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

Senior Trophy LIVE!

Saturday 12 May, 2018

The Senior Trophy

Test-piece: A Kensington Concerto (Eric Ball)

Draws: 10.15am and 1.20pm

Commences: 11.15am

Neil Samuel reporting



1. Wantage Silver (Paul Holland)

2. Derwent Brass (John Davis)

3. Elland Silver (Daniel Brooks)

4. Roche Brass (David Johnson) 

5. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Ryan Watkins)

6. Eccles Borough (David Hamilton)

7. Shepherd Group (Richard Wilton)

8. Tylorstown (Gary Davies)

9. City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)

10. Ebbw Valley Brass (Gareth Ritter)

11. SPAL Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)

12. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)

13. Mardsen Silver (Alan Widdop)

14. Drighlington (Tommy Tynan)

15. Bon Accord (Stephen Malcolm)

16. Roberts Bakery (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)

17. BTM (Jeff Hutcherson)

18. Unison Kinneil (Colin McKenzie)

19. Fishburn (David Hirst)

20. Mount Charles (John Maines)

Best Soloist: Peter Medland, cornet, Vernon Building Society Poynton


In the BB Frame

1. Elland Silver (Daniel Brooks)

2. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Ryan Watkins)

3. Wantage Silver (Paul Holland)

4. Ebbw Valley Brass (Gareth Ritter)

5. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)

6. Roche Brass ( David Johnson)

N.B. NOT the official result!


It's been an interesting day. There hasn't really been a bad performance all day which is testament to the hard work the MD's and the band's have put in over the last few weeks.
All of the soloists did their band's proud, but there were a handful of performances that really stood out.


20. Shepherd Group (Richard Wilton)

The last cornet soloist of the day, and another one who has done himself and the band proud. As the cornets join however, we begin to hear some intonation issues creeping in. As we get to the Allegro at figure 3 we hear similar intonation problems in the cornets although they are dealt with swiftly from within and the Players and MD begin to shape the music to good effect.
Some great ensemble playing throughout this section (back row take a bow at figure 10).
At the Andante Moderato the MD is bringing the required amount of emotion from his players, and it's paying off.
The Andante after figure 17 is kept under control and again, it pays off.
Awkward Intonation in the cornets and horns prior to bars 20 suddently hits which is a shame because of the good playing leading up to the this.
The Giocoso at figure 23 is lively and full of shape that makes great listening.
Andante before figure 27, well done horn. As the band bring it to a close they give it their all in the final bars.

Overall: it was a good show and well directed by the MD. Unfortunate errors may cost, but it will MORE than hold it's own.


19. Roche Brass ( David Johnson)

Lovely soft opening from the Principal Cornet but as the cornets join, intonation begins to become a problem in the top line.
A tad untidy going into figure 4, but the tempo and band continue nicely.
Right through to figure 10 the band continue to make progress with some good noises and technique on show.
Andante Moderato after figure 14 we hear again some lovely back row playing with the syncopations supporting a good euphonium soloist.
As with Eccles earlier on, this is a performance that is very refined and not in your face at all. Quality over quantity seems to be the nature.
Leading up to figure 20 the music is given so much space by the MD that you are given chance to hear the quality of every note.
The Giocoso at figure 23 is very laid back but, nothing is amiss.
Andante before figure 27, we hear a fine horn sound. As the band bring it to a close they keep it under wraps and maintain the quality.

Overall: A good show, although as I say it was very refined in places. However it may pay off in the box, who knows.


18. Wantage Silver (Paul Holland)

Despite the odd blemish at the opening the Principal Cornet brings it off with real style. As the band head to figure 3 there are one or two moments of untidiness but it's still a good musical picture coming across.
Figure 3 the Allegro Quasi Scherzo moves along nicely and is precise!
As we get to figure 13 we get to hear a quality back row who play with great balance supporting the upper cornets.
As we continue through, so does the quality of the playing around the stands.
The Andante after figure 17 sings, is balanced and never over does it.
Wonderful detail is coming through in oodles leading up to figure 19.
The Giocoso at 23 has a great feel to it.
Andante to the end...horn plays well and the band continue in a confident mood to the end.

Overall: Despite the odd slip at the beginning this was a class performance and should challenge.


