2004 Yorkshire Regional Championships
Sunday 7th March
Test Piece: Partita –
Adjudicator: David Lancaster
Sunday lunch had Professor Edward Gregson’s Partita on
the menu with just eight bands doing battle. David Lancaster, the
adjudicator, had little doubt though that Grange Moor were the deserved
winners and they will be joined in North Yorkshire in September
by Gawthorpe Brass.
The three-movement test piece certainly caused the bands a few
problems, A number of bands were not consistent enough across the
three movements, and those that were, found themselves in the prizes.
Friendly Band drew number 1 and it was a good one. They seemed
at home with the opening ‘Intrada’, but in the lovely
‘Chorale’, suffered at the beginning with the quiet
opening, and although the solo playing was nice, had some uncertainties
in the ensemble playing. The final ‘March’ was strong
though, and after seventh place last year, they should be happy
to have been placed fourth.
Gawthorpe Brass was next on, and they had three sound movements.
The opening was firm and purposeful and came across well. The middle
movement was some of the nicest playing of the whole competition.
It had a peaceful feel to it and was lyrical, with some nice playing
from within the middle of the band. Come the final movement, it
was clear this was a performance that would be hard to beat. Placed
third and fourth in the past couple of years, the band has become
consistent, and no one can grumble that they qualified.
Lofthouse 2000 finished fifth overall, and they were another band
that 4BR felt didn’t gel right through all of the movements.
The middle movement was the band’s achilles-heel and it stretched
them outside their comfort zone. That said, the band should be pleased
to have improved on last year’s position of sixth.
Linthwaite were expected to do well, but they will be the first
to admit, that they didn’t have the greatest day at the office.
The middle movement again was problematic, and they suffered a touch
with the ensemble playing in the final march movement.
Grange Moor certainly gave David Lancaster something to think about
as they produced a top draw performance. Since Gawthorpe, Grange
Moorwas the first band to put three really good movements together.
The first was bold and positive, the second, lyrical and relaxed,
with some nice soprano playing, and in the third, they didn’t
have too many ensemble problems, and the clarity of the music came
across. It was not perfect (nobody was) but it the playing had that
tighter feel about it, and the band will be looking to do their
county proud in the early autumn.
Crofton Silver certainly pushed Gawthorpe and Grange Moor pretty
close mind you. Behind stage, they knew Grange Moor had given a
good show and they responded. Once again though, the middle movement
stretched them a touch, and some of the ensemble stuff in the final
movement wasn’t as tight and clean as the two winners.
The last two bands were Dearne Valley and Thurcroft Welfare who
both had days they will want to forget, although 4BR expected them
to do well. Dearne Valley will be disappointed, as the first movement
(Intrada) started well, but they struggled in the final two movements.
Thurcroft got the wooden spoon in this section, and as with Dearne
Valley, they will want to put the performance behind them and move
on. It wasn’t a bad show, but it never sounded like they were
happy with the piece, and sadly it came across.
It was a shame that not more than eight bands did battle in this
section, as it could have turned into one heck of a battle. As it
was, it was the top four that really shone with Grange Moor and
Gawthorpe taking the honours and the challenge of becoming Fourth
Section National Champions.