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2017 National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain
As it happened

All the action from the 2017 National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain — as it happened.

Sunday 2, 19:24:19

End of enjoyable day

We have reached the end of our live coverage from the National Youth Championships in Salford. We hope you have enjoyed it. The old cliche does apply today and every band is a winner for putting in the hard graft, competing and providing plenty of wonderful entertainment..

Special congratulations to Wardle and Lee Rigg who have won three titles today and to Chris Jeans and Youth Brass 2000 in a fourth consecutive victory..

Full news reports will follow in the days ahead.

Good night from Salford.


Sunday 2, 18:12:42

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2017 Champions: Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans) (Gold)

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Best Instrumentalist: Georgia Bryan (flugel) Youth Brass 2000

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Second Place and Silver Award for Northamptonshire Youth Band

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Third Place and Silver Award for Lions Youth Brass Band

Results:

Championship Section:

Maxwell Hall
'Penlee' (Simon Dobson) and Own Choice Programme.
20 minutes playing time.

Adjudicators: Mareika Gray and Richard Marshall

1. Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans) (Gold)
2. Northamptonshire Youth (Brad Turnbull) (Silver)
3. Lions Youth (Nigel Birch) (Silver)

Best Instrumentalist: Georgia Bryan (flugel) Youth Brass 2000


Sunday 2, 17:35:59

Championship Section:

Malcolm Wood's Final round up and prediction:

A very brief contest, but an enjoyable one, with a very good standard. The programme choices were certainly bold.

We think Youth Brass 2000, with Northampton runner-up with Lions Youth in third — although all are winners for competing so brilliantly.


Sunday 2, 17:23:03

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2017 Champions: Wardle Academy Junior Band

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Champion smiles

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Second Place and Gold Award to Fred Longworth High School

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Third Place and Gold Award to Chalford Youth

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Best Soloist: Stephen Parker of Chalford Youth

Results:

Junior Section:

Peel Hall
Own Choice programme that must include one piece of music composed for brass band and two verses of a hymn tune.
15 minutes playing time.

Adjudicators: Michael Golding and Dr David Thornton

1. Wardle Academy Junior Band (Lee Rigg) (Gold)
2. Fred Longworth High School (Helen Robinson) (Gold)
3. Chalford Youth Band (Steve Tubb) (Gold)

Silver Award:

Denbighshire Music Co-operative Brass Band (John Powell)
Lancashire Youth Brass Band (Helen Minshall)
Lions Junior Brass Band (Tom Hancock)

Bronze Award:

Elland Junior Brass Band (Samantha Harrison)
Hawkley Hall High School (Steven Cavanagh)

Merit Award:

Macclesfield Youth Junior Band (Tim Grindey)
Stockport Schools' Intermediate Brass Band (Tom Ridgley)
Tewit Youth Intermediate Band (Steve Heninghem)

Best Instrumentalist: Stephen Parker (Euphonium) — Chalford Youth


Sunday 2, 17:08:51

Championship Section:

3. Northamptonshire Youth (Brad Turnbull)

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On Stage: Northamptonshire Youth (Brad Turnbull)

The final band of the section and the contest day, Northamptonshire Youth opens up with Paul Lovatt-Cooper's 'Pound the Streets'.

The music bounces along right from the first note with the players (runners) relishing the music and shedding some sweat. Incorporating various styles, including punk and rock, the players clearly enjoy their 'PLC' musical experience.

And so the set test. It is a nice stylish opening — with the dynamics lighter than some of the other bands so far today, and the tempos are effective. The style and rhythmic approach isn't bad at all as the drama unfolds — it's raw, painful and dramatic.

This is good stuff; heartfelt and passionate, with a sensible approach to the tempos by Brad Turnbull
It's so vivid, but just loses its way a bit towards the end.


Sunday 2, 16:57:03

Championship Section:

2. Lions Youth (Nigel Birch)

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Ready to play: Lions Youth (Nigel Birch)

The Cheshire outfit starts its contest performance with the set test.

It's a touch uncomfortable to open, but it settles within the ensemble and there is good percussion work on show. This is full of musical contrasts, drama and trauma. Nigel Birch does a great job keeping a tight reign on the dynamics whilst the story unfolds. The style is good and effective.

This is dramatic — proper edge of the seat stuff, delivered effectively. Euphonium is nicely done, and the close with the bell and Resurgam is poignant.

Lions' other piece comes in the form of Jonathan Bates' 'Velocity'. Depicted as like a cycle race for brass band, it's music that is very quick in tempo and gets the players using plenty of fingers on valves.

You get the opportunity to play spot the tune and the composer as well, with some identifiable musical snippets included as the piece free wheels along.


Sunday 2, 16:41:35

4BR Editor Iwan Fox's Junior Section round up

What a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon of entertainment that was — with plenty of quality playing on show from all the bands.

