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2023 British Open Championship
Podium place adjudication remarks

This what the judges had to say in their written remarks about Foden's, Valaisia and Tredegar's performances of 'Sand and Stars' at the British Open on the weekend.

1.
Band No: 15
Foden’s

Mysterious start full of colour and super flugel soloist.

An Extraordinary Adventure
A resolute start, great tempo and the music is full of detail.
72-82: Secure pitching and energetic
107: Super detail in troms and cornets
148: Bravo troms – very effective
What a dramatic build up to the crash – wow!
191-208: A great team of soloists, just the odd glitch from one or two, but a good uniformed style

Between the Sand and Stars
Beautiful cornet and euphonium playing
227: Lovely flugel tone and horn joins in to make a perfect duet.
249: Good detailed playing
257: Great style 
Euph Cadenza: Excellent
Cornet Cadenza: Excellent
283: Great well balanced trombones, so noble
291: Expressive sop solo

Across the Desert:
Fantastic percussion work which sets-up this Arabic dance so well.
364: Tremendous trombones. This is so exciting – and a real celebration to the end.

A super show – great soloists – great band – great MD.
Bravo!

Dr Robert Childs


Secure and impressive opening – well played flugel.

16: Exciting and rich in bravura which is entirely consistent throughout this section.

146: Trombone motif worked effectively and this section takes us into the crash section brilliantly!
191: Slight glitch at 197. All soloists acquitting themselves well and there was an interaction between you all that was really effective.

208: Liked the sound and phrasing of cornet and then euphonium – really exquisite.
227: Vibraphone works well here and flugel excellent.
235: Very atmospheric – again percussion are contributing to this. Brilliantly negotiated MD and band.
267: Fabulous euphonium! And well played cornet.
280: Works for you…
283:  Noble it is - beautiful!
291: Sop well negotiated (those Eb, F#s) – some really stunning playing.

303: Shaped and poised – and technically well executed too.
364: Troms – excellent
387: Fabulous! – sop coming over well 388/391

Loved the transition in 423! Percussion driving the band so well
467: Electric! Just a fabulous performance!

An outstanding interpretation MD and a brilliant performance from the band

Thank you

Dr Stephen Cobb


Atmospheric opening and good soloist.

16: Has expectancy and a sense of excitement, but could be a little clearer in detail.
It is accurate though and virtuosically executed. 127 is fine. Be careful the percussion is not too loud.

The Crash – trombones do well! And the power of this band is impressive.
Bari solo has a hiccup, but others continue with fluency.

208: Some untidy ensemble but dynamics so well controlled and sound quality is intoxicating.
235: Good balance and clarity in demis is good too.
257 is sonorous. Splendid solo euph – outstanding!
Good dynamics from solo cornet – well played. Very good troms etc – lovely quality of sound.
291: More nice sounds.

303: Is quite fast, but you are up to it and the virtuoso techniques you have are impressive. Fine trombones! It all cruises along with fabulous sounds and breathtaking virtuosity.

A stunning performance of rich sonorities, breathtaking virtuosity and stylish soloists

Stephen Roberts



2.
Band No: 4
Valaisia

Good start, so many colours in the accompaniment. Flugel sounds a little uncomfortable.

An Extraordinary Adventure
Some super detailed playing. Great percussion.
77-87: Pitching not always secure
122: Good cornets and troms
127: Sounds are brittle
148: Good troms
180: Super climax
191-208: Good soloists and a fine uniformity of style

Between the Sand and Stars
Beautiful cornet solo and sympathetic accompaniments. Great euph solo
227: Good (229 euph 2?) Nice flugel solo. Wonderful soft pp dynamic – bravo!
257: Excellent
Euph Cadenza: Great detail, great sound. Outstanding!!
Cornet Cadenza Super playing.
283: Noble as it should be
291: Excellent soprano. Well graded transition into 303.

Across the Desert
Great dance feel – super percussion.
364: Troms not quite! Impressive dynamic throughout. So musical – bravo MD.
423: Excellent balance. What a tremendous build to a super exciting close.

Wow! What a performance – bravo band and congratulations to a fine MD.

Dr Robert Childs


 Atmospheric percussion at commencement. Sounded a little nervous from the flugel but 12/13 lovely.

