BATTLE OF THE TITANS - Bands gear up for a titanic battle at the Royal Albert Hall

Issue 6016

COMPOSERS' CORNER - Dr Liz Lane looks at the subject of  networking 

HERE IS THE NEWS - Looking back at the Daily Herald's Nationals sponsorship

Scottish Open Championship - LIVE!

Friday 24 November, 2017

Adjudicators: Steven Mead and Alan Morrison

Peter Graham's Metropolis 1927, Montage, Harrison's Dream and Essence of Time are the choices.

David Kinross reporting


1. Whitburn (Prof. Nicholas Childs) 195

2. Co-operative Funeralcare (Allan Ramsay) 194

3. Fountain City (Dr. Joseph Parisi) 192

4. Kingdom Brass (Paul Drury) 191

5. Unison Kinneil (Raymond Tennant) 190

6. Kirkintilloch Kelvin (Charles Keenan) 189

7. Rainford (Gareth Brindle) 188

8. Bon Accord Silver (Stephen Malcolm) 187

9. Dalmellington (Richard Evans) 186

10. Kirkintilloch (Ray Munday) 185

11. Fishburn (David Hirst) 184

12. DUT Yorkshire Imperial (Russell Gray) 183

13. EYMS (Stig Mærsk) 182

14. Tullis Russell Mills (John Wallace CBE) 180

15. Bo'ness and Carriden (Kevin Price) 179

Best Instrumentalist: Scott Forrest, soprano cornet, Whitburn


In the BB Frame

1. Whitburn (Prof. Nicholas Childs)

2. Fountain City (Dr. Joseph Parisi)

3. Co-operative Funeralcare (Allan Ramsay)

4. Dalmellington (Richard Evans)

5. EYMS (Stig Mærsk)

6. Bon Accord Silver (Stephen Malcolm)

N.B. Not the official result!

15. Co-operative Funeralcare (Allan Ramsay)

Harrison's Dream

Scintillating start with full, committed sounds, this is exciting without a doubt. Great contribution from cornet and euphonium into the quiet section which is rich in sound and atmospheric. Some lovely horn and flugel playing before the classy euph takes over. All the duets come off and the pianissimo is effective. The “watchmaker” gives away to the same intensity as we heard at the beginning. One of the Co-op’s hallmarks is the razor precision in the cornets and this is well evidenced. The closing is very musical and it builds to a rousing finish.

14. Unison Kinneil (Raymond Tennant)

Essence of Time

Start slightly untidy but “A time to dance” really settles and has a great style and balance to it. This is rhythmically tight through the “A time to hate” and is well directed. The cornet and euph do well in a “Time to mourn”. There’s a few areas of untidiness but the overall picture is a good one. “A time for war” starts off well in the euph’s and bari’s and the cornets are rhythmic and accurate. This one is definitely gathering momentum as it goes on. “A time for peace” has some good sounds and the picture created by Raymond Tennant is an interesting one. It’s a big ending and a good show from Kinneil.

13. Fountain City (Dr. Joseph Parisi)

Metropolis 1927

An effective opening that really shows the band off. All of the inner middle band detail is on show and it moves along nicely. Good muted cornets hand over to a very effective flugel and baritone, basses also do well. Classy playing from the cornet and euphonium with baritone and flugel also adding to the picture. Pianissimo is very effective and the section before “barber shop” works well. Some of the detail in the original refrain gets a little lost and it’s not quite as effective as it was to open. The band is in full flow as it heads for home and it’s impressive stuff. No signs of tiredness despite the long week and it closes well.

12. Kirkintilloch (Ray Munday)


Solid opening with good sounds in the upper dynamics although there are a few little tuning niggles in the mid-range. Effective opening to Chaconne with good balance in the muted cornets. The cornet and euphonium duet works well although there is some intonation difficulties again. The style is well placed in the middle section and you can hear the quality of the band. Good opening to the Rondo with dine style in the middle of the band when it takes over from sop and bass. This is the most effective movement with great work in the horns and trombones. It gets a little tired as it enters the final stages but the quality of sound is there for sure.

11. Kirkintilloch Kelvin (Charles Keenan)

Metropolis 1927

Good opening by the band and the detail has good clarity, there are big sounds on display but perhaps some little niggles in the tuning. There are some really good contributions from the soloists, it’s fiendishly difficult in places and KKB are giving it their all. It’s a pity that some of the ensemble work has untuneful edges. Back to the opening refrain and a sensible tempo by the MD that allows the detail to have a flow. The great effort from percussion is really effective as the band heads for home.

10. Whitburn (Prof. Nicholas Childs)

Metropolis 1927

Opening has lots of detail especially in the inner horn part; crystal clear. Cornet and euphonium acrobatics delivered with style. The haunting euphonium takes over from the siren and stands to deliver the solo. The muted cornets are effective and all in tune, once again all the soloists stand and despite a few clips they’re delivered with real class. A classy show on repiano cornet from Chic Cullen. The pp that follows is quite stunning with a great contribution from Scott Forrest. The “barber shop” group play off-stage and the effect adds to the overall picture. The opening refrain is played with the same quality of detail. Some great stuff in percussion before a stunning finish. A few slips in the solo lines but nonetheless, a performance of quality and the leader for us so far.

