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 - 2nd Section LIVE!

Saturday 10 March, 2018

2nd Section

The Forum

Test-piece: Ex Terra Lucem (Jonathan Bates)

Saturday 10 March

Draw: 8:30am (commences 9:30am)

Adjudicators: David Roberts and Duncan Stubbs OBE

Kenny Crookston reporting

 

Results

1. Helston Town (John Berryman)

2. Shrewton Silver (Michael Dunford)

3. Soundhouse Brass (Lee Clayson)

4. Downton (Paul Williams)

5. Cinderford (Chris Howley)

6. St. Pinnock (David Johnson)

7. Denmead Brass (Estelle Flood)

8. Midsommer Norton and Radstock Silver (Steve Sykes)

9. Camborne Junior Contesting (Alan Pope BEM)

10. Corsham (Colin Hogg)

11. Phoenix Brass (Crewkerne) (Gary Greenstock)

12. Weston Brass (Ceri Thomas)

13. Bream Silver (PhilipTurner)

14. Cheltenham Silver (Nigel Galliott)

15. Poole Borough (Phil Randall)

16. Pendennis Brass (Kevin Ackford)

 

In the BB Frame

1. Helston Town (John Berryman)

2. Camborne Junior Contesting (Alan Pope BEM)

3. Midsomer Norton and Radstock Silver (Steve Sykes)

4. Shrewton Silver (Michael Dunford)

5. Soundhouse Brass (Lee Clayson)

6. St Pinnock (David Johnson)

 

16. Midsomer Norton and Radstock Silver (Steve Sykes)

Loads of authority in the opening and we hear the fullest sound of the day so far. One or two rough edges but there is an air of quality about this. Excellent work in the percussion section too. Just a slight loss of focus in some solo lines in the middle section. Again, though, the band playing is generally of a high standard. Good ensemble throughout the final movement too, with solo lines all delivered appropriately. Strong finale to a good performance - won’t be far away.

 

15. Downton (Paul Williams)

Robust opening with everything in place, but is just a bit heavy-handed and lacking subtlety at times. Some nice solo work at the start of the middle section but again it loses focus occasionally and the overall picture is reduced in quality. The ppp section is better than most we’ve heard and we enjoy the solo cornet’s work a lot. There is some poor intonation as it transitions into the final movement, which poses a few stylistic challenges as it progresses. A lot to like about this one but possibly just too many flaws overall.

 

14. Shrewton Silver (Michael Dunford)

Light opening but it soon finds its feet with fine delivery of all the solo lines matching the band’s overall sound. Quality is maintained through to the opening of the slow movement, which is just less cultured in delivery. The tuning suffers a bit too, while the ppp section feels insecure for a few players. We liked the solo cornet’s style in the final movement solo. Overall this has had a lot to offer, even although occasional weaknesses may have kept it away from the very top.

 

13. Poole Borough (Phil Randall)

Untidy opening and there a few unbalanced sounds appear early in the performance. Solo contributions are generally good and we like the full band sound when it appears towards the end of the opening movement. Not all confident at the start of the middle section and some of it starts to become rather fraught in delivery. Better delivery at the start of the final movement and we hear the band at its best as it winds along to the finale. Possibly too many flaws to feature highly though.

 

12. Phoenix Brass (Crewkerne) (Gary Greenstock)

Just a bit of untunefulness in the opening and some of the solo lines lack in confidence. Band and percussion aren’t always together and there is further uncertainty as it enters the slow movement. ppp section is well controlled and the rest of the movement works well. Terrific work from the cornets at the start of the final section but not everything comes off around the band. Possibly one that got away today for Phoenix. Some good sounds but a very high error count could cost.

 

11. Helston Town (John Berryman)

Light and bouncy in the opening and we like both the style and delivery. One or two minor soloistic flaws appear along the way and the tuning isn’t always perfect but this has been a good start. Soprano and solo cornet are the pick of the soloists and we like the attention to quiet dynamics. Confidence isn’t always high among soloists but we like the musical approach overall. ppp section is the best we’ve heard today. Cornets not all together at the start of the final movement. There is a lot of good work around the band and we like the way it builds to the finale. Definitely one to watch!

 

10. Pendennis Brass (Kevin Ackford)

Plenty of energy in the opening, although some of the leading sounds perhaps need a bit more air behind them. Band and percussion isn’t always together. There is quite a bit of insecurity in the solo lines as it enters the middle movement and there are quite a few issues in the percussion parts that detract from the overall picture. Not all tidy as the final movement gets underway either and although the energy builds well towards the end the technical problems continue. Some nice moments but not one that we think will feature highly today.

