2004 Spring Festival - Live: Senior Trophy


Live band by band coverage from Blackpool's Winter Gardens

Derek Broadbent and Ian Brownbill

Test piece:
Concerto for Band, John Golland

Commences: 11.00am


Kidlington Concert, 1
Conductor: Catherine Underwood

A tidy opening and it progresses well. Good euph at allegro but the first error appear in the band ensemble. Cadenzas work failrly well but some momentary lapses spoil the overall shape. Perhaps it's lacking a touch of sparkle but there are good moments to be heard right to the end. A decent marker to open.

City of Coventry, 2
Conductor: Stephen Cooper

A good start and the playing is alert and has drive. It is all mono dynamic however and it lacks contrast. Soloists do well and there is much to admire throughout. Corntet intonation goes wonky too often. Finishes with some style and class. Not a bad show but that intonation will prove costly we think.

Longridge, 3
Conductor: Stephen Booth

A tasty opening and it gets into its stride with confidence. Lots of clean lines and forward drive. The dynamics are a bit strong in places though but the soloists perform with confidence. Excellent trom shines and this is developing nicely. It just gets a touch hard to finish but this has been a very solid workmanlike performance.

Johnstone Band, 4
Conductor: Gavin Lindsay

A little unsettled to open and the music loses its focus for us. It recovers though and sop adds to very bright and direct playing. Some untdy entries in adagio and the warmth is lacking in the band sound. Excellent flugel and trom and this now has a very nice feel to it. Strong playing and excellent percussion make for a rhythmic present and a confident closing section. This got better as it went along.

Staffordshire, 5
Conductor: John Hinckley

Well controlled opening leads to bright attention grabbing sound in allegro (2) with (8) noteable. Stringendo bold for pp but band ooze confidence. Allarg (13) best yet and detail heard at lento (14). Adagio (15) could be warmer but detail heard still. Trom and euph cadenzas top notch. Adagio not as tidy to begin but allegro most resolute. It's confident stuff. We like this one.

BHK (UK) Horden, 6
Conductor: Brian Grant

Safe opening but percussion feels hurried. (2) Allegro bright and crisp but horns rush (5). Bold statement and clean lines then wavers (13). Adagio simply stated and euph shines. Cadenzas belong to cornet and trom. Sop is asked some questions but music moves on to strong conclusion with detail in a confident final section of playing.

Aldbourne, 7
Conductor: Nigel Seaman

Good basses at opening but sound not 'brilliant' yet rhythmical. All notes well placed as music grows in stature. Basses are having a good day. Nice transition to stringendo but music loses some impact before euph takes control into good cadenza. Cad's work well. Adagio is gentle and longest pause so far taken. Attention to rhythm again felt but falters a little before confident close.

Northop, 8
Conductor: Brett Baker

Don't get off to the cleanest of starts as intonation and untidy ensemble work against the band. It takes time to become settled. Adagio (15) is simply stated with good euph work. Cadenzas go well (but mobile phone marrs cornet cad!) Adagio challenges sop but detail comes through as music pushes on. Perhaps the balance and uneasy sections may prove costly today.

Dobcross Silver, 9
Conductor: Denis Hadfield

A clean opening and atmosphere lead to allegro with bright sound and lots of clarity. (7) is confident and works well. Ensemble work hard but lento falters. Adagio (15) quite dry. Cad's - euph good and trom shows class (accomp.don't work too well though). Nice cantabile at (18). Adagio unsettled but allegro works well as does closing section.

Stalybridge Old, 10
Conductor: John Maines

Fairly safe opening before allegro - strong articulation within a brisk tempo. Some challenging ideas make interesting colour but occasional lapses are heard. Lovely transition to adagio. Troms - well done - but the band work that follows isn't clean. Music has space and time - but maybe a few too many liberties! Allegro flows nicely and the finish is full of vigour but not without blemishes. A curate's egg!

Broxburn Public, 11
Conductor: Archie Hutchison

Bold dynamics to open before some cracking playing - it's confident stuff and has drive. Cornet intonation detracts but lovely bass sound. This has vitality and is dramatic in places. Adagio is a challenge - insecire sounds detract once more. It gets untidy now with many many troubles. Overall a promising start but fell away for us.

Pemberton Old Wigan, 12
Conductor: Mark Peacock

Atmospheric opening sounds. It's clean and the attacks are good and there plenty of plish evident. Some classy cornet playing and strong rhythms enhance. There's plenty of good balance with the bass end complimenting. Detail is again evident. It's pretty good stuff. Euph makes light of technical demands and the music has a good presence. PLenty of power to end - well balanced as well. This was a very compact performance that could well feature highly.

Knottingley Silver, 13
Conductor: Kevin Belcher

A strong opening and then it moves with gusto and some bright playing that carries the music forward. Cornets are a little sticky but this is minor amongst the positive playing. Great care is taken with the music and the performance level remains good. The adagio doesn't quite come off but the euph plays well and the inner parts are well realised. It gets a little unsettled after the cadenzas but recovers somewhat. It returns to display some good band sounds and ends powerfully. A performance with some very confident moments.

Soham Comrades, 14
Conductor: Paul Filby

A decent opening with some positive playing. It isn't always as effective as we would like but the cornets help regain the drama of the music. It's robust stuff in the main but the percussion are troubled at the lento. It continues safely to the cadenzas where the euph sings well but trom is challenged. A good cantabile feel follows but it is not always convincing. The end is set out well and is well played. The troubled moments be just be costly today.

Tongwynlais Temperance, 15
Conductor: Bryn James

Settled to open and good feel to the music that flows positively with nice dynamic contrast ant articulation. All the effects don't always come off but well done cornet and euph. Lovely cantabile feel. Odd tweaks in cadenzas don't unduly undo the overall picture and in the main the band retains its quality. Smashing allegro with strong dynamic contrasts. Some very enjoyable sections overall in a rewarding performance.

Mossley, 16
Conductor: Martyn Evans

A well judged opening section with only the odd moment of intonation and blemish. A strong dynamicaly conceived allegro with neat articulation and pleasing rhythms. Lots of details heared throughout the band. The odd sticky moment though is heard but well done cornet and the inner detail is heard. An interesting and pacy cadenza section followed by an adagio section with lots of confidence. A robust and vigourous performance with much to enjoy.

Unison Kinneil, 17
Conductor: Allan Ramsey

A clean opening in the main. The music has drive and is generally quite secure. Well done horns but then there are blemishes. well played basses but then the band sound less convincing before and through the lento. What follows is and edgy and troubled section. Cadenzas work well before a gusto mjusical picture is strongly argued. A troubled middle section weakened a solid performance.

Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda, 18
Conductor: Alan Gibbs

A safe opening. Bright sounds with plenty of detail just a slightly hard articulation. Nice basses and a very strong rhythmic control helps the musical description. It continues well into adagio. An untidy start but lovely cornet and nicely done flugel and euph. Valuable points gained in this section as all goes to plan. There is plenty of attack and drive and it moves well to a fine conclusion. Some smashing sounds throughout.

Riddings, 19
Conductor: John Davis

Hard sounds to open with a strange pause before 1. It then flows. Very bit forte's from the lower end. Lots of very convincing playing but at a big dynamic. Exciting sounds that may be penalised for volumes and challenging tempos. A few sticky moments and the odd tweak in syncopation detract slightly. The slow stuff is well played but at a safe dynamic and the cadenza sound a little rushed. Moments of intonation creep in towards the conclusion. Allegro has attack and perhaps this has more control than the opening sections in dynamic range. It concludes well but the timp is out of place.


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