2015 Spring Festival — Senior Cup: As it happened

All the action from the 2015 Spring Festival Senior Cup — as it happened.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 17:50:48


Pavilion Theatre
Test Piece: Festival Music (Eric Ball)

Adjudicators: Paul Holland & Steve Sykes

1. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)*
2. Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)*
3. Friary Guildford (Chris King)*
4. Co-operative Funeralcare North West (Jef Sparkes)*
5. Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles)
6. Aveley & Newham (John Ward)
7. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Stig Maersk)
8. Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)
9. Newstead Brass (Duncan Beckley)
10. Skelmanthorpe (Martin Hall)
11. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)
12. NASUWT Riverside (Stephen Malcolm)
13. Fishburn (Joseph Cook)
14. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) (Gareth Ritter)
15. St Dennis (Darren Hawken)
16. Blackburn & Darwen (Huw Thomas)
17. BTM (Jeff Hutcherson)
18. Bo’ness & Carriden (Paul McKelvie)**
19. Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Stephen Crooks)**
20. Drighlington (Jim Davies)**
21. Tylorstown (Garry Davies)**

Best Instrumentalist: Clare Chalk, (cornet) Ashton-under-Lyne

*Promoted to Grand Shield
**Relegated to Senior Trophy

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 17:38:10

The adjudicator's are speaking at the moment, we anticipate results soon.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 17:31:18

Overall thoughts

It has been an enjoyable contest and a times a frustrating one today where a timeless classic of the repertoire has shown that its age hasn’t made it any easier.

The bands and conductor’s knew it was a tough challenge but an enjoyable one to get their musical teeth into.

We have not heard too much Mozartian inspired playing today, whilst the ability to produce excellent ensemble playing and the tough central section has been an Achilles heel for a number. At the top end we have certainly heard some fine accounts of Festival Music.

Judges Paul Holland and Steve Sykes will have a difficult decision to make as its going to be very tight at the top, not just in finding the winners, but placing three other bands to go into the Grand Shield.

With that in mind, personal preference could play a big part. Both judges know the piece so well and know all the foibles of Ball’s music backwards.

Ashton’s compact and composed musical reading from the number ten draw could well get the nod today. Jaguar, Friary Guildford, Fishburn, City of Cardiff, Ratby & Co-op Funeralcare NW could be your ones to look out for.

4BR Prediction:

1. Ashton-under-Lyne
2. Jaguar Land Rover
3. Friary Guildford
4. Fishburn
5. City of Cardiff
6. Ratby

Dark Horse: Co-op Funeralcare (North West)

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 17:07:35

21. Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles)

Ratby brings the contest to a conclusion where a performance full of elegance from Michael Fowles. This was a very stylish reading where the MD gave his ensemble the opportunity to enjoy performing the music and it paid dividends.

The opening was well judged whilst the obstacles of the middle section didn’t always detract from the musical passion in evidence.

There was no shortage of confidence going into the closing ‘Impromptu’, either, refined and not pushed dynamically, there was certainly lots to admire.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 16:49:58

20. BTM (Jeff Hutcherson)

The final Welsh contender of the day certainly deliver an engaging reading even though not everything went according to plan.

Stylistically, it was nicely laid out, but the dynamics were a touch heavy at times when a more lighter touch would have been beneficial.

It wasn’t that it was lacking in confidence, it was just a bit too heavy in places at times to make it into the frame for us, but who knows……….

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 16:29:14

19. Tylorstown (Garry Davies)

The first of two Welsh challengers to take the stage as the contest enters its final stages, certainly plays with confidence, warmth and musicality in the opening section.

The confident approach from the middle continues as Garry Davies coerces the music out of his troops, even though not everything goes to plan but full marks for perseverance.

The gremlins are certainly making their presence felt but full marks to everybody for digging deep as they know not everything has gone to plan as the performance progressed.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 16:09:01

18. Drighlington (Jim Davies)

It’s a tricky opening and whilst not everything goes to plan, there is an excellent approach from the middle and you suspect the MD knows this could be a test today.

We get to hear romance from a bygone era, some really nice stuff. Adam Bokaris on euphonium enhances this section with some canny playing.

The tricky times are in evidence in the closing ‘Impromptu’ but full marks to MD Jim Davies for making sure nobody lost focus on what wasn’t the easiest contesting day at the office.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 15:49:56

17. St Dennis (Darren Hawken)

St Dennis opens up in a nice relaxed, mood with Darren Hawken letting his ensemble enjoy their contesting experience from the off. The ensemble plays without tension and nerves and whilst not everything works, there is certainly plenty to admire here.

