The best contest of the year?

Issue 5963

UniBrass continues to grow in York spectacular

Change on the menu for Brass in Concert Festival

Regional Championships kick off around the UK

Scottish Championships - Championship Section LIVE!

Sunday 11 March, 2018

Championship Section

Test-piece: Odyssey (Kevin Norbury)

Sunday 11 March

Draw: 12.30 (commences following 4th Section results)

Adjudicators: Paul Holland and Michael Ball

Dave Kinross reporting


Well that's it from Scotland, it's tight at the top but we have Whitburn from Co-op. The opinions that matter will be with us at around 5.40pm.

In the BB Frame

1. Whitburn (Professor Nicholas Childs)

2. Co-operative Funeralcare (Russell Gray)

3. Bon Accord Silver (Stephen Malcolm)

4. Newtongrange Silver (Andrew Duncan)

5. Dalmellington (Richard Evans)

6. Kirkintilloch Kelvin (Charles Keenan)

Whitburn (Professor Nicholas Childs)

A strong opening and all the lines are played with clarity and are clean into the Andante which just has the requisite weight and aggression, this is good stuff so far. The music flows as the band progresses and the performance is tight and of the highest quality. Scintillating cornet playing in the Adagio gives way to great trombone and euphonium playing. The detail in the Presto is light and all on point. As it heads for home the band grows in stature to a close.

Co-operative Funeralcare (Russell Gray)

Good heavy sounds in the opening, just as the composer intended. The cornet work is razor sharp and precise and the work in the middle of the band is good in the flugel and horn. The Vivace is exciting and precise, this is good stuff. Once again in the Adagio it is a wonderful delivery from the cornet and trombone. The Presto works well and as it heads for home the playing is stylish and on point. Big sounds to close and this is another cracker. 

Bathgate (Anne Crookston)

A good opening statement of intent and good work in the euphoniums and baritones. There a few scratches in the upper lines but it’s well put together and into the Presto the band is really finding its feet and this is a good section. Into the Alla Gigue there isn’t perhaps the weight of the first two but there is good work in the horn and flugel followed by the soprano. The lead up to the Adagio is again good and there’s a good delivery in the cornet and good trombone work. Not all the lines work but the picture is a vivid one. Into the Presto there’s excitement and although there’s a little tiredness creeping in it is keeping its shape really well. The close is excellent and Bathgate can be delighted with their return to the top section.

Dalmellington (Richard Evans)

An excellent opening, very musically shaped, some of the middle of the band lines aren’t altogether clean but the intent is there band it doesn’t detract. The Vivace is exciting and there is some lovely work by the flugel in the section that follows. The Brilliante all goes together and there is some lovely cornet sounds in the Adagio. There is some high class cornet playing in evidence today. The MD allows the space for the euphonium to deliver lyrically. The falling lines in the Presto are well delivered, one of the upper lines gets a little scrappy but the ensemble is still tight. As the allegro heads for home it’s been good stuff from the ladies and gents from Ayrshire and their evergreen MD.

Newtongrange Silver (Andrew Duncan)

A well measured opening with heavy full sounds and the requisite amount of menace on display. It’s full of style and although some of the lines don’t speak with absolute precision it’s exciting and full of colour into the Alla Gigue. There’s some super work from the flugel and soprano here. Into the Adagio the cornet delivers well and there are sonorous middle of the band sounds where the euphonium makes a lovely contribution. The soprano and back row provide good balance but just before the Presto the intonation in the cornets falters slightly. The journey home is high octane and it’s been a full bloodied account by the band. That’s not to say it was without subtleties when required although there may be a break whilst they ship in a new TamTam which was rather robustly played at the end. A good return to the top flight for Newtongrange.

Kirkintilloch Kelvin (Charles Keenan)

A rather untidy start although it settles and there is some good work on display from the cornets in particular the soprano. As it moves on though it grows in stature and the sounds are both heavy and full. The excitement is in full evidence as it moves into the Adagio where the cornet makes some lovely sounds in a solo that delivers to the end well. There is some questionable intonation in the middle of the band that detracts from the picture unfortunately. The Presto is exciting and bold in a performance that has grown throughout and there are big sounds to close.

Bon Accord Silver (Stephen Malcolm)

Another opening full of life and intent, it has its moments when it doesn’t always hang together but it doesn’t detract all that much. There are good sounds from the middle of the band especially euphonium but at times there can be some little tuning rubs in the upper end. Into the adagio the cornet is another that makes a good job of the fiendishly tricky solo. The trombone that takes over it and in the euphonium, one of the best of the day. The muted work in the cornets is good and the soprano makes a fine job of the solo line. The euphonium duet is top quality and the quiet close is bang in tune. The band grows in the journey home and it has been a good account from Britain’s most Northerly top section band.

Tullis Russell Mills (Tony George)

A good opening which has menace and atmosphere. The lines just get out of shape slightly though and the intonation isn’t absolutely on point. Some of the subtleties in the music is well shaped though. Into the Alla Gigue the shapes don’t always work and there is some rushing which makes the lines rock. In the section up to the Giojoso there is some good work by the lovely-sounding young flugel player. The MD gives the music room to breath and the cornet delivers with style as does the euphonium. The start of the Presto is rather ragged and it takes a while to gather itself but settles by the Meno Mosso. It’s a good showing by Tullis as they rebuild, they certainly won’t be disappointed by this.

Bo'ness and Carriden (Lee Skipsey)

The opening has the requisite threat and malice but the lines aren’t always together. The sounds as we move on return well with good style and dynamic contrast. Sometimes the middle of the band lines get a little scrappy but the cornet precision is well delivered. The Alla Gigue is light with good euph/bari delivery before the flugel makes a lovely contribution before the Giojoso. The section up to the Adagio gets a little scrappy but into it, the cornet delivers well. The MD allows space for the suphonium to express and it’s nice music making. The muted entry in the back row is played with style and the soprano plays confidently. Into the Presto the tempo is sensible yet exciting and the dynamic contrast helps with the picture although it is a little scrappy. AN exciting delivery to finish and another band that won’t be disappointed by their work today.