MY LIFE IN MUSIC - Exclusive interview with Paul Hindmarsh

Issue 6005

COMPOSERS' CORNER - Dr. Liz Lane discusses music notation programmes

REMEMBERING A LEGEND - British Bandsman pays tribute to William Broughton

Midlands Regional Championships - 2nd Section - LIVE!

Sunday 11 March, 2018

2nd Section

Civic Hall

Test-piece: Ex Terra Lucem (Jonathan Bates)

Sunday 11 March

Spilt Draw: 9.30am and 11.00am (commences 10.30am)

Adjudicators: Ian Brownbill and Chris King

Ryan Watkins reporting




1. Hucknall & Linby MC (Paul Whyley)

2. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)

3. Tintwistle (Sarah Groarke-Booth)

4. Foss Dyke (Michael Howley)

5. Bakewell Silver (Jim Henson)

6. Stourport on Severn (Oliver Wilson)

7. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)

8. Avonbank Evesham (Colin Hogg)

9. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Lindon Bolt)

10. Daventry Brass (Ken Ewer)


In the BB Frame

1. Hucknall & Linby MC (Paul Whyley)

2. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)

3. Foss Dyke (Michael Howley)

4. Tintwistle (Sarah Groarke-Booth)

5. Stourport on Severn (Oliver Wilson) 

6. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)


10. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)

Final band for today and it doesn't link between the lower band and the back row cornets in the opening bars. Gorgeous flugel playing follows, and despite intonation faltering, it's very exciting and sounding like a different band as we go along. Percussion - excellent and tight as a nut - best of the day! This drives along nicely - but intonation again isn't great. 

Second movement just has some scrapes but the soloists do a great job. Excellent flugel once again. Band make an effort to get the ppp, but percussion aren't all together here. Just slightly inconsistent towards the end of the movement, but good sop and horn to close.

The final movement is fairly clean (pedal off on the vibe?) but some good sounds are being made here. Cornet is jazzy and cool, but the rhythm isn't quite what's on the page. It develops nicely and the band really open up strong towards the end, driven by excellent kit playing! A slow start of a performance that certainly became more confident as the piece progressed. Could possibly sneak in at the top end.

9. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Lindon Bolt)

A slightly rocky start recovers well, and there is clear direction here from the MD.Excellent percussion and trombones in the louder passages, and the band are doing well, Well done Euphonium! Just some intonation issues here and there, but there's some good playing on show in this first movement despite some balancing issues.

They really go for the piano style - and it nearly comes off. Cornet does a great job. This all flows really nicely. Small errors here and there, but the MD keeps things flowing. A very quiet ppp, although it's noticeable when players rest and come back in in the higher passages. Cornet again plays with such simplistic beauty - well done!

Clear detail from the cornets is great, but some lines aren't heard in the lower band. This continues nicely but the style doesn't quite groove. Percussion rocks slightly but it's well balanced, if a little underwhelming - was just waiting for that next level which never came until the last note. Overall a good performance that just struggled in places.

8. Daventry Brass (Ken Ewer)

A good start that is full of style and energy, but just lacks clarity. Intonation unfortunately starts to creep in immediately and detract from some nice playing. Soloists do a good job, but again intonation creeps in towards the end of the movement. Percussion finish a bar too early - but excellent drive!

Some real quality quiet playing here, just ruined by intonation. The cornet does a great job and the MD makes good attempts at shaping the music. Ppp is quiet but again the intonation is awry. Sop and horn close the movement excellently!

Very clean cornets! The band are starting to sound confident now! Great flugel and cornet solos, just rocks slightly in the rhythms underneath the solos. It's strong to close but doesn't quite have the impact that other bands have had before. Got to admire the effort from the band and you can tell they gave their best shot, but intonation issues were too prominent for this to feature highly.


7. Hucknall & Linby MC (Paul Whyley)

Another fantastic start that's as clean as a whistle. The MD knows exactly what he wants from the score and the detail is so clear in the audience. One of the best readings so far. The dynamics are so varied and balanced, and all soloists are excellent. One of the finest endings so far - bravo playing!

The band continue in true style, if not fully balanced between the lower parts of the ensemble. Cornet - best of the day so far. Beautiful! This flows so well yet the space for the soloists is clear - the band are really enjoying this! Ppp slightly too heavy on the top, but the cornet continues to shine. Sop and horn take the baton and finish a beautiful second movement.

You can finally hear the cornet detail so clear. The rest of the band play with such warmth and the theme is played well. Flugel and cornet - excellent! The groove is perfect, such style! An underwhelming double forte follows though, but the colour and detail from the whole band is clear. They give it there all at the end. This was a fantastic performance - a potential winner??

6. Foss Dyke (Michael Howley)

 Wow - what an opening! The attention to detail and dynamics here are the best we've heard yet. The rhythms and and playing are as tight as you'd expect from the experienced MD. Some small clips detract as we head along, but this has been some of the most balanced playing we've heard today. And what a close to a great start!

True piano from the band starts off this next movement, but again small clips become noticeable. The flow is spot on and it captures the heart of the music spot on. Cornet - lovely tone! Not the quietest ppp but certainly the most balanced. Again, just small clips give an abrupt awakening to a great effort at finding the music.