Once more, we hear ensemble playing without any trepidation. If it goes well, great, if anything goes wrong, they just move on. The relaxed, calm approach certainly works though.

As we enter the closing ‘Impromptu;, not everything comes through with clarity, but the calmness remains even though not everything cemented into place in this section.

An intriguing reading that benefited enormously from the relaxed approach in the middle.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 15:30:21

16. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)

It’s a touch cautious to open from Derwent Brass and that caution remains and is need of more flow to really make a real impact.

The ‘Romance’, isn’t bad, but again it is cautious at times when it needs more freedom and flow. The determination is there but the execution isn’t coming off today.

The closing ‘Impromptu’ isn’t without its challenges and a few musical gremlins within the wheels and tiredness is in evidence at the end.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 15:09:37

15. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Stig Maersk)

Nice controlled opening with a nice sense of lyricism on display. Not everything comes off though, but plenty to admire here

Romance is blossoming in West Yorkshire as the performance continues. There is an affectionate warmth coming through in the playing, it’s not without its foibles though, but still plenty to appreciate as the section has been well thought out in advance.

Once more, there is no shortage of confidence within the ensemble with the MD bringing out the music and it rounds off a confident account

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 14:52:22

14. Skelmanthorpe (Martin Hall)

It’s a confident opening from the Yorkshire outfit although it’s not without a glitches along the way. The ‘Romance’ is certainly milked for all it’s worth, a little too much to be honest, but like many others today, it wasn’t without caution.

To close, there is still caution at times which really detracts from the overall musical picture.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 14:33:39

13. NASUWT Riverside (Stephen Malcolm)

The RAH finalists take to the stage in front of an expectant audience. The approach from the beginning is one of the quickest of the day and not all of the detail can be heard due to the tempo.

There’s a nice feel to the central ‘Romance’ in the way it has been approached but it’s not without some tricky areas to overcome.

Once more the piece isn’t without it’s challenges—there is plenty to admire but it is a touch quick at times for us, but one for judges to think about for sure.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 14:14:05

12. Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Stephen Crooks) (S)

It’s a tricky and cautious opening that never really comes to life. It lacks warmth and security in the ensemble.

Again, we hear caution and nerves in the tricky middle movement—full marks for perseverance though as this has tested them at times way beyond their comfort zone.

There’s more trickiness in the closing ‘Impromptu’ but you can’t knock the guts and determination on display here but the piece has been a tough test for the Irish today.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 13:51:50

11.Co-operative Funeralcare North West (Jef Sparkes)

The North West outfit starts off well but it just doesn’t quite maintain it’s musical focus through the opening section.

There is a mix of playing on display in the middle section, it’s just too uneven to make a real impact and the closing ‘Impromptu’ doesn’t really find its musical feet.

A performance that had the potential but never really came off today for us although the approach from the middle was good.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 13:40:55

Half way thoughts

It’s certainly been an intriguing contest so far where the bands have found Ball’s iconic work a stern test. The central ‘Romance’ section has caused the most problems, especially the exposed parts and meeting the dynamic requirements of the score.

Not much in for between Ashton, Jaguar, Cardiff, Fishburn as we head into second half

1. Ashton-under-Lyne
2. Jaguar Land Rover
3. City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith)

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 13:34:42

Full Draw:

1. Fishburn (Joseph Cook)
2. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
3. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
4. Newstead Brass (Duncan Beckley)
5. Blackburn & Darwen (Huw Thomas)
6. Bo’ness & Carriden (Paul McKelvie)
7. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) (Nigel Seaman)
8. Aveley & Newham (John Ward)
9. Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)
10. Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)
11. Co-operative Funeralcare North West (Jef Sparkes)
12. Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Stephen Crooks)
13. NASUWT Riverside (Stephen Malcolm)
14. Skelmanthorpe (Martin Hall)
15. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Stig Maersk)
16. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)
17. St Dennis (Darren Hawken)
18. Drighlington (Jim Davies)
19. Tylorstown (Garry Davies)
20. BTM (Jeff Hutcherson)
21. Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles)

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 13:20:17

10. Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)

It’s a controlled tasteful opening from the Lancastrians. The detail comes through and there is a nice approach from MD Philip Chalk. He’s letting the music breath and come to the fore.