17. Eccles Borough (David Hamilton)

Classy opening from the Prinicpal cornettist, which sees the band follow with warm sounds that are never in any danger of being overdone.
Slightly untidy as the band pick up into figure 4, but they aren't the first band to do it today.
This continues nice with just the odd moment of intonation through to figure 14.
Andante Moderato after figure 14 the euph gives us an opportunity to sit back and enjoy as he sings through the instrument.
Figure 21 at the Moderato isn't overcooked and a quality noise is kept in check.
The Giocoso at 23 is flowing so we'll, good stuff!
Andante to the of the best horn sounds we have heard today and a very refined ending.

Overall: A great performance, and one that I'm sure the band will build on and continue to progress. Very refined in style but very good.


16. Derwent Brass (John Davis)

Good opening bars. The balance through figure 1 feels a tad bottom end heavy, but is a quality sound.
Figure 3 feels a little rushed each time the band re enter but it's all balanced.
The Grazioso before 12 is giving us some good ensemble playing but not without the odd bit of intonation. Andante Moderato we hear the band's soloists excel, although it feels like the tempo is gaining through this section which stops us hearing the quality continue.
From here toward the Giocoso at figure 23 we get some nice moments to listen to, and the Giocoso itself has a great feel.
Andante to the end...classy horn playing leading to an excellent finish.


15. BTM (Jeff Hutcherson)

Solo cornet stands at the rear of the band to open, and with the odd blemish still does well on a tester of an opening!
Leading into figure 4 the band aren't together but they recover immediately and drive it forward well. Again a little uneasy landing on the neat going into the poco agitato at figure 10. The Andante Moderato after figure 14 is flowing nicely with all soloists playing with the sympathy that the music requires.
Lovely trombone balance at the Andante Moderato (figure 18), and solo cornet does well. Poco Piu Mosso before 23 is jolly and fun.
Andante to the end...some blemishes in the solo horn, but still well played.
Good close, with nothing out of the ordinary.

Overall: A decent show from a young band that had mastered all of the technicalities of the piece, it just lacked a little cohesion here and there.


14. Elland Silver (Daniel Brooks)

The solo cornet adds the tiniest of pulls in the opening bars which gives it such a romantic feel Well done! The band progress well, and at figure 3 we hear the quietest playing of the day which develops nicely with a good pulse.
The quavers hand over well through figure 8 between bari, horn and flugel.
When the band arrive at figure 14 they do so in style, great sounds and the great sounds continue with all of the soloists that follow.
Figure 17 and the build up, is powerful stuff. Musically the MD is pulling emotion from his players and they respond to his every direction.
Poco Piu Mosso before 23 starts well and continues to grow. Andante to the end.. lovely horn sound! Superb close to the piece!


13. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)

Prinicpal Cornet allows the music to breathe and gives it space. The band join and this is good stuff.
The Allegro after figure 3 has a good pulse and is never over done. The long length of some of the notes in particular is a nice change today.
The odd blemish appears as we progress but it still keeps a musical picture.
Andante Moderato before 15 great playing from our back row who support some good soloists.
Andante after 17, is kept refined and well balanced.
The detail bars before figure 19 between sop and solo cornet is good. Not many have picked this out so we'll today.
Poco Allegro at figure 22 is the fastest today, but it's not out of place. Just the odd bout of intonation appear.
Andante to the end...some slight intonation in the solo horn but such a sweet sound. Very good close full of drama.

Overall: Loose in just a few places but Jayne Murrill painted us a fantastic picture today and the band really did well. This should be up there today.


12. SPAL Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)

Great opening from the Prinicpal Cornet. The band are really going for the quiet dynamics which didn't come off for the first entry but have done since.
A few slips through figure 4 onward don't detract from the overall shape but they will perhaps feel frustrated with themselves.
The Andante Moderato after 14 let's us hear the band's fine soloists, all of who do well.
The Andante after figure 17 through to 21 let's us listen to the band play with passion. Nice sounds.
The Poco piu mosso before 23 is settled and doesn't budge.
Andante to the end...well done solo horn, and well done band on a nice close.

Overall: The band play well and slips aside it was good. Will the slips cost today though?


11. Ebbw Valley Brass (Gareth Ritter)

We kick off the 2nd half of the contest with a good opening, regardless of the small slip. Up to figure 3 the band are giving the audience something worth to listening to. Great sounds.
Figure 3 is again faster than we've heard today, but this is tight playing! This continues up to and through the Grazioso.
The Andante Moderato after 14 is featuring some very fine solo playing that is never overdone. As the piece we progress through the warmth of the band sound is fantastic, and so dramatic with the range of dynamics.
The giocoso at 23 is so we'll put together but a tad too comfortable in terms of dynamics.
Andante to the end...warm solo horn with a sweet sound send the band flying on its way to an exciting ending!

