2013 Spring Festival — Senior Trophy - As it happened

All the action from the 2013 Spring Festival (Senior Trophy) — as it happened.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 17:32:04

The end of a most enjoyable contest.
It has been swings and roundabouts all the way.
Dynamics to burst the window glass on the Spanish Villas around the Hall.
MacLaren & Red Bull tempos at times.

It is the more understated and controlled John Berryman performance that did it for us but Wow some of those driving performances had us thinking!
We go with a top six of:

Camborne (John Berryman), 6
Oldham Lees (Russell Gray), 19
Friary Guildford (Chris King), 7
East London Brass (Jayne Murrill), 20
Newtongrange Silver (Lee Skipsey), 17
St Dennis (Darren Hawken), 8

Dark Horse - Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Trevor Carter), 16

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 17:27:23

20. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)
Authoritative opening section solid ensemble leads to an Alla Marcia that has an assurance and confidence. Its driven and angst music leading into the Feroce. Solid, forthright and jaggedly sharp as hunting knife. A calmer expression of 'Human Love' precedes a dark chorded introduction to a sharply focused Waltz. The final 'Love Theme' has a nice touch of sentimentality and completes a very rewarding performance.

Overall; A very carefully and clearly laid out performance that should give them a warm glow.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 17:09:20

19. Oldham Lees (Russell Gray)
Very solid opening with togetherness. Sharp as a razor blade into the Alla Marcia. Good lower band underpins a most convincing section of music. Alert playing continues through a restatement of the triplet figures as the music reaches fever pitch. The whole moves along with a relentless driven determination and as the final 'Love Theme' appears a rainbow of tone gets its chance to glow.

Overall: A dramatic performance that had a stamp of authority written through it like Blackpool rock.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 16:53:58

18. Drighlington (Jim Davies)
Bright and confident start at a pace. Hard accented notes and strong dynamic are the order before a transition into the Alla Marcia all again at a forceful dynamic. Bold and assertive playing all in a strong dynamic range. Lyrical solo cornet style makes for a warm Andante but bass solo just not quite as convincing. Although strong on dynamic the music sits comfortably into Waltz. Good opening thematic lines push the music along with a nice rhythmic pulse. Final 'Love Theme' has big ensemble with broad sounds.

Overall: A solid show with plenty of style but very big on dynamic.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 16:34:40

17. Newtongrange Silver (Lee Skipsey)
A bold opening with lots of authority. A hard edge in the transition to Alla Marcia but there's no lack of conviction throughout the movement. Sop crackles before Fereoce that is taken at a fair old lick. The 'Human Love' solo lines are generally well handled and it progresses well to the Waltz. A steady tempo is adopted during this section allowing detail to be achieved. The conclusion has a convincing air and finishes with warmth and tonality.

Overall: A very convincing show with a interesting approach.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 16:18:14

16. Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Trevor Carter)
Direct and forthright opening with good ensemble work. Clean solo lines introduce a well judged Alla Marcia. The band move forward through the Agitato with skill before delivering a very convincing Feroce. Nice solo style makes for most pleasing 'Human Love' passage when odd intonation moments must be forgiven. Less confident to open the Waltz but still pleasing detail is heard. Not the cleanest transition to the concluding theme but nicely rounded out to close.

Overall: A solid account that could easily hold its head high today.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 16:02:53

15. Hade Edge (Simon Wood)
Direct opening with authority - not the most driven but the important detail is heard. A clean transition opens the way for a very steady Alla Marcia again less frenetic but clear and precise with a good transition to Feroce. This is less cleanly approached than the opening in the triplet groupings but a well scoped and detailed sound overall. Very steady and calming waters are the order of the day throughout the Andante. The waltz moves along with ease and has some nice colour tones. The 'Love Theme' has a warmth and nicely infused with romance.

overall: A warm and lyrical approach with no histrionics that had a simple style.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 15:44:19

14. Unison Kinneil (Craig Anderson)
Confident opening just the odd crackle and timing spot but overall cleanly delivered opening. A steady march with pulse continues in a solid opening section. Driven sounds are to be heard but bass drum gets rather heavy. Less convincing in Feroce as it takes time to pull together. 'Human Love' has generally pleasing solo lines although bass line is unfortunately less conclusive than it might be. The music is quite steady into the Waltz but again just taking its time to achieve its best. The final love theme is well handled to a decent close.

Overall: Moments of solid playing were caught out with a few too many scratchy moments today.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 15:26:58

13. Meltham & Meltham Mills (Norman Law)
Less driven but not without intensity. Steady throughout the Alla Marcia the music had a generally well balanced sound. Swells and falls in dynamic are used to effect before a more driven Feroce. The music has a positive pulse leading neatly into the Andante. Gentle sounds from both solo and sop enhance the mood opening the way for the other important solo voices. The Waltz is less convincing until the ensemble thematic lines emerge. A very good transition to the 'Love Theme' has a stamp of quality and it rounds out in good style.

