MASTER OF HIS TRADE - Remembering Allan Littlemore

Issue 6082

COVID ROADMAP - Optimism at route out of restrictions

COMPOSER CAST - Christopher Bond meets Naomi Styles

Scotland Regional Championships - Championship Section LIVE!

Friday 8 March, 2019



  1. The cooperation band (Russell Gray) 191 points
  2. Whitburn (Nicholas Childs) 190 points
  3. Newtongrange Silver (Andrew Duncan) 188 points
  4. Dalmellington (Erik Janssen) 187 points
  5. Dunaskin Doon (Gareth Brindle) 186 points
  6. Bo'ness & Carriden (Lee Skipsey)
  7. Kirkintilloch Kelvin Brass (Charles Keenan) 184 points
  8. Bon Accord Silver (Stephen Malcolm) 183 points
  9. Bathgate Band (Paul Lovatt-Cooper) 182 points
  10. Johnstone Silver (Lynda Nicholson) 181 points


1st place - The cooperation band

2nd place - Whitburn

3rd place - Newtongrange Silver

Lifetime achievement award - Donald Reid

Best cornet - Jimmy Hayes, cooperation band

Best Soprano cornet - Gordon Kyle, cooperation band

Best trombone - Chris Mansfield, cooperation band

Best horn/flugel - Lynsey Roxburgh, cooperation band

Best bass section - cooperation band

Best Euph/baritone - Scott Findlater, cooperation band

Best bass - Lauren Foden, cooperation band

Best percussion - The cooperation band



It's been a long, engrossing and enjoyable weekend. This final section of the weekend didn't fail to deliver either. Two performances that were of high quality with two for me that followed not far behind.

I will say for the final time that these are only my thoughts, but here's my top four prediction:-

  1. the cooperation band
  2. Whitburn
  3. Bon Accord
  4. Dalmellington

Outsider: Newtongrange


Band 10 - Bo'ness & Carriden (conducted by Lee Skipsey)

It's a considered and thoughtful start form the band here. We've got real pulse as we enter the furioso section at 5. We're seeing a lot of tonal colour and great use of percussion throughout this movement. There are a couple of occasions when it feels a touch overcooked but as things draw to a close we have a nice gentle moment of tranquility from sop and solo cornets. Nice.

Movement 2 - Captures the essence of the sarabande well here. As we move into 4 there's a nice feel to the music. The duet from cornets at 6 is absolutely bang on the right style here - well done. 10 is nice and restrained and we hear the melodic content shining through. Great ending - bravo 1st baritone.

The final movement has a real sense of escapism about it. It's quite a steady tempo but this allows the music to show through. As we approach the blood and thunder of sections 10 & 11 there is real clarity in the semiquaver work. Nice ending. 


Band 9 - Kirkintilloch Kelvin (conducted by Charles Keenan)

Sensing the atmosphere at the opening but there is also a touch of nervousness about things. All goes when we get to the furioso though - much improved here. It's full on stuff through 10 as we head towards the end of the movement. Good stuff. Horns and in particular flugel demonstrate lots of good qualities at the end of the movement. Bravo.

Movt 2 - We're definitely in traditional band land here, but I could do with a hint more Mediterranean flavour. Good trombone work in the lead up to 4 and I wish i could hear more of the melody coming through at 4.

Duets on cornet and horn at 6 & 7 almost come together and it's good stuff from euphoniums. Lovely and lush at 9. Jason Abbott doing great stuff on sop at 10. Bravo Laura Good on 1st baritone at the end of the movement!

Movt 3 - Good start to the movement, and there's good stuff going on here; horns, baris and euphs all doing well. Good flugel at 3 and back row are on form at 5. E flats havce a bit of  a stuttering start to their line after 7 but it soon recovers. Big stuff at 11 - well done solo cornet and e flat bass. Just a touch overblown on the bottom end at 18 but it's brought back under control for a good solid ending.



Band 8 - Bon Accord Silver (conducted by Stephen Malcolm)

Another band that manages to find the atmosphere in the opening few bars. As we move into the furioso however, all seems to get quite angular and whilst there is lots to commend in the power on show we're losing some of the inner detail.

Movement 2 - A nice start to the movement here, and we begin to see and hear something of the versatility of this band and MD as they capture the Spanish nature of this movement. Great cornet duet at 6 followed by equally good horns at 7. 10 is very persuasive as well. And a sumptuous end to the moment.

Movement 3 - Now the band has a head of steam so to speak and is really settling into things here. All solo lines are being delivered with a real sense of panache. Razor sharp semiquavers in the run up to 11. Really good before and at 13. Lots of robusto at 15! Stringendo handled with real menace into a glorious sound at 18.

That was a cracker - well done band and MD.  


Band 7 - Johnstone (conducted by Lynda Nicholson)

It's a nice gentle opening to the piece. As we enter the more frenetic areas of the movement we tend to lose some of the detail but it's always a nice sound that the band makes.

2nd movement - A good sarabande feel to this here. Again we lose some of the detail hrough the middle section but again a nice allegretto cornet duet here. Good baritone to close also.

