2017 Butlins Mineworkers Championships
Championship Section: As it happened

All the action from the 2017 Butlins Mineworkers Championship Section — as it happened.


Sunday 15, 22:22:50

Goodnight from Skegness

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Butlins Champions 2017 — Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

We are at the end of the first competitive weekend of the banding year and we hope you have had enjoyed our coverage this weekend.

Congratulations to all the prize winners and enjoy the celebrations. Our thank as always go to the Butlins team of Brian Eggleshawe, Stan Lippeatt, Steve Walker for the welcome and hospitality.

Look out for news, reviews in the coming days, but that is folks. Good night from Skegness.


Sunday 15, 22:18:51

2018 Date

Next years Butlins weekend will take place between Friday 12th and Monday 15th January.


Sunday 15, 21:56:55


Championship Section:

Peter Roberts and Richard Marshall (Set Work)
Peter Roberts and Glyn Williams (Entertainment Music)
Derek Southcott and Jim Davies (Entertainment)

1. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

Cat A: Own Choice work: (Peter Roberts and Richard Marshall) = 1st

Cat B: Entertainment Music: (93pts) (Peter Roberts and Glyn Williams) = 2nd
Cat C: Entertainment (Derek Southcott): (44pts) + Entertainment (Jim Davies): (47pts) = (91pts) = 2nd

Cat D: Entertainment Total: 2nd + 2nd = 4

Overall Total: Cat A + Cat D: = Final Position (1 + 4) = 5pts

2. Flowers (Paul Holland)

Cat A: Own Choice work: (Peter Roberts and Richard Marshall) = 2nd

Cat B: Entertainment Music: (95pts) (Peter Roberts and Glyn Williams) = 1st
Cat C: Entertainment (Derek Southcott): (42pts) + Entertainment (Jim Davies): (49pts) = (91pts) = 3rd

Cat D: Entertainment Total: 1st + 3rd = 4

Overall Total: Cat A + Cat D: = Final Position (2 + 4) = 6pts

3. Desford Colliery (LCITWF) (Michael Fowles)

Cat A: Own Choice work: (Peter Roberts and Richard Marshall) = 3rd

Cat B: Entertainment Music: (90pts) (Peter Roberts and Glyn Williams) = 4th
Cat C: Entertainment (Derek Southcott): (40pts) + Entertainment (Jim Davies): (45pts) = (85pts) = 4th

Cat D: Entertainment Total: 4th + 4th = 8

Overall Total: Cat A + Cat D: = Final Position (3 + 8) = 11pts

4. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

Cat A: Own Choice work: (Peter Roberts and Richard Marshall) = 6th

Cat B: Entertainment Music: (87pts) (Peter Roberts and Glyn Williams) = 7th
Cat C: Entertainment (Derek Southcott): (46pts*) + Entertainment (Jim Davies): (46pts) = (92pts) = 1st

Cat D: Entertainment Total: 7th + 1st = 8

Overall Total: Cat A + Cat D: = Final Position (6 + 8) = 14pts*

*Higher Entertainment points from tie break judge takes precedence in event of a tie with overall total points

5. Woodfalls (Nigel Seaman)

Cat A: Own Choice work: (Peter Roberts and Richard Marshall) = 4th

Cat B: Entertainment Music: (92pts) (Peter Roberts and Glyn Williams) = 3rd
Cat C: Entertainment (Derek Southcott): (35pts) + Entertainment (Jim Davies): (44pts) = (79pts) = 7th

Cat D: Entertainment Total: 3rd + 7th = 10

Overall Total: Cat A + Cat D: = Final Position (4 + 10) = 14pts

6. Redbridge Brass (Jeremy Wise)

Cat A: Own Choice work: (Peter Roberts and Richard Marshall) = 5th

Cat B: Entertainment Music: (88pts) (Peter Roberts and Glyn Williams) = 6th
Cat C: Entertainment (Derek Southcott): (36pts) + Entertainment (Jim Davies): (48pts) = (84pts) = 5th

