Pontins Championships 2002:
We give the 4BR Retrospective on the performances, plus the official
adjudicator's remarks for the winners.
Buffeted by the extraordinarily high winds the wall of the Lunar
Bar creaked and groaned all though this contest. The marquee normally
used to help with organisation of the registry was blown down and
the journeys, those bandsmen not resident had to face, created problems
for contest control that they coped with admirably.
The Lunar Bar had a much smaller audience for the start of this
contest than the previous day and that meant many missed what turned
out to be the winning performance. From draw number 1 Old Silkstone
impressed the adjudicators and did the unusual feat of winning a
contest from this position. From a confident opening through good
ensemble playing at figure 3 (sost.espress) It had good shape and
was very well played at the agitato at 14-15. The music continued
to be quite a rich and spacious reading by the band but we felt
it had some odd moments of uncertainty from the cornet and occasions
when it was a little too bass heavy in balance. It was however a
very good performance which seriously impressed the adjudicators.
We marked Radoy Brass to win the contest with a performance which
itself wasn't without flaw. The sop solo in the giocoso (9) was
just off the mark and the ending just tweaked as they were trying
to achieve an ultra ppp from figure 23 to the end. A daft blue coat
held up the commencement of their performance by wandering across
the hall before Gareth Pritchard brought to their playing great
freedom of expression. With particularly good playing at figure
2 in the opening andante, a superbly caught poco piu mosso (19)
and electrifying playing through 21 at the con molto espress it
seriously deserved its prize and came in as runner up.
Moston and Beswick continued their top form with a pearling display.
Their most controlled playing came through figures (4-6) especially
some important trombone work, then through the agitato (14-15) and
at the con molto espress.(21) that was refined and had an element
of coolness being very smooth. Some very good playing to gain third
Chalford played a very safe performance and saved their best playing
till the very end in the con molto espress.(21)It was probably less
underlined than many but quite solid. A well-played well-mannered
account gaining 4th place.
Haslingden and Helmshore split the first note of the piece but
then settled very quickly and gave a generally strong and alert
performance. They played the best Poco piu mosso of the contest
(19) using directional playing to great effect. The soprano sounded
a bit nervous in the solo lines between (9) and (11) but overall
it was a creditable performance gaining 5th prize.
Finishing 6th were Llanrug. Lovely basses at the opening were well
supported; they also played with style and very smoothly at (6).
It became a little untidy but then really got it together in the
agitato (14). A very quiet controlled ending rounded out a performance
with much to commend.
Eagley Band placed 7th opened safely but ran into trouble with
the giocoso (9) but they played well from (22) through to the end
and held one of the nicest final pauses of the contest.
In 8th spot came Brackley who gave quite an uncomplicated, nice
performance with one of its best moments coming at the Poco piu
9th place went to Hatfield Coal Power who nailed the opening and
played a satisfying performance all through that could have figured
a little higher for us.
Meltham and Meltham Mills band produced some good ensemble playing
and here they made some good sounds at the agitato (14). A return
of 10th was a fair call we thought.
Elland Silver opened confidently but the performance just went
off the boil by the time it reached the agitato (14-15) and so 11th
wasn't too unkind. The flugel had a good day and they produced a
good sound in the ensemble at figure 3 (sost.espress).
A good job the band arrived before Sunday for this one, given the
weather as it was. Manx Concert Brass came 12th probably because
a lot of good early work was undone after (14) when they lost the
balance. Timps were very hard in the agitato (14-15) and the ending
was rather insecure.
Hade Edge were unlucky with 13th. They played with confidence and
we certainly had them in the prizes. Much tidy playing, flowing
and convincing covered almost all of their performance but they
did hold the longest of long pauses on that final note.
Newtown Silver finished at 14th in a performance that again was
safely paced but fluctuated in its precision and consistency.
Hopkins Solicitors Blidworth Welfare took quite a brisk opening
however some nervous moments upset the performance which was generally
taken on the upper side of the circa metronome markings to claim
Royal Oakley Silver played well with some quite effective ensemble
work but some faults in the solo lines mave have proved costly.
