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2018 British Open Spring Festival
Grand Shield - As it happened

All the action from the 2018 British Open Spring Festival Grand Shield — As it happened

Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 19:02:05

What a day

That's the end of a great day in Blackpool that has seen record numbers coming through the door to listen.

Congratulations to Hammonds Saltaire, Oldham Band (Lees) and Wantage on their victories today along with all the other ensembles who have gained promotion to the British Open, Grand Shield and Senior Cup respectively.

News reports to come in dates ahead.

Goodnight from Blackpool/


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 18:49:07

Result:

Test Piece: The Triumph of Time (Peter Graham)

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1st.Place — Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)

Adjudicators: Nigel Boddice MBE & Garry Cutt

1. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)*
2. Aldbourne (Dr David Thornton)*
3. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)
4. Woodfalls (Dr Robert Childs)
5. NASUWT Riverside (Professor Nicholas Childs)
6. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
7. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)
8. Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie)
9. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)
10. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)
11. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
12. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
13. Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)
14. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
15. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
16. Tongwynlais Temperance (Andreas Kratz)
17. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)**
18. Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk) **
19. Llwydcoed (Christopher Turner)**
20. City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith) (Dewi Griffiths)**

Best Instrumentalist: Isobel Daws, trombone, Friary Guildford

*Promoted to the British Open
**Relegated to the Senior Cup


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 18:04:54

It's all over in the Opera House....

The contest in the Opera House really came to life in the second half of the draw today but Peter Graham's engaging score, first played by Black Dyke as it's own choice piece in the European Championship in Perth in 2014 has caused the bands some real problems.

Few, if any, have escaped without a handful of errors at least and the results could well be decided on that score alone.

For our money there is a clear winner however although it could be a very close race for the other precious place at Symphony Hall.

Chris Thomas goes for a top six of:

1. Woodfalls
2. Reg Vardy
3. Friary Guildford
4. Virtuosi GUS
5. Filton Concert
6. Thoresby Colliery

Dark Horses: Hammonds Saltaire, EYMS, Hepworth


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 17:52:49

20. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

The opening is effective but with question marks as to whether the detail is as crystalline as a handful of other bands today. The drive and energy are undeniable though and this certainly has a weighty musical presence about it.

Some lovely little details and nuances come through the textures as we approach the Adagio and this has that slightly unsettling and haunted feel about it that the music commands. Bass solo into that adagio is decidedly fragile however and suddenly this is feeling like its sliding away. The atmosphere is good but there are so many little slips and errors that get in the way.

Ritmico opens well but trombones are not entirely together and again this doesn’t feel like it’s GUS on top form. It gather some momentum but there are once again fragilities in the slow music that follows as soprano falters and individual voices are not always precise or together.

The close is effective enough but we fancy it has come to late to save what has been a disappointing account from the Kettering outfit.

Overall: A surprisingly inconsistent performance from GUS. The contest was there to won from the final performance but we can’t see that this show is going to see the band making the short journey to Symphony Hall come September.

Christopher Thomas


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 17:32:49

19. Tongwynlais Temperance (Andreas Kratz)

The opening has presence and steams ahead with plenty of energy and drive although some detail is lost in the overall sound due to balance issues.

The Adagio doesn’t quite flow as a result of nervy entries that are further undermined by tuning issues. This is an unsettled sounding band and that feeling continues into the Ritmico which is often far too loose in its execution and rhythmic cohesion.

The trombone chorale is a touch heavy and once again there is an uneasy feel to some of the solo entires that follow.

The end is competent but caps a reading of inconsistency from the Welsh team.

Overall: A disappointing show from Tongwynlais that was often fragile and with a lack of rhythmic focus that impaired the musicality of the approach.

Christopher Thomas


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 17:05:51

18. Camborne Town (Kevin MacKenzie)

The opening initially feels a touch steadier than some today but the pace builds and we hear the band launch into the music with vigour. The cornet section isn’t always totally precise but we can certainly hear all of the parts going in.

Eb bass solo into the Adagio is uncertain in pitch and unsettles the musical picture although the solo work in the Adagio itself is of high quality. We just feel that this needs to move with a little more fluidity.