Cat D: Entertainment Total: 6th + 5th = 11

Overall Total: Cat A + Cat D: = Final Position (5 + 11) = 16pts

7. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

Cat A: Own Choice work: (Peter Roberts and Richard Marshall) = 7th

Cat B: Entertainment Music: (89pts) (Peter Roberts and Glyn Williams) = 5th
Cat C: Entertainment (Derek Southcott): (38pts) + Entertainment (Jim Davies): (40pts) = (78pts) = 8th

Cat D: Entertainment Total: 5th + 8th = 13

Overall Total: Cat A + Cat D: = Final Position (7 + 13) = 20pts

8. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)

Cat A: Own Choice work: (Peter Roberts and Richard Marshall) = 8th

Cat B: Entertainment Music: (85pts) (Peter Roberts and Glyn Williams) = 8th
Cat C: Entertainment (Derek Southcott): (39pts) + Entertainment (Jim Davies): (41pts) = (80pts) = 6th

Cat D: Entertainment Total: 8th + 6th = 14

Overall Total: Cat A + Cat D: = Final Position (8 + 14) = 22pts

Highest Placed Mining Band: Desford Colliery (LCITWF)
Most Entertaining Band: Friary Guildford
Geoff Dove Soloist Award: Paul Richards (soprano) — Flowers
Butlins Award for Services to Banding: Richard Evans


Sunday 15, 16:38:38

Long wait for the results...

There is now one heck of a long wait for the results — which will be announced around 9.30pm.

So will it be Flowers celebrating again, or can the determined efforts of the likes of Virtuosi GUS, Redbridge and Desford overcome them. And what about Woodfalls — a bit of a dark horse today.

We will have to wait and see...


Sunday 15, 16:23:30

Overall Championship Section Prediction

Over the two days of intensive contesting, Chris Thomas goes for an overall result based on his two days of predictions of:

1. Flowers
2. Redbridge
3. Virtuosi GUS
4. Desford
5. Friary Guildford
6. Woodfalls
7. Jaguar Land Rover
8. Haverhill Silver


Sunday 15, 16:19:11

Chris Thomas's Entertainment Analysis and Prediction

It's been a fascinating day of entertainment on Centre Stage with a wide variety of largely themed programmes offering something old and something new.

We don't feel that today's results is going to impact on our overal winner from Saturday but below first place there could be some interesting position jostling for the podium prizes.

Chris Thomas goes for a top six on the entertainment leg of:

1. Flowers
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. Redbridge
4. Friary Guildford
5. Desford Colliery
6. Woodfalls


Sunday 15, 15:45:26

8. Woodfalls (Nigel Seaman)

"Howard Snell at 80"

Lezghinka (arr. Snell)
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (arr. Snell)
Postcard from Mexico (Snell)
Love's Old Sweet Song
Year of the Dragon (Sparke)

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In performance — Woodfalls

There have been several classic Howard Snell arrangements heard today but Woodfalls give us a whole programme of classic Snell in a celebration of his recent 80th birthday and it gets off to a cracking start with Khatchurian's Lezghinka. Vivid, colourful music and a fine opener.

Trombonist Scott Stewart if the soloist in what was once the domain of Chris Jeans and Nick Hudson. It's a beautifully relaxed style, gently coloured and accompanied with delicate sensitivity by the band, if a little on the slow side.

A brilliant Snell original next in Postcard from Mexico and what clever, humorous music it is. The central section is a touch slow and loses its innebriated wit to a degree as a result but it's great to hear an old Desford classic played with rhythmic vigour.

A Foden's favourite next in Love's Old Sweet Song, with the band's flugel player Chris Lewis playing into the bell of an Eb bass — so charming and so well done by band and soloist. And not a dry eye in the house!

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On Stage — Woodfalls

The finale is not Snell but Sparke — but a piece very close to Howard's heart. It sets off at a cracking pace and there are a few clips along the way but the excitement factor is high.

Overall: Great programming and another highly creditable effort from Woodfalls under Nigel Seaman. What a fitting tribute to the great man.


Sunday 15, 15:12:59

7. Friary Guildford (Chris King)


Organ Chorale 'In you is Joy' (J S Bach)
Granada (arr. Chris King)
Chablis (Goff Richards)
Rondo a la Turka (arr. Chris King)
Jupiter (Holst)

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In performance — Friary Guildford

Something very different and very effective to open in a new arrangement of Bach. Detailed and one to really make the audience sit and listen.