Overall: What a great show! Not without error, and perhaps a little too aggressive at times. But up there!


10. Drighlington (Tommy Tynan)

A nice soloist to open, although the first of the day to allow do much space in the opening bars. Not everything comes off, but the MD's wishes are carried out very well by the band in general.
A good positive feel through the Allegro Quasi Scherzo follows. Dynamically the band are doing well and doing all that is asked of them, it just feels untidy in places. Figure 14 hears the band open up and show off a broad sound to the adjudicators. Through the Andante Moderato before figure 15 all of the soloists do a good job. This section is layered with emotion, although not all of the solo entries speak as they join.
Again as with the previous two bands the intonation in the lower end leading into the Andante after 17 suffers as the pitch ascends and dynamic grows but settles once the band join. Super solo cornet at figure 20, and good ensemble playing. The Grazio is ever so slightly unbalanced around the stands which is a shame.
Andante to the end...issues in a cornet voice may detract here, but a huge pat on the back to the solo horn who still managed to produce one of the better renditions of the day here!

Overall: With every band that has played up to the break it had so much to offer, but didn't deliver all of the time. Well led by a young MD with good insight.


9. Tylorstown (Gary Davies)

A slightly faster opening than we have heard today, but nevertheless well played and not out of place.
Well balanced sounds through to the Allegro Quasi Scherzo. From here this is good stuff. It's neat and tidy and has a good pulse without overdoing it. The quiet dynamics are equally as good. The odd blemish here and there but they certainly don't alter the shape or style.
A few intonation and balance issues appear in the trombones at 12.
Andante after 14, the euphonium is playing with so much passion which makes enjoyable listening. Not all the solos that follow come off, but there is no let up in the band's drive which is good. Again as with the previous band the intonation in the lower end leading into the Andante after 17 suffers as the pitch ascends and dynamic grows but settles once the band join. 18 features a strong soloist with good accompaniment. The bars before 20 we hit some intonation issues which is a shame because of the band sound.
Lovely flow through the giocoso onward!
Andante to the end...lovely vibrato on the solo horn which sees the band close the performance with a massive sound.

Overall: The odd bit of intonation will cost them a bit today I suspect. The performance was so we'll directed and the overall show was very good.


8. Roberts Bakery (Paul Lovatt - Cooper)

Nice sounds to open, with the odd blemish (tiny). The music has alot of space to move leading up to Allegro Quasi Scherzo, although intonation keeps creeping in at the odd time. The music does have a good feel through this section, but again not without the odd slip.
Andante Moderato, a superb euphonium soloist features and not to be outdone solo cornet and solo trombone add to it bars later. The features from bar 16 onward feel a little on edge, but they all go in! The intonation in the lower end leading into the Andante after 17 suffers as the pitch ascends and dynamic grows but settles once the band join.
Dynamics generally seem very safe which is a shame because you sense the band are more than capable of the pressure.
Take a bow at 23 sop!
Andante to the end... again well done solo horn. The chords that bring the band to a close suddenly leave them with a good finish.

Overall: A performance that offered alot but at times never really produced. I think the band will know that at times they could have been better.


7. Mount Charles (John Maines)

Good solid opening. Again, one or two moments of intonation strike, but the music flows.
Allegro Quasi Scherzo is a little untidy, and perhaps unbalanced.
The Grazioso has a good pulse allowing the flow of the music. Thrpughout the Andante Moderato, soloists all do well but unfortunate bouts of intonation creep in again.
Figure 21 we hear the band open up with a fine sound. John Maines has set out a lovely style from 22, never pushing the tempo and allowing space.
Andante to the end... well done solo horn, for creating a lovely moment and the band respond by bringing us to a confident close.

Overall: A decent show. I think it will struggle to feature today, but having not competed at the contest since 2015 the band should be pleased with today's performance


6. Unison Kinneil (Raymond Tennant)

Well done to the Principal Cornet who set the tone so well. Some unfortunate intonation issues from within the band follow. Allegro Quasi Scherzo has a great feel to it, although some of the articulation around 6 feels a little too attacked, but can't fault the precision.
The playing up to figure 14 ticks along well. The soloists at the Andante Moderato perform well, and are perhaps the quietest of the day up to now.
The band has an organ type sound that really opens up through the broader lines
The detail leading up to 21 is very good and clear. Again, great solo cornet leading into 22. After this the band head for the finish line with confidence. Well done solo horn in the closing bars!

Overall: A performance that had it's moments. Although it has to be said none that were particularly bad! Well done band!


