2019 National Championship of Great Britain
Podium place adjudications

This is what Rob Wiffen, Dr Roberts Childs and Alan Morrison wrote about the performances of the top three bands, Cory, Black Dyke and Whitburn in their adjudications at the Royal Albert Hall.


1. Cory
Band: No 13

Good opening - well structured. 

A - lucid and well spaced then flowing on to 13
2 before B neatly done. B - Good shearing the balance here. C (TICK)

D - going well 
E - liking the way this is interpretated
F - very well done

93 - sop & rep - nicely done
G - great dynamics and control - sop loud but good. Lovely warmth into H.
131 - going well trombs 134 and dynamics observed

J - detailed and balanced but with power
L - so well shaped

171 into M - lots of shape and poise - just minor slip or 2 
P - second of P not connected but lots of colour and control in the musical shape.
R - lovely playing 

261 - well controlled
S - lontano at last!
Flugel (tick)
T - so well done band

V - fast but building this bands quality
W (tick)
X - controlled abandon
Z - well worked

374 - Nice ensemble
AA - fine quality to this semi work here
BB - colours well-brought out. Very assured and controlled.
DD - Victorious ending

So commanding an interpretation and exceptional playing. So good!

Rob Wiffen

Good strong start and a delicate chorale.
B - Joyful sounds and lots of detail. Presto, great balance - super percussion.
F - Great atmosphere - very good transition into G
Super solo cornet (and piano) sop couldn’t match the dynamic unfortunately (108)

Troms 134 OK
J - Wow! This has some excitement - so fierce.

168 - great timps/slight glitch before farandole
M - super dance feel - all good. 
P - just lacks the detail of previous bars
R - well balanced trio and all round classy sounds - fine sop!

264 - great atmosphere
S - At last “lontano” - flug good.
T - Super! Fanfares great - cheeky bari - great flug to close 

Fugue - fast but clear, clean and so well balanced. Percussion well integrated.
V - just a bit scrappy
Z - has suspense and threat!

374 - Super
AA - Here we go! Percussion great - everything is so well balanced

An inspiring and superbly exciting performance. Great conductor, great soloists, great band


Dr Robert Childs 

A dynamic start with purpose. Sweet cornet and sympathetically accompanied. Dominated by euph from 12/13. Tasteful to B.

This now has character and clarity and an impressive technique. A well organised link to F. Controlled in dynamic and tuning with a super transition to B.

Cornet a little sharp but so musical. Sop doesn’t get in seamlessly but this is serene music making that tingles the spine. The contrasts are huge and the technique is breathtaking.

Super timp playing but minor slips in cornet. M has a clear rhythmic structure and a decisive like fell that engages the listener. Ensemble mostly is tight but the character is so well portrayed.

R - so simple and effective, perfectly phrased. Sop does well to stay ahead of the band in dynamics which is huge sounding.   S - a good lontano effort.

Cheeky flugel in character. Super duet with good contributions from baritone & flugel. 

U - up tempo but it is clear and generates excitement from the off. Sop not clean and it momentarily loses flow but returns in spades. Percussion is just right. Fantastic build in dynamic before a moment of repose.

AA sets off at a pace but it is clear as a bell in technique. Monster sounds are heard in the lower end but nothing is ever hard or over the top. A momentous ending to a fantastic show.     

What music, what technique, what soloists. Take a bow Mr MD, that was musicianship of the highest order that took this contest to a new level.

Alan Morrison

2. Black Dyke
Band: No 4

Why timp after the pause?

A - nicely done - good style and blend and piano
13 - good band tone here and declamato (sic) - nice
2 before B good

B - well judged and not overplayed - balance well done
Good E sop!
D - big waves of sound - but good 

79 - big emphasis moments - this really good change of beating (sic)

92 - not quite - shame - nice links to G - and has lovely blend and sense of time - well done.
sop H - good - really enjoying this. Well blended, balanced and shaped. 

134 - troms work

J - again - carefully played and balanced - and triumphant to L
Well into M. M - gain - excellent balance. O - good work - nice work from the basses.

P - takes a few bars to completely settle but them some great detail - excellent xylo. 
R - classy solo cornet - nice ensemble. Power and majesty at 255 then good dynamic contrasts. 
S - expressive soloists. Good flugel
T - really nice shaping – cornets just a fraction out at 285 - virtuoso bari!
U - controlled and with detail

324 - unlucky sop - but there is excellent piano control
Y -  real effort with the articulation

376 - not quite together
AA - shifting - but the band can play it.
399 - obvious cornets point at us - but dramatic!   And great close to the end.

I really enjoyed this - had so many good things. A performance of the very highest quality.

Rob Wiffen  

A powerful and committed start and a beautiful chorale - expressive.

B - Very good clarity from top to bottom. Presto - good
F - Good start, fanfare? Nice sop
G - nice flow and beautiful soloists. Clarity in fanfares this time. 134 good trombones 
J - so much spirit!