The contrast with Chris King's new arrangement of the familiar strains of 'Granada' is so well done and it's played with great rhythmic clarity allied with just the right shade of Spanish colour.

Principal cornet player Richard Straker rises to his feet for a graceful performance of Goff Richards Chablis, demonstrating a fine open cornet sound and played with a lovely sense of line and phrasing.

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On Stage — Friary Guildford

Next on the whistle stop European tour is Austria and Mozart's Rondo a la Turka. An imaginative arrangement by Chris King (his arranging talent has been a focal point of the programme) and again given a lovely account by the band.

The finale of Holst's Jupiter gets off to a slightly uncomfortable start but once settled makes for a rousing finale. It gets a little clippy in places but caps an enterprising and well constructed programme.

Birdland forms a surprise conclusion, somewhat at odds with what has gone before perhaps but played with great spirit.

Overall: So much to enjoy from Friary Guildford. Fine arrangements and quality playing that that just fell down a little in Jupiter.


Sunday 15, 14:29:58

6. Flowers (Paul Holland)

"London Sketches"

Londinium (Jonathan Bates)
Feed the Birds (arr. Jonathan Bates)
A Fantasy on London Nursery Rhymes (Dan Price)
St. Peter's Chorale (Jonathan Bates)
After the Embers (Jonathan Bates)

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In performance — Paul Richards with Flowers

What a fantastic opening. There's so much detail in the opening number, with atmosphere and sonorous sounds in abundance. That inner detail and clarity is what makes us sit up and listen though. Top drawer playing indeed.

Soprano star Paul Richards is the soloist in Feed the Birds and this is so so sweet. A charming arrangement and played with such lyrical grace, elegance and glorious control. Soprano playing of this lyrical ease and style is rare indeed.

Dan Price's cornucopia of nursery rhymes revolving around London is played with such verve and spirit laced with humour that is skilfully embedded within the arrangement. It's a refreshing fulcrum to a programme that has seen a minor facelift since its first outing at Brass in Concert and really captures the imagination.

Jonathan Bates' St. Peter's Chorale takes as its starting point the outbreak of the Black Death in London and is a deeply felt and richly sonorous elegy, played with a wonderful sense of stillness and emotional sensitivity by Flowers.

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On Stage — Flowers

The finale, with its hints of Oranges and Lemons and dramatic musical realisation of the Great Fire of London, brims with atmosphere

Overall: Quite simply playing on another level from Flowers. A brilliant, cohesive themed programme and played with a level of technical assurance, startling sound and detail that is surely going to be hard to beat.


Sunday 15, 13:31:39

5. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

"Elements of Life"

In the Stone (Earth, Wind and Fire)
Blessed Assurance (Stephen Bulla)
Embers (Tom Davoren)
Summertime (Gershwin)
The Last Voyage (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)

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In performance — Jaguar Land Rover

A big band style opening played with verve although the hand waving and clapping might not be to the judges (or audience's taste).

Stephen Bulla's Blessed Assurance is given a life affirming account by principal cornet player Darren Lea on trumpet until a slip on the final note.

The glowing strains of Tom Davoren's evocative Embers are heard with warmth and affection. A lovely piece that the band clearly empathises with.

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On Stage — Jaguar Land Rover

Singer Jenny Adnett joins the band for the Gershwin classic from Porgy and Bess. Progresses from cool to swing with the vocalist doing a fine job aided by a relaxed band style.

Paul Lovatt-Cooper's recently premiered commemoration of the sinking of HMS Hampshire is aided by original film imagery and is quintessential PLC in its melodic and rhythmic content. Music of high drama and given vivid and at timea poignant treatment by Jaguar Land Rover. Uplifting it's not but it certainly made for a dramatic close to the programme.