They were held up in traffic on the way due to the weather conditions
so took place on the contest platform at the end instead of the
pre-drawn 17th. Perhaps not the most settling way to enter the contest
arena and as a result this may not have helped their concentration
before they took the 16th place.
Rhyl Silver had a brief but probably not the most comfortable journey
and for this came away with 17th place. During the test piece soprano
had a good day and they were quite grandiose at the agitato (14-15)
Northfleet Brass playing off a late draw also found the piece causing
problems. It just didn't quite come off on the day and was placed
Stourport on Severn (19th) could never have their performance considered
safe. David Maplestone read the piece very individually and took
risks with dynamic and tempo. It was never going to finish mid-table
it was either going to sweep the board or bomb out. It was an intense
performance, of that there was doubt, but it didn't win over the
Jersey Premier Brass produced too many mistakes in the opening
section and it was a shame because they tried hard to recover with
some decent ensemble work. They never really got over that bad start
and they will be disappointed as it could have been so much better
Walkden Band took the stage and repeated Jersey Premier's problem
in the opening section. This unsettled the band too much and unfortunately
they couldn't turn the piece around and were 21st overall.
We must admit that this was one section where we varied somewhat
with the judges as we plumped for a top six of Radoy, Hade Edge,
Moston & Beswick, Hatfield Coal Power, Old Silkstone and Haslingden
It is good job we were not the adjudicators isn't it or Chalford
and Llnarug would never forgive us!
Of the dodgy predictions halfy-halfy really eh? : 1st, 2nd 3rd,
5th then 8th 13th & 19th
Hade Edge - 4BR Prediction 1 - Actual 13
Brackley & District - 4BR Prediction 2 - Actual 8
Moston & Beswick - 4BR Prediction 3 - Actual 3
Radoy - 4BR Prediction 4 - Actual 2
Haslingden and Helmshore - 4BR Prediction 5 - Actual 5
Stourport on Severn - 4BR Prediction 6 - Actual 19
Old Silkstone - 4BR Prediction Dark Horse - Actual 1
1. Old Silkstone
A good quality of sound to commence. Deatil is good and music is
well shaped. Trom style a little smoother. 3 – Good tonal
quality and balance is good. Some lovely musical sounds. Nice sop
and horn. 5 – moves along with good conviction. Lead into
6 could be a little smoother from lower band. 7 – you allow
music space here. Again a little untidy lower band into 8. 9 –
moves along very well. Soloists really shine and good support from
quaver rhythm. Very neat and tidy into 12. 13 – very good
all concerned. Good drive into 15 and the music feels just right.
Very good sop well shaped and controlled into 17. Some very good
effects achieved through 17. 18 a little softer start would give
better effect but overall a lot to commend. Good lead into Lento.
Lento would prefer a little smoother in style. All moves along most
convincingly into a well shaped tuneful final section. Lovely final
Most enjoyable consistant musical performance. Thank You
Nicely shaped opening – legato style. Sop fine. 1- shapely
divisi cornets. All goes well – good dynamic. Flug/horns fine
sound. “Trumpets” are well placed. 3 – control
– good musical lines – tender sounds – this is
excellent playing. 4 – nice sop – horns. 5 – you
capture the mood – bell effect is blanced. Rall well handled
– 7 nice troms – bass secure. 8 – nice change
of mood. 9 – sprightly cornet. Sop – fine quaver rhythm.
10 – fine sound. 11 – horns musical. 12 – cornets
link nicely. 13 – musical style. 14 – well judges agaitato.
15 – good detail. Sop stylish. 17 – blanced cornets
– good horn support. 18 – dramatic troms. Nice bass/hornlink.
19 – not really ppp, but still all comes over in style. 20
– nice chording. Lento clarity is “spot on”. 21
– this is well played – finely balanced. 22 –
lovely. The style is just right. Lovely dynamic. 23 – impressive,
“Trumpets” round off a near perfect ending. A lovely
performance. Bravo!! Conductor/Band.