At the top end it was splendid — with the best more than worthy of the Gold Awards that will surely come their way.

It may be between Chalford and Elland for the title, but others have excelled and a special mention for debutants Hawkley Hall High School — just 13 in number but a great advert for any small band or ensemble that is thinking that they would like to showcase their talents here.


Sunday 2, 16:18:43

Junior Section:

11. Denbighshire Music Co-operative Brass Band (John Powell)

The sole Welsh representative does the nation proud with a bold performance that certainly breathed fire from the world go with a scorching rip through 'Prismatic Light'. That left a few singe marks. No wonder the MD — who looks like a cool Sigmund Freud in his nil-nil glasses was beaming. That was good.

What a cracking horn solo too: 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' played with bravura confidence by the young man called Ben. All that was missing was the click of his emerald slippers.

The old stomper 'Slaidburn' is delivered with the momentum march of a Welsh pack of forwards running wild and wicked, whilst the hymn 'Maryton' (number 50 in the Red Hymn Books) has that Baptist sense of non-conformist optimism about it — with attention to dynamic detail and super phrasing.

'Mack the Knife' is a great closer — all playful menace, like a stilletto-wielding hit-man who can also make balloon animals at kids parties to pay the rent. Stylish and so neatly delivered. Kurt Weill and Marlon Brando would be pleased as it rounds off a fine show.


Sunday 2, 16:05:55

Championship Section:

1. Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans)

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On Stage: Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans)

The defending champion opens up its defence with the set test, Simon Dobson's 'Penlee'.

It's a nice atmospheric style to open, lively and joyful, plenty of dynamic contrasts and control from the middle. Life changing suddenly is portrayed with fear and anxiety. There style and balance of the ensemble sound isn't bad at all. Solo cornet does well, hold his nerve.

The story of Penlee is being played with musical empathy here and all the drama of the events are vivid percussion's contribution makes an impression.

The musical effects are so dark and Resurgam just drifts away and they close well. Very classy performance of the set work that was.

Being Sunday, nothing better than a hymn tune and 'Abide with Me' is beautifully delivered. What a great cornet lead and ensemble dynamics.

To close, 'Amazonia' from Peter Graham's 'Windows of the World' — all without the MD who has taken leave of the stage. It leaves the audience breathless.

They couldn't have done anymore today in their title defence.


Sunday 2, 16:04:50

Draw:

Championship Section:

Maxwell Hall
'Penlee' (Simon Dobson) and Own Choice Programme.
20 minutes playing time.

Adjudicators: Mareika Gray and Richard Marshall
Commence: 4.00pm
Results Ceremony: 5.40pm approx

1. Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans)
2. Lions Youth (Nigel Birch)
3. Northamptonshire Youth (Brad Turnbull)


Sunday 2, 16:04:18

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Wardle Academy Youth (Lee Rigg)

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Wardle Academy Youth (Lee Rigg)

Results:

Intermediate Section:

Maxwell Hall
Smoke Sketches (Daniel Hall) and Own Choice programme.

Adjudicators: Mark Harrison and Thomas Wyss

1. Wardle Academy Youth (Lee Rigg) (Gold)
2. Elland Silver Youth (Samantha Harrison) (Gold)
3. Rochdale Borough Youth (Ben Dixon) (Gold)

Silver

Macclesfield Youth (Louise Renshaw)
Stockport Schools' Senior (Iain McKnight)
Tewit Youth (Martin Hall)

Bronze

Cardiff County Youth (Charles Maynard)
Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)

Merit

Egglescliffe School (Matthew Haworth)
Milton Keynes Youth (Ben Godfrey)
Poynton Youth (Michael Eccles)

Best Instrumentalist: Joe Heartfield (Trombone) Elland Silver Youth
Brian Hicks Memorial Trophy: Trevor Hounsome, Enderby Youth


Sunday 2, 15:53:57

Junior Section:

10. Chalford Youth Band (Steve Tubb)

What an impressive band this is.

The ethos is all about control and musicality — from the quintessentially British opener 'Spirit of Youth' played with such precision, to the following hymn tune — the rarely heard 'Misericordia'. That's number 54 in the Red Hymn book for the non chapel-going heathens amongst us, and well worth a go.

Darrol Barry's 'Brassed Off' is thankfully nothing to do with the film, but sounds like an extended theme tune to an 1970s ITV sit-com with Sid James in the lead role. It's bright, bubbly and doesn't have an advert break in it either. It's also so well played.

As is the euph solo 'Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair'. Well played indeed young Steven Parker — you could almost hear Cheryl Cole saying 'You're worth it' after the last note. And the lad was.

