*
banner

2013 Midlands Regional Championships — Championship Section retrospective

4BR's Chris Thomas looks back at the top section action at Bedworth.

Jaguar Land Rover
2013 Champions: Jaguar Land Rover

There was a knowing smile on the face of Dave Lea as he collected the winner’s trophy from adjudicators Richard Marshall and Graham Jones at Bedworth’s Civic Hall.

It was the smile of a man quietly revelling in the knowledge that his hard working band had at last succeeded in becoming a deserved Midlands Regional Champion: 25 long years of waiting had come to an inspired end.

Breakthrough

As surprising as the result may have appeared as it was filtered by twitter and text to all corners of the banding globe, it was in fact a competitive breakthrough that has been on the cards for some time.

Jaguar Land Rover has proved to be one of the most consistent bands around in recent years with Dave Lea slowly building a team of confident players. 

Bolstered by a talented array of soloists that also delivered stylish, admirably secure contributions to ‘Harmony Music’, they proved themselves worthy winners. 
 
Gold plated

The contest had suffered from the late withdrawal of reigning champion Desford in a singularly moribund protest over the BBP registry, although the resulted in the remaining rivals, including Thoresby Colliery, Sovereign and Newstead battling impressively for what was seen as a gold plated opportunity to qualify in their absence.

It made for an intriguing twist to an absorbing contest in which two bands emerged head and shoulders above the rest.

Drawn together

They were also drawn together for a second year running, with Virtuosi GUS under John Berryman delivering a bracing, adrenalin fuelled reading that although displaying driving energy and momentum, also fell prone to fleeting ensemble insecurities and occasional moments of wavering intonation.

The cadenzas were stylishly, if not faultlessly delivered, yet there was always a nagging sense that the door to victory was being left open.

It was entered by the band that had denied GUS a place at last year’s National Finals.

Metronomic

For Jaguar Land Rover, playing immediately after the judges comfort break, the opening bars were amongst the most in tune of the day, with only the slightest blemishes being heard during the metronomic progress of the Molto Vivace.

Whilst Virtuoso GUS had given an exquisite account of the Ravel ‘Homage’ with note perfect soloists in the cadenzas, Dave Lea shaped his glowing Ravelian textures with loving care in a refined demonstration of just how his band has grown in musical maturity.

Released

With the pressure released, the ending was one of unbridled drive and accuracy, capping a performance that was imparted with clear enjoyment by the players: 90 minutes later and that enjoyment turned to elation as they celebrated victory in vocal fashion.

Meanwhile, Thoresby Colliery’s podium finish came via a muscular account under a grimly determined Brian Grant. It was highlighted by the subtly nuanced approach to the slow movement, although a tendency to headlong propulsion and over exuberance in the closing sections was clearly noted in the box.

Deserved

Sovereign’s fourth place was deserved reward for a dynamic account under David Maplestone that fell prone to ragged ensemble at key moments, whilst the same fate befell Newstead Brass, whose performance proved too inconsistent to repeat their giant killing feat of 2006.

On its return to the top section, sixth placed Ratby Cooperative will have been well pleased with its vibrant account under Mike Fowles, whilst Derwent Brass in seventh continued to show its steady upward progress with a rendition that just needed a little extra character to make a more telling mark.      
               
Behind them, Gresley Colliery, Phoenix West Midlands Brass and Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) all delivered uneven, at times wildly flailing accounts that never quite succeeded in taming a test piece that was obviously at the edge of their developing limits, whilst Oddfellows Brass learnt a salutary lesson in the perils of life in banding’s upper echelon.   
 
Smile

Whilst Jaguar Land Rover and Virtuosi GUS will make their way to London as contenders occupying slightly different levels of major championship development, on this evidence both are more than capable of raising their challenges to even greater competitive heights.

You feel it won’t be the last time you will see a smile like that on the face of Dave Lea this year – and on this form, maybe as soon as the Grand Shield in Blackpool

Christopher Thomas      



Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Air Force Salon Orchestra

Friday 5 November • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London. WC1 2 DJ WC1 2 DJ


Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Sunday 7 November • St Alfege Church. Greenwich Church St. London SE10 9BJ


Abertillery Town Band - 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert

Saturday 13 November • Metropole Cultural and Conference Centre, Mitre St, Abertillery NP13 1AL


Regent Hall Concerts - Magli Brass Quintet

Friday 19 November • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London. WC1 2 DJ WC1 2 DJ


Contest: Youth Brass in Concert

Saturday 20 November • St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR


Shipston Town Band

October 20 • We are rehearsing covid safe in our refurbished band hall. We are looking to recruit Bb Cornets position negotiable Second Trom Bass Trom Eb Bass and Bb Bass to bring the band up to full strength


Chadderton Band

October 20 • Chadderton Band is a friendly non-contesting band playing at various events throughout the year. We are looking for players of all ages and abilities on all sections of the band particularly on Euph Drums and Horn. Come along for a blow most welcome.


Arrow Valley Brass

October 20 • We are a Third Section band based in Inkberrow, Worcs. Main rehearsal Sunday am. We seek a Tuned Percussionist. We should like to find an experienced player but would also consider someone, probably with some keyboard skill who would like to grow with us


James Garlick

BMus (Hons), QTS
Conductor, Band Trainer, Adjudicator, Tutor


               

 © 2021 4barsrest.com Ltd