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2012 North of England Regional Championship — Third Section retrospective

Malcolm Wood looks back at the Third Section Area contest at Darlington.

2012 North East Area Ripon City Third Sec winners
Ripper!!! Ripon City celebrate their Area title success
Picture: Steve Jack

It's fair to say they know a thing or two about what it takes to be an Olympian in the North of England.

The region has a very proud history of producing the type of performers who can more than hold their own at the very highest level.

Hard graft

Dedicating your time in pursuit of that ultimate goal is a huge commitment – and it was great to hear that each of the nine bands who made it to the starting line for this contest had put in the hard graft.

It resulted in a pretty good contest for adjudicator Mike Kilroy and the audience to enjoy.

Basics


Each of the bands will have left Darlington the better for having tackled Philip Harper’s cinematic work. ‘Olympus’ may have been bold, colourful and dramatic in its inspiration, but it still needed a fair degree of control of the basics of good banding technique.  

Only two gained the all important qualification places that were on offer, but all nine delivered performances of note.

Fine if obscure

Mike Kilroy gave a fine, if slightly obscure, assessment of what he'd been listening to and gave those involved plenty of food for thought. He was complimentary, but not falsely so. 

The analogy he drew with his son’s attempts to draw God was stretching things a bit perhaps, but the sentiment was appreciated.

Philip Harper's transparent score worked best when the MDs took full notice of the clearly marked instructions on its pages: Thankfully, most did just that, leaving the more esoteric considerations at arm’s length.  

All in place

With all the basic requirements in place, Ripon City, conducted by Malcolm Dibb took the honours in fine style. 

Full of energy, balance and solid technique, the North Yorkshire outfit produced an account that brought the colour out of the score without over egging the drama.

It was good see that the contribution of the excellent percussion team wasn’t overlooked either, as they added rhythmic clarity and well defined effect from start to finish. It was a classy winner.

Control

Joining them in Cheltenham will be Kirkby Lonsdale, after Alan Greenwood’s band produced a performance of control, balance and solidity.

It didn’t quite have the high gloss sheen of the winners – more a classy matt finish, but all the essential elements were in the right place and played with considered musicality, especially from the individual soloists.

Missing out


Just missing out was a well presented account from Marske Brass in third who delivered a spirited and colourful account, as did Billingham Silver who had to settle for fourth.

Neither band quite displayed enough consistency to have pushed for the qualification places but would have left Darlington pleased with their efforts.

Mix and match

The great mix and match of youthful vitality and level headed experience saw NASUWT Riverside Concert under the permanently smiling Bryan Tait come fifth, whilst Stape Silver produced a purposeful account to end sixth.

Promising

After these bands the standard did start to wane, although East Riding of Yorkshire may rue a lack of stamina as their promising account just ran out of steam, whilst Backworth Colliery and Bearpark & Esh Colliery couldn’t quite maintain consistent levels of execution in what were well planned out accounts under their experienced MDs.

Two solid bands head for Cheltenham, with perhaps a little more hard graft to out in if they are to claim a possible podium finish.

Malcolm Wood



The Marple Band - Marple Band Family Christmas Concert

Friday 18 December • Marple Conservative Club, church Lane, Marple, SK6 6AY


Black Dyke Band - Brighouse & Rastrick, Huddersfield Town Hall

Saturday 27 March • Corporation St, Huddersfield HD1 2TA


Contest: 100thSpring Festival

Saturday 8 May • 97 Church St, Blackpool, FY1 1HL


Contest: Whit Friday March Contests

Friday 28 May • Saddleworth & Tameside OL3


Contest: 168th British Open

Saturday 11 September • Symphony Hall, Broad Street, Birmingham. B1 2EA


Foss Dyke Band

November 30 • Front Row Cornet vacancy still up for grabs! Come and join Foss and enjoy our newly refurbished band room with newly appointed MD David Dernley. Foss Dyke are a 1st Section Band with a moderate contest and concert schedule.


Chadderton Band

November 17 • Chadderton Band is a non-contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are a friendly band looking for players of all ages and abilities on all sections + EUPH and percussion. Most welcome to come along and have a blow give us a try.


Crewe Brass

November 12 • Crewe Brass require an Eb or Bb Bass to complete the "engine room" line up. We are also seeking a Tuned Percussionist to complete our section.


Gary Davies


Conductor, Band Trainer, Adjudicator


               

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