'The Muppet Show' theme tune rounds things off with a touch of classy absurdity — but again played with control. Just missed Animal on drums — although Stadler and Waldorf were in the press box...


Sunday 2, 15:27:53

Junior Section:

9. Elland Junior Brass Band (Samantha Harrison)

What a great start with playing that was as crisp and clean as the player's spotless white shirts in the opening 'The Big Top'. It had that anarchic sense of the circus absurd thanks to the seven lads on percussion who added the musical custard pie effects like Charlie Caroli's troupe.

The hymn tune 'Whitburn' was as bold and robust as a chorus of 'Flower of Scotland' at Murrayfield on a Six Nations rugby game, but the little cornet led trio in it was a gem.

Super 'Waltzing with Mary' has us all putting on fake Dick van Dyke cockney accents, feeding the birds for tuppence a bag and flying our kites in three in a bar: 'Gawd bless you Mary Poppins!'

It's all rounded off with splendidly honking 'Uptown Funk' that would have had Mark Ronson eager to do a re-mix with brass band backing.

Super stuff this — a great credit to everyone.


Sunday 2, 15:00:22

Intermediate Section:

Malcolm Wood's Final round up:

It hass been a very enjoyable five hours or so in the Intermediate Section with some fine performances with challenging programmes.

The set test, Smoke Sketches by Daniel Hall is a little gem of a piece that tests the basics of band playing and that has well and truly tested the bands today and is a piece that hopefully will be used again.

Mark Harrison and Thomas Wyss may not have the most difficult of jobs picking the top three but the bands ranked outside of those could take some sorting to ensure they are graded appropriately.

Wardle Youth and Elland Silver Youth are the three leading contenders for us today for the title. Rochdale Borough will be our bet for third place.


Sunday 2, 14:58:30

Junior Section:

8. Lions Junior Brass Band (Tom Hancock)

Edrich Siebert's march 'Vermont' is played with an up-market bounce — just the right style from a composer who was quintessentially bright and breezy, whilst Steve Barwick's new take for the band of 'Scarborough Fair' is shaped with the right sense of melancholy. Simon and Garfunkel eat your heart out.

The touch of Coldplay on 'Viva La Vida' is great — especially as it doesn't come with all that misplaced middle class angst and kids called after fruit. Super vocals too. Classy that.

Just loses a little tonality with the hymn tune 'Aurelia' but 'Hey Jude!' gets us all back to the last whiff of late 1960s spliffs and John, Paul, George and Ringo on their last lap of greatness. Lions take a sad tune and certainly make it better here — led by the horns. The Fab Four would be proud.


Sunday 2, 14:37:40

Junior Section:

7. Lancashire Youth Brass Band (Helen Minshall)

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On Stage: Lancashire Youth Brass Band (Helen Minshall)

The diversity in numbers has been marked today — from 13 with Hawkley Hall to 41 here — but the end result has been the same — with plenty of good, well led playing.

The old tub-thumper 'Death or Glory' still sends Kaiser Bill packing with a good tune up his jacksy to Berlin, whilst the contrast provided by the accomplished, warmly toned cornet soloist Ben Robinson in 'Share My Yoke' is so well defined. Well done matey.

Then we get racing up the steps of Philadelphia's public library with the world's favourite punch drunk pugilist in a knock-out rendition of 'Rocky', and a neat 180 degree change of style with the hymn tune 'Aurelia'. A well balanced set is rounded off by a sparky 'Prismatic Light'.


Sunday 2, 14:29:10

Intermediate Section:

11. Cardiff County Youth (Charles Maynard)

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Ready to play: Cardiff County Youth (Charles Maynard)

Just two pieces today for the Welsh challenger.

'Peaen — Adagio for Brass Band' by Edward Derbyshire receives its World Premiere performance. This complex work, abstract in style, certainly tested the ensemble and soloists and was a very left field choice for inclusion today.

The band was more at home though with the set test, 'Smoke Sketches'. As with many of the bands today, some sections tested the ensemble, more than others, but the band coped with the jazzy, funky styles very well indeed.


Sunday 2, 14:10:53

Junior Section:

6. Stockport Schools' Intermediate Brass Band (Tom Ridgley)

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Preparing to play: Stockport Schools' Intermediate Brass Band (Tom Ridgley)

A performance full of enthusiasm, energy and commitment — all starting off with an Olympian effort to master 'Summon the Heroes'. The two girls on tuba are super — giving it their all — as are the rest of the band.

Well done to the euph soloist Chris Pollock on 'Abide with Me', and it's followed by a spirited rendition of the march 'Mersey Way' which always goes down well in this part of town!!! The contrasts with the Euro-beat 'Pachelbel's Canon' and the hymn tune 'Aurelia' are well handled, before it's rounded off with touch of funk — African style.

Hakuna Matata as they say in Salford discos on Saturday nights.