The ‘Romance’ is heart-on-the-sleeve stuff, and full of passion. The dynamics are good and the ensemble plays with confidence. There’s lots to appreciate here, there are blemishes (nobody has got away unscathed in the middle section) but there is some good confident playing on display.

We hear more fine playing, lovely cornet sounds and a confident close.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 12:54:35

9. Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)

A nicely controlled opening paves the way for a section full of musical poise and execution.

The Romance again has some fine playing on display but is a little quicker than some we have heard so far today—will it resonate in the box we wonder? Thee playing isn’t bad but not all of the clarity comes through at times.

To close, the ‘Impromptu’ moves with freedom and confidence although it’s not without some minor hiccups. It rounds off an intriguing account where not everything came off.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 12:36:08

8. Aveley & Newham (John Ward)

The London contenders open with a nice stylistic approach from John Ward but the dynamic could do with just being a touch lighter for us at times.

Not for the first time today, the central ‘Romance’ section has certainly caused a few challenges. There is lots to commend for the approach from the middle, and there is some effective playing coupled with some tricky moments that catch them out.

There is plenty to admire in the closing section, although not everything clicks into gear A performance of fine musical intentions that didn’t come quite come off.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 12:12:50

7. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) (Gareth Ritter)

The first confident, composed and musical opening for a while, sets the scene for Gareth Ritter’s ensemble to a very effective section.

We have more fine playing on display with an excellent relaxed ‘Romance’ section full of good ensemble and solo contributions (well done euph). Nothing feels rushed it’s just nicely executed without any fear or nerves. There’s real warmth about the playing here aided by good direction from the middle.

Once more the Welsh display their fine contesting credentials with a nicely laid out closing section full of fine playing and an MD who was able to bring Ball’s music to the fore. One for the judges to ponder for sure

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 11:54:50

6. Bo’ness & Carriden (Paul McKelvie)

The Scot’s take a bit of time to find their feet as it never really settles due to too much caution and nervousness around the stand.

Once more, it’s not without flaws and a lot of uncertainty but full marks to the MD for his encouragement—he knows as the players will do that this isn’t going to plan on stage today.

Not everything goes to plan in the closing section either, more nerves and uncertainties rounding off an interpretation that never came off.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 11:43:08

We have had five bands in the Pavilion Theatre and Ball's classic is really sorting them out today especially in the middle 'Romance' movement.

Adjudicator, Steve Sykes was saying before he went in the box, how much he was looking forward to today - he played the piece at his first contest he'd ever played at in 1971.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 11:34:15

5. Blackburn & Darwen (Huw Thomas)

It’s nervy and cautious and takes a long time to settle, and it just doesn’t sit right on the ear to make a real impact on us.

Once again, there are nerves and a lot of caution and it’s in need of more finesse, it’s a little too hard on the ear for personal taste. The determination is there, but the music isn’t coming out as they would have wanted..

The Impromptu is more than a little edgy at times and it creates further caution, rounding off a performance that never really came off today.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 11:17:20

4. Newstead Brass (Duncan Beckley)

It’s not a bad opening at all, although there are some tricky moments as not everything flows as freely as it could do.

The ‘Romance’ is a little cautious at times in its delivery, especially in the exposed lines, but confidence grows as they go along. Duncan Beckley keeps a tight reign on the dynamics.

Confidence grows as they move along swiftly in the closing section, but it’s not without the odd uncertain moment along the way.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 10:58:05

3. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

Fine confident opening with good dynamics and lots of lyricism—good control from the middle.

The Romance is a nostalgic trip down memory lane, this is full of heart-on-the-sleeve passion from the MD, nicely controlled and delivered.

There’s a few tricky moments in the closing ‘Impromptu’, but Dave Lea’s stylistic approach and his dynamic control is once more in evidence, bringing to an end an enjoyable and interesting reading.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 10:39:07

2. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

Confident opening, so musical with finesse. The quality playing shines through, there is a lot to admire here.

More confident playing on display, so well styled and executed, well done euph, there’s a really good feel to this, nice and refined with controlled dynamics.

The confidence around the stand continues. MD, Chris King has done a fine job here encouraging his players to play with musical freedom but with effective dynamics.

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 10:19:37

1. Fishburn (Joseph Cook)

It’s a not bad opening at all, nice ensemble sounds and a good sense of lyricism. There is a lovely warm feeling to the music as it unfolds here.

The central ‘Romance’ certainly has lots to admire, it’s nicely styled with good dynamics and tidy ensemble playing.

The closing ‘Impromptu’ isn’t short of confidence either, just a few uncertain moments but it concludes not a bad marker

Senior Cup • Saturday 9, 09:53:53


Comments: Malcolm Wood

Pavilion Theatre
Test Piece: Festival Music (Eric Ball)

Draws: 9.00am & 12.30pm
Commence: 10.00am

Adjudicators: Paul Holland & Steve Sykes

1. Fishburn (Joseph Cook)
2. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
3. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
4. Newstead Brass (Duncan Beckley)
5. Blackburn & Darwen (Huw Thomas)
6. Bo’ness & Carriden (Paul McKelvie)
7. City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) (Gareth Ritter)
8. Aveley & Newham (John Ward)
9. Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)
10. Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)

Bands in second half

BTM (Jeff Hutcherson)
Co-operative Funeralcare North West (Jef Sparkes)
Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)
Drighlington (Jim Davies)
Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Stephen Crooks)
NASUWT Riverside (Stephen Malcolm)
Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles)
Skelmanthorpe (Martin Hall)
St Dennis (Darren Hawken)
Tylorstown (Garry Davies)
Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Stig Maersk)

Senior Cup • Friday 8, 15:58:09

Summary of Winners

2014 Wingates
2013 Woodfalls
2012 Northop Silver
2011 Marsden Silver
2010 Woodfalls
2009 Marsden Silver Prize
2008 East Yorkshire Motor Services
2007 Wingates
2006 Newstead Welfare
2005 Burry Port Town
2004 Ransome
2003 Rothwell Temperance
2002 East Yorkshire Motors Services

Senior Cup • Friday 8, 12:40:38

Senior Cup:

Pavilion Theatre

TEST PIECE—Festival Music—Eric Ball (Published by R,Smith & Co.)

First Half Draw 9.00 am
First Band 10.00 am
Second Half Draw 12.30 pm

F: First half draw
S: Second half draw

Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk) (F)
Aveley & Newham (John Ward) (F)
BTM (Jeff Hutcherson) (S)
Blackburn & Darwen (Huw Thomas) (F)
Bo’ness & Carriden (Paul McKelvie) (F)
City of Cardiff (Melingriffith) (Nigel Seaman) (F)
Co-operative Funeralcare North West (Jef Sparkes) (S)
Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard) (S)
Drighlington (Jim Davies) (S)
Fishburn (Joseph Cook) (F)
Friary Guildford (Chris King) (F)
Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea) (F)
Laganvale (Metal Technology) (Stephen Crooks) (S)
NASUWT Riverside (Stephen Malcolm) (S)
Newstead Brass (Duncan Beckley) (F)
Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles) (S)
Skelmanthorpe (Martin Hall) (S)
St Dennis (Darren Hawken) (S)
Staffordshire (tba) (F)
Tylorstown (Garry Davies) (S)
Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Stig Maersk) (S)

Grimethorpe Colliery Band - Octagon Theatre Yeovil

Saturday 1 October • The Octagon Theatre. Hendford. Yeovil. Somerset BA20 1UX

Grimethorpe Colliery Band - Albany Theatre Coventry

Sunday 2 October • Albany Road, Coventry CV5 6JQ

Contest: Bolsover Festival of Brass

Sunday 2 October • Heritage High School, Clowne, Chesterfield S43 4QG

Boarshurst Silver Band - Phoenix Brass

Sunday 2 October • Boarshurst Band Club. Greenbridge Lane. Greenfield. Saddleworth OL3 7EW

Regent Hall Concerts - The Countess of Wessex's String Orchestra

Friday 7 October • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London WC1 2 DJ

Chinnor Silver

September 30 • As we work through the excellent candidates looking to be our next MD we are looking for. Eb/Bb BASS AND PERCUSSION PLAYERS to join us at this exciting time .. Rehearsals on a Wednesday in our own bandroom with concerts and contests planned.

Chiltern Hills Brass

September 29 • Chiltern Hills Brass would like to fill euphonium, cornet, Bb bass and percussion (kit specialist) vacancies. We're a contesting, first section band who rehearse twice a week in High Wycombe, Bucks, and play at regular events through the year.

East London Brass

September 28 • East London Brass is looking for a new principal cornet. We're a friendly and ambitious band and would love to welcome a great player who knows how to lead, inspire and enjoy themselves!

Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen

D. Phil. (Oxon) [Ph.D Oxford University], GBSM, LTCL, ABSM, ALCM, Cert. Ed.


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