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Pontins Championships 2002:

Second Section:
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 prize.

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 mosso (19)

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 15th spot.

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 18th.

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 adjudicators.

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 than 20th.

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 and Helmshore.

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

Adjudicators Remarks:

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 chord.

Most enjoyable consistant musical performance. Thank You

Roy Roe.

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.

Dennis Wilby.

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The Heaton Collection -  Available with 4BR shopping