2004 Midlands Regional Championships - Retrospective
Sunday 14th March
Test Piece: Partita –
Adjudicator: Roy Roe
Apologies for the delay in this report from the Fourth Section
at the Midlands Championships – our man left his notes in
a place that he couldn’t remember – until now. So sorry
This was a contest that caused a little consternation from quite
a few people who had either listened to, or had played in the contest.
Adjudicator Roy Roe seemed to be in a bit of a picky mood in his
address to the audience at the Burton on Trent Town Hall –
he was obviously disappointed with the overall standard of playing
he heard, but his comments tended to be a tad destructive rather
Everyone appreciates an adjudicator who speaks his mind, but more
importantly they appreciate an adjudicator who is consistent. Roy
was certainly the former here, but some may question whether he
was the latter.
There was little doubt that the top three bands deserved their
placings – Rushden Windmill, Newhall and
Matlock were all good value and will make the trip
to Harrogate with confidence, but many in the audience were mystified
at the way in which he described what he was looking for. Roy has
adjudicated at the highest level (including the Championship Section
at the Royal Albert Hall), but there was a feeling that he brought
the type of adjudication approach required at that level to the
Fourth Section here.
Judging the likes of Black Dyke, YBS, Cory, Fodens and the bands
of this level makes different demands on the adjudicating art –
sorting out the wheat from the chaff in the Fourth Section demands
something a little more basic. There seemed to be little in the
way of constructive criticism from the stage – it was nearly
all negative comments and that disappointed many. Bands know they
are not going to give a YBS type show, but they do try damn hard
none the less.
It wasn’t the greatest quality contest for sure – but
it wasn’t any worse than just about any other area around
the country. Bands such as Dunchurch, Kirkby Colliery Welfare
and Creswell Colliery in particular will have been
a bit mystified at their result – we were not alone in thinking
they had put in decent shows, and given what Roy had just said off
stage, we thought they would certainly be in with a shout. It was
not to be, and we know opinions differ, but this was a little mystifying.
Rushden were very good – broad sounds, balanced
and robust when needed and some neat touches from the main solo
players. They also had the rhythmic quality that Roy was certainly
listening out for. Newhall were different –
they had a fine horn section (another bete noir of RR) whilst Matlock
were the most controlled of the three and made the most music from
the score (again RR was forceful in his condemnation of many others).
All three deserved their qualification, but all three were certainly
different from each other.
Given that the rest of top six – Enderby Youth, Ilkeston
Brass and Dronfield were all musical pictures
cut from disparate readings you wondered what on earth tickled the
adjudicators fancy. Opinions varied – we didn’t agree
(so what’s new), but given what Roy Roe stated off the stage,
there was more than a little head scratching come the announcement
of the results.
Others on the day put in performances that had their merits –
right from Tideswell off the number 1 draw, right
through to Kirkby Colliery at 17 – each of
the bands tried hard to make music from a difficult set work, and
we think they should have been applauded more than they were. There
was a super little performance from Enderby Youth
for example who came 4th, but which was so lightweight in sound
that given Roy’s criteria, should have come about 12th and
not just outside the qualification places.
As we have said: This wasn’t the best Fourth Section contest
we have heard this year – but it wasn’t the worse either.
Sometimes adjudicators can be their own worse enemy – and
perhaps this was one such time.