Celebrating the past, looking to the future - Special commemorative issue

Issue 5967

Standing upon giants' shoulders - paying tribute to the lineage of BB Editors

BB looks forward to British Open and Lower Section finals

The brass band repertoire - use it or lose it?

 

 

North West Regional Championships - 3rd Section LIVE!

Sunday 25 February, 2018

3rd Section

The Empress Ballroom

Test-piece: Napoleon on the Alps (Philip Harper)

Split Draw: 8.45 am and 10.45am (commences 9.45am)

Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and Gary Davies

Kenny Crookston reporting

 

Results

1. Eccleston Brass (John Wood)

2. Allerton Brass (Adam Taylor)

3. Uppermill (Dean Redfern) 

4. Littleborough (Adrian Woodhead)

5. Douglas Town (Ken Mitchell)

6. Hoover (Bolton) (Craig Mann)

7. Rivington and Adlington (Malcolm Wilson)

8. City of Chester (Ewan Easton)

9. Greenalls (Phil Boardman)

10. Stalybridge Old (David W. Ashworth)

11. Hawk Green (Neil Hewson)

12. Skelmersdale Prize (James Hall)

13. Golborne Brass (Matthew Shaw) 

14. Thornton Cleveleys (Stephen Craig)

15. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Steve Hartley)

16. Dobcross Silver (Grenville Moore)

Best Percussion Section: Douglas Town

 

 

In the BB Frame

1. Uppermill (Dean Redfern) 

2. Allerton Brass (Adam Taylor)

3. Hawk Green (Neil Hewson)

4. Douglas Town (Ken Mitchell)

5. Greenalls (Phil Boardman)

6. City of Chester (Ewan Easton)

 

A very good contest overall, although we think most of the prizes will go to bands in the first half of the draw. Could be very tight at the top but we think Uppermill and Allerton could well head the pack. Real results coming soon….

 

16. Eccleston Brass (John Wood)

Nicely-shaped opening movement but tuning and balance aren’t completely up to scratch all the way. Band sound isn’t always cohesive in the middle section, while the solo lines aren’t completely confident. Some nicely controlled moments follow though. Some nice details emerge in the third movement and we like the overall sound the band makes. Perhaps too many lapses in quality to make it to the Finals though.

 

15. City of Chester (Ewan Easton)

Opening builds nicely in dynamics and energy while, rhythmically speaking, this is as good as we’ve yet heard. We like the style in the slow movement, but there are occasional drops in confidence in some solo lines. Stylish approach continues in the final section with some excellent dynamic effects. One that offered a lot in terms of style and quality. Just a clip or two too many to  make it to the top perhaps.

 

14. Rivington and Adlington (Malcolm Wilson)

Robust opening movement possibly just lacking refinement and dynamic contrast in places, but it is well-shaped. Not all the solo interventions come off in the middle section, where there are also some notation and intonation issues. Back on track in the final movement, where the occasional lapse just takes the polish off the overall picture.

 

13. Golborne Brass (Matthew Shaw)

A dynamic opening section and it’s mainly tight and well balanced. Not all in tune in the middle movement although some of the solo contributions were excellent. Percussion perhaps a tad on the loud side in the central climax (even although the section was generally very good…). Final movement races along and it’s all going in, but again the folks at the back are getting rather excited! A performance with a lot to credit it but just the odd moment where the overall quality dropped.

 

12. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Steve Hartley)

Nicely-controlled dynamics in the opening and the good work continues in the cornets. Just the occasional drop in confidence detracts but the overall picture remains good. Less cohesive balance and ensemble in the middle section but there is still much to credit. Although there are some technical weaknesses in the final movement we have liked the overall picture.

 

11. Thornton Cleveleys (Stephen Craig)

Opening section is nicely handled, if perhaps not quite as well balanced as some we’ve heard. It rolls along nicely into The Emperor Napoleon. Not completely secure here either but we hear some fine solo contributions, especially in the cornet cadenza. We like the way the final movement grows in stature as it progresses. A lot of good playing here but possibly a handful of slips too many to figure at the top today.

 

10. Skelmersdale Prize (James Hall)

Some untidy ensemble and poor tuning in the opening section but we like the flow of the music when it is all together. Lovely work from the euphonium in The Emperor Napoleon but again tuning becomes a factor when the full band is in. Final section moves along nicely, although again some (mainly triplet) parts don’t speak cleanly every time. A nice performance but possibly just a bit off the pace in this contest where the standard has been very high.