But in a surprise twist it's not the end of the programme as the band delivers a big band arrangement of On Ilkla Moor Baht'at. It's a somewhat surreal conclusion given the dramatic music that precedes it

Overall: A spirited effort from Jaguar Land Rover although the programme didn't seem to knit together


Sunday 15, 12:56:22

4. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)

"American Extravaganza"

Ol' Man River (Showboat) (arr. Freeh)
Trumpet Concerto (Harry James)
Tea for Two (arr. Snell)
You are the Sunshine of my Life (arr. Richards)
An American Tale (Dan Price)

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In performance — Haverhill Silver

A Mark Freeh arrangement originally written for GUS and played many a year ago by GUS at the Granada Band of the Year under Bram Tovey. It's an enthusiastic opener although perhaps sounding a touch dated amongst the programmes we've heard so far.

Tim Pannell is the trumpet soloist in Harry James effervescent Trumpet Concerto and it's taken at a breakneck speed. Perhaps a little too fast at times but the clarity of the articulation is certainly impressive.

We've heard a few recollections of Howard Snell entertainment programmes today and here's another. It's a great arrangement and the band gives it a witty, suitably light hearted treatment.

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On Stage — Haverhill Silver

Another classic of an arrangement in the shape of Goff Richards Stevie Wonder number featuring a sextet of trombones and flugels. This could do with a little more light and shade perhaps but forms a suitably relaxed palette cleanser in the programme.

Dan Price's now familiar concoction of American themes forms the finale to Haverhill's programme and with Frank Renton's narration it makes an effective conclusion to what has been a somewhat mixed entertainment set from the band.

Overall: A slightly jaded programme from Haverhill Silver but played for the most part with both commitment and enthusiasm. It's up against extremely tough competition today though.


Sunday 15, 12:40:45

3. Redbridge Brass (Jeremy Wise)

Grand Canyon Fanfare (James Newton Howard)
Brass Machine (Maynard Ferguson)
Oblivion (Piazolla)
Nefarious (Jim Fieldhouse)
When You Wish Upon a Star
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

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In performance — Redbridge Brass

Redbridge takes us away from the predominant jazz theme so far with the rugged, bracing sounds of James Newton Howard's majestic Grand Canyon Overture. It's a great opener played with an equally bracing outdoor spirit.

Brass Machine features the trumpet playing of James Favison and what trumpet playing it is, ssctdaming away in the upper reaches and driving the audience to scream and shout — he's obviously got his fans in!!

Oblivion by Piazolla is meltingly haunting and played with such fluidity and lyrical freedom by Alan Roberts.

Jim Fieldhouse's Nefarious changes the mood completely in its funk fuelled drive with the band responding with playing of latent energy.

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On Stage — Redbridge Brass

When You Wish Upon a Star is given a re-working featuring stirling trumpet work from Cliff Pask and James Davison. The trumpets are possible a little unevenly matched but with lovely touches from Charlotte Treadaway on alto sax it's a refereshing palette cleanser.

Rosza's music gets the Leigh Baker treatment in the finale and what a fine finale it is. Excellent contrast framing the jazz at the centre of the programme and given a reading of swashbuckling swagger by the band.

Overall: A fine programme from Redbridge capping two great performances by the band over the course of the two days. This is the best we have heard from Redbridge in a long time. Great stuff!


Sunday 15, 11:21:25

2. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

A Century of Jazz...

Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus (art. Jacob Larsen)
Sometime I Feel Like a Motherless Child
Polka from Jazz Suite No. 2 (Shostakovich)
Spain (Chick Corea arr. Reid Gilje)
Cool and Somewhere from West Side Story (Bernstein)

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In performance — Virtuosi GUS

A great foot stomping opener from GUS in a fine new arrangement by Jacob Vilhelm Larsen. What a great opener. Bags of energy and flies along with brio despite just the occasional blurring of ensemble.

Thomas Fountain takes to his feet with an oh so stylish account of the glorious spiritual played on trumpet and with such a lovely languid yet straightforward style. Lovely stuff.

A rather different take on Jazz lies at the centre of GUS's programme with a delightful little polka from Shostakovich's 2nd Jazz Suite. More salon music than Jazz perhaps but great fun nonetheless and played with both wit and agility.

