Brass in Concert Champions!


The climax of a very busy weekend saw the band regain the Brass in Concert title at The Sage, Gateshead, bringing our tally under MD Philip Harper to three firsts and a second from four attempts.

A long-standing commitment to perform at a charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall the night before put the band under huge logistical and preparation pressure, but a combination of meticulous planning along with the support of the contest organisers meant that we were able to fulfil both engagements. It was a real privilege to share the RAH stage with the gentlemen of the Grimethorpe Band. It was great to mix and swap tales without the pressure of contest day!

For our contribution to the contest, MD Philip Harper conceived a programme inspired by Empedocles’ four classic elements of the universe; Fire, Air, Water and Earth. As we expect, Phil wove this thread through an eclectic programme encompassing new music, the music of The Drifters and ending with a hunk of bold Berlioz.

Winning Brass in Concert is a difficult prospect due to the complex scoring system, after all, one person’s entertainment is another person’s root canal work! All it takes is for a band to displease one adjudicator from a panel of six and a band can find itself making the long trip home empty handed. We won the prizes for ‘Programme Content’ and ‘Best Entertainment’ pleasing the majority of adjudictors in the process and took the silverware back home to the Rhondda. Congratulations to our individual award winners, who include our Composer-In-Association, Christopher Bond, for his beautiful Aristotle’s Air.

Our individual award winners were:

  • Best Horn: Ailsa Russell.
  • Don Lusher Trombone Award: Christopher Thomas.
  • The Louis and Colin Johnson Trophy for Best Percussion Section.
  • Best Entertainment and Presentation.
  • Best Programme Content.
  • New Composition/Arrangement Award: Christopher Bond (Aristotle’s Air).

Full results:

Music/Music/Content/Entertainment = Total

1. Cory (Philip Harper): (1)60pts/(3)54pts/(1)40/(2)19/(1)20=193pts
2. Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr Robert Childs): (2)57pts/(1)60pts/(2)38pts/(1)20/(9)12=187pts
3. Flowers (Paul Holland): (4)51pts/(2)57pts/(6)30pts/(3)18pts/(5)16pts=174pts*
4. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke): (5)48pts/(5)48pts/(3)36pts/(4)17pts/(6)15pts=166pts*
5. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray): (3)54pts/(7)42pts/(5)32pts/(7)14pts/(3)18pts=160pts
6. Leyland (Thomas Wyss): (6)45pts/(6)45pts/(8)26pts/(6)15pts/(10)11pts=142pts
7. Woodfalls (Paul Lovatt-Cooper): (9)36pts/(4)51pts/(9)24pts/(11)10pts/(7)14pts=135pts
8. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths): (7)42pts/(8)39/(7)28/(9)12pts/(11)10pts=131pts
9. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Alan Morrison): (8)39pts/(9)36pts/(11)20pts/(5)16/(4)17pts=128pts
10. Wingates (Paul Andrews): (11)30/(10)33/(4)34/(10)11pts/(2)19pts=127pts
11. Friary Guildford (Chris King): (10)33pts/(11)30pts/(10)22pts(8)13pts/(8)13pts=111pts

*two points deducted, time penalty

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