The Ritmico is initially well controlled dynamically with solid trombones and good levels of detail. It just lacks that bit of American pizazz that the score commands but overall this is solid, competent playing.

It’s a touch flaky at times in the slow music that follows as instrumental lines are not always sustained adequately but this is so nearly a very fine performance.

The approach to the conclusion is again solid and caps a technically adequate if musically uninvolving account.

Overall: A workmanlike account from Camborne but one that failed to engage us as the front runners have today.

Christopher Thomas


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 16:41:48

17. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)

Opens well and the momentum builds quickly. Although it's the band sound that hits us between the eyes. With trombone bells turned out to the audience, this is easily the most decibel busting opening we've had today. It's certainly gutsy playing though and there's a good deal of energy generated.

The Adagio opens well although there are little lapses in the solo work that unsettle the flow of the music from time to time. A shame as there is much to enjoy here.

Solo trombone doesn't quite hit the right style at the opening of the Ritmico and as the section rises to its feet this is a full blooded onslaught of sound rather than a stylistically thought out approach to the jazzy Americanism of the score.

Trombone chorale is warmly intoned and the solo entries are well done including fine Eb bass.

Nice flugel solo but is it really necessary to stand in music of such affecting sensitivity? There are players up and down like yo-yo's here.

The approach to the end is again something of a white knuckle ride in perhaps the most adrenalin fuelled approach to the score we have heard today. If you like your music to hit you like a truck however, this could be the one for you.

Overall: This was certainly a robust approach to the score from Milnrow. In parts it was very good indeed but it needed a little more stylistic contrast and thought for us.

Christopher Thomas


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 16:16:41

16. Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)

We have hit a rich seam of form in the second half of the drawer in the Opera House and once again we are hearing a fabulous opening from Filton Concert Brass. So rich in detail textural transparency and with an inner energy that propels the music relentlessly onward.

The Aadgio espressivo is imbued with that vital nocturnal imagery that is so vital to this section of the score and solo cornet, horn and euphonium are all of an excellent standard here.

The Ritmico is opens well with adrenalin fuelled trombones and an edgy atmosphere that suits the Americana of the scene so well.

Fine trombone chorale into the slow music that follows and although there’s a blip on flugel, this is beautifully done with flowing, languid lines and a touchingly sensitive statement of the theme from the band at just the right dynamic level. Flugel again slips…a hint of nerves perhaps…but it recovers and the drive to the close is perfectly paced leading to a blazing, if a touch untuneful, final chord.

Overall: An excellent account from Filton. Just the occasional clip and hint of solo nerves but a dynamic, energetic and colourful approach to the score. We’ve enjoyed this immensely.

Christopher Thomas


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 15:50:51

15. Woodfalls (Dr. Robert Childs)

From the very opening this has the stamp of authority about it. Playing that bristles and crackles with detail and energy with terrific detail from the cornet section and quite stunning solo work from David Childs on solo euphonium. This is gripping stuff indeed.

Supremely confident bass solo into the nocturne and the atmosphere here is immediate. Languid and almost ghostly in its twilit colours with chattering cornets and finely honed dynamic levels.

Great percussion and ominous basses to open the Ritmico and a high quality trombone section that keeps the lid on the dynamic levels. This is again so characterful in its stylistic awareness and fades so well into the trombone chorale. This could be a touch more sustained but again the ensuing atmosphere is so well painted and the flugel solo effective.

Lovely solo horn and soprano also does well. The hushed band statement of the theme is so touching and it's a lovely transition into the reprise of the opening.

The rhythmic energy here is highly impressive and there is a real sense of motion towards the final peroration of glory. This has been such an engaging performance and interpretation.

Overall: A top drawer performance from Woodfalls. So much musical authority and the execution is the most consistent we have heard today so far.

Christopher Thomas


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 15:30:01

14. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)

Opens well and we immediately sense the forward momentum and drive of this. It is rhythmically alert, vibrant and with an inner drive that propels it onward. Plenty of detail heard too.

Bass transition into the Adagio is not entirely blemish free and the initial cornet solo is a little lumpy. We sense the MD shaping the atmosphere but this suddenly feels a little more fragile in its execution.

