JAPAN'S RISING CORNET STAR - Chiaki Hirata talks to British Bandsman in an exclusive video interview

Issue 5974

THE UNFINISHED SYMPHONY: A CENTENARY CELEBRATION - Celebrating 100 years of Tullis Russell Mills Band

 GEARING UP FOR GATESHEAD - Extensive preview of the 42nd Brass in Concert Championships

West of England Regional Championships - Championship Section LIVE!

Sunday 11 March, 2018

Championship Section

The Forum

Test-piece: Odyssey (Kevin Norbury)

Sunday 11 March

Draw: 12:00 noon (commences not before 2:00pm)

Adjudicators: Alan Morrison and David Roberts

Kenny Crookston reporting

 

Results

1. Flowers (David Childs)

2. Woodfalls (Dr. Robert Childs) 

3. Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie)

4. St. Dennis (Darren Hawken)

5. Aldbourne (David Thornton) 

6. Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)

7. Lydbrook (Glyn Williams)

8. Verwood Concert Brass (Kevin Smith)

9. St. Austell Town (David Nicholson)

10. Hyde (Jonathan Lush-Camps)

11. Brunel Brass (Neil Skipper)

12. Lanner and District Silver (Andrew Berryman)

 

  

In the BB Frame

1. Flowers (David Childs) 

2. Woodfalls (Dr. Robert Childs)

3. Aldbourne (David Thornton)

4. St. Dennis (Darren Hawken)

5. Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)

6. Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie)

 

 

17:35 A very enjoyable and high-standard contest here in Torquay in which five or six bands could have played themselves into contention. We have Flowers and Woodfalls heading for London in October but there is undoubtedly potential for one of Aldbourne, St. Dennis, Filton or Camborne to unseat one or even both, such was the level of consistency here. Real results soon.

 

12. Brunel Brass (Neil Skipper)

A vibrant opening that makes up in dynamism what it occasionally lacks in precision. Some scratching around at the top end when it reaches meno mosso and the allegro vivace suffers from a lot of loose ensemble. The solo work in the adagio section all comes off, while the accompaniment is fairly robust. Presto to the end has plenty of forward motion, but again the precision level isn’t really at the level of much of today’s opposition.

 

11. Lanner and District Silver (Andrew Berryman)

Some very disjointed moments in the opening and soloists keep the already high error count rising as it approaches the Allegro Vivace. There’s plenty of spirit in the playing through to alla gigue, but the precision level is a notch down on today’s very good overall standard. Cornet solo is very well played, as the other solos in the adagio section, although a lot of the background isn’t together. Untidy ensemble continues throughout the presto. Not one that really came together today.

 

10. Aldbourne (David Thornton)

Excellent, dynamic opening section with everything heard clearly. The high-quality delivery continues through the meno mosso section, where only the tiniest of clips appear. Allegro vivace knocks along and most of it is very effective. Some of the background detail is harder to decipher but the overall picture remains strong through alla gigue. Cornet plays with style and his colleagues are all up to scratch too, some not holding back at all! Presto to the end has boundless energy, but thankfully not at the expense of either the detail or the music-making. A very good show!

 

9. Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)

Opening is characteristically bold and nearly all clean and tidy. Cornets not quite on top of it at meno mosso, although the general level of quality is very high. Allegro vivace has plenty of space and clarity, and we hear some great work at the bottom end. Alla gigue perhaps needs to be lighter on its feet but it remains precise. Cornet digs deep and produces a good one in the adagio section and we love the sonorous muted horns! Presto is fairly sedate but the tempo works well and detail is easy to hear. A lot of authority about this one. It does feel generally a notch up dynamically and there have been a handful of clips but it won’t be far away.

 

8. St. Dennis (Darren Hawken)

A very well-measured opening in which everything comes to life through excellent dynamic effects. Everything remains in place through the meno mosso section, where only the smallest of flaws appear at the top end. A steady approach at allegro vivace and the benefit is excellent clarity throughout every section and from every soloist. Precision continues at alla gigue and it winds down with style to adagio. Lovely reflective cornet moment sets the scene for a very well presented slow movement. Presto is again well-controlled tempo-wise and the resulting clarity will serve this performance well. A very thoughtful reading overall that we think could do very well today.