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On Stage — Virtuosi GUS

A change of atmosphere as Chick Corea's Rodriguez inspired 'Spain' takes the form of a reflective euphonium and baritone feature before the mood changes to more familiar Corea territory in music laced with Latin rhythms and the trumpet playing of James and Thomas Fountain.

Like Desford GUS chooses to close it's programme with the music of Leonard Bernstein. The arrangement of Cool takes a little getting used to — especially in the vibe coloured interlude but returns to more familiar territory before Somewhere provides a familiar if initially curiously cautious conclusion to the programme.

Overall: A great opening from Virtuosi GUS and a thoughtfully put together programme but for us this just lost its momentum in the finale which seemed to dissipate the programme's initial energy.


Sunday 15, 10:50:14

1. Desford Colliery (LCITWF) (Mike Fowles)

A Celebration of Song and Dance

It Had Better Be Tonight (arr. Sandy Smith)
Hushabye Mountain (arr. Sandy Smith)
Puttin' on the Ritz (arr. Howard Snell)
Windmills of Your Mind (Michel Legrand)
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (Bernstein arr. Eric Crees)

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In performance — Gary Wyatt

Desford's celebration of song and dance themed programme kicks off in big band style with a great up beat opener in Sandy Smith's stylish arrangement of It Had Better Be Tonight. Great sounds and sets the time in foot tapping fashion.

Nicky Longden steps on flugel up to give a beautifully controlled reading of Hushabye Mountain, gently coloured with vibraphone. Such beautifully realised colours on display here.

Next an old favourite in Howard Snell's classy arrangement of Puttin' on the Ritz. It certainly flies along but perhaps without the razor sharp precision of Foden's of old — Mike Fowles will remember it well!

Solo baritone takes centre stage for Michel Legrand's evocative Windmills of Your Mind. There are subtle haunting colours and textures on display but it's possible a little meandering for some tastes.

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On Stage — Nicky Longden

More echoes of entertainment contests of a bygone era as Desford closes its programme with an old Desford stalwart in the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story sixty years after its premiere. For those of us that remember the brilliance of Howard Snell's Desford of old this lacks the sheer pizazz and crystalline clarity of ensemble of the Desford of old with tuning problems also creeping in towards the close. No questions about its brilliance as a finisher though.

Overall: A few early morning cobwebs from Desford. Great sound and a well constructed programme yet despite some fabulous moments there were also fragilities evident.


Sunday 15, 10:20:12

Getting ready for the off...

The Centre Stage venue is filling up now with the action starting at 10.30am. The first band on is Desford, followed Virtuosi GUS.

Lots of bands still in with a great chance today — the top four in particular. It promises to be a highly enjoyable morning and early afternoon.


Sunday 15, 09:49:00

Championship Section

Commences: 10.30am

Adjudicators: Peter Roberts and Glyn Williams (Music), Derek Southcott and Jim Davies (Entertainment)

1. Desford Colliery (LCITWF) (Michael Fowles)
2. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)
3. Redbridge Brass (Jeremy Wise)
4. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)
5. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
6. Flowers (Paul Holland)
7. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
8. Woodfalls (Nigel Seaman)


Sunday 15, 08:17:51

The morning after that celebratory night

It's bright and early on Sunday with lots of banding folk waking up with sore heads no doubt after a celebratory or soul searching drink or six.

Not so Championship Section bands where it's all to play for when it comes to the eight bands. The draw was made last night and as its open adjudication you won't want to miss Desford at 1 on the stroke of 10.30 in Centre Stage.

The Youth championships take place in Reds from 12 noon. Join us throughout for the battle for final honours.

Off for breakfast though now. See you later.


Saturday 14, 20:08:19

Championship Section: Entertainment


1. Desford
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. Redbridge
4. Haverhill
5. Jaguar Land Rover
6. Flowers
7. Friary Guildford
8. Woodfalls


Saturday 14, 18:34:37

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The Trophy no one wants to win...

Now here's a trophy no band will really want to lay claim to this weekend.


Well, it bears the name of the organisation and the person who presented it to a band from the Doncaster area at a contest in either 1931 or 1932. Nothing too sinister about that you might think.

However, the trophy was presented by The New Party — and by a certain Sir Oswald Mosley.

