2023 Regional test pieces announced

Works by Philip Wilby, Phil Lawrence, Rodney Newton, Stephen Bulla and Darrol Barry will face bands at the 2023 Regional Championships.

  The set works can also be heard on the Regionals CD

The test-pieces to be used at the 2023 Regional Championships were confirmed at the recent Cheltenham National Finals.

The selections were made by the Kapitol Promotions Music Panel of Dr Robert Childs, Sandy Smith, Samantha Harrison, C. Brian Buckley and John Maines.

Championship Section:

Bands wishing to book their place at the Royal Albert Hall in October next year will have to get to grips with 'Red Priest', written in homage as a 'Concerto to Vivaldi' by composer Philip Wilby.

Inspired by the life of the composer known as 'il Prete Rosso' it captures what Wilby calls his 'musical spirit' with direct and indirect quotes from some of his most famous works as well as associations to his Venetian life.

First Section:

Philip Lawrence's 'A Day in the Life of a Knight' is inspired by what seems to be either an ordinary, or extraordinary 24 hours in the life of a 'star' knight competing in a medieval jousting tournament.

He arrives to capture the hand of a fair princess by vanquishing rival competitors, before showing himself also to be something of star on the dance floor with her in the evening reception.

After declaring his undying love, he heads off the next morning to battle a dragon, which he soon dispatches in time to make it back for the wedding.

Second Section:

Rodney Newton's 'The Pilgrim's Progress' draws its inspiration from John Bunyan's celebrated Christian allegory written in 1678 as well as Eric Ball's setting of Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Hymn'.

Written in 2003 (the centenary of Ball's birth), the composer has crafted a set of variations, each outlining a chapter in the Pilgrim's journey to the Celestial City. The work is dedicated to Bandmaster Stephen Cobb and The International Staff Band of The Salvation Army.

Third Section:

Written in 1992, Stephen Bulla's 'Chorale and Toccata' is a two-movement work based on a 16th century Palestrina choral known as 'Victory' whose words are sung as "The strife is o'er, the battle done; The victory of life is won;"

The composer offers his exploration as a slow introductory chorale followed by a technically challenging toccata.

Fourth Section:

Darrol Barry's 'Hungerford Town' celebrates the history as well as places found in the pretty Berkshire market town.

The work opens with 'The Black Prince', inspired by John O'Gaunt who was the local lord of the manor, followed by 'The Coach Road' the town's main commercial artery and its connection to London.

The tranquil beauty of 'Saint Lawrence's Church' gives way to a celebratory march, 'The Bear' inspired by the town's most famous pub.

Regional CD

The Regional CD release with performances of all the works can be purchased at:

Inspired by the life of the composer known as 'il Prete Rosso' it captures what Wilby calls his 'musical spirit' with direct and indirect quotes from some of his most famous works as well as associations to his Venetian life4BR

To purchase:

Championship Section: Red Priest (Philip Wilby)
Publisher: Prima Vista Musikk

First Section: A Day in the Life of a Knight
Publisher: Prima Vista Musikk

Second Section: A Pilgrim's Progess
Publisher: Prima Vista Musikk

Third Section: Chorale and Toccata (Stephen Bulla)
Publisher: De Haske

Fourth Section: Hungerford Town (Darrol Barry)
Publisher: Prima Vista Musikk

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