BATTLE OF THE TITANS - Bands gear up for a titanic battle at the Royal Albert Hall

Issue 6016

COMPOSERS' CORNER - Dr Liz Lane looks at the subject of  networking 

HERE IS THE NEWS - Looking back at the Daily Herald's Nationals sponsorship

Grand Shield LIVE!

Saturday 12 May, 2018

The Grand Shield

Test-Piece: The Triumph of Time (Professor Peter Graham)

Draws: 9.00am and 12.30pm

Commences: 10.00am

Chris Shanks reporting



1. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths) 

2. Aldbourne (Dr. David Thornton)

3. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

4. Woodfalls (Dr Robert Childs)

5. NASUWT Riverside (Professor Nicholas Childs)

6. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

7. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)

8. Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie)

9. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)

10. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)

11. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)

12. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)

13. Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)

14. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)

15. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

16. Tongwynlais Temperance (Andreas Kratz)

17. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)

18. Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)

19. Llwydcoed (Christopher Turner)

20. City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith) (Dewi Griffiths) 

Best Soloist: Isobel Daws, trombone, Friary Guildford


In the BB Frame - final prediction

1. Woodfalls

2. Hammonds Saltaire

3. Reg Vardy

4. Virtuosi GUS 

5. Friary Guildford

6. Filton Concert Brass

Darkhorses: Thoresby, EYMS, Pemberton, Aldbourne


Overall, this has been a contest of mixed execution and might well be a bit of lottery as to who gets the two prized tickets to the Open in September. Safe to say it has been a test for all bands which has had soloists at their limit on some occasions. For me, Woodfalls are a slight nod ahead of Hammonds who had one of the most engaging performances of the day. Reg Vardy had one of the tidiest performances of the day followed by GUS who promised so much allied by some sublime moments only to be undone by the odd nasty blemish or two. Friary early doors impressed and could well be in with a shout come results time with some very impressive soloist contributions and a good performance all round today. Filton make up my top 6 with a creditable first performance in the Grand Shield. 


20. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

Great opening builds nicely into a big and bold sound from the band. Fantastic euphonium solo leads into an equally executed solo cornet solo. There is much to admire up to this point.

Excellent Solo Baritone sets up a secure enough Eb Bass cadenza. Then the Solo Cornet plays with a sublime sense of musical line and shape, equally met by the rep (rare occasion today!). However, the error account starts to mount and intonation creeps in again. Shame as this had much promise.

As we enter the Jazz section we lose a sense of pulse and poise despite great efforts from Solo Trombone. As the music builds and more join this is all of a sudden great sounds and style.

Nice Trombone Chorale overall sets up a well delivered Solo Horn and Eb Bass cadenzas. Well played by Flugel and neatly we hand over another excellent Solo Horn contribution. Sadly we had another little moment of untidiness which detracted from the overall picture. Despite that the section closed nicely as we head for the finish.

Plenty poise, detail and energy on show now. The is some of the bands best playing so far showing great dynamic contrasts all the way to the close.

Overall a performance that promised so much and had some superb solo contributions however was tarnished slightly by some untidiness in places which could cost the band today. A great read from MD!


19. Tongwynlais Temperance (Andreas Kratz)

A fine opening that builds nicely but then we are hit with a bit of untidiness and minor errors. An excellent solo euph follows then we start to lose a sense of ensemble focus despite good efforts from Solo Cornet.  As we hit the short reprise again the execution isn’t quite there and more minor errors creep in.

Well done solo baritone and Eb Bass as it sets up the Solo Cornet to showcase a lovely sense of musical line but then the error count starts to mount again and ensemble suffers. It feels a bit workmanlike unfortunately.

Percussion set up the Jazz Section brilliantly however we again lose a sense of ensemble and poise. When the band joins in this showcases some of the bands best playing so far – fully committed and energetic.

Trombone Chorale is very bold and together – well done Solo Horn and Eb Bass. Flugel and Baritone play very nicely and have lovely sounds. Solo horn and Soprano follow with equally well executed contributions, sadly there are some noticeable intonation issues which might add to the error count. Flugel closes beautifully.

As we set for home there is plenty detail but not necessarily the best ensemble or execution. Despite some good sounds, some great solo contributions in places and a well driven ending, this performance is one that had potential but just didn't quite come off today.


