ARCHIE AND THE ALL-STARS - Cornet prodigy, 7, records with celebrity ensemble

Issue 6048

GLIMMER OF HOPE - 'Possible' for small groups to rehearse, confirms BBE

THE WORK OF A HEAVYWEIGHT - Professor Stephen Allen lifts lid on Ralph Vaughan Williams

Scottish Championships - 2nd Section LIVE!

Saturday 10 March, 2018

2nd Section

Test-piece: Ex Terra Lucem (Jonathan Bates)

Saturday 10 March

Pre-drawn (commences 9.30am)

Adjudicators: Mark Wilkinson and Anne Crookston

Dave Kinross reporting

 A high quality contest here in Perth and for us it's a bit of a coin flip between the top two. The sheer musicality of Campbeltown or the precision of Broxburn and Livingston. The only two opinions that matter will give is their judgement shortly.


1. Campbeltown Brass (Paul Kiernan) 94

2. Annan Town (Paul Drury) 93

3. Broxburn and Livingston (John Boax) 92

4. St David's Brass (Ian Fleming) 91

5. St. Ronan's Silver (Alan Fernie) 90

6. Jedforest Instrumental (Phil Rosier) 89

7. Clackmannan District (Paul McKelvie OBE) 87

8. Shotts St. Patrick's (Ray Munday) 86

9. Croy Silver (Kenneth Blackwood) 85

10. Renfrew Burgh (Mark Good) 83

11. Irvine and Dreghorn (Scott Kerr) 82

Best Instrumentalist - Stuart Dickson (Cornet) St David's Brass


In the BB Frame

1. Campbeltown Brass (Paul Kiernan)

2. Broxburn and Livingston (John Boax)

3. St. David's Brass (Ian Fleming)

4. Clackmannan District (Paul McKelvie OBE)

5. Annan Town (Paul Drury)

6. Shotts St. Patrick's (Ray Munday)


1. Croy Silver (Kenneth Blackwood)

The piece opens with good clarity in the cornets and a stylish flugel. Some of the middle band ensemble lacks cohesion and intonation suffers a little. Soloists are confident and play with good poise into the Tranquillo where a good attempt is made at the ppp, although the tuning suffers towards the end of this section. Into “From the Ground, Light” the interlocking rhythm works well and the flugel delivers with a nice sound. The solo cornet plays with great style in the solo. Moments to admire in this opener although tuning may cost. 

2. Jedforest Instrumental (Phil Rosier)

Lots of style to open but again, the middle of the band intonation isn’t quite on point. There’s bags of style on display driven by Phil Rosier and once the band gets into the upper dynamic it’s robust and well balanced. There’s good contributions from the flugel, sop and cornet and there is a good feel to the ensemble. Into the Tranquillo the choice of mute delivers the dynamic but probably at the expense of clarity. Into “From the Ground, Light” licks along nicely and there is a real drive to the music here. The ending is full sounding, (particularly in the percussion) and it rounds off a good offering from the Borderers.

3. Broxburn and Livingston (John Boax)

Best opening yet with drive and real purpose from the MD. The soloists are all clean and stylish and the fff before “St Elyn’s Chapel” is delivered with full commitment but not in any way overblown. This is good stuff. The adjudicators are sure to be listening for dynamic contrast and the muted ppp is right down there and in tune. Equally the passage into “From the Ground, Light” is well controlled. Into the close there is some real quality patrticlualry in the low end and percussion. If you want to make a statement early in the weekend this was the way to do it. May take some beating!

4. Shotts St. Patrick's (Ray Munday)

Another start displaying intent and purpose with good work in the cornets. The tuning suffers slightly in the middle of the band and rhythmically theres a couple of bumps along the way. The cornet and sop play with confidence and style, there’s lots to admire here. In the Tranquillo the tuning suffers slightly and it’s not quite as smooth as it could be. Into the “From the Ground, Light” the sop solo is nicely played and the jazz cornet solo a litter later has real panache. A good full sound to close and a decent performance from Ray Munday’s band.

5. Campbeltown Brass (Paul Kiernan)

A fine opening with drive and some lovely sounds throughout out. Towards the end of “Brigantes” there is detail not yet heard. For such a young band it’s heart warming to hear such mature sounding soloists. Cornet, flugel, horn, euphonium and soprano are excellent. Another thing that separates this is that the tuning is absolutely on point and there is music making in abundance. What a performance by the young team from Campbeltown! This really is turning into a high quality contest.

6. Renfrew Burgh (Mark Good)

A much steadier approach to the opening here and it rhythmically it doesn’t really hang together. The middle of the band produces a good sound which underpins good ensemble in the cornets. Closing out “Brigantes” the MD takes his time with the music and the effect pays off. There are some nervy solo lines but the cornet delivers with great authority in “St Elvyn’s Chapel”. The Tranquillo is in tune but slightly bumpy which is a shame because there is real atmosphere being created. Some really good moments here but in a high quality contest it may struggle to feature.

7. St. David's Brass (Ian Fleming)

Nice opening and lovely flugel sounds on display. Just a moment or two of untidiness and difficult intonation detract. The soloists are of high quality and there is some lovely work by the euphonium. A tense atmosphere is created going into the Chapel with some super cornet work before again being joined by the classy flugel. One of the moments of the day is the controlled cornet playing into the Tranquillo. The intonation into the final movement is slightly uncomfortable and there is a measured approach taken before the best “jazz’ of the day from the cornet. Some good stuff from St David’s but the odd moment may cost.

Annan Town (Paul Drury)

A driven start that takes a little while to settle but when it does, there’s good tempo and slow with some fine solo playing. The ensemble is good and tight although there are a few rubs in the intonation. Again the atmosphere is created well by the MD and there is fine contributions from the cornet and soprano. The opening of “From the Ground, Light” has some lovely sounds not least of which is from the flugel and the cornet solo is delivered with great maturity. At the upper dynamic it’s clean and tidy with the bottom end of the band creating the drive to close. The performances keep coming!

Irvine and Dreghorn (Scott Kerr)

A good opening that bounces along with style, theres some good sounds on display across the dynamic range although there are a couple of intonation rubs in the middle of the band. Into the half tempo, the MD lets the music speak to good effect. Some of the solo contributions are a little nervy but there’s a lovely interchange between soprano and euphonium into a delicate “From the Ground, Light”. One of the high quality elements of the contest as a whole is the jazz cornet solo and this one is no different. As the band head for home there’s some full and detailed sounds.

St. Ronan's Silver (Alan Fernie)

Once again a tight start that moves at a good pace, there are just a couple of intonation issues in the cornets, however, there’s some fine solo playing not least of which from the flugel and solo cornet. The intonation issues recover into the Tranquillo and the effect is good into the closing movement where again there are full sounds and loads of verve to the style. Lots to admire but perhaps it ddn’t have the cutting edge of the leaders.

Clackmannan District (Paul McKelvie OBE)

The opening is marred by some untunefulness from the Scottish Shield winners but it soon settles and the cornet sound is full and bright. Into ‘St Elvyn’s Chapel” the intonation issues creep back in and it doesn’t sound altogether convincing. There are some fine solo contributions from the cornet, soprano and horn though. The ppp has some good control but it’s not all together. Again the cornet delivers lyrically and there is some fine atmosphere into the final movement where the middle of the band sound is impressive. The journey home is underpinned by a powerful bass line to a fine close.