Sunday 2, 13:58:53

Intermediate Section:

10. Milton Keynes Youth (Ben Godfrey)

Milton Keynes, led by Ben Godfrey (who has played with the top bands such as YBS and the RAF) takes to the stage to deliver an engaging programme that starts with a well judged (if not error free) account of 'Smoke Sketches'.

A change of style comes in 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' featuring a very accomplished tenor horn soloist, who was at ease with the music.

The band enjoys itself immensely in 'Singing in the Rain', delivered with smiles on their faces. The traditional, 'Amazing Grace' closes a well judged programme that despite some blips along the way, had so much to appreciate.


Sunday 2, 13:44:37

Junior Section:

5. Hawkley Hall High School (Steven Cavanagh)

Well you have to say that despite having just 12 brass players and 1 percussionists that was some of the very best playing we have heard today — and by a margin.

Lovely balance and tonality, with great intonation and dynamic contrasts in the opening 'Heroes', which featured the talented Lauren Barkley doubling on flugel and xylophone. The hymn tune 'Lloyd' just lost a bit of tonal focus, but was so well phrased and shaped, and 'Highland Farewell' saw a super horn lead from Grace Jeffers and such control from the rest of the ensemble.

It's was rounded off with a cracking bit of funk and fuzz on Mark Ronson's classic, 'Uptown Funk' — again played with a controlled honk and pulse. My word that was an ensemble delight. Bravo MD — your head teacher should give you a pay rise.


Sunday 2, 13:22:34

Intermediate Section:

9. Wardle Academy Youth (Lee Rigg)

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On Stage: Wardle Academy Youth (Lee Rigg)

Lee Rigg leads his third band of the day in the presence of the other Wardle bands who've have played here today in different sections.

The Action Medical Youth Champions start off in fine style with 'Young Pheasants in the Sky' which hits the audience between the eyes with the quality of the playing.

'Smoke Sketches' is a cracker. Full of clarity, detail and ensemble balance, there are fabulous descriptive images being portrayed. The soloists do a great job in the middle section. The concluding 'Spark of Light' showcases up tempo rhythms that work so well.

James Curnow's 'Rhapsody for Euphonium' features Millie Mills. This was such secure playing, making the piece sound so easy.

For their finale, music from Mahler's 'Resurrection Symphony'. This is delivered with composure and confidence but even so it tests them. There are some tired lips here in what has been a terrific contest performance.


Sunday 2, 13:13:40

Junior Section:

4. Fred Longworth High School Band (Helen Robinson)

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On Stage: Fred Longworth High School Band (Helen Robinson)

Well that was as tasty as an Eccles Cake with extra currants in — right from the start, with a sparkling 'Prismatic Light' that had the voltage and wriggle of an electric eel.

The trio of young girls on tuba are brilliant. They make such a great sound that the rest of the band sits on comfortably with the hymn tune 'Angelus' — which is as smooth as a baby's bot. A real highlight with Max Evans on baritone with 'Donegal Bay' — played with a rich, darkly mature timbre and a sense of musicality. Bravo young man. Old Irish eyes were smiling there.

It's rounded off with an interesting choice in the first movement of Downie's 'Music from Kantara' — played with zestful brio, precision and style.

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Taking the Stage: Fred Longworth High School Band (Helen Robinson)


Sunday 2, 13:03:16

Intermediate Section:

8. Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)

Dan Price's 'Starburst' is the opening number for the Leicestershire outfit, which tests the bands metal at times.

'Smoke Sketches' is delivered with purpose and good musical intent, but isn't without blemishes or an edginess at times that takes the sheen off the musical picture somewhat.

To conclude, 'Lord of the Dance' and all that was missing was Michael Flatley and some Irish dancers. Great fun and they gave it everything, but tired lips at the end in evidence.


Sunday 2, 12:50:54

Junior Section:

3. Macclesfield Youth Junior Band (Tim Grindey)

A very focussed looking Macclesfield take to the stage with seven troms and two lads on tuba (one tall and one short) who pipe it out like stevedores.

'Steel Skies' ('Stahl Himmel') is an interesting choice to open — like a sound track to a Scandi-drama about about mysterious deaths in an Arctic circle outpost. Fortitude meets Borgen. Really good that.

The hymn tune 'Aurelia' was warm, but perhaps needed a little less enthusiasm with the articulation, but the trombone solo 'Kid Shifter' was a slippery, slider of a gem played by a young man called Joe. It's all rounded off with a neatly delivered 'Lomond Hills Overture' which as a breezy as a cold wind up a Scotsman's kilt. Great.


