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Post Match Analysis:
Midlands Regional Championships 2002

First Section:
Saturday 2nd March, Town Hall
Adjudicator: Goff Richards
Commences: Approx 11.00am


1. The Staffordshire Band, D. Maplestone, 189, 2
2. City of Coventry Brass, P. Bailey, 188, 17
3. Derwent Brass, K. Leonard, 187, 10
4. Towcester Studio, A. Sellers, 186, 4
5. Jackfield Elcock Reisen, C. Lewis, 185, 11
6. Bedworth Brass, Colin Randle, 184, 14
7. Enderby, J. Broadhurst, 183, 13
8. Kibworth, J. Berryman, 182, 7
9. The Riddings Band, J. Davis, 181, 12
10. Tintwistle, D. Shutter, 180, 3
11. Ibstock Brick Brass, P. Northey, 179, 6
12. Unity Brass (FMUFS), D. Blakeson, 178, 5
13. Hathern, D. Newman, 177, 8
14. Shirland Miners Welfare, G. Hawley, 176, 1
15. Ireland Colliery (Chesterfield), R. Walters, 174, 9
16. Darley Dale, S. Shimwell, 173, 16
17. Gresley Old Hall, F.W.A. Tyler, 172, 15

Top 3 bands qualify for the National Finals.

Seventeen bands contested the first section and there were a number of notable performances. However the bells that so delighted us later in the Championship Section remained comical, although somehow the conductors here just seemed to cope with them better!

This was a close section with many good performances and as we at 4BR predicted, it was a close run thing.

The Staffordshire Band under the direction of David Maplestone took the trophy from a very early draw. Playing second, they performed the piece with a deliberate pronounced style and you could hear enough class in the performance to show that they had until this year been very much a championship section band. It was definitely one of those performances you never once discounted, and so it proved as Goff Richards once again made the right choice and out them firmly at the top. There may have been a long way to go but this was the performance they all had to beat.

With 188 points City of Coventry Brass took second spot, conducted with a very positive pattern by Phillip Bailey. The band certainly responded and they played the music with vivid and refined detail that caught the ear more than once in each of the pieces sections. It was little surprise that they claimed one of the three qualifying places on offer.

Derwent Brass under K. Leonard were placed third, (and stuck two well deserved fingers up at us at 4BR who didnít think they would be in the frame Ė well done to one and all!) and they took the first movement quite quickly in distinct contrast to the slow and steady feel in the second. It was a happy band that played the third movement showing off their musicality and you could sense that they knew they were playing well. A fine rounded performance was a credit to them and they will travel to Torquay confident of repeating this standard of performance.

Adele Sellers brought out a performance from Towcester Studio Brass, which had real individuality and very nearly won them a trip to the finals. This was a band on the day which had a very different feel about it, with a lightness of balance and tone that was quite refreshing from the blast and bash of others. We were certainly impressed and they continue to improve each time we hear them. 4th place was well deserved this time around, but donít be surprised if they really challenge for a top place this time next year.

Jackfield Elcock Reisen were tipped to perform well on the day and gave an atmospheric performance in the opening movement, but didnít quite give the music breadth in the second. They produced a Ďconcertí entertaining style in the third movement for us that was secure, but lacked colour and at times a little sparkle. Plenty of good solid stuff, but not quite enough to put them just that bit higher up the table and subsequently it didnít win over adjudicator Goff Richards.

Bedworth Brass and Enderby, 6th and 7th respectively produced performances with controlled playing with the best sounds coming in the second movement from both. Again, there was plenty to admire in each show, but there were too many little unforced errors and a lack of clarity in the ensemble for both to have come higher. Own up who won the deportment prize for knocking over the stand holding the programme numbers?

And so on to Kibworth, and 4BRís tip for the top. Make no mistake, Kibworth are a class outfit and they played wonderfully well. It was a performance that warmed the ears of everyone in the hall and John Berrymanís interpretation gave real shivers up the spine in places. Perhaps some bits and pieces were a little overdone, but everything had time and space and the stamp of a conductor who knew what he was doing. Strange for us they didnít come in the top three, but then we are not the adjudicators are we. 8th place was more than a little cruel.

Plenty of other good performances from those that came lower down the field as well, with Riddings and Tintwistle both having moments of class playing, that was unfortunately too often interspersed with errors and balance problems, whilst Ibstock gave a good account of themselves without ever suggesting they could come higher. It was a very "anonymous" performance, but still showed that there is a basis of a good band there lurking away.

The bottom six performances were a mini contest in themselves in that they could have no complaints for coming as they did, but could have a murmur or two about the exact placing they were finally put in.

Unity and Hathern both played the piece, but neither seemed to be able to grasp the detail and much of the dynamic markings sounded much of a muchness, whilst Shirland off the number 1 spot didnít perform as well as they could and lacked confidence in the quieter dynamics and intonation suffered badly for us. Ireland and Darley Dale meanwhile managed to get through the piece, but both were beset by tuning problems and a lack of confidence in places that at this level means mistakes in individual lines and lost points.

The incident that really did cause concern was unfortunately reserved for Gresley Old Hall. They were finishing playing and had just produced a tuneful pause when a bass player played three extra notes - bum bum bummmm. The band looked round stunned. Somehow the sound of a bass player backstage echoed through the Gothic Hall. Can you imagine the bandís reaction not only did they get a low result but band members were even more upset when Goff Richards wrote in his remarks that George Lloyd did not write that ending! Last place was unfortunate indeed and they should write this off as a bad day at the contesting office and forget about it. Contesting can be very cruel at times, even when you donít get any help from fellow competitors.

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