9. EYMS (Stig Mærsk)

Harrison's Dream

A high octane start from EYMS with exciting upper dynamics, good cornet/horn exchange with good sounds on show. All of the upper brass detail is accurate if not a little on the loud side. There’s also fine sounds in the euph/bari line. Contrasting dynamics are really adding the picture here. The pianissimo section gets a little unbalanced and there are intonation rubs which is a shame. The back row unison section is very well played and it gives way to a great sounding sop. Classy direction from Stig Maersk but little tuning issues creeping in to the pp. The watchmaker section is introduced well and when the cornets take over the accuracy of articulation is on show. This performance has a lot of quality about it, although as the band starts to tire, the tuning suffers in the lower dynamics.Ending builds nicely to end a good one from EYMS

8. Bo'ness and Carriden (Kevin Price)


Strong opening to the Intrada. Lots of contrast heard and it’s tidy and on point. A steadier tempo is proving a good choice as it’s letting the inner detail come through. All of this is pretty good and there’s some really good solo efforts, particularly the sweet sounding flugel. The opening of the Chaconne grates a little intonation and ensemble wise in the back row but when Hugh Foster the solo cornet takes over it has settled somewhat. Good work on trombone and euph to accompany is adding to the overall picture. It becomes slightly ragged just before the cornet muted section but once again this picks back up. This performance is well directed by Kevin Price who is able to show the band off at its best, the Rallentando is a case in point. It’s a shame that at times, the ensemble isn’t as tight as it needs to be and the tuning suffers slightly at the lower dynamic to close the middle movement. Good bass and sop at the start of the Rondo. The band shows off its class at the upper dynamic and the detail in the middle of the band is effective. A good close and a good performance from Bo’ness.

7. DUT Yorkshire Imperial (Russell Gray)

A good opening that gives way to “A time to dance” which has a really good lilt to it. The detail is clear and although there are a few little clips the picture us a clear one. The ensemble in “A Time to hate” is also very tight. The individual cornet entries in “A time to die” are a little overshadowed by percussion which is a shame but the solo efforts are good in “A Time to mourn”. Euphs and bari’s in “A time for war” could be a little clearer but the style is good. The upper brass detail is a little strained at times as we head for the finale but “A time for peace” is big and impressive. A good effort aided by quality direction.

6. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)


Opening is controlled and measured with good sounds on display and the ensemble is tight and on point. Towards the end of the first movement though there is some scrappiness in the Tutti cornets. The opening of Chaconne introduces the fantastic cornet sound of Morvern Gilchrist, although again some of the accompanying lines are not quite together. At the quieter dynamics of this movement the band really shows its quality and the cornet and euph duet is really top notch. A fine controlled ending to this movement. Not an altogether clean to start the Rondo but the band sound is a fine one with some great work on baritione. Some slight intonation issues creep in but in the grand scheme of things it’s minor detail. The finale is well played and good sounds are sustained. Not quite Rainford at their best but a lot to admire.

5. Dalmellington (Richard Evans)

Metropolis 1927

Good opening and although the tempo is right on the edge of comfort it’s exciting. A good attempt at the fiendishly difficult solos particularly from cornet. The siren gives way to an atmospheric euphonium who does well. The cornet detail is heard well, it’s even and unrushed. Lovely sounding flugel cadenza really measured well. Trombone and basses also deliver; the pedal in the BBb is spot on. The romantic section here is really well played, again with a good interchange with cornet and flugel. Intonation in the euph gets a little ragged but the band sound is lovely. Muted sounds in cornets work and a good contribution from Sop. The barber shop quartet gives way to the opening refrain. Once again, you can’t help but think that the band would benefit from a little notch off the tempo. The ending though is big, bold and of good quality. Great show from Dalmellington, bravo cornet and flugel.

4. Bon Accord Silver (Stephen Malcolm)

Essence of Time

Bon Accord open with the quality you come to expect. Fine inner detail in “A Time to dance” gives way to some lovely cantabile sounds in “A time to love”. The opening of “A time to hate is giving some bass sections some difficulty but this has probably been the best of the day. The detail coming from the middle of the band is setting it apart and the MD Steve Malcolm is giving the music time to express itself. The soloists get a little scrappy in “A time to mourn” but it’s not easy by any means. The euphs and bari’s in “A time for war” are spot on and this gives way to quality cornet sounds although the muted entries aren’t altogether tidy. Bravo soprano throughout. The sounds become quite strident at the end but it’s a quality show overall. Sneaks into our lead by the narrowest of margins.

3. Fishburn (David Hirst)

Essence of Time

Neat opening with good detail that gives way to “A time to dance” that skips along nicely and there are some good sounds on display at the Cantabile section. The intonation in general is well controlled and the ensemble in the middle of the band in particular is of good quality. The soloist contributions perhaps don’t have the polish of Kingdom but it’s good nonetheless. The playing at the faster tempi is spot on and the accelerando’s are well delivered. Once again the best playing is kept till the end where emotion of “A time for peace” gives way to a solid ending. Kept the energy sustained right to the end, a good show this.

2. Kingdom Brass (Paul Drury)

Essence of Time

Big opening statement from Kingdom that marks their arrival, this is tight in ensemble and impressive. As the sections unfold there is a lot to admire particularly from the solo efforts of euphonium, trombone and cornet. At times it gets just a little scrappy through “A time for war” but as it moves on the quality is again on show particularly in “A time for piece” where the ending is rousing and bold. This is Kingdom back on top form. Clear leader at this early stage.

1. Tullis Russell Mills (John Wallace CBE)

Essence of Time

Some untidiness in the opening and the middle of the band not always together as the picture builds. This settles down though to display some good detail though. Unfortunately throughout, there are some fairly serious intonation issues in the upper brass that gets in the way of a lot of the good work. Tullis saves the best for last and though and the close is rousing. 

Not Tullis at their best overall but some great contributions from the young players in particular.