The Ritmico again has a drive and energy that is infectious. The sounds are never forced but it is nonetheless full blooded and committed playing. Trombone chorale is a little heavy for mezzo forte perhaps but individual solo work is of a consistent quality. Just tiny slips detract. Nice flugelhorn into the reprise of the opening and the ending has the triumphant affirmation that not al have found today.

Overall: Playing of quality from EYMS. Errors were generally limited in their impact and an excellent approach by the MD.

Christopher Thomas


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 15:07:14

13. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)

The opening tempo feels a touch restrained in comparison to some today and the energy of the music feels a touch impeded as a result. It proceeds satisfactorily however although bass solo into the Adagio espressivo is not entirely secure.

The Adagio itself is affected by some intonation issues at times although solo work is generally competent. This just lacks that languid, dreamscape like atmosphere for us though.

Despite the fact that the trombones could be tighter, Ritmico is solid enough but this isn’t drawing us into the jazzy Americana of the soundworld the composer had in mind.

The slow music is dynamically well controlled but tuning once again affects the quietest of the playing.

The final adrenaline fuelled drive for the conclusion is running a touch low on fuel and the ending, understandably in the circumstances, sounds a touch tired.

Overall: A solid, competent account from Rainford but one that needed to find the changing moods and styles of the score with greater effect.

Christopher Thomas


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 14:48:02

12. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligot)

Opens well and we hear the onward drive and cumulative energy allied with good levels of detail and rhythmic transparency. As with the best performances of the test piece so far, the pacing here is masterfully controlled by the MD.

The Adagio espressivo is imbued with that sense of haunting, twilit atmosphere that the music calls for and prominent in that picture is a fine account by the band’s principal cornet player.

The Ritmico opens well and although the trombones are not always entirely as one the feel of the music and its jazzy connotations is so well captured in playing of colourful and vivacious spirit with a hint of edge that works so well.

The expressive playing toward the close is again handled with sensitivity and finely judged dynamics although the closing pean is a touch underwhelming after so much early spirit.

Overall: A fine account from Thoresby. Controlled yet with bags of energy and solo playing of high quality in the slow sections. This is right up there in the mix for us.

Christopher Thomas


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 14:26:27

11. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)

From the off Hammonds give us a sense of mounting, cumulative energy and as the opening section progresses we hear good levels of detail, even though that detail can feel a touch manic at times.

The adagio espressivo is nicely done and this has just the right feel of a nocturnal dreamscape, languid yet laced with a touch of darkness and coloured with a fine cornet solo.

The Ritmico has rhythmic drive led by a powerful trombone section but importantly, this has that feeling of 1930’s jazzy Americana that few have been able to capture so far today.

There are some lovely moments (although not entirely with out slips) in the Semplice e molto cantabile including a wonderfully hushed chorale. This is very nicely done indeed.

And the ending has just the right feel of blazing affirmative triumph.

Overall: A very fine showing from Hammonds. Musically coherent and cohesive and finding the moods of the music with both insight and playing of convincing commitment.

Christopher Thomas


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 14:04:57

It's half time in the Grand Shield....

It's been a frustrating morning at times in the Opera Band as band after after band has fallen prey to the challenges of Peter Graham's music.

No band has so far escaped unscathed but two performances in particular have captured the spirit of the music to lead the way for us. This could be a close run contest come the end but victory is still there to be taken for the bands in the second half of the draw.

Chris Thomas goes for a half time leader board of:

1. Reg Vardy
2. Friary Guildford
3. Hepworth
4. Pemberton Old Wigan DW
5. Aldbourne


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 13:50:58

10. Aldbourne (Dr. David Thornton)

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David Thornton leads Aldbourne

A well judged opening and this is impressively measured playing. The detail is evident and with so much cumulative momentum and energy.

Bass transition into the Adagio espressivo sings and the slow music itself is played with sensitivity. A slip on soprano just unsettles the atmosphere momentarily but David Thornton is finding the shifting moods of the score with aplomb.

Good opening to the Ritmico although trombone could just do with a little more freedom. Sectionally amongst the trombones its a touch slack but the style of the playing as this section progresses is good.

Nicely intoned flugel solo and soprano also does well as the slow music returns. Much of this is beautifully done and the mood is maintained effectively throughout. Good approach to the final bars and the ending itself is effective.

