Last weekend was a key date for all Brass Band enthusiasts as it was the Midlands Region Qualifying Contest, where bands from the Midlands seek to earn a place in the National Finals, which are held in London (Championship Section) and Cheltenham (Sections 1 – 4) in the Autumn.
This was the first Contest that Towcester Studio Band competed in under the baton of newly appointed Musical Director, Bob Stradling. Bob has been training the Band since January. The Test piece was Partita for Band, written by Philip Wilby, and proved to be a good challenge for Section 3 bands. TSB gave a good performance with many of the solo parts played by TSB’s emerging young stars. Seventeen bands entered the competition with sixteen actually playing on the day. The 3rd Section venue was the Nicholas Chamberlaine Technical College, Bedworth.
At the completion of the playing the audience eagerly awaited the results! For those people not familiar with Brass Band competitions, there is an adjudicator, sometimes two, who is locked away in a box to avoid them knowing the performing Band’s identity. Prior to the start of the competition there is a ‘draw’ to determine playing positions such that the Adjudicator(s) may know who has entered but he or she won’t know the order of play!
The top three Bands qualified for the national finals and so it was with hope and heavy hearts that we awaited the results! Sadly TSB didn’t make the top three