All the voices come through. 168 - excellent timp

M - Great tempo! This really dances! Bravo.
R - Good cornet and generally very spacious and musical
S - Well done (lontano) Flug cheeky!
T - Nice vibrato. Euph just a bit sharp to end. Baritone fine.

Fugue: Good tempo and so well played – so much detail and musicality.

331 - great
So exciting!

374 - not quite together
AA - Super detail and the music builds all the time. Super percussion not over the top but always heard.
What a close - Great!

An inspiring performance in so many ways. Great clarity, great musicality and tremendous playing throughout. Only the smallest of errors.

Dr Robert Childs 

A super start with style and panache. Expresisve solo cornet but simple in style.

Dynamics work so well and it is so well detailed. B has clarity and the cascades are clear. Super work through to E and you structure the layers.

Slight blip in fanfare but duet to G is serene. This flows and lilts along with all lines linked and smooth. The slight pushes of dynamic life the music off the page.

Troms make it work from 134. Good transition and the playing has depth with control. Excellent percussion and good movement into M.

Carefully crafted sounds here and mutes work well. The music has the dance feel and the fragments link together to provide musical coherence.

R - beautiful cornet then a soaring sop that sits on top exactly right. A distant duet and cheeky flugel. The duet is as one and engrossed in each other. Super baritone. Flugel detailed - there is so much music and detail into U.

The fugue is controlled and the structure is carefully moulded to include the detail without constraining the tempo which is just right.  Solo lines are prominent. Bar 374 quartet not together but the extremes are found. 

Percussion are restrained and add colour. Well done sop - you lead without dominating. 

A monster sound at 405 and the ending lit the fuse to rightly bring the house down.

So much musical nous here that brought the piece to life. Super soloists and a musical reading of coherence with measured judgement. Super playing throughout - well done!

Alan Morrison


3. Whitburn
Band: No 14

Good opening (sic) - don’t like timp sound after band pauses
A (tick)

Well controlled to B
C - could be more 
D - good rhythmic detail and assured playing.
F - untidy entry

91/92 - good
Slight clip to G. 
G - nice style - maybe slightly hurried. This is all fine but has no problems.

134 - good trombs.
J - technically assured here

169 - timp fades away.
171 - a casualty 

M - sounds 4 - in bar (sic) - maybe not - but it sounds that way. Lots of good soloists 

P - nice driving sounds here. Very technically assured and accurate. A little untidy before R.

Corents at R very stylish. A little too much solo horn but (sic) this enjoyable - lots of quality in this full band tone. 

Good links to S – good soloists but not lontano - euph a little sharp on top Gs.

Good character to flugel solo.

T - strong - bari solo - just a little untidy in the accomp. 
V - a little scrappy into bar 2 & 305. 2nd of V xylo 
317 - don’t get louder.
W - 2nd minor slip
Y - neat detail & accents. Nice control at 374

AA - 380 - just a little untidy. 
Bar before CC - an early bass entry

A really good band- and an accurate performance. It possibly could have offered a little more in this interpretation and shaping but very fine playing.

Rob Wiffen
Very bold opening and a musical chorale to follow.

B - so much detail and well balanced - the music has drive and purpose
F - unlucky euph to start - great bass sound - sop clip!

9 - beautiful cornet & trom - seamless take-over cornet & sop 107
H - good. 134 excellent trombones.
J - so much fear and excitement - detail in bags!

168 - good timps - A glitch before farandole!
O - great bass sound - This doesn’t ‘dance’ as much as I expected. 226 super sop/ not quite together to close 
R - beautiful trio/fine sop

S - good playing but not ‘lontano’/flugel not quite
T - sounds rushed and is more than mp/nice baritone/good flugel to lose
U - good character and great percussion playing - just the odd moment of uneasy ensemble.
Y - good 

374 - expressive
AA - The excitement is building bar by bar!
A ‘titanic’ ending.

A stylish performance - self assured in so many ways.

Dr Robert Childs    

A purposeful start with power. Contrasted at A with simplicity and class cornet work.

Well balanced to B. This has clarity and a blistering technique with a fantastic bass end sound.  Nothing overdone and all is so well organised. Euph clip at F and balance is not quite right here. Not the most comfortable section to F.

Seamless and flowing line from corent & sop. Why break the phrase into H? Serene lines though with strong triplets. Good troms.

The technical work has so much clarity. Little blips do detract though! 

M has the right dance feel and it all fits into the structure so well. Solo lines are virtuosic and the technique is impressive. Sfz notes not quite together at 239+

R not quite balanced in parts. Sop does well and the band allowed us to hear it.

S not matched in soloists and is hurried in some semi-quavers. Flugel not exact or rubato successful. Just a little disappointing through this section.

U has some untidy entries and it doesn’t quite convince in the technique like earlier. Good contrasts from 374 if not clean as early semi-quaver entries.

Sop does well despite one slip and lower end is sonorous.

Big sounds from 405 and a well organised ending of huge proportions.

So much fantastic playing on show here but it just lost its way in the central section for me. A musical reading nonetheless.

Alan Morrison

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