Overall: A committed and intelligent constructed performance from Aldbourne. There were slips certainly but this was playing that got to the heart of the score.


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 13:28:54

9. Llwydcoed (Chris Turner)

The opening sets off at a good tempo and this drives on well but without the rhythmic and textural transparency of some. Again some of that detail is lost as a result of dynamic level whereby it simply cannot be heard.

The Adagio espressivo is so much better, with the atmosphere carefully created and quality solo contributions other than one or two minor slips.

The good work is undone at the opening of the Ritmico though as solo trombone doesn’t capture the style or nuance of the music and this is all very scrappy with ensemble not knitting together.

Trombone chorale is not balanced and again this fails to settle although the solo work is again well despatched with flugel amongst the best of the contributions.

The approach to the conclusion is again untidy in terms of ensemble with Llwycoed being another band that has been pushed all the way by the test piece today.

Overall: An inconsistent account from the Welsh team in which it was the slow music that fared best.

Christopher Thomas


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 13:07:38

8. City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith) (Dewi Griffiths)

The opening is the slowest we have heard today in terms of tempo and some of the detail is so quiet it is almost inaudible. As a result the music loses its forward momentum.

The atmosphere in the Adagio espressivo is good but there are also slips in some of the solo lines and once again the musical picture lapses at times as a result. Trombone solo at the beginning of the Ritmico is hesitant and this needs to have a greater level of rhythmic focus to knit the music together.

The Semplice e molto cantabile is so much better with excellent contributions from soprano and flugel and here the atmosphere is much more settled. As we head for the final paragraphs there is an element of the shackles coming off and the performance finally comes to life as a result.

Overall: A cautious, occasionally nervy account but not without moments of quality shining through.


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 12:47:11

Full Draw:

The Opera House
Test Piece: The Triumph of Time (Peter Graham)

Commence: 10.00am
Draws: 9.00am & 12.30pm

Adjudicators: Nigel Boddice MBE & Garry Cutt

1. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
2. NASUWT Riverside (Professor Nicholas Childs)
3. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)
4. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
5. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)
6. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)
7. Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)
8. City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith) (Dewi Griffiths)
9. Llwydcoed (Christopher Turner)
10. Aldbourne (Dr David Thornton)
11. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
12. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
13. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
14. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)
15. Woodfalls (Dr Robert Childs)
16. Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)
17. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
18. Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie)
19. Tongwynlais Temperance (Andreas Kratz)
20. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 12:45:38

7. Ashton Under Lyne (Philip Chalk)

Opening initially works well although the subsequent bars of driving rhythms in the cornets are scrappy. Solo euphonium struggles a tad and the ensemble loses it focus at times with percussion off the pace and a lack of rhythmic focus.

The Adagio espressivo is so much better and although the soloists need a little more support at times solo cornet does well and the MD shapes the music thoughtfully.

Well executed trombone solo to open the Ritmico and sectional work that follows is effective. This is solid playing although it could drive onward a touch more.

Trombone chorale is not perfectly balanced although the solos that follow are played cleanly and the flugel theme is sensitively enunciated.

The build to the conclusion sets off at a good tempo although there is a loss of rhythmic focus at times and it ties a little towards the final exclamation of triumph.

Overall: A mixed bag from Ashton Under Lyne. There were some fine moments but also inconsistencies of execution that will rob the band of precious points.


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 12:23:51

6. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)

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On Stage — Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)

What a fine opening. So much detail and the musical picture is so convincing. The clarity continues to impress as the pace quickens and there are excellent solo contributions, notably from an upstanding principal cornet. Excellent stuff. There is just the slightest of slips on solo baritone but excellent bass solo as we progress into a languidly expressive and nocturnally hued Adagio.

Trombones not entirely as one in the Ritmico but the feel of the music is good here and there's an edgy, restless energy about it that suits the music so well.

Sonorous trombone chorale is a little bass heavy but the atmosphere is carefully created and Eb bass solo is fine. Just a little fragility in the accompaniment to follow. Flugel does well but isn't always helped by the band here. Nice solo horn and again its a thoughtfully created mood that works so well.

The headlong dash to the conclusion is captured with detail although the energy is almost a little in tired sounding final bar.