Overall: A top half showing from the band with moments of real pleasure contained within.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 15:12:31

12. Easington Colliery (Chris Bentham)
Brave and dashing start with pointed articulation and boldly dynamic. The performance continued with a resolute and purposeful Alla Marcia where the solo lines are well scoped during a turbulent musical picture. Perhaps a touch up on dynamics for pp but the music is certainly unrelenting in intensity and unquestionably goes for the jugular. A mood change in the Andante has a welcome calmness. The intensity returns before and 'Love Theme' conjuring up an everlasting fire.

Overall: A high octane full on display. Very big in dynamic and high on emotion.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 14:55:09

11. Pontardulais Town (Paul Jenkins)
Clean start with lots of drive but solo lines crack before the Alla Marcia. Rhythmic approach but solo lines still cause trouble. Steady approach through the Agitato to a driving and somewhat hurried Feroce. Clean and sweet cornet solo opens 'Human Love' which progresses with confidence as band find their voice. Waltz again asks questions but it progresses quite well. A slightly forced but shaped musical picture rounds out this performance.

Overall: Rather mixed fortunes in a performance that was rather off the pacesetters today.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 14:40:45

Pontardulais Town (Paul Jenkins) now taking stage as second half commences

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 14:33:49

Draw - Part Two

Drighlington (Jim Davies), 18
Easington Colliery (Chris Bentham), 12
East London Brass (Jayne Murrill), 20
Hade Edge (Simon Wood), 15
Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Trevor Carter), 16
Meltham & Meltham Mills (Norman Law), 13
Newtongrange Silver (Lee Skipsey), 17
Oldham Lees (Russell Gray), 19
Pontardulais Town (Paul Jenkins), 11
Unison Kinneil (Craig Anderson), 14

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 14:18:00

The Senior Trophy will now have a half time break until 14.30hrs (GMT) We have a top three of Camborne (John Berryman), Friary Guildford (Chris King) and St Dennis (Darren Hawken).

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 14:14:44

10. Dalmellington (Archie Hutchison)
Pushes along right from the start with less pointed articulation noted. Not a totally comfortable transition into and through the Alla Marcia. Feroce has a purposeful drive although it feels a touch unbalanced in ensemble. Solo cornet leads into Andante very well and music has nice shape. Bass solo is well executed but transition towards Waltz is less convincing. It's hard work and the demands of the piece just prove too much.

Overall: A rousing reception but not really to our taste. The band had to work very hard right through.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 13:58:21

9. Sovereign Brass (David Maplestone)
An immediate and driven opening with quite broad lower band sounds underpinning. A purposeful Alla Marcia continues the push to the Maestoso. Harder sounds pervade as the Feroce approaches with a truly driven style. Slightly untogether before 'Human Love' expression is controlled and shaped with strong dynamic. Strong lead into Waltz that then really pushes along. The transformed love theme is more subdued and quite understated.

Overall: A singular and quite individual reading by MD. Perhaps not for the purist but certainly thought provoking.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 13:39:39

8. St Dennis (Darren Hawken)
Very bright tempo with pointed articulation opens. The quicker feel follows in the Alla Marcia and it continues the drive in this performance. The solo lines and ensemble remain tight as it really moves along to the Feroce. This performance is belting through - there's no holding back in this driven account. 'Human Love' section is a complete sea change and has a plenty of depth. Waltz makes an impression before Lento. Nicely controlled into Cantabile as MD looks for real passion to conclude.

Overall: A quite different rendition - Good playing by soloists and ensemble all across.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 13:19:38

7. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
Direct but with less hard edge. Tempered steel! Clear and precise lines all across both solo and ensemble. Good lower band so well supports in bringing music forward to the Feroce which was controlled, deliberate and calculated in execution. Positive steps forward, just the odd blemish in solo lines, as the Andante unfolded. An interesting dark style to the waltz comes across before a solid and well executed conclusion.

Overall: Much to admire and take from a purposeful account.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 13:03:08

6. Camborne (John Berryman)
Lively and purposeful opening. It goes along at a lick but captures the mood convincingly with really good solo lines. Feroce has fire and brimstone in abundance - you can smell the sulphur fumes! Andante doesn't disappoint with its control and lyricism. The waltz and ensuing dark thematic lines work so well. Deliberate mood with so much control into Anadante Cantabile that has true class.

Overall: Very good performance of real calibre.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 12:44:51

5. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) (Gareth Ritter)
Steady tempo taken allowing clear articulation. Alla maria continues with solid sounds and control. Odd solo line crackle doesn't spoil the flow and it hangs well before Feroce. Takes a bar or two to get into driven mood but then exploits the mood well. Lots of shape hallmarks the Andante before a rhythmic waltz. A tender musical portrait is painted to close out a solid performance.

