Results: Welsh Open22-Feb-2009
The BTM Band gain huge confidence boost ahead of Welsh Regional Championship with victory at Welsh Open.
The BTM Band conducted by Tom Davoren gave themselves huge boost of confidence ahead of the forthcoming Welsh Regional Championships in Swansea, by winning the Welsh Open Entertainment Contest in Porthcawl on Saturday.
Their head to head battle with rivals Tredegar saw a reverse in entertainment fortunes from the recent Yeovil Contest where they had just held the upper hand.
Here though there was denying BTM as they regained the £1,000 top prize and the beautiful CISWO Challenge Cup, by a two point winning margin courtesy of adjudicator Melvin White. He described the playing he had heard, '...as of the highest standard."
Their winning programme featured a James Last inspired ‘Over the Rainbow’ opener featuring flugel horn player Jeff Hutcherson, followed by the quick march ‘Jubilee’, a truly authentic piece of trombone virtuosity from Jonathan Pippen on ‘Bluebells of Scotland’ (which saw him repeat his own Yeovil Best Soloist victory to take the Secretary’s Rosebowl trophy) the Morricone inspired ‘La Califfa’, and rounded off by Tom Davoren’s own composition ‘Phoenix Rising’.
It was enough to give them the title ahead of reigning champions Tredegar, conducted by Ian Porthouse, whose own programme included ‘Dragon’s Rise’, Dewi Griffiths on the ‘Harry James Trumpet Concerto’, the march ‘The Joy Bringer’, ‘Little Prayer’ and the finale from the ‘Firebird Suite’.
Seven bands took part in the contest, which has now been retitled the Welsh Open, although it is still run under the auspices of the South Wales Miner’s Eisteddfod.
A near full house of supporters and general brass band lovers also enjoyed the varied entertainment, with Tongwynlais Temperance showing that they will be firm favourites for the First Section title in Swansea by coming third under the baton of Philip Harper.
Burry Port Town took fourth spot, with Abergavenny Borough picking up the £300 as the highest placed First Section band not in the prizes as well as the £300 as the band deemed to have given the most entertaining stage performance.
The youngest instrumentalist award on the day went to 11 year old Alexander Rees of Tongwynlais.
With the Welsh Open firmly seen as one of the most important contests in the Welsh banding calendar, it was heartening to see it so well supported once again, with the bands already lining up for next year’s event which takes place on the 20th February 2010.
1. BTM (T. Davoren) - 193
2. Tredegar (I. Porthouse) - 191
3. Tongwynlais Temperance (P. Harper) - 190
4. Burry Port Town (C. Roberts) - 189
5. Abergavenny Borough (G. Ritter) - 187
6. Cwmaman Institute (G. O’Connor) - 186
7. Pontardulais (Burns Pet Nutrition) (P. Jenkins) - 184
Best Soloist: J. Pippen (BTM)
Adjudicator: Melvin White
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