18. Camborne (Kevin Mackenzie)

This a tidy and purposeful opening that builds nicely to showcase a fine band sound. Some very good efforts from Euphonium and Solo Cornet before we lose a little bit of ensemble focus. Band settles quickly.

Despite some very fine Baritone sounds and secure Eb Bass solos, there were some intonation issues starting to creep in. Following a fine Solo Cornet line, there are some minor errors starting to mount up. Baritone and Rep still producing great sounds but there are some fragments that are little rough in approach.

As we enter the Jazz movement, we lose a sense of ensemble unfortunately. As the band joins in there is some more settled playing on show and big bold sounds.

Trombone Chorale starts well and nearly comes off, great effort. Well played solo horn throughout this movement, delivered a touch of class. Flugel then takes over and leads well ably accompanied by the band with only a couple of minor intonation issues.

As we head for home there is plenty purpose and energy if not always the greatest ensemble. On entry to the Grandioso there is much to admire the stylistically but intonation does creep in again. A very fine ending but one too many errors marred a decent performance.


17. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)

An excellent opening that was measured and precise which then showcased a bit of a balance issue (Trombones were dynamic!) but still plenty to admire. Excellent euphonium and solo cornet contributions.

Some very fine Baritone playing is followed by a good Eb Bass cadenza. Solo cornet leads well but then we get a few nervy moments where it detracts slightly from some very fine Baritone playing. As the section closes there are some noticeable intonation issues.

The Jazz Section is set up well by percussion but there are some uneasy moments and then comes across slightly imbalanced dynamically. There is some fine playing to admire when the band is full flow.

Trombone Chorale is probably one of the best of the day which lays the platform for very good Solo Horn and Eb Bass contributions. There is some fine flugel playing on show here which is equally supported by solo baritone and band accompaniment. There is also some of the quietest playing of the day on show which does bring it the odd intonation issue and not sure it was lyrical enough.

As we start to head for home there is plenty detail, energy and commitment to admire. Safe to say the band left nothing on stage however, will their lack of musical line in places cost them today.


16. Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)

A decent opening that is generally settled and builds into a big tutti band sound where get a real sense of purpose. Good solo contributions from both Euphonium and Solo Cornet followed.

One of the best baritone solos of the day follows before a fine Eb Bass cadenza. As the band joins there is nice sounds led by a fine solo cornet. There is also some fine Solo Horn playing on show as well. Only a slight hint of intonation to close.

Jazz section is led by very good trombones and this generally sits very well together. There is detail to admire, energy and a sense of swagger without overdoing it.

This trombone chorale has been given space, very nearly comes off with the slightest little blemish at the end - some outstanding horn and Eb Bass contributions nonetheless.  Flugel leads well but there are a few minor errors mounting as the music progresses.

There is plenty detail and dynamic contrasts that sets up a full bodied Grandioso however intonation creeps in and detracts slightly from a fine interpretation to close. Overall, a good performance.


15. Woodfalls (Dr Robert Childs)

An excellent opening full of drive, purpose and a big bold statement. The best euphonium solo of day thus far is followed by an excellent Solo Cornet. Lots to admire and good detail on show with stark contrasts in dynamics.

Excellent Baritone work is followed by an equally good Eb Bass. Lovely solo cornet is followed where the ensemble of accompaniment is oozing musicality with soloists given the necessary space for expression.

Great percussion sets up an excellent Solo Trombone contribution in the Jazz Section. This has dynamic contrasts, detail and real swagger.

Trombone chorale nearly comes off but some excellent solo contributions from Solo Horn and Eb Bass. Flugel takes over sublimely and the band settles back down. Some of the sounds on show are warm and big. Some fine playing to move into the final section.

Straight away there is detail and intent followed by a grandioso sound all the way to the end. A fine performance that will take some beating.


14. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk) 

Opening for me takes time to settle but there are fine solo contributions from Euphonium and Cornet. More dynamic contrast possibly could have helped the overall picture.

Again well played solos from Baritone and Eb Bass despite the odd bit of intonation. Solo Cornet takes over and has a great sound and this is followed by fine work around the stands however there are one or two errors starting to creep in.

As we move into the Jazz this lacks ensemble and takes a while to settle. Once the tutti band comes in, there are some big sounds not with all the detail however.  