We can't hear all the detail, but it moves along nicely. The soloists do a fantastic job (especially 2nd man) and it's so well balanced. Full bodied sound, but the crash cymbal on every second quaver doesn't work with the funk groove. It's very clean playing towards the end and well balanced which completes a fine performance which may not quite see gold today. Certainly up there though!

5. Avonbank Evesham (Colin Hogg)

Another exciting start to the piece - you can tell the bands are really enjoying this piece! The detail comes through nicely and it's so stylish. One of the most secure when it comes to intonation today. Just a few clips and overblowing from the excitement and balancing issues unsettle the end of the first movement, which overall was excellent.

A little heavy in the accompaniment, but the soloists play with real beautiful - the flow that the MD is creating is really appreciated, but sometimes the soloists beg for more space to really create that atmospheric setting needed here. They really go for the ppp, but it doesn't move together, especially on to the 9th bar of the phrase. You can't really fault much of the playing though - a really good effort.

Just a few nerves can be heard now and intonation issues are more prominent, but this space is more like it! Just tiny errors in rhythm for the flugel and cornet solos - but excellent sound! It's laid back and the dynamic detail is great, but it's not the fullest finale we've heard today. Full commitment towards the end though and you have to admire a good effort overall from this band!

4. Stourport on Severn (Oliver Wilson)

A good start that really does go for it! It isn't always clean, but it's certainly exciting with the help of the accents being brought out. The band are playing as a unit and there's no let up in tempo here. Intonation does creep in from nerves but the band continue to shine with the attention to detail in the score. The conductor is loving it! Possibly too heavy in the mp sections, but the first movement really held no prisoners!

The second movement starts great, if a little heavy. This seems to continue to be the theme of the second movement - it's all played well but it's too safe and loud. All soloists do a fantastic job, but I just wish it had more beauty and effort in the quieter dynamics. The movement closes well despite intonation creeping in.

Wow - the third movement flies off - potentially too fast! The detail is there though, and the flugel and cornet do a great job in their solos. Again, just a little quieter please in the quieter parts of the movement. The percussion continues to drive the band forward and it's very exciting but one that could have taken more risks in the quieter playing to feature higher today. 

3. Tintwistle (Sarah Groarke-Booth)

Another great start - this isn't quite as clear rhythmically as Rolls Royce but it oozes class and style - they're really going for the music here and they're doing a fantastic job! The rolls along nicely and the euphonium does a great job. Just some slips and errors in intonation detract from excellent playing from all involved. This is so expertly led and shaped - bravo MD!

Second movement has a beautiful start (excellent sop!) but is let down by poor intonation throughout the band. The flow and music is there though and the inner parts are being brought out. The ppp section could be quieter for us, but the flow remains and the cornet makes a good effort. Sop continues to shine with the horn to close the movement nicely.

Third movement starts clear and the dynamics are excellent, but the euphoniums and baritones aren't quite together with the flugel soloist. Great jazz style goes in and the basses are driving from the bottom - bold sounds! Just enough left in the pot for a dramatic finish which is ruined by intonation in the last note. A fine performance overall despite the intonation issues.

2. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)

Wow! A great start that hits you right in the nose! The rhythm in the band shines through and the percussion are rocking along. A little more length in the crotchets would be appreciated, but you can't fault the conviction from the band here. Soloists do a fine job and it drives along (pun intended) with a steady tempo. Just the right style! The FFF playing towards the end is terrifying and sinister and it fizzles out nicely to close what was a fantastic first movement.

Second movement starts slightly heavy for piano but the soprano cover plays beautifully, followed nicely by the cornet solo. I absolutely love the flow of this music. Some small intonation issues detract from the great music making. Ppp section is gorgeous (perfect subdividing percussion!) but the piano after seems slightly heavy again. The soprano and horn complete a great second movement.

The 3rd movement moves forward with style, but the muted cornets could cut through more. The attention to dynamics here is excellent as we continue to grow towards the close. The jazz style is well captured from the cornet and the band continue well. Nothing is overblown here, the band is so well balanced by the MD and the finale gives the same intent as the start. A fine performance!!

 1. Bakewell Silver (Jim Henson)

Some lovely playing in the national anthem sets us off for the day. A slightly nervy start recovers well and there's great dynamic contrast on show here, despite frequent intonation issues. Some of the rhythms could be clearer (especially percussion), however the euphonium does a fantastic job with her solo. This is followed by some excellent sop playing - beautiful sound! The first movement ends well (despite a wrong note in the muted cornet chord?)

Second movement is led by a gorgeous cornet sound, but some nerves in the band playing are creeping out. The MD is giving plenty of space and the band respond mostly - great music making! Cornet continues to shine and the band give a good effort in the ppp section. Some slight intonation (and a wrong note in the muted cornet chord again) takes away from what was a fine second movement.

Now we're away! The band are finally in the their stride and we hear some fine detail coming through here. Cornet is certainly jazzy, but maybe a bit too much? The band hold it together and build well to the fortissimo finale. It continues to grow and we hear a great final chord to finish a brave performance off band number one.