Sunday 2, 12:40:38

Intermediate Section:

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Astley Training players take a break in the sun

Comfort break — restart 1pm

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Stockport Seniors and Cardiff mingle outside registration


Sunday 2, 12:29:48

Junior Section:

2. Tewit Youth Intermediate Band (Steve Heninghem)

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Tewit Youth Intermediate Band (Steve Heninghem) take the stage

Tewit come on with a spring in their step and soon give it their all with a rousing rendition of the old First World War march 'Home Again' — with a brilliant cymbal player making sure the Kaiser went back to Germany with bells ringing in his ears.

Years later the main tune became the football chant — 'Over there, Over there, And don't they smell like fish and chips!' Honest.

Bravo to the young tyro cornet player on the solo 'Say Ye Who Borrow' — so confident, whilst the neat change in style with 'Double Chocolate Rumba' is as tasty as a bowlful of Ben & Jerry's best. The hymn tune 'Lloyd' was warm and languid, before we closed with a shake your booty on a 125 'Choo, Choo Boogie'.

Get on down and jive with Casey Jones and the Cannonball Express.


Sunday 2, 12:11:27

Intermediate Section:

7. Stockport Schools Senior (Iain McKnight)

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Waiting in the wings:Stockport Schools Senior (Iain McKnight)

Stockport opens with the set test, 'Smoke Sketches'. The band copes well with the three movement work although blemishes creep in. The soloists do well in the second movement whilst the players get to grips with the rhythmic finale.

Ben Cobridge is the featured euphonium soloist in 'The Holy Well' from Peter Graham's 'On Alderley Edge'. It's delivered with lyrical warmth and he digs deep to overcome the odd tricky moment. Well done.

Lenoard Ballantine's Mid All the Traffic' showcases good dynamic contrasts and a nice sense of reverence from the first note until the last.

Stockport closes with Gershwin's foot tapping 'I Got Rhythm', where the band really cuts loose and enjoys itself. There are certainly no shrinking violets on show here. They loved that.


Sunday 2, 12:04:05

Junior Section:

1. Wardle Academy Junior Band (Lee Rigg)

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On Stage: Wardle Academy Junior (Lee Rigg)

Wardle are cheered onto the stage by their supporters — like an emerging football team out of the stadium tunnel.

They start like Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool — and pressing and pushing with energy, fire and vim in 'Prismatic Light' — that splinters into a kaleidoscope of textures, colour and vibrant excitement.

The hymn tune 'Angelus' is a neat contrast — all Polish melancholy and Chopin-esque bittersweet loss.

We end up in the wide frontier Big Country of 'Oregon' — well a Dutchman's idea of it anyway — which seems to be a cross between the score of Bonanza written by George Gershwin and a trip to a Mexican enclave in downtown Portland.

It's great stuff — played with so much confidence and even a touch of musical arrogance. Bold, bravura and brilliant.


Sunday 2, 11:59:27

Junior Section:

Peel Hall
Own Choice programme that must include one piece of music composed for brass band and two verses of a hymn tune.
15 minutes playing time.

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Preparing for the Section — Wardle Academy Junior (Lee Rigg)

Adjudicators: Michael Golding and Dr David Thornton
Commence: 12 noon
Results Ceremony: 4.40 pm approx

1. Wardle Academy Junior (Lee Rigg)
2. Tewit Youth Intermediate (Steve Heninghem)
3. Macclesfield Youth Junior (Tim Grindey)
4. Fred Longworth High School (Helen Robinson)
5. Hawkley Hall High School (Steven Cavanagh)
6. Stockport Schools' Intermediate (Tom Ridgley)
7. Lancashire Youth (Helen Minshall)
8. Lions Junior (Tom Hancock)
9. Elland Junior (Samantha Harrison)
10. Chalford Youth (Steve Tubb)
11. Denbighshire Music Co-operative (John Powell)


Sunday 2, 11:35:45

Intermediate Section:

6. Elland Silver Youth (Samantha Harrison)

The defending champion takes to the stage and hits the ground running with a cracking account of Goff Richards' 'Fanfare for a New Age', which is tight and precise. Anyone starting to dose off was woken by that.

The trombone solo 'Wind Beneath My Wings' features a classy soloist, secure and confident in his execution and supported by tasty accompaniment.

Iain McKnight's 'When the Stars Begin to Fall' is so composed with sympathetic and tight accompaniment. We are hearing some high quality music-making here.

The test piece, 'Smoke Sketches', brings their contribution to a close. Right from the off, there is attention to detail shining through and it's a vivid portrait of the work, that isn't short on confidence.


Sunday 2, 11:29:28

Beginners Band Section: The Prize Winners

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2017 Champions: Wardle Jujior Blast

Wardle Junior Blast (Lee Rigg)
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Band of the Day: Wardle Junior Blast

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Highly Commended: Astley Training Band

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Band with Most Potential: Macclesfield Youth Training

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The audience wait for the results in Peel Hall


Sunday 2, 11:20:22

Intermediate Section:

5. Egglescliffe School (Matthew Haworth)


Egglescliffe School starts off with the second rendition of the day of Fernie's 'Prismatic Light' which really hits you between the eyes.

