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2012 North of England Regional Championship — First Section retrospective

Malcolm Wood looks back at the First Section Area contest in Darlington.

2012 NE Area First Sec tion winners Shepherd Group
Flock to Cheltenham for the victorious Shepherd Group
Picture: Steve Jack


The North of England First Section was all about quality as opposed to quantity.

Just five bands had made it to the starting line to give their performances of 'Mountain Views', but the end result was a contest of an impressive standard.

Musical pictures

Adjudicator, Mike Kilroy was looking for the bands to paint descriptive musical pictures, and the well matched quintet certainly did that and more on the day.

Shepherd Group's winning interpretation was one of energy, drive and purpose under MD Richard Wilton.

It was also complimented by very fine individual contributions too – notably from the prize winning bass and percussion sections, which complimented a quite outstanding trombone trio.

It was mighty fine stuff – which consolidated together delivered a performance that was as good as any heard at the Regional Championships.

Richard Wilton’s direction was neat and precise, his interpretation broad and colourful. They will be a band to fear come Cheltenham on this form.

Merit

Westoe
claimed the second qualification place on offer with a performance of real merit. It bubbled with the type of energy that seemed to fizz through the veins of MD Jason Smith.

At one point he lifted himself off the floor as if hit by the type of punch George Foreman once elevated Joe Frazier with.

You couldn’t fault the desire and you couldn’t fault the approach. It was seat of the pants stuff at times, but it never for a moment did anything other than keep you fully engaged.

Commiserations


With two such fine qualifiers, it was a case of commiseration for Catterick Brass.

Brenden Wheeler's band can consider themselves a touch unfortunate not to be heading to the finals after a fine performance that was based on control and consideration of dynamics and tempo.

It perhaps just lacked the vibrancy of its rivals, but it was still a very fine effort.

Robust

Both Harrogate and GT Group Peterlee will have headed home proud of their efforts – even if they were a little way off the pace of the top three.

These were robust accounts, that at times just lacked that extra degree of finesses, although MDs Craig Ratcliffe and Jo Cook kept the music flowing.

Two emerging bands with two emerging conducting talents showed a great deal of potential.

Quality not quantity

It may have been a short contest, but it was certainly one where it was the quality and not the quantity that won though.

Two excellent qualifiers will head to Cheltenham with high hopes of claiming further glory – even if they may be up against quite few more rivals.

Malcolm Wood



Regent Hall Concerts - Ensemble Sauterelle (french horns and male voices)

Friday 23 August • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


Sandhurst Silver Band - Music in the Memorial Park

Sunday 25 August • Sandhurst Memorial Park, Yorktown Road, Sandhurst GU47 9DP


Foden's Band - Sandbach

Monday 26 August • The Wheatsheaf, Sandbach, 1 Hightown, Sandbach CW11 1AG


Black Dyke Band - Scarborough Spa

Saturday 31 August • South Bay, Scarborough YO11 2HD


Woodfalls Band - Proms in the Park Concert - FREE

Sunday 1 September • Redlynch Social Club. The Ridge,, SP52LN Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 2LN


Shipston Town Band

August 24 • We require Bb Bass to complete our team for the forthcoming 4th Section Finals at Cheltenham Racecourse on Saturday 14th September Regular rehearsals are Wednesday 7.30 to 9.30 and Sunday 7 to 9 Rehearsals are our own band room in Shipston South Warwicks


Stannington Brass Band

August 24 • A rare opportunity has arisen to join one of Sheffield's leading bands with a vacancy for an EEb TUBA player to complete our bass section. We have a good band room atmosphere and a calendar of interesting concerts and contests


Nailsworth Silver band

August 24 • National finals qualifiers seeking new MD from September. We are currently 2nd in the 4th section and looking for a conductor to inspire and lead us into the 3rd section. We have a varied programme throughout the year of concert, contests and bandstands.


Duncan A. Beckley

BA, QTS, LTCL, FTCL, ARCM
Conductor, adjudicator, band trainer and teacher


               

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