Overall: A fine account from Reg Vardy although one that also leaves the door ajar. No band has escaped without a few errors today so far and Russell Gray's team was no exception despite playing of excellent mood and atmosphere.


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 11:58:51

5. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)

An excellent opening from Hepworth. Full blooded yet also controlled and detailed. The momentum builds well although one or two solo slips start to creep in and unsettle the picture as we near the Adagio espressivo. Nice lyrical work here though and solo cornet does well.

Solo trombone does well in the Ritmico and there's an excellent bounce to the sectional work that follows.

The slower music glows although still there one or two individual niggles and slips that frustratingly get in the way. The hushed Adagio is beautifully done and the build to the final paragraphs measured with skill by the MD. Lovely flugel prior to the final flourish and the ending itself is despatched with an appropriate blaze of triumph.

Overall: There was so much quality from Hepworth at times but also frustrating little lapses along the way that occasionally disturbed the musical picture.


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 11:35:44

4. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

What a fine opening. So well paced and detailed and the sound of the band is immediately robust yet well balanced. There's just a touch of detail that is lost under the denser textures but this proceeds with real purpose and energy.

Just moment of hesitation on solo euphonium but bass solo into the Adagio is finely done. Darkly hued solo cornet creates a lovely dreamscape although there are a few little slips in the bars that follow.

Excellent opening to the Ritmico and Isobel Daws is simply exceptional on solo trombone. What a player!! Great trombone ensemble work too and this really rocks with just the right feeling of 1930's Chicago Americana about it.

Sonorous trombone in the chorale and flugelhorn does well with the musical lines flowing so well here. Lower dynamic levels are so well done and as we head for home the sound of the band once again comes into its own. The lyrical repose near the close is excellent nd the ending itself bold coloured and radiantly affirmative.

Overall: Such an intelligently constructed performance and for the first time we have heard the shifting moods and styles of the music captured with style.


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 11:13:50

3. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)

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On Stage — Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)

A quality opening from Pemberton and this has both momentum and detail about it. Dynamics are kept under control and the lower band supports the soloists well. This is so much better than we have heard so far.

Nicely lyrical cornet solo in the Adagio espressivo and although there are one or two little slips and intonation issues the musical picture remains intact with good support work in detail and accuracy.

Trombone stands for solo, perhaps unnecessarily, and it is a touch loose rhythmically as is the section general in the bars that follow. Sonorous trombone chorale however, this is nicely balanced and solo flugel does well. Bass solo not entirely secure but the slow music that follows is so nicely done and again, flugel soloist shines.

The approach to the close is the first that has made us sit up and listen so far and the band sound is always controlled yet exciting. This has been a fine show.

Overall: A quality show from Pemberton Old. Well put together and marked by detailed and committed playing with some lovey lyrical work in the slower sections.


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 10:53:11

2. NASUWT Riverside (Prof. Nicholas Childs)

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Prof. Nicholas Childs inspires NASUWT Riverside

The opening proceeds well although the detail is at times a touch scrambled in what is a very dry acoustic in the Opera House. Good work from principal cornet in the Adagio espressivo although the muted cornet work is untidy.

Solo trombone not entirely secure in the Ritmico and this needs more character and a touch of American glitz about it. Good band work to follow though and this drives onward well. Insecurities in the slower music that follows however and this never quite feels settled.

The ending sounds tired and it's a poor final chord with soprano struggling with tuning.

Overall: Moments of quality from NASUWT Riverside although inconsistencies in execution will have been noted by the judges.


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 10:30:26

1. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

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Jaguar Land Rover with Dave Lea open the Grand Shield action

Opens effectively but the abundant detail of the score is not always heard with clarity and ensemble lacks cohesion. Terrific work solo euphonium!! E bass insecure into the Adagio and there are so many tuning issues here with solo entries often clipped and nervy.

Trombones do well to open the Ritmico although again there are issues of precision and ensemble as this section progresses.

Excellent low level dynamics in the slow destine that follows but again there are so many uncomfortable individual entries and and as the pace quickens the ensemble become increasingly untidy.

Overall: An error strewn opening account from Jaguar Land Rover and a sign perhaps of how challenging the bands are going to find the test piece.


