)

A fairly good one this full of big sounds and nice. Band feels they want to go quicker but MD has other ideas. Race to end with aplomp and its all wrapped up nicely

7. Backworth Colliery Band (Colin Harris)

Messy opening leads to a more secure section. The band ups its volume and suddenly it’s all there-nice and precise. The middle section proves their downfall and its going downhill again apart from a good euph. Finale is rather quick to say the least.

6. Barton Community Band (Gary Oglesby)

The opening is nice and controlled and their making some music out of the piece. Middle mvt is lovely coupled with a glorious euphonium. Dynamics are good and the effects are also very well handled. One for the top three places?

5. Swinton & District Excelsior (Robin Rutter)

This is much better from Robin Rutter and his charges. The playing is more concise and precise, with good ensemble. Theres some lovely sounds emanating from them too. Just a little too quick at the end. Percussion was excellent and helps bring the piece to a commanding close.

4. Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes (Brian Harper)

A much slower tempo to start, even ponderous. It’s difficult to write about them when it’s already been said previously. At last something different...the percussion goes AWOL, tambourine is not in time and is all at sea near end. This is a ‘throw them up in the air and see how they fall’ contest

3. Murton Colliery (Richie Wallace)

We harp on about it but tuning is again the problem with Murton. If only bands could clean it up, it would increase their chances of success. The all girl cornet and horn end plays well as does the token male (James Palmer on flugel). There’s a nice lilt and sway to some of the playing and good precise playing. Richie Wallace the MD certainly knows what he wants in respect of balance and tone and he gets it too from the band.

2. Marske (Alun Prest)

A good show from Marske, despite being down on numbers. Cornet end leads the band with James Chisholm (formerly of this parish with his dad Philip) playing superbly. The tuning issues will count against them but there is more ‘feeling’ and passion towards the piece.

 1. Billingham Silver (Vaughan Evans)

There’s no real feel to this, as if they are going through the motions.  Percussion does well but its nervy until euph hits the right amount passion. Band gains in confidence and does well in slow section. Tempo rises and band goes back to old ways. MD can’t wait to get off stage