Trombone chorale suffers by some intonation issues however, there are fine contributions from Solo Horn and Eb Bass. Despite a fine flugel, again the lyrical music is highlighting some tutti intonation issues again and the error count starts to mount despite some noble solo contributions as we progress into the final movement.

The final movement starts with purpose but lacking some detail. However, there is plenty commitment to close by the bucket full and there is much to commend by this performance.


13. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)

This an opening that takes time to settle but has big bold sounds. Excellent Euphonium solo is followed by one of the best Cornet solos of the day.

Well constructed solos from Baritone and Eb Bass leads into a sublime Solo Cornet. Notable Solo Horn playing featured as well.

The Jazz Section starts well but then just gets all a little frantic and a tad on the edge. However, we cannot fault the commitment of the band and the ensemble is good.

Trombone chorale is safely dealt with if lacking a little bit of emotion but there is some fine solo work happening nonetheless. Despite some fine solo playing there are some tutti band intonation issues that detract from the overall picture.

As we drive for home there are some bits of detail getting lost but there is plenty passion and commitment to the end. Sometimes the sound loses balance and errors start to mount but still lots to commend.


12. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)

One of the more measured openings today but still maintained purpose and enough drive. One of the best euphonium solos today, great playing. Well played by solo cornet too. This is performance so far that is not pushing tempo but possibly more detail on offer than previous bands.

Well executed solos from Baritone and Eb Bass. There is a lot to admire, nice accompaniment sounds which allows the soloists space to excel. Well done all soloists – only the odd clip here and there. As we close intonation started to creep in only just.

This is a Jazz Section that again has been carefully measured and settled as we got further into the section but possibly not as much swagger.

Trombone chorale doesn’t quite come off for me. Needs a little bit more warmth of sound and possibly was just a little bit direct. However, secure cadenzas leads into a brilliant Flugel and well followed by Solo Horn. Beautiful closing remark from Flugel before we head into the final section.

Again this is an ending that is going for detail not over doing it tempo wise. Pity about some of the intonation at the Grandioso and sounding tired to finish as there was a lot to admire about this performance well-structured by their MD. 


11. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths) 

This is an opening of purpose, drive and decent ensemble too. Big sounds on show. Good contributions from Euphonium and Solo Cornet. Tight ensemble and dynamic contrasts.

Good contributions from Baritone and Eb Bass – only the odd intonation issue. Band soloists all generally all deliver well albeit not blemish free. Nice Rep (best of the day thus far!) and Bari work, pity to close there were some intonation issues.

Well played trombones to set the Jazz Section off in the correct manner. This has intent and the band is clearly enjoying this – plenty detail and swagger.

Again trombones perform well as a unit at the Chorale. Well-handled cadenzas – just a couple of blemishes. This a well-crafted section from the MD that has got a solid accompaniment to allow the soloists just enough freedom. Flugel leads well from start to finish.

As we head for home this has an air of intent, possibly dynamically a little secure to begin with but it is big, bold and menacing. Overall, a lot to admire about this performance.



Full Draw

1. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

2. NASUWT Riverside (Professor Nicholas Childs)

3. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)

4. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

5. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)

6. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)

7. Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)

8. City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith) (Dewi Griffiths)

9. Llwydcoed (Christopher Turner)

10. Aldbourne (Dr. David Thornton)

11. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths) 

12. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)

13. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)

14. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)

15. Woodfalls (Dr Robert Childs)

16. Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)

17. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)

18. Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie)

19. Tongwynlais Temperance (Andreas Kratz)

20. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)


In the BB Frame - half way stage

1. Reg Vardy

2. Friary Guildford

3. Pemberton Old Wigan DW

4. Aldbourne

5. Hepworth

6. City of Cardiff



10. Aldbourne (Dr. David Thornton)

An opening that had purpose and drive despite taking a few bars to settle. Excellent euphonium and cornet solos – bravo. Although possibly a little safe dynamically there is some tight ensemble on show allied by controlled sounds.

Well played Baritone leads into an excellent Eb Bass cadenza. Sadly despite nice solo cornet lead, there are some notable intonation issues which are beginning to detract from the overall picture.

The jazz section starts with secure trombone work and leads into well-handled tutti band section that just has enough swagger for us. Like most today there was some untidiness to close the section and some intonation issues.

Well-handled cadenzas leads into a nice flugel line with well supported tutti lines. Although there is the odd blemish it doesn’t detract from the overall picture. Some good work from Solo Horn again supported by Soprano, despite one or two little intonation niggles.

