GBBA Contest 25th November 2001

The band were optimistically hopeful when we took the stage to provide the second performance of the day with our rendition of the march Punchinello and our chosen test piece Indian Summer by Eric Ball. The nerves held and a competent if not spine-tingling performance was provided. The absence of that extra sparkle to our performance of the day led to it being a day of two's all round a we finished second to Chalford Training Band in both the march, test piece, and of course best Trombone section award. As usual, our principal cornet player, Martin Musto, managed to spoil our run of second places by scooping the 'best instrumentalist' award with his outstanding playing (the adjudicators words, not ours!). 

Our congratulations go to the Chalford bands on what proved to be a successful day, with their senior band also doing well in the Section B contest.

A big thumbs up goes to Phoenix Brass for showing that it is possible to provide entertainment whilst taking part in a brass band test piece and march contest. Their renditions of the march Mississauga Spirit and the test piece Three Inventions had the audience tapping their feet and wanting to hear more. The best advert for brass banding I heard all day. The piece slightly overstretched the band on the day but their performance secured them a creditable third placing.

Sadly the Section A contest comprising bands from the National Championship and First section (plus first section - elect [City of Bristol]) left the average listener wishing they had stayed in the bar rather than inspiring potential new recruits to the banding cause. The top bands in Gloucestershire made one of two misjudgements and some both:
(a) The first was to choose pieces that were overly technically or musically demanding for the amount of time available to them. An error of judgement common to the own choice contest format but one that top level bands should not be falling in to.
(b) The second was to follow what seems to be a growing trend amongst brass bands, to compete to be the loudest! The majority of the bands in this section showed a total absence of musicianship in their failure to adjust the volume of their playing to the acoustic of the hall.

As a result of these misjudgements, none of the bands left the listener feeling they had heard a magical performance or wanting to hear more from them. Cinderford band deservedly won the test piece contest with a tightly 'played as one' performance of Malcolm Arnold's Fantasy for Brass with City of Bristol close behind. 

Hadrian Walters

Results:
Adjudicator - Malcolm Brownbill

Section C [Fourth Section]

March Test Piece
1st Chalford Training (D. Witts) 178 points 1st Chalford Training (D. Witts) 176 points
2nd Tewkesbury Town (N. Morgan) 175 points 2nd Tewkesbury Town (N. Morgan) 173 points
3rd Phoenix Brass (D. Watson) 171 points

Best Trombone Section - Chalford Training
Best Instrumentalist - Solo Cornet with Tewkesbury Town

Section B [Third and Second Section Bands]

The only results we know so far are for the test piece:
1st Chalford (S. Tubb) Second section band
2nd Bream Silver (N. Howard) Third section band

Section A [First and Championship Section Bands]

March Test Piece
1st City of Bristol (B. James) (1) 191 points 1st Cinderford (L. Baglin) (1) 190 points
2nd Flowers (P.Harper) (c) 190 points 2nd City of Bristol (B. James) (1) 189 points
3rd Flowers (P.Harper) (c) 188 points

Special Awards:
Best Horn Section - City of Bristol
Best Bass Section - Cinderford
Best Cornet Player - Cinderford
Best Flugel Player - Lydmet Lydney
Best Instrumentalist of the Day - Flowers 1st Trombone
Band with the most players under 14 years of age - Lydbrook Training [Fourth Section]

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