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2004 Welsh Regional Championships - Retrospective

Fourth Section
Sunday 14th March

Test Piece: Partita – Edward Gregson
Adjudicator: Steve Pritchard - Jones

Finally to the Fourth Section where 15 bands took to the stage to perform Edward Gregson’s “Partita”.

Radyr and Morganstown were the clear winners here (even though they only won by a point) and congratulations should go to their young MD, Gareth Hann who directed a very competent and musical performance from his charges. Radyr benefited from having a few experienced faces in the ranks – including Alan Gwynant formerly of Tredegar and BTM who was excellent on solo cornet and the one and only Philip Morris on soprano, who was on good form (perhaps he is not busy enough and is practising a few hours a day!). It was a performance that had all the ingredients adjudicator Steve Pritchard Jones was looking for – basics of tuning and balance, some fine solo playing and a real sense of the serious nature of the set work. They will head for Harrogate with high hopes as they say in Cardiff.

Joining them were Goodwick Brass who also gave a very good account of themselves and also mastered the basic requirements in a very musical performance. Third place went to Ogmore Valley under the direction of Ivor Barnett who qualified for the finals for the second consecutive year, whilst fourth place was taken by Severn Tunnel. The final places in the top six went to Holywell who made the trip down from the island of Angelesy and the famous old name ion Welsh banding, Gwaun Cae Gurwen.

After these performances the standard fell away a little and our reviewer/unofficial judge felt that many didn’t meet the technical demands first and foremost. Tuning varied from the good to the downright horrible, and although nearly every performance had individual lines that wee excellent, it was the overall ensemble that was poor. Too many MD’s seem to be content to sacrifice the basics in an attempt to impress with volume – never a good idea when the judge at this level is looking for the basics first, the fancy musical interpretation second.

Still overall it was great to report that 15 bands in Wales had made it to the contest stage at the Fourth Section, with just the two bands dropping out.

Morganstown and Radyr were the band that left Swansea celebrating on the weekend, and well worth it they were too. Lets hope they and the other qualifiers can be doing the same thing come Harrogate and the Finals.

© 4BarsRest

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