Next, a golden oldie from the days of Yorkshire Building Society and David King, Frode Alnaes, 'Vitae Lux', which features a fine cornet lead, but does stretch the ensemble at times.

The North of England School concludes with the test piece, 'Smoke Sketches'. There is plenty of good intent here, but it does challenge them in the jazzy sections and there is tiredness in the ensemble at the end.


Sunday 2, 11:13:37

Results:

Beginners Section:

Peel Hall
Own Choice Programme.
15 minutes playing time

Adjudicators: Mareika Gray and Richard Marshall

Band of the Day: Wardle Junior Blast (Lee Rigg)
Highly Commended: Astley Youth Training (Helen Minshall
Band Showing Most Potential: Macclesfield Youth Training (Liz Hudson)

Other competing bands:

Stockport Schools' Junior (James Keirle)
Lions Beginners (Chris Thompson)


Sunday 2, 10:48:21

Intermediate Section:

4. Macclesfield Youth (Louise Renshaw)

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Waiting in the wings: Macclesfield Youth (Louise Renshaw)

Macclesfield starts off its programme with the popular march, 'Goldcrest' which maintains a fine tempo throughout with well controlled sounds.

Trombonist, Alistair Ford, enjoys himself in Greenwood's classic 'The Acrobat', which is supported by compact ensemble before the band finishes with the set work, 'Smoke Sketches'.

Daniel Hall's work (which is a stern, but good test at this level) receives a thoughtful, considered approach. Louise Renshaw certainly got inside the music which depicts looking into smoke from fire.

Not everything clicked into place though throughout, but it certainly got the ensemble to play to its best.


Sunday 2, 10:43:55

Beginners Band Section round-up

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Roy Newsome Awards Plaque acknowledge some very well known modern banding scholars

What a pity there weren't more bands here this morning, as this was brill. The standards did of course vary greatly, but so what. This is about inclusion and ambition, fun and enjoyment — and there was plenty of that on show.

Everyone was a winner — but let's hope BBE can attract more bands to come here next year.


Sunday 2, 10:33:54

Beginners Band Section:

5. Lions Beginners Band (Chris Thompson)

Bright as buttons and pearly whites gleaming, Lions go all Zap, Kapow and Zonk with the theme music from the original (and best) 'Batman' to start. All that was missing was the caped crusader and the Boy Wonder themselves.

A lovely touch of Henry VIII to follow with 'La Volta' before a touch of the celtic and 'Gorebridge Galop' that puffs along brilliantly like the Flying Scotsman. 'The Sand Between Your Toes' brings back happy memories of a day out in Barry Island, before it's rounded off by 'Highland Cathedral', which would have had Nicola Sturgeon dancing in the aisles.


Sunday 2, 10:16:41

Intermediate Section:

3. Rochdale Borough Youth (Ben Dixon)

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On Stage: Rochdale Borough Youth (Ben Dixon)

Ben Dixon leads the Lancastrians who opens up with Alan Fernie's colourful 'Prismatic Light' full of verve, energy and compact sounds.

There's some tender, thoughtful playing in the hymn 'As the Deer' that sits well and is controlled well from the middle.

Daniel Hall's 'Smoke Sketches' certainly impresses during the three short movements. The opening 'Into the Blaze' is agitated but effective. There is a lovely feel to the central section which captures the life of a small ember whilst there is real life in the music as the piece closes.

To close as 'I'll Walk With God' where the MD lets the piece build to a triumphant conclusion

In the context of the competition, Rochdale is our leader, but its all about what Mark Harrison & Thomas Wyss think.


Sunday 2, 10:08:40

Beginners Band Section:

4. Stockport Schools Junior Brass Band (James Keirle)

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On Stage: Stockport Schools Junior Brass Band (James Keirle)

A touch of the classics from Stockport with a dark and mysterious 'Hall of the Mountain King' to open. Most of the players are the size of elves and hobbits so this is perfect!

A move to Russia next and a full racing 'Troika' followed by 'Swan Lake' (not the former British Open test piece though) — but as light and elegant as a prima ballerina in her best tutu. It's rounded off with a spicy 'La Cou Couracha' to close — as hot as a plate full of chilli peppers.


Sunday 2, 09:53:24

Beginners Band Section:

3. Wardle Junior Blast (Lee Rigg)

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Preparing to take the stage: Wardle Junior Blast (Lee Rigg)

They must save pounds by not buying any music at Wardle as the young players show they have more memory storage than my home PC by playing without a single written stave to be seen.