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 09:58:42

Queuing to get in

The box office opened at 8.30 but there is a big demand for people to get in so there will be a short delay to the start of the Shield in the Opera House.


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 09:47:18

The Grand Shield:

The Opera House
Test Piece: The Triumph of Time (Peter Graham)

Commence: 10.00am
Draws: 9.00am & 12.30pm

Adjudicators: Nigel Boddice MBE & Garry Cutt

1. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
2. NASUWT Riverside (Professor Nicholas Childs)
3. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)
4. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
5. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)
6. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)
7. Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)
8. City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith) (Dewi Griffiths)
9. Llwydcoed (Christopher Turner)
10. Aldbourne (Dr David Thornton)

Other competing bands:

Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie)
East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)
Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)
Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
Tongwynlais Temperance (Andreas Kratz)
Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)
Woodfalls (Dr Robert Childs)


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 09:23:27

The Grand Shield:

The Opera House
Test Piece: The Triumph of Time (Peter Graham)

Commence: 10.00am
Draws: 9.00am & 12.30pm

Adjudicators: Nigel Boddice MBE & Garry Cutt

Aldbourne (Dr David Thornton)
Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)
Camborne Town (Kevin Mackenzie)
City of Cardiff (Mellingriffith) (Dewi Griffiths)
East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)
Filton Concert Brass (Tom Davoren)
Friary Guildford (Chris King)
Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
Hepworth (Leigh Baker)
Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
Llwydcoed (Christopher Turner)
Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
NASUWT Riverside (Professor Nicholas Childs)
Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)
Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)
Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
Tongwynlais Temperance (Andreas Kratz)
Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)
Woodfalls (Dr Robert Childs)


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 09:21:09

Today's judges

The three sets of judges who will make the only decisions that count today are:

Grand Shield: Nigel Boddice MBE & Garry Cutt
Senior Cup: Michael Fowles & Roger Webster
Senior Trophy: Paul Andrews & Ryan Breen

Messrs Andrews, Breen, Cutt & Fowles are making their Spring Festival judging debuts today and we wish them good luck along with Nigel and Roger (who've been here before) a very pleasant days listening in the box.


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 09:17:41

Good morning from sunny Blackpool

Good morning from a gloriously sunny Blackpool where as they say in these parts — it's cracking the flags.

Lots to enjoy outdoors today then for the locals and visitors whilst here in the Winter Gardens, 60 bands are vying for the three titles with the Grand Shield contenders in particular hoping today is the day they become champions and can head for Symphony Hall in September.


Grand Shield

Saturday 12, 06:21:40

Welcome to Blackpool!

Make yourselves comfortable folks. We'll be bringing you live coverage of all 3 sections here from the Winter Gardens Blackpool.

Get in the mood by catching up with out contest previews...




Enderby Band - Enderby Band Christmas Concert

Monday 17 December • Enderby Church. Corner of Leicester Lane/Blaby Road. Enderby. Leicestershire LE19 4AR


Foden's Band - Little Lever High School

Tuesday 18 December • Little Lever High School ,Church Street, Little Lever, Bolton, BL3 1BT


The Wigston Band - The Wigston Band Christmas Concert

Thursday 20 December • St Thomas Church, South Wigston LE18 4TA


Regent Hall Concerts - Royal Greenwich Brass Band

Thursday 20 December • St Alfege Church. 3 Greenwich Church Street SE10 9BJ


The Wigston Band -

Thursday 20 December • St Thomas Church, South Wigston LE18 4TA


Haslingden & Helmshore Brass Band

December 18 • Haslingden & Helmshore, North West 1st Section Brass Band. . MD Mr. Simon Cowen (Principal Trombone with RLPO) . Require 2 front row Cornet players & Percussionist to complete the band. . A very sensible mix of engagements with rehearsals every Tuesday 8pm


Meltham and Meltham Mills Brass Band

December 18 • We have a vacancy for a Soprano and BBb Bass to complete the line up for the areas. Nice Schilke Sop sat waiting for the right person! The band currently competes in the 2nd Section and has a full program of concerts and contests.


The Corsham Band

December 18 • The band are currently looking for an experienced Back Row Cornet Player to join our friendly and enthusiastic team. Second or Third Cornet position available.


Jack Capstaff

Bmus (Hons)
Conductor | Composer