16: Energy, accuracy – played!
77: Good . Appreciating the detail
127: Fabulous!
146: Tricky but well worked out – very effective.
176: Crash sequence – very atmospheric.
191: Change of mood effective – and appropriate ‘Arabic’ approach. Baritone and subsequent soloists well handled all. 
Bravo cornet at 208 – appreciated the long phrases – made musical sense – and the euph ditto. That was extremely well presented!
235: Good synergy between perc and brass – good pp and equally good definition.
257: Faith/hope expressed effectively 
261: Worked
267: Wow! Fabulous euphonium. Poise and musicianship from the cornet – than you both.
283: Stlystically enjoyed the troms. Sop well played (minor slip with bari around 296/297 but well played)

303: Character and spirit – bravo flugel
364: A couple of minor slips but again full of character and musicianship.
406: Excellent transition to 423 works – exceptional euph playing here.
449: Worked and into 457 too
462: Full glorious sounds.

Impressive ending to an outstanding performance. Wonderful interpretation MD and highly accomplished playing from the band.

Dr Stephen Cobb


Atmospheric and well controlled opening.

16 has nicely articulated sense of excitement.
The musical canvas is nicely painted but 140 gets a little hard in tone quality. 

The crash has good detail and musical imagery. Soloists are fluent and expressive.

208: Well controlled solo cornet and euph – good lyricism. Section is musically shaped.
235: Semi-demis very well articulated with fine dynamic control too.
Fine euphonium cadenza – absolutely stunning!! Solo cornet also very good. Nice troms.
291: Lovely musicality – well played.

303: Superb melody from ensemble. This flows with engaging musical narrative – no moment is dull. Dynamics are impressive too.
423: Good balance here.
449: Great sounds.

What a sensational performance!

You brought such an intense musical and dramatic colour out of the score and soloists performed like angels.

Stephen Roberts


3.
Band No: 14
Tredegar

Fine mysterious start and super flugel playing.

An Extraordinary Adventure
So much detail on show and such quality sounds. Well integrated percussion.
140: Nice style
148: Good effort troms
160: Well graded dynamics
180: Definitely “with fire”.
191: Effective percussion – super bass trom sounds – quality baritone solo.
200 -208: Sometimes a little loud, but dramatic

Between the Sand and Stars
Super soloists but the accompaniments are edging on being too loud.
227: Love this flugel and horn duet, but basses too loud?
Some minor intonation between perc and muted cornets.
Euph Cadenza: Good but low notes sound uncomfortable. Cornet Cadenza: Good, almost perfect.
283: Great noble style. Troms and basses – maybe peasante was overdone?
291: Nice sop solo.

Across the Desert:
So exciting – great tempo and a uniformity of style throughout the various sections. Great percussion
406: Exciting and great crescendo to the super ending.

An exciting performance full of drama. Great soloists and a wonderful “reading”. Bravo!

Dr Robert Childs


Beautiful opening from flugel (and percussion) – bravo.

16: Real attention to detail evidenced here. Vibraphone effective at 63. Dynamic playing throughout (good sop at 113)
127: Great sound – real quality.
146: Well played trombones – scintillating build up to the crash sequence…

189: Yes! Haunting. Bass trom/bari well played – all soloists in fact.
208: Beautiful cornet sound (a slip I know but still beautiful) Subsequently euph.

224: Measured well
240: Quintuplets effective. Percussion judiciously played.
257: A couple of blemishes
264/265: Delicate
267: Some tonal euphonium playing and character in the cornet playing too – 280 worked for you.
283: Yes, it was ‘noble’ – sop at 291 well done. 301/302 – not entirety satisfying here.

303: A good tempo and the band are technically so good.
364: Characterful playing from the band.
413: Effective.
423: Percussion driving the band effectively – tune effectively refined – works well – excellent ff at 449 and not overdone.
467: Again, not overdone and an ending really thought out and worked.

Excellent interpretation MD and well played band.

 Dr Stephen Cobb


Fluent opening with luscious flugel solo

16: Has a keen sense of excitement and good clean articulation. Some slips around 82.

A little untidy at 113. 136 a bit forced but impressive.
Crash pause a bit short and abrupt but you can crash in lots of ways I guess! Fluent soloists demonstrate their expressive skills with some virtuosity.

208: Tubas could be quieter and indeed the pp accompaniments tend to be loud.
27: Good solos. Careful with intonation with percussion and mutes. This section is working well though.
257: Fine euphs/baris
Confident and assured euph solo as is the solo cornet.
283: Slightly retrained, but lovely sound. Good sop at 291.
299: Careful of intonation.

312: Has appealing swagger and soloists display virtuoso techniques. Impressive trombones. The whole caravan whisks through the musical sands with wonderful virtuosity.

A stunning performance. The final sections were a wonder of virtuosity and character, and the soloists proved their mettle throughout.

Stephen Roberts 

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