2003 North of England Regional Qualifying
Third Section - Retrospective
Adjudicator: Stan Lippeatt
Test Piece: Northern Landscapes - Peter Graham
Wansbeck’s Ashington were declared Third Section Champions
here on Saturday and worthy winners they were too with a super performance
of “Northern Landscapes” that we think made adjudicator
Stan Lippeatt’s job quite easy.
Right from the start there was a rounded balanced sound to the
band and a lovely middle of the band tone that was controlled right
through the dynamic range. N. Steadman directed with a sense of
understanding and he was spot on with the tempos on a day when many
MD’s sacrificed clarity for speed. The soloists played their
part to the full with a top-notch bit of cornet playing and a fine
euph. Off the number 4 draw they were never in danger of losing
the winners slot after they played as the two other best performances
came immediately before them from Stape and Ellington, whilst Murton
followed them on straight after. In fact after band number 5 it
was all over bar the results ceremony.
Dearham opened proceedings but fell into the trap of sacrificing
clarity for speed and the technical aspects especially in the “Earth
Dance” were never overcome. It was a pity as they had the
basics sorted out but once the tempo increased so did the errors
and lack of precision. The final movement was a bit of a mess and
they ended poorly so 8th place was about right.
Stape under M. Breckon sounded like a band in control right from
the start and the first two movements were really good indeed, but
once more the “Earth Dance” for us lacked the clarity
and was too messy, losing them a few too many points. It recovered
in the 4th section “Flight” but by then that bit of
damage that was the difference between them and the eventual winners
was done. Overall though a very decent show and well worth the second
place they were awarded by Stan Lippeatt.
Third place went to our pre match favourites, Ellington Colliery
and they too put on a strong performance that only really wavered
in the “Seascapes” and “Earth Dance”. Nothing
too dramatic went wrong put those moments were uneasy and just robbed
the music of the flow it needed in the former, whilst the latter
had too much speed and the clarity which was evident in the other
movements was lost. A good show though and third place was about
Outside the podium places and things fell away a little with speed
once more being the main culprit. Murton Colliery put in a well-balanced
performance under Black Dyke’s tuba player Joseph Cook but
the error count was up and robbed them of valuable points. They
did have the best bass sound of the day though (tips from the top
we think) but the band faded at the end from the standard they set
out at the beginning. A good effort though.
Fifth place was taken by Carlisle St. Stephens and they made a
real good effort of the set work in each of the four movements.
Tuning was their biggest problem for us – it grated at times,
but they still managed to produce a good sound and MD, David Dye
kept control of the tempos so the detail was heard. Well done.
6th place went to Swinton and District Excelsior directed by R.
Rutter who like Carlisle produced a good quality performance that
was spolit a little by tuning problems. Again, all four movemnts
were well handled, but you just hoped that the tuning would rectify
itself - it didn't and we think that may have been whythey were
penalised, as the overall shape and style was pretty good from the
word go. Unlucky.
Finally the bottom three bands, Hetton Silver, Dearham and Bearpark
and Esh had their problems. We have already given the details of
Dearham who played first, but it was much the same story with both
Hetton and Bearpark.
Neither band really got to grips with the technical aspects of
Peter Graham’s work and the tuning was too wayward. There
was some spirited playting in the outer movements from both but
the slow “Seascapes” and “Earth Dance” were
a struggle and found them out. Still, the raw material was certainly
there and all it will need is plenty of nurturing in the coming
That was that then and the top two should be in with a shout come
Dundee. As for our tips – we had three of the top four, but
not in the right order with Ellington (our tip to win) coming 3rd,
Murton (2nd) coming 4th and Wansbeck’s (3rd) taking the top
prize. Stape were our dark horse and proved us right by coming 2nd,
whilst our other choices in Dearham (4th) came 8th, Bearpark (5th)
came 9th and Hetton (6th) came 7th.
Not bad eh?