 

7. Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie)

Very good opening section and the band projects its sound very well. Some untidiness at meno mosso and the allegro vivace is off like lightning. Nearly everything gets played so the tempo works well right through to alla gigue, where it starts to get a bit more untidy in some isolated bars. We love the style and delivery of the cornet solo - relaxed and classy. Not everything that follows has the same quality but it’s back to the high-octane delivery in the presto. We like the zest that’s been shown in this one, enhanced also with some really excellent music-making. Some flaws will count against it but this could be in the mix.

 

6. Flowers (David Childs)

Bags of authority in the opening and we there are details in the trombones to a level previously unheard today. Some small clips as it proceeds and there seems to be some uncertainty in the upper cornets before 84. Allegro Vivace is very tight in the ensemble, with terrific attention to dynamic details, while the light-footedness as it approaches the adagio section is notable. Terrific adagio in which all soloists are right on top of it. Beautifully shaped too. Presto really brims with life and everything on the score is there to heard. Some quite brilliant playing from Flowers today. We just wonder if a few uncertain moments earlier may cost a point or two.

 

5. Hyde (Jonathan Lush-Camps)

Understated opening bars are soon followed by some inaccurate decoration around the stand. Meno mosso has similar issues while the tempo appears to fluctuate somewhat as it develops. Allegro Vivace has boundless energy and it goes very well for the most part. The slips in the other parts, however, are of the prominent variety… Very well played cornet solo and the following section is almost all good. Some odd sounds in the basses to close and then the running shoes are on again as it heads for home in pretty good shape overall. Some great moments in this one punctuated by some frustrating slips.

 

4. Lydbrook (Glyn Williams)

Bold sounds to open but there is quite a lot of loose ensemble in the opening section. Allegro Vivace is off at a sensible pace and for the most part it stays together. Occasional scrappiness affects the melodic line and it starts to drop in quality from alla gigue onwards. We like the approach in the cornet solo and the following soloists also contribute well. There’s a nice lightness touch in the presto section and the energy builds to a finale that was only slightly untidy. A lot to credit in this one with only occasional drops in overall quality possibly costing.

 

3. Woodfalls (Dr. Robert Childs) 

Real quality in the opening sounds, although there are some minor slips at the top end. It remains neat through the meno mosso and the Allegro Vivace has precision and dynamism. Great work on the basses and every line is very clear right through to the cornet solo, with only the smallest of clips along the way. Excellent cornet solo seems almost effortless and the following interjections are all played with style. Quality remains high throughout the Presto and it glides to a thrilling close. A terrific show from the defending champion.

 

2. St. Austell Town (David Nicholson)

Quite a bit of untidy ensemble playing in the opening section, with quite a bit of scratching around for the high notes in the more detailed sections. Meno mosso is cleaner and the style and tempo work well here. Allegro Vivace doesn’t hang around, but it’s just on the fast side of the band’s technique in places. Bags of energy as it proceeds and the quality is higher at times, although punctuated by some rather scruffy semiquaver work. Bravo solo cornet, who really dug deep for that one. She’s matched by the excellent euphonium. The tuning suffers before it returns to full energy at Presto. Clips continue to appear but the overall musical picture has been very good here.

 

1. Verwood Concert Brass (Kevin Smith)

An authoritative opening with everything in the score heard clearly and with excellent dynamic impact. Cornets not so tidy in the Meno Mosso and one or two small clips follow. It’s back to high quality in the Allegro Vivace, which has spirit and precision in the ensemble, with only an occasional blur in the melodic detail. It remains tight throughout the animated section before a very understated gong takes us into an excellent cornet solo. More good work follows and the Presto is full of life all the way to the finish. A truly excellent opener from Verwood that has certainly set a standard that will be tough to match.

 

Draw

1. Verwood Concert Brass (Kevin Smith)

2. St. Austell Town (David Nicholson)

3. Woodfalls (Dr. Robert Childs) 

4. Lydbrook (Glyn Williams)

5. Hyde (Jonathan Lush-Camps)

6. Flowers (David Childs)

7. Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie)

8. St. Dennis (Darren Hawken)

9. Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)

10. Aldbourne (David Thornton)

11. Lanner and District Silver (Andrew Berryman)

12. Brunel Brass (Neil Skipper)