As we head for home there are some very nice solid band sounds on display and some tidy ensemble all carefully controlled by the MD. There is much to admire with this performance which was well thought out and despite the odd blemish carefully negotiated.


9. Llwydcoed (Christopher Turner)

A decent opening that is purposeful if a little untidy in places. Good solo contributions from Cornet and Euphonium.

Good effort from Baritone and Eb Bass if not without some intonation issues. Lovely solo cornet lead but again one or two minor blemishes start creep in to close.

The Jazz section gets a little ragged to start and didn’t quite settle.

Trombone Chorale doesn’t quite come off and some intonation sadly detracts from the overall picture. There are some excellent Solo Horn contributions throughout this section and tutti band sounds however.

Not always rhythmically precise as the demi semi’s return but final statements are handled carefully leading to bold final statement.


8. City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith) (Dewi Griffiths)

A bold opening that is together if a little loud to start. There is plenty drive and purpose. Good solo contributions from Cornet and Euphonium, despite some untidiness in tutti band sections.

Good efforts from Baritone and Eb Bass. One or two minor errors start to creep in which is starting to affect intonation.

The Jazz Section takes a little bit of time to settle despite good efforts from Solo trombone. There were some good tutti sounds on offer however to close the section there were some notable intonation issues.

Well negotiated cadenzas lead into a lovely flugel lead but one or two minor errors begin to creep in and begin to blemish a good read from MD.

As we head for home, this was a brave effort that started to tire but still had plenty Welsh passion to the close - some excellent solo contributions.


7. Ashton-under-lyne (Philip Chalk)

A decent opening that is purposeful but untidiness creeps in and we lack a little bit detail. Good effort from Euph and Solo cornet however there are some ensemble issues and tempo starts to fade slightly.

Effective cadenzas from Baritone and Eb Bass leads into nice solo contributions from Solo Cornet and Soprano. There is good playing but there are one or two intonations issues and minor errors that start to detract from the overall picture.  

The Jazz section starts off well with a good solo trombone but then we start to lose a bit detail, ensemble and swagger. Sadly to close intonation issues creep in again.

Trombone chorale is safe and together if not always in tune however excellent Solo Horn and Eb Bass Cadenzas followed. Flugel leads well throughout, ably supported by Solo Baritone. Again featured is some of the best horn playing of the day thus far – bravo sop too. Some of the bands best playing in this section.    

A brave performance that grew in confidence. Tiredness crept in to close but still plenty passion and the band gave it their all. Some excellent Solo Horn contributions in this performance.


6. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)

One of the best openings today and this has detail and purpose which leads into excellent Solo Euphonium and Solo Cornets renditions. Dynamic contrasts are vast and plenty more detail on offer.

Excellent Solo Baritone sets the tone for well shaped Eb Bass cadenza. Lovely solo cornet sound supported by lush tutti band sounds. Again excellent Solo Bari marred slightly by the odd blemish from supporting lines in.

Good start to the Jazz section from Solo Trombone ably supported corresponding lines that join. As the band gets into full flow the band showcases some big sounds. As we close there are some intonation issues that detract from a very effective section.

Trombone Chorale is purposeful and sets up a excellently shaped solo horn cadenza. Eb Bass follows with a safe and secure cadenza again. Despite some lose ensemble to begin it leads into a solid flugel solo. Again well negotiated Solo Horn cadenza and a good effort from soprano to. One or two intonation issues creep into finish despite nice sounds.

This final section has drive and leads into big sounds at the Grandioso but yet still maintaining good ensemble. It comes across a little tired to close but overall a very good performance with some outstanding solo contributions.


5. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)

A purposeful opening that has drive and is safely negotiated. Good contributions from solo euphonium and solo cornet.  The band loses a little bit of ensemble briefly but settles back down quickly.

Decent effort from Solo Baritone is followed by a good Eb Bass Cadenza. Lovely solo cornet sounds allied by solid band ensemble. There are a few blemishes creeping in which start to detract from a good reading.

As we move into the Jazz section Solo trombone leads well. We start to lose some ensemble and starts to get a little frantic but overall ok rendition.

As we move into the Trombone Chorale there are some intonation issues however there are effective horn and Eb Bass cadenza’s. Although there are good intentions, there are one or two too many minor errors creeping in despite by nice flugel lead.