5. Fishburn (David Hirst)

The opening is well played... straight away there is style, balance and good intonation. Allegro Quasi Scherzo section onward keeps a lovely feel and dynamics are good.
Superb balance in euphs and bass harmonies after figure 11, the first time they have spoke so we'll today.
The euph and cornet soloists through the Andante Moderato speak clearly with passion. Bass and euph triplets seem a little too on edge and come across in the hall accented, and one slight slip just before the Andante, but it's gone and forgotten as the band move on with a big wholesome sound. Prior to 21 it seems a tad loud, and the balance from a detail point of view never really came off today.
But as with earlier the band follow it up with some great playing.
Andante to the end... the solo horn did well and the band produced a nice ending which was appreciated by the audience.

Overall: Some good playing from the band, directed by the highly experienced David Hirst who set his stall out with a great reading.


4. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Ryan Watkins)

Wonderful cornet soloist to open, and a warm band sound follows with some nice touches. The odd moment of intonation in the bars before Allegro Quasi Scherzo but the this is so minor in comparison to the music being played.
A good style thought the section and so we'll balanced, although a few moments where it felt harsh but again, it kept moving and did it's job.
The Moderato through 14 shows a fantastic sounding band off. All the soloists prior to 17 pull everything off, and the Andante after 17 is real heart on the sleeve stuff with lovely balanced sounds.
Again, the detail between sop and top man 3 bars before 19 is something we haven't heard until now! What a revelation!
The Poco Allegro at 22 has swagger and the quavers that follow through 23 are so we'll balanced and hand over well.
Andante to the end... take a bow solo horn! A class above! Good solid no nonsense finish.

Overall: This was a tremendous performance. Detail and balance led the way with soloists who didn't have to work hard to achieve their goal. Well led too!


3. Bon Accord (Steve Malcolm)

Excellent Solo Cornet to open, it was seamless! Just a few clips in places up to the Allegro Quasi Scherzo but it keeps moving along nicely. Good back row and trombone lines through the poco agitato that speak well in this hall. Another band that are working hard with quiet dynamics through the Andante Moderato which is again allowing the soloists to do what needs doing. The Andante after 17 uses the trombone lines and solo cornet lines to full effect, although I struggled to hear a balance with the triplet theme underneath. Superb tenor trombones leading up to the Moderato at 21, such clarity! Hitting figure 26 the band sound like they are having fun with the music which continues to the close.

Overall: The band did very well, and produced some lovely moments.


2. City Of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)

Good opening with plenty of space allowing the music to flow.
A little bit of intonation as we start the Allegro Quasi Scherzo in the cornets but the ensemble playing that follows is of a high standard. It isn't aggressive, just nice round full sounds that aren't forced.
Andante Moderato before figure 15, the soloists are full of confidence and the band are creating some lovely moments around it all with the quiet playing. What is evident in the interpretation is that the MD is not after harsh sounds, and it's working well. The odd slip after figure 21 but again, doesn't detract. Through figure 23 in the poco piu mosso we hear running quver detail handing over section to section.
Final Andante before figure 27, good horn and what felt like a reserved ending, which I felt fitting to the performance.

Overall: Another good performance. Very different to band number 1. Very musical from the off. Highly enjoyable.


1. Marsden Silver (Mark Peacock)

Lovely opening led by Principal Cornet player Jason Evans, with warm and balanced sounds from the band supporting in the opening section. A few slips through the Allegro Quasi Scherzo but they don't detract from the music.
Andante Moderato section, some lovely solo playing around the stands.
Alot of the quiet playing perhaps seems a little too comfortable which may cost.
Final Andante before figure 27 features a lovely horn sound and from here on to the end the band finish well.

Overall: A superb marker for the day. Well let by the MD and his players responded to his directions.



1. Marsden Silver (Mark Peacock)

2. City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)

3. Bon Accord (Stephen Malcolm) 

4. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Ryan Watkins)

5. Fishburn (David Hirst)

6. Unison Kinneil (Raymond Tennant)

7. Mount Charles (John Maines)

8. Roberts Bakery (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)

9. Tylorstown (Gary Davies)

10. Drighlington (Tommy Tynan)

11. Ebbw Valley Brass (Gareth Ritter)

12. SPAL Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)

13. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)

14. Elland Silver (Daniel Brooks)

15. BTM (Jeff Hutcherson)

16. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)

17. Eccles Borough (David Hamilton)

18. Wantage (Paul Holland)

19. Roche Brass (David Johnson)

20. Shepherd Group (Richard Wilton)