Yep. That Oswald Mosley.

The trophy could only have been presented the once as the New Party merged with the British Union of Fascists in 1932 — the party of the Black Shirts, the Battle of Cable Street etc.

It is now in the posesssion of the Brass Band Archive and is on show at Butlins — a curious and rather disturbing reminder of brass band history...


Saturday 14, 18:26:45

Waiting for the results...

There is quite a break before we get to hear who has won Sections 1-4 today — plus, get the draw for the entertainment discipline of the Championship Section.

Lots of very confident players are milling about at the moment — although whether or not they will be such celebratory mood later tonight we will have to wait and see.

Everyone will be packed into Reds at 7.30pm...


Saturday 14, 17:02:58

Chris Thomas' Own Choice analysis and prediction:

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Frank Renton gives a final round-up as the own choice contest comes to its conclusion

With only one duplication, it's been an entertaining Championship Section own choice contest in Centre Stage.

As always, the entertainment leg tomorrow will prove crucial in reaching the final result but there have been a handful of quality of performances today which will give Peter Roberts and Richard Marshall plenty to think about.

Chris Thomas is going with a top six of:

1. Flowers
2. Redbridge Brass
3. Desford Colliery
4. Virtuosi GUS
5. Woodfalls
6. Friary Guildford

Join us tomorrow for the entertainment conclusion!


Saturday 14, 16:49:29

8. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

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In Perfomance — Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

Of Distant Memories (Edward Gregson)

A sonorous opening and the music unfolds so well despite minor tuning issues. It's heart on sleeve as it should be.

Good character as we hit the Allegro. The band sound could be softened a touch here and there are a couple of nasty individual slips evident as the mood changes. Fine trombone sectional work but the overall feeling is somewhat disjointed and inconsistent. The commitment is certainly evident but this is not all quite hanging together.

Eb bass doesn't quite survive unscathed but excellent solo cornet and euphonium. The dynamics all feel a touch overdone however and it's a touch strained. Fine solo cornet once again and the energy builds well as the trombone reprise is deftly handled.

There are tuning issues evident as the performance progresses but the approach to the final bars is effective and it's an emotive final flourish.

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On Stage — Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)


Saturday 14, 16:23:51

7. Desford Colliery (LCITWF) (Mike Fowles)

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In Perfomance — Desford Colliery (LCITWF) (Mike Fowles)

The Triumph of Time (Peter Graham)

Desford turned in a fine performance of this piece at last September's Open and the opening bars recall that very performance, atmospheric and with a great sound. Driving cornet figurations are not entirely uniform however and for a fleeting moment it feels a touch unhinged. Detail isn't always clear but it's headlong stuff.

The transition into the haunting dreamscape is well handled and E bass does well. Lovely solo cornet and there's an ethereal atmosphere about this.

Into the jazz section and good work from trombones. There are still nagging moments of rhythmic instability but the atmosphere settles as the trombones intone a sonorous chorale. Flugel does well but somehow this doesn't quite engage us. Fine atmosphere to close though and good use of the quieter dynamics.

The reprise of the flying cornet figurations are so much tighter than earlier and now we sense the band striving for the finishing post in what is an impressive conclusion.

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On Stage — Desford Colliery (LCITWF) (Mike Fowles)


Saturday 14, 15:42:18

6. Woodfalls (Nigel Seaman)

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In Perfomance — Woodfalls (Nigel Seaman)

Journey of the Lone Wolf — Simon Dobson

A powerful opening statement of real drive but we don't quite hear the crystal clarity of some performances today. The intent is clear though and Nigel Seaman steers a convincing course through the myriad changes of style and mood including the folk music references.

Sterling work from flugel delivering a controlled and stylish account of the solo and trombone is relaxed and suitably languid. The atmosphere here is carefully created with solo contributions both consistent and lyrically compelling.

Excellent cornet unity as the the energy levels rise and the performance seems to have found a new seam of momentum here. It's ruthlessly driving, menacing stuff with Bartok's inner demons very much to the fore.

The drive continues it the very end and it's a powerful one indeed.