'Break Dance' starts things off on an upbeat note, followed by 'True & Trusty' and the whizz through 'Have Fingers Will Travel'. Bravo to Molly Clough with her super 'My Heart Will Go On'.

The troms keep the energy levels buzzing in their great little 'Fooling Around' before its one for the grand parents with 'Hey Jude!' Remember just how young these children are — even their parents would be of the Take That generation — let alone John, Paul, George and Ringo! No matter — complete with vocals it's a honk!

'Snake, Rattle and Roll' — (yes that's right) is the blockbuster, all guns blazing, all feet tapping, all standing and smiling bomper to close. Bravo one and all.


Sunday 2, 09:45:33

Intermediate Section:

2. Tewit Youth (Martin Hall)

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On Stage: Tewit Youth (Martin Hall)

Tewitt entertains from the off with a vibrant delivery of Sandy Smith's 'Crazy Brass Machine'. It's full of enthusiasm and no nonsense percussion.

Goff Richards' 'Barnard Castle' bristles with energy and is taken at a good tempo. This is followed by the first soloist of the day on tenor horn in the Carpenters classic 'Good Bye to Love'. No shortage of confidence on display from the soloist.

To conclude, the North of England contender performs the set work, 'Smoke Sketches'. This tests the ensemble, although they cope well throughout the three movement work, but tiredness was in evidence at the end.


Sunday 2, 09:30:00

Beginners Band Section:

2. Astley Training Band (Helen Minshall)

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On Stage: Astley Training Band (Helen Minshall)

Blimey — Helen Minshall must be sponsored by Colgate as she smiles so much! Can't blame her either as her stars perform wonderfully.

So much bubble to the playing — from the opening 'Mini March' and 'Haslemere' to tiny tot Polly Scott as the cornet feature on 'Trumpet Voluntary'. The hymn tune 'Duke Street' is nicely done too.

Great 'Sing Cuckoo' is a neat little birdy, but what a fab rendition of 'When the Saints' and all rounded off with a choreographed calypso that would have had them jiving on the beaches of Jamaica. Brill.


Sunday 2, 09:23:46

Intermediate Section:

1. Poynton Youth (Michael Eccles)

Poynton starts the contesting day off with their rendition of the set test, 'Smoke Sketches' by Daniel Hall. There is some fine playing in the three movement work that copes with the various challenges of the work admirably.

To conclude their challenge, the band opts for Peter Graham's 'Dimensions'. It's a well judged performance, full of bright, warm sounds, good solo work and neat ensemble. MD, Mike Eccles kept the young players focused through the entirety of their performance. Well done all.


Sunday 2, 09:13:53

Draw

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Intermediate Section:

Maxwell Hall
Smoke Sketches (Daniel Hall) and Own Choice programme.
20 minutes playing time

Adjudicators: Mark Harrison and Thomas Wyss

Commence: 9.15am
Results Ceremony: 3.00pm approx

1. Poynton Youth (Michael Eccles)
2. Tewit Youth (Martin Hall)
3. Rochdale Borough Youth (Ben Dixon)
4. Macclesfield Youth (Louise Renshaw)
5. Egglescliffe School (Matthew Haworth)
6. Elland Silver Youth (Samantha Harrison)
7. Stockport Schools' Senior (Iain McKnight)
8. Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)
9. Wardle Academy Youth (Lee Rigg)
10. Milton Keynes Youth (Ben Godfrey)
11. Cardiff County Youth (Charles Maynard)


Sunday 2, 09:04:01

Beginners Band Section:

1. Macclesfield Youth Training Band (Liz Hudson)

We get off to a cracking start with the nippers from Macclesfield — all dressed to impressed and spic and span as Mary Poppins would say. Most of these youngsters have only just started playing.

Who would have thought we would hear 'Air from the Peasant Cantata' to start things off eh? Then it was into 'Doon the Watter' to keep the Scots in the audience happy and 'A Whole New World'. They rounded things off with 'Speed it Up'.

Great stuff too — with the clapping along to keep the rhythm and all the players giving their all. Neat contrasts and plenty of fun.


Sunday 2, 08:52:07

Good morning from Salford

Beginners Section:

Peel Hall
Own Choice Programme.
15 minutes playing time

Adjudicators: Mareika Gray and Richard Marshall
Commence: 9.00am
Results Ceremony: 11.15am approx

1. Macclesfield Youth Training (Liz Hudson)
2. Astley Youth Training (Helen Minshall)
3. Wardle Junior Blast (Lee Rigg)
4. Stockport Schools' Junior (James Keirle)
5. Lions Beginners (Chris Thompson)


Sunday 2, 07:51:51

Welcome to the University of Salford...

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Ambition is the key driving force for everyone around these parts today

Early morning sunshine seeps through a pale Mancunian Sky — as the hard working, staff and volunteers of Brass Bands England start setting things for what promises to be a busy, but wonderful day of brass band contesting.