As we head for home there is a drive if some untidy playing in places which is affecting ensemble in places. As we close there are some good band sounds but despite a well mapped out rendition there may be one or two too many errors to feature later in the day despite early promise.


4. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

This is a detailed opening that has purpose and drive into a good tutti sound if not completely balanced. Good contributions from euphonium and solo cornet.

Effective Baritone contribution (on 2nd Euphonium) which leads into a good Eb Bass cadenza. There is a good platform of sound from the band to allow the soloists to feature, albeit not completely blemish free. Some intonation issues detract slightly from an overall good lyrical section.

Percussion lead us well - probably the most balanced thus far in the Jazz section. Outstanding Solo Trombone, so rhythmic, full of poise and control yet sheer class. Well joined by the rest of the troms, best so far. Big band sounds follow.

Trombone Chorale again is well led and overall well played, just the odd intonation rumbles. Well delivered Solo Horn and Eb Bass solos leads into to lovely Flugel sounds. There are good band sounds on show which features good horn and sop contributions. Muted section is safe and secure, if a little safe dynamically.

As head for the close, there is some tight ensemble and although the odd blemish this doesn’t detract the overall picture. Big full sounds to finish brings to a close a very good performance that had some outstanding solo contributions and very good ensemble playing.


3. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)

This an effective opening that leads into a good band. Well played solos from euphonium and cornet. Probably the tightest accompaniment so far.

Solo baritone gives us a good lead in the Sotto followed by an outstanding Eb Bass solo. Lovely solo cornet sound however accompaniment doesn’t quite the foundation. Some intonation issues start to become too often and start to detract slightly but great effort all round.

Trombones give a decent account to start the jazz section, albeit not blemish free. As more sounds join there could be a little more sound and detail but this is safe and secure playing.

Trombone chorale has some intonation issues but Solo Horn leads well into an effective Eb Bass cadenza. Outstanding Flugel is the best so far for me and is followed by effective Horn (again!) and Soprano solos. Adagio is a little safe dynamically and intonation issues detract slightly.

As we head for the close, the band start to drive for home and some effective ensemble playing is on show despite the odd blemish and dynamically healthy.

Grandioso starts with the odd blemish however not detracting from a good performance all round. Not the biggest sound thus far but the tightest ensemble and most effective solo contributions.


2. NASUWT Riverside (Professor Nicholas Childs)

A decent opening however we start to lose tempo and some of the detail. Decent solo contributions from Solo Cornet and Euphonium.

As we lead into the Sotto, good effort from Solo Bari followed by a superb Eb Bass solo. The MD is allowing the soloists the space to express without overdoing it. This is better playing from the band despite one or two intonation issues.

Percussion lead us well in the Jazz section. Good effort from trombones if not quite settled. The band work hard and showcase some good tutti sounds.

Trombone chorale isn’t quite balanced however well played Solo Horn and Eb Bass. Flugel player leads us well despite one or little clips with a decent accompaniment. One or two more intonation and clipped notes start to blemish a good reading.

There is drive as we head for the end if a little secure dynamically. The Grandioso has plenty passion and sound if becoming a little tired and some intonation issues. A decent account from the band.


1. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

Effective opening leads well into good solo contributions, especially solo cornet. Just lost a little bit of tempo but overall this is decent playing from the band.

As we lead into the Sotto, well played Solo Baritone and Eb Bass with the odd little intonation niggle. Lovely Solo Cornet letter Q with effective accompaniment. Solo Baritone excelling again, lovely sound.

Effective soloist contributions as we lead into the Jazz section. Superbly led by Solo Trombone however lose a little bit of coherence for a time. This settles quickly however.

Trombone Chorale is nice with the odd rumble of intonation. Cadenza’s are effective from Solo Horn and Eb Bass that allows the Flugel to take over and well played too. Again intonation issues creep in again.

As we head for the close, the band gathers momentum however starts to tire a little and one or two more intonation issues creep in. Overall, a decent start to the contest.


1st Half Draw

1. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

2. NASUWT Riverside (Professor Nicholas Childs)

3. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)

4. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

5. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)

6. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)

7. Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)

8. City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith) (Dewi Griffiths)

9. Llwydcoed (Christopher Turner)

10. Aldbourne (Dr. David Thornton)