 

9. Hawk Green (Neil Hewson)

Nice atmosphere in the opening and the tension builds until we hear a balanced full band sound. Nice work in the cornets too. A tad more aggressive in style than we’ve heard so far, but a good opening movement overall. Some insecurity as the middle movement opens but we love the solo cornet’s style, and she is ably matched by her colleagues on horn and euphonium. Dynamic approach to the final movement and it is as good as we’ve heard so far today. A very good show overall - just the odd moment may cost but it could be right up there.

 

8. Uppermill (Dean Redfern) 

Another unconventional setup, with all the cornets and trombones standing this time. Well controlled opening and the cornet sounds are very well blended. The formation seems to work well, with more detail seeming to penetrate the hall’s notorious acoustic. Nice lead in to the middle movement and the quality continues through to the outstanding cornet cadenza. Final section moves along apace but we hear the detail clearly. Very good indeed.

 

7. Greenalls (Phil Boardman)

Opening movement all goes to plan and the opening moments of The Emperor Napoleon shows high quality sound and balance. Just one or two small clips in the solo work but this really is very good. More quality on show in the cadenza and we like the style in the final movement. A very well led performance that could be one to watch today.

 

6. Stalybridge Old (David W. Ashworth)

An unconventional setup with upper cornets and trombones standing. Some intonation issues in the upper band but the first movement is otherwise secure. Rich sounds in the middle section show the band at its best, although not all of the soloists come across as fully assured. Some of the quieter triplet work doesn’t speak clearly in the final movement but we like the overall style. Possibly one that just got away today but a good band overall.

 

5. Allerton Brass (Adam Taylor)

A dynamic opening movement, with more concentrated attack in the more animated parts than we’ve heard previously. A very good opening movement. Solo work is very good all round in The Emperor Napoleon and the overall band sound has good tone and balance. Cornet takes his time and shows real quality in the cadenza. The band marches Onward to the Empire with real purpose. Another very good performance!

 

4. Douglas Town (Ken Mitchell)

Textbook opening from the visitors from the Isle of Man. Sometimes rather straight stylistically but probably the most secure playing we’ve heard yet. Lovely solo work in the middle section and there is a real feeling of quality all round here. Stylish work from the solo cornet in the cadenza and the final movement opens with a real sense of foreboding. Dynamics well handled all the way too. We liked this one!

 

3. Hoover (Bolton) (Craig Mann)

Secure and well balanced in the opening section and again we hear good attention to dynamics. Some doubt over the ensemble as it flows into the slow section, where the intonation in the middle band is also suspect at times. Lovely cornet cadenza and there is a good atmosphere in the opening to the final section. Some of the later triplet work not quite so tidy but this has been another good show overall.

 

2. Dobcross Silver (Grenville Moore)

Nice sounds to open but just the odd insecure moment in the opening section. We like the control in the middle movement and the dynamics are well observed. Nice work to close and there is an energetic feeling to the final movement. Percussion just becomes detached from the band briefly but this has been a good show overall.

 

1. Littleborough (Adrian Woodhead)

Quite light dynamically but all mainly in place as the band approaches the Great St. Bernard Pass. One or two less secure entries in The Emperor Napoleon but the music flows nicely. Well done solo cornet - nice and secure. Nice flow too in the final movement and the band holds it all together nicely through to finale. A good performance to get us started on this year’s Regional journey!

 

Draw

1. Littleborough (Adrian Woodhead)

2. Dobcross Silver (Grenville Moore)

3. Hoover (Bolton) (Craig Mann)

4. Douglas Town (Ken Mitchell)

5. Allerton Brass (Adam Taylor)

6. Stalybridge Old (David W. Ashworth)

7. Greenalls (Phil Boardman)

8. Uppermill (Dean Redfern) 

9. Hawk Green (Neil Hewson)

10. Skelmersdale Prize (James Hall)

11. Thornton Cleveleys (Stephen Craig)

12. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Steve Hartley)

13. Golborne Brass (Matthew Shaw)

14. Rivington and Adlington (Malcolm Wilson)

15. City of Chester (Ewan Easton)

16. Eccleston Brass (John Wood)