 

9. Cinderford (Chris Howley)

Bright and breezy to open and we like the solo contributions, which are all delivered with aplomb. Some minor inaccuracies but probably the most dynamic opening we’ve heard so far. Tuning is a bit uncomfortable in the middle movement and it nips along a bit faster than most, perhaps just lacking some subtlety in delivery occasionally. Nice opening to the final section and we liked the relaxed style of the flugel solo especially. A good show overall but one that we think may have benefitted from slightly more space at times.

 

8. Corsham (Colin Hogg)

Some noticeable tuning problems in the early bars and they continue as it progresses. We especially enjoy the flugel sound but there are issues of general security and intonation around the band. This continues in the middle section, although there are some subtle musical touches from the conductor. Flugel again delivers well in the final movement but there is perhaps just a lack of style and energy that may keep this one away from the frame in the end.

 

7. Cheltenham Silver (Nigel Galliott)

Light in style and dynamics to open and the narrow dynamic range is a feature of the whole first movement. Not all the detail comes through either and the opening of the middle movement suffers from poor intonation. Overall it just needs more attention to breathing and blowing as quite a lot of it sounds unsupported by enough air and this is affecting the confidence. The sound opens up towards the end and although there has been a lot of good playing in this one we feel it just needed more sound at times to do well today.

 

6. Camborne Junior Contesting (Alan Pope BEM)

Perhaps the most robust opening we’ve heard so far and we love the flugel sound in his early solo. One or two slips appear along the way but the young players are giving it everything they have here and it has bags of energy. More stylish solo playing follows in the middle section, where soprano and cornet join their flugel-playing colleague at the top of the class. Excellent work from the cornets at the start of the final movement and although there are some clips as it develops we like the style of this one a lot. A pity about the high error count overall, but we think this one could still do well.

 

5. Bream Silver (Philip Turner)

Light in texture to open and we like the band’s sound when it opens up. Just some inaccuracy in the solo lines detracts slightly and although we like the energy that emerges, an early entry is rather noticeable. Middle section has one or two insecure entries too although we like the musical approach. Not all the detail is clear at the start of the final movement and although all the notes are going in, stylistically it is proving challenging. A good show overall but possibly just off the pace today for us.

 

4. St Pinnock (David Johnson)

A lively opening and the ensemble is clean and strong. Just the occasional blip in the melodic lines. It’s all well under control though. Middle section is all in place and we like the flugel sound most out of the soloists. Perhaps just needs some more air to support the sound at times, while the ppp section feels rather ‘comfortable’ for us. The movement ends well, but it is very difficult to pick out the filigree cornets as the final movement opens. Some discomfort in the jazz breaks but this is the best sounding band we’ve heard so far. Could be an interesting one for the judges.

 

3. Denmead Brass (Estelle Flood) 

Light and bouncy to open and we like the soloists’ contributions. Dynamics build well, especially towards the closing bars, although some untuneful sounds emerge from time to time. Middle movement is all in place and we liked the solo cornet especially. It may have benefited from a bit more time and space overall but security is very good. Solo breaks in the final movement both work very well and the overall picture builds nicely towards a committed ending. Another good performance that may just have needed a bit more time over the middle section to make it to the top.

 

2. Weston Brass (Ceri Thomas)

A bit more bold to open and we like the energy. Soloists all on good form and the music flows very well into the middle section. Slightly less confidence at times in here and there is an occasional hint of poor intonation, but it stays secure through the ppp section and the end of the movement is under control. Balance in the cornets isn’t 100% as the final movement gets underway and it threatens to unwind slightly as it approaches the finishing line. A good show overall and we liked the dynaic contrasts. Just some untidy details may cost.

 

1. Soundhouse Brass (Lee Clayson)

Light in nature to open and we hear all the lines clearly. Soloists all deliver and euphonium is the pick of them. We like the transition into the middle section, where soprano and solo cornet excel. It’s all very well controlled too, although the ppp section sounds slightly uncomfortable for some. The quality remains as it flows into the final movement where the flugel plays with style in his ‘break’. Builds nicely to the final bars. Perhaps just a bit light in volume at times but a very tidy performance to open.  

 

Draw

1. Soundhouse Brass (Lee Clayson)

2. Weston Brass (Ceri Thomas)

3. Denmead Brass (Estelle Flood) 

4. St Pinnock (David Johnson)

5. Bream Silver (Philip Turner)

6. Camborne Junior Contesting (Alan Pope BEM)

7. Cheltenham Silver (Nigel Galliott)

8. Corsham (Colin Hogg)

9. Cinderford (Chris Howley)

10. Pendennis Brass (Kevin Ackford)

11. Helston Town (John Berryman)

12. Phoenix Brass (Crewkerne) (Gary Greenstock)

13. Poole Borough (Phil Randall)

14. Shrewton Silver (Michael Dunford)

15. Downton (Paul Williams)

16. Midsomer Norton and Radstock Silver (Steve Sykes)