RESTAURATEUR AND CELEBRITY CHEF, BRIAN TURNER CBE - MY LOVE OF BRASS BANDING

Issue 5970

Egon Virtuosi Brass - An inside story

The Owen Farr Seminar - the first in a monthly series of brass masterclasses by the tenor horn virtuoso

Besses Boys' Band - Celebrating 75 years

Grimethorpe Youth Band feature

Welsh Regional Championships - 4th Section LIVE!

Sunday 18 March, 2018

4th Section

Test-piece: World Tour (Rodney Newton)

Sunday 18 March

Draw: 9.00am (commences 10.00am)

Adjudicators: Mark Wilkinson and John Winterflood

Paul Hindmarsh reporting 

....Morning from Swansea. It's far from 'good' here - not much snow but the artic weather has caused the withdrawal of some bands, including from this already very small section. It's a day for flexibility. Oakdale is snowed in and another band is delayed. Let's hope that Rodney Newton's World Tour, with its sunny locations will warm the spirits of the hardy souls who have made it here this morning. Two bands stood out for us after a very quick section and for the judges too. 

Full Result

1. Upper Rhondda (Jayne Thomas) 

2. Cwmtawe Youth (Wayne Pedrick)

3. Buckley Brass (Steve Pugh-Jones)

4. Crosskeys Silver (Mike Davies)

5. Gwaen-cae-Gurwen (Jeff Hutcherson)

Best Instrumentalist: Matthew Eveson (Euphonium), Upper Rhonnda

In the BB Frame

1. Upper Rhondda (Jayne Thomas) 

2. Cwmtawe Youth (Wayne Pedrick)

3. Buckley Brass (Steve Pugh-Jones)

4. Crosskeys Silver (Mike Davies)

5. Gwaen-cae-Gurwen (Jeff Hutcherson)

 

5. Crosskeys Silver (Mike Davies)

 After an untidy start, the band gets well into its stride through the first movement. The tempo for the Chicago Rag are ok, but a few missed steps along the way!  It needed a firmer pulse and surer sense of style. A few slips at the start Pacific Paradise are caused by a very slow speed. It’s really hard for bands at this level to sustain the sound and shape the phrases when the music isn’t flowing forward. Having said that, some of the tutti chords are sonorously delivered.
Something went wrong in the basses at the start of the finale, which was very steady. This band is also short of a few players (2 trombones for example). A decent effort in the circumstances. 

4. Buckley Brass (Steve Pugh-Jones)

A solid start here, with a just a few untidy moments to cloud the picture – but this is going very nicely in Pulchinello etc. The seascape speed seems a bit fast, but they play as directed. With just two basses, the inner detail has no problem in cutting through.
A smudge at the start of Chicago Rag – great speed, but could be a bit livelier in mood with sharper tonguing.
Pacific Paradise catches a few of the soloists out but generally, this is smoothly delivered, with an attractive light and shade in the ‘hair pin’ bars. The solo cornet projects well in her little solos. The last chord could have been better tuned.
Australian Walkabout – with only one percussion player and depleted sections – troms and basses – band and conductor have to be congratulated for getting round the piece as well as they did.

3. Gwaen-cae-Gurwen (Jeff Hutcherson)

Not such a tuneful or balanced a sound as the first two bands, but we can hear all the parts. The cornets are finding it hard going to cut through begin short of a few players.
Chicago Rag is a bit quick for comfort. The players are rushing through the quaver detail. It’s tough to negotiate the twiddly bits and find that uplifting, jovial style at that speed.
Pacific Paradise – a mixed bag here, as some players are clearly well on top of the technique and musical approach required, while others are much less experienced – nice work from the soloists in the middle section.
The finale is bright and cheerful, but could do with a firmer pulse throughout to help tidy up the ensemble.

2. Cwmtawe Youth (Wayne Pedrick)

Another full sounding band with a strong bass end for The Leaving of Liverpool. Some inner detail gets a bit lost, but I’m enjoying the breadth of the performance. Pulchinello doesn’t quite settle down at the start – it’s a bit quick perhaps – but God Save The King fills the hall. The high cornet lines aren’t always consistent in weight and phrasing.
A slightly tentative start to Chicago Rag, and a steady speed – could be a bit brighter in mood if not speed, with a bit more attack. The young players are clearly enjoying this one as the music builds. Well done at the end!
Pacific Paradise – a secure start from a lovely flugel player and solo cornet. The soloists come through well here, with dynamic shadings clearly signposted. The cornet could inhabit the pianos with a bit more supported sound, and although the soloists make individual contributions, the tempo sags because they are not really joined up.
Walkabout – trombones peck at the notes a bit – not a great unison guys – but the music is spirited. Generally, this section needs a touch more precision in the delivery. A sonorous ending, although not as accurate as at the opening. Nice work overall.

1.Upper Rhondda (Jayne Thomas) 

 
A strong and characterful opening promises well for this World Tour – full, warm sound and plenty of detail in as sustained sound – lovely job on the opening….the tenuto diminuendo into Pulchinello was well controlled and then we hear the snippets of march, hymn and anthem clearly. I like the clear differentiation between accent and tenuto.
Chicago Rag – starts at a sensible tempo. Technically not quite as adroit as the opening in the filigree details, but the style is spot on.
Pacific Paradise – a wobbly start from the flugel and cornet soloists unsettled for a moment, but order is restored once everyone joins in – some lovely sounds, dynamic give and take adds a serene air to the expression – lovely shadings and confident perfectly tuned chords. The solo episode in the middle is so much better than the nervy opening – well rescued – and beautiful last chord, in tune and balanced.
Neat and tidy for the Matilda episode, with some precise playing in the march and a stylish waltz segment. The return home is solidly played – could have had a bit more poke on the front of the notes here, but what a finish – full resounding chord. Lovely job all round. A band in fine fettle to start the morning.



 

Draw

1. Upper Rhondda (Jayne Thomas)

2. Cwmtawe Youth (Wayne Pedrick)

3. Gwaen-cae-Gurwen (Jeff Hutcherson)

4. Buckley Brass (Steve Pugh-Jones)

5. Crosskeys Silver (Mike Davies)

Oakdale Silver (Kerry Bowden)  W/D