Overall: A solid and enjoyable performance with plenty of character.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 12:24:03

4. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (John Ward)
A good opening but a little sticky towards Alla Marcia. Good march with a well described shape and control. It progressed with purpose and Feroce had a real bite. There was much to commend in the Andante and the solo lines were controlled and clear. Waltz and subsequent transition was captured well. A close that kept the standard up and rounded out with confidence.

Overall: A most enjoyable performance that had plenty of purpose, style and character.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 12:08:28

3. Hatfield Colliery (Stan Lippeatt)
Corking opening but not without odd intonation issue in triplets. Well judged presentation to Alla Marcia and it moves well towards the Feroce. Soprano reaches but mood is so well captured. Not too 'heart on sleeve' in Andante before the waltz which has a little bit of mixed fortune in its delivery. Andante Cantabile has tenderness through to close.

Overall: A lovely reading of the score but individual blemishes tripped up rather than anything. It may prove costly.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 11:51:35

2. Wantage Silver A (Phillip Bailey)
Clean and industrious start then a few clips catch the ear in the Alla Marcia. Agitato has style but Feroce cracks with horn opening.

Hard sounds from percussion noted before nicely judged solo cornet. Bass delivers solid solo before waltz that has nice shape but a few 'stretch' marks in the upper end. Just a little edgy in final 'love' theme in places but nicely shaped to close.

Overall: Some fine playing but a few squeezed sounds slightly took the lustre of an overall enjoyable performance.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 11:35:33

1. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
Bold and dynamic start with lots of drive. Alla Marcia has bravado whilst Feroce really taken at pace. Andante love theme challenges but gets everything back on a solid footing. The 'Eternal Spirit' is well described to a nice close.

Overall: A tidy marker just a waver in the slower bass end but nice tone and ensemble balance heard.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 11:16:40

ST: Adjudicators Lynda Nicholson & Simone Rebello are settled in the box. Spanish Hall is filling up nicely as Longridge (Mark Peacock)take the stage.

Senior Trophy • Saturday 11, 08:51:55

The Trophy takes placce in the Spanish Hall starting at 11.15am

There's a split draw today - 10.15 & 1.30pm

The test is Journey into Freedom (Eric Ball) and the adjudicators are Lynda Nicholson & Simone Rebello

Senior Trophy • Friday 10, 11:45:13

Test Piece: Journey into Freedom (Eric Ball)
Adjudicators: Lynda Nicholson and Simone Rebello
The Spanish Hall

Live Comments by John James


Camborne (John Berryman), 6
City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) (Gareth Ritter), 5
Dalmellington (Archie Hutchison), 10
Drighlington (Jim Davies), 10
Easington Colliery (Chris Bentham), 12
East London Brass (Jayne Murrill), 20
Friary Guildford (Chris King), 7
Hade Edge (Simon Wood), 15
Hatfield Colliery (Stan Lippeatt), 3
Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (John Ward), 4
Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Trevor Carter), 16
Longridge (Mark Peacock), 1
Meltham & Meltham Mills (Norman Law), 13
Newtongrange Silver (Lee Skipsey), 17
Oldham Lees (Russell Gray), 19
Pontardulais Town (Paul Jenkins), 11
Sovereign Brass (David Maplestone), 9
St Dennis (Darren Hawken), 8
Unison Kinneil (Craig Anderson), 14
Wantage Silver A (Phillip Bailey), 2

Reading Spring Gardens Brass Band - Reading Festival of Brass: Open Workshop Rehearsal

Saturday 27 April • St Laurence Church, Reading RG1 3EJ

London Central Fellowship Band - Hemel Hempstead Salvation Army

Saturday 27 April • Waterhouse St, Hemel Hempstead HP1 1ES

Haverhill Silver Band - Friends' Requests

Sunday 28 April • Haverhill Arts Centre, High Street, Haverhill, Suffolk CB9 8AR

Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Stockport Silver Band

Sunday 28 April • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW

Contest: European Brass Band Championshiips

Friday 3 May • Palanga Konsortu, Vytauta st. 43, LT-00135, Palanga 43, LT-00135

Regent Brass

April 23 • Looking for an exciting new musical challenge? . . Regent Brass (MD Alan Duguid) are a friendly and progressive 1st Section band based in central London with vacancies for;. . - Eb or Bb Bass. - Tenor Horn. - Percussion. . All other players are also very welcome.

Wotton-under-Edge Silver Band

April 22 • With an exciting 130th anniversary year ahead - Wotton Silver Band is currently looking for players to join our team on Solo Cornet, Solo Euphonium, Bb Bass and Percussion. We rehearse Tue & Thu near our home town, just a short distance from M5 Jcn14.

Brunel Brass Organisation

April 22 • BRUNEL BRASS are looking for 3 talented individuals to join our senior band: Back-row Cornet Player, Eb Bass . & Percussion.. We are a friendly and ambitious band located in Swindon. Weekly rehearsals on Thursday 19:45-21:45 at Pegasus Hall (SN3 4RH).

David Frame

Bass/Tenor Trombone Player, Adjudicator (Member of AoBBA) Occasional Conductor


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