3rd movement - Lose the detail at 2. Good flugel at 3. Well done sop at 7. We're not hearing all the upper band detail at 8. Is tranquillo a touch raced? As we move through the stringendo the band is beginning to find its feet and its throat. Good rousing chords to close. 


Band 6 - Dalmellington (conducted by Erik Janssen)

Good to open - there's real quality and depth in some of this playing. there is great movement and lilt in the early stages here. Great cornet work throughout this movement. Lots to admire. 

Movt 2 - i really like this. MD managing to find the detail whilst still not obscuring the melodic content (example is at figure 4 and then again at 10). cornets great at the end of the movement as well.

movt 3 - and we're straight into the third movement. It's a no nonsense approach here. Great clarity in the cornets at 2. Well done back row at 5 - nailed it. Well done Katie Ankers on sop at 7. Figure 8 is a place where we're hearing all of the detail. Very intense all the way through to the rit before 13. Tranquillo - band trying its best to keep the volume down. We're certainly hearing all the dynamic contrast here. It's not the biggest ever sound at 18 but it doesn't need to be. Great ending. Enjoyable stuff from Dalmellington.

Band 5 - Newtongrange Silver (conducted by Andrew Duncan)

I like the feeling of mystery at the opening of the piece - nice and tight rein on matters here. It's restrained and contained (like a lot of boats!). It's good.

Movt 2 - A band that gets the sarabande feel. Not so keen on the allegretto at 6, which is a touch too spiky ofr this writer's taste, but great end to the movement.

Movt 3 - some challenges of intonation in the octaves throughout the upper band. There is however good drive through to the the theme at 5 which is delivered in the right style. some uncertainty in low notes just before 7. Well done e flat tubas after 7. Tranquillo good as well. Reprise of theme at 14 is well handled. This sounds like RS-A. Band on full power at 18 (as their MD likes it). Great stuff from Gordon Jenkins on sop towards the end.  Bravo band and well done MD for cracking the RSA code.  


Band 4  - the cooperation band (conducted by russell gray)

good expansive feel to the opening sections here. there is a lot to admire here. in many ways a lighter but no less intense reading than we heard previously. It is possibly nimbler as well. movement is brought beautifully to a close.

movement 2 - this is good. of particular merit is the allegretto at 6 - style absolutely nailed by messrs hayes and millar. well done baritone at the end.

movement 3 - more of the same. great shape, colour, emotion in this movement. MD is pulling evry ounce of music out of this performance. great to close and one that finds real favour with the audience.

could this be the winning performance?


Band 3  - Whitburn (conducted by Prof. Nicholas Childs)

Very nautical opening which is useful given the subject matter. At the furioso there's great drive but there is detail too which we've probably not heard until now. Motors along with great purpose to the end of the movement with a uality of sound we've not heard before now. Beautiful ending to the movement.

Movt. 2 - This is nice. Lots to admire here.  Interesting take on the allegretto leggiero at 6 although the playing is excellent. bravo baritone at the end.

Movt 3 - Delivered in a full throated way where the power and punch of the band is laid visible for all to hear. Strong delivery right to the end. Bravo sop - excellent performance.

One that unsurprisingly will feature significantly later on I'm sure.


Band 2 - Bathgate (conducted by Paul Lovatt-Cooper)

A slightly uncertain start but the band settles down with a good blend between bvrass and percussion. It's a struggle at times but the band gets to the end of the movement with some nice heavy sounds towards the end of the movement.

Movt 2 - We'renot really getting the Sarabande feel to this - the music is lyrical enough in itself but it needs to feel like a sarabande with caresses on beats 1 and 2. Good work from flugel however and also by solo horn. As we approach sections 9 & 10 I'm liking the shape of the music. Very English in style. Well done baritone at the end of the movement.

Movt 3 - Bright and energetic to open. Good flugel and trombones. Watch intonation at 4. Good drive through to 10 but we are losing the detail. 13 is not secure. 14 and 15 are better and it ends confidently.


Band 1 - Dunaskin Doon (conducted by Gareth Brindle)

Dunaskin making a welcome return to the top section start with  a deep and dark opening. Great lower band sounds in movt. 1. The key to a successful performance today will be to get inside the mind of this great music maker. MD has gone for the dark and foreboding aspect which the band are responding well too. Some detail lost towards the end of the movement though.

Movt. 2 - A nice wistful and distant style to open with and the restful sounds continue into figure 2. Things possibly unravel slightly at 4 where melodic content is a bit lost. Great largando sounds at 9. A tiny bit shaky to close movt 2.

Movt. 3 - Band is being enouraged to play in a full on style. Well done flugel at 3, and E flat bass is superb throughout. Figure 14 is much better and there is much to admire in the weight at the end. Welcome back Dunaskin Doon!



Welcome back to Perth to the final section of what has been an enthralling and exciting weekend of brass music making.

Test Piece - "SEASCAPES" by Lt.-Col. Ray Steadman-Allen

Adjudicators: Sheona White and Sarah Groarke-Booth


  1. Dunaskin Doon
  2. Bathgate
  3. Whitburn
  4. the cooperation band
  5. Newton range Silver
  6. Dalmellington Band
  7. Johnstone Band
  8. Bon Accord
  9. Kirkintilloch Kelvin
  10. Bo'ness & Carriden