Families will have got up early to ensure they don't get caught in the traffic that will come with all the runners at the Manchester Marathon, so don't panic if you are overtaken by a bloke dressed in foam lobster suit and running shoes on your way to the hall.

Ambition to do their best is the key word for everyone today then...


Saturday 1, 23:26:44

So much to look forward to...

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Peel Hall, University of Salford

The flagship contest under the organisation of Brass Bands England is always an event to look forward to — and we should be in for a great day.

It all kicks off early — so with the bizarre road works to navigate when you try to get off the M6 and the road closures due to the runners in a half marathon, hopefully everyone will be there early so they don't miss a single note.

We will be leaving at the crack of dawn then....


Saturday 1, 04:48:37

Competing Bands:

Championship Section:

Maxwell Hall
'Penlee' (Simon Dobson) and Own Choice Programme.
20 minutes playing time.

Adjudicators: Mareika Gray and Richard Marshall
Commence: 4.00pm
Results Ceremony: 5.40pm approx

Lions Youth (Nigel Birch)
Northamptonshire Youth (Brad Turnbull)
Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans)

Intermediate Section:

Maxwell Hall
Smoke Sketches (Daniel Hall) and Own Choice programme.
20 minutes playing time

Adjudicators: Mark Harrison and Thomas Wyss

Commence: 9.15am
Results Ceremony: 3.00pm approx

Cardiff County Youth (Charles Maynard)
Egglescliffe School (Matthew Haworth)
Elland Silver Youth (Samantha Harrison)
Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)
Macclesfield Youth (Louise Renshaw)
Milton Keynes Youth (Ben Godfrey)
Poynton Youth (Michael Eccles)
Rochdale Borough Youth (Ben Dixon)
Stockport Schools' Senior (Iain McKnight)
Tewit Youth (Martin Hall)
Wardle Academy Youth (Lee Rigg)

Junior Section:

Peel Hall
Own Choice programme that must include one piece of music composed for brass band and two verses of a hymn tune.
15 minutes playing time.

Adjudicators: Michael Golding and Dr David Thornton
Commence: 12 noon
Results Ceremony: 4.40 pm approx

Chalford Youth (Steve Tubb)
Denbighshire Music Co-operative (John Powell)
Elland Junior (Samantha Harrison)
Fred Longworth High School (Helen Robinson)
Hawkley Hall High School (Steven Cavanagh)
Lancashire Youth (Helen Minshall)
Lions Junior (Tom Hancock)
Macclesfield Youth Junior (Tim Grindey)
Stockport Schools' Intermediate (Tom Ridgley)
Tewit Youth Intermediate (Steve Heninghem)
Wardle Academy Junior (Lee Rigg)

Beginners Section:

Peel Hall
Own Choice Programme.
15 minutes playing time

Adjudicators: Mareika Gray and Richard Marshall
Commence: 9.00am
Results Ceremony: 11.15am approx

Astley Youth Training (Helen Minshall)
Lions Beginners (Chris Thompson)
Macclesfield Youth Training (Liz Hudson)
Stockport Schools' Junior (James Keirle)
Wardle Junior Blast (Lee Rigg)



Black Dyke Band - Huddersfield Town Hall

Sunday 17 December • Corporation Street, Huddersfield HD1 2TA


The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - Ilkley Kings Hall

Sunday 17 December • Kings Hall Ilkley. 4 Station Road. Ilkley LS29 4HB


Foss Dyke Band - Foss Dykes Annual Chirstmas Concert

Sunday 17 December • The Hammond Hall & Sports Centre, Lincoln Road, Bassingham, LN5 9HQ


Glossop Old Band - Bandroom Christmas Concert

Sunday 17 December • Glossop Old Band, The Bandroom, Derby Street, Glossop, Derbyshire, SK13 8LP SK13 8LP


Concert - Grimethorpe Colliery: Sage Gateshead

Sunday 17 December • St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR


Wakefield Metropolitan Brass Band

December 16 • Just need a couple of Cornet’s to complete the line up for the 1st section area in Huddersfield. A friendly band with a sensible programme of events awaits the successful applucants


Mid-Rhondda

December 14 • To start the new year we have a vacancy for a Solo Euphonium. Excellent attendance at rehearsals on Thursdays at 7.30pm at the Band Hall, Dunraven Street, Tonypandy.. A very friendly band awaits you.


Harrogate Band

December 14 • Join our team in 2018! We are looking for committed front and back row cornet players who are looking for a new challenge to join our thriving, dynamic, fun and exciting 1st Section band. Our cornet section are a friendly bunch!


Dave Collins

BA (Hons) (Dunelm) I, FSCO
Composer and Arranger