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On Stage — Woodfalls (Nigel Seaman)


Saturday 14, 15:29:13

5. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

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In Perfomance — Friary Guildford (Chris King)

Metropolis 1927 — Peter Graham

The jazzy dynamism of the opening is captured with real verve and brio even if the detail is not always one hundred percent clear. This is high octane stuff though and the sheer energy of the playing propels it forward. A few minor clips in the cornet section but overall this is an impressive technical account of a challenging score, with the hints of West Side Story evident through the textures.

Perhaps a few more risks could be taken with the quieter dynamics of the slow movement but the approach is highly musical and the MD is shaping this with a lovely flow and lyrical grace.

The reprise of the opening material is once again despatched with impressive clarity and drive with no hint of the band being daunted by the score. The momentum builds admirably although there's just a hint of the ensemble loosening slightly as we progress through the headlong approach to the final bars.

A fine ending to a very creditable performance from the London and Southern Counties team.

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On Stage — Friary Guildford (Chris King)


Saturday 14, 15:05:55

4. Redbridge Brass (Jeremy Wise)

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In Perfomance — Redbridge Brass (Jeremy Wise)

Fraternity — Thierry Deleruyelle

An atmospheric opening out of which floats a beautifully intoned euphonium solo. This is so well balanced and the granite like chords that follow are majestic and imposing.

Excellent solo work is evident, notably from cornet and flugel and as the lace quickens the transparency once again comes to the fore as the balance allows us to hear all of the inner workings of the score.

This is brass band music through and through, played with a heart of pure emotion. Again the atmosphere subsides into one of gentle tranquility and as trombones intone recollections of the granite chords the passion of the playing shines through. This is the best we have heard from Redbridge in a long time.

Jeremy Wise's reading of the score is so well judged in its shape and transitions and the ending is not overblown, rather it lives and breathes the emotion of what is a fine score.

Fine playing from Redbridge, emotional and musically engaging throughout.

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On Stage — Redbridge Brass (Jeremy Wise)


Saturday 14, 14:24:59

3. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)

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In Perfomance — Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)

Isaiah 40 — Robert Redhead

A cautious opening is unsettled by several nervy entries and the musical picture is immediately tentative as a result. It settles but scrappy entries re-emerge and continue to create a sense of unease.

Solo cornet, despite a couple of minor clips, delivers the melting melody of the slow section with lyrical panache. This is better and the calming influence of solo cornet seems to have a beneficial effect on the rest of the band.

The close is well judged and builds to an excellent final statement but ultimately this was a performance undone by those alarming early errors.

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On Stage — Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)


Saturday 14, 14:13:52

Flowers (Paul Holland)

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In Performance — Flowers (Paul Holland)

Spiriti — Thomas Doss

An atmospheric opening that perhaps could take slightly greater risks with the quietest of dynamics but there is a potent spell being cast here. Great sounds, particularly from the middle band and the detail is always evident.

Upper dynamics are kept under control whilst retaining excellent wide ranging contrasts and there is a latent inner energy developing that drives the music on with cumulative power leading to a crushing outburst of dissonance.

The contrast with the eerie tranquility at the heart of the piece is striking as Paul Richards delivers the exposed soprano part with truly remarkable control and musicality. This is fabulous stuff. What a player.

As we enter the driving jazz/rock the band sound is again in evidence and soprano is once again magical as the stillness returns. He simply hasn't put a foot wrong.

There detail as we approach the conclusion is again superb, as is the pacing of the approach to the final bars. A majestic performance indeed from Flowers that is going to take serious beating today.

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On Stage — Flowers (Paul Holland)


Saturday 14, 13:31:19

1. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

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In Performance — Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

Journey of the Lone Wolf — Simon Dobson

The opening possseaes a huge musical presence and there is immediately the stamp of authority about this. Just a hint of untidiness fleetingly but the folk like passages are delivered with panache.

Thomas Fountain rises to his feet and despatches the solo cornet part with dashing ease and the contrasts of dynamic are utilised to striking effect.

Flugel solo lacks a touch of warmth perhaps and there are minor clips along the way. Lovely transition into the trombone solo which Chris Jeans delivers with languid elegance and a smoky, bluesy hue — this is stylish stuff and leads to a heart of stillness as solo euphonium sings.

The approach to the conclusion garners a seam of electricity that propels the music on with great work from a percussive engine room. The inner detail is occasionally a touch obscured but the final flourish is one of impressive power indeed. Stirring stuff.

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On Stage — Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)


Saturday 14, 06:29:12

Early morning risers

It doesn't matter how early you are waking at Butlins, there is always a band up before you preparing for the day ahead.

A quick morning stroll and you meet at least a couple of players resplendent in their band walking outs.

That said — I wonder if they have actually been to bed...


Friday 13, 22:48:07

Only at Butlins

It's been a very relaxed evening catching up with friends and enjoying some easy listening music.

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'you can hang out with all the boys' and the Flowers Band!

Flowers topped the bill in Centre Stage and only at Butlins would you hear a brass band doing YMCA with loads of the audience stood right at the front dancing away. Great fun and a neat bit of PR from the band who gave out CDs to those brave enough to get up and give it a go.

Early night for us though with an early start tomorrow. Join us for a full day of contesting with some interesting own choice test piece selections in the Championship and Fourth Sections.


Friday 13, 17:10:42

Welcome to Butlins

The 4BR team has started to arrive at Butlins and we've received a warm welcome as always from the friendly staff.

It's Skegness in January though — cold and bracing, but providing nothing untoward happens later tonight with the weather, there is lots to enjoy to start off the weekend.

Tonight in Reds at 7.30pm is a Youth Brass Festival featuring Salford University Band, the Black Dyke Trombone Quartet, Gresley Youth and the Bavarian Youth Band.

Meanwhile, in Centre Stage starting at 8.00pm, the British Philharmonic Orchestra Brass Quintet is followed by 2016 Champion, Flowers under the baton of Paul Holland.

Doors for both events open at 7.00pm.

Till then its time to reacquaint ourselves with the fabulous food on offer here and the company of old friends and new.

The contesting action starts at 9.30am on Saturday morning with Section 4. The draws for Sections 1-4 also take place and we will publish when the judges are in the box.

Safe travels for those on their way and see you later.


Friday 13, 12:28:26

Championship Section details

Saturday 14th January
Draw: 11.30am
Commences at conclusion of the 4th Section
Set Work: Own Choice
Adjudicators: Peter Roberts and Richard Marshall

Sunday 15th January
Draw: Saturday evening
Commences: 10.30am
Entertainment Programme
Adjudicators: Peter Roberts and Glyn Williams (Music), Derek Southcott and Jim Davies (Entertainment)


Desford Colliery (LCITWF) (Michael Fowles)
Flowers (Paul Holland)
Friary Guildford (Chris King)
Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)
Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
Redbridge Brass (Jeremy Wise)
Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)
Woodfalls (Dr Robert Childs)


Sunday 14 July • Pemberton Old Wigan Brass Bands. Enfield Street,. Pemberton,. Wigan WN5 8DZ


Friday 19 July • Pemberton Old Wigan Band . Enfield Street,. Pemberton,. Wigan. WN5 8DZ

Barnsley Brass - Stephen Sykes, Principal Trombone of The Cory Band

Saturday 20 July • St Mary's Church, Kippax, Leeds LS25 7HF

Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Skelmanthorpe Band

Sunday 21 July • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW

Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Phoenix Brass

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

Camborne Youth Band

July 16 • Camborne Brass (2nd Section). We are aiming to bolster urgently our cornet section with both front and back row cornets (all positions negotiable). We are also expanding our training section. All ages and abilities are welcome from beginners upwards.

Dobcross Silver Band

July 15 • 2 x Cornet Players required. Positions are negotiable, excluding Principal as players are willing to move around. Experience preferred but all ages considered if ability can be demonstrated. Enjoyable rehearsals/great socials!

Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band

July 13 • Our welcoming non-contesting band, based near Maidenhead, Bracknell and Reading, seeks: . Solo Euphonium . 1st Horn . Percussion, kit and tuned: we have a lovely pair of timps! . Solo Cornet to complete the front-row line-up. 2nd Cornet

Kevin Wadsworth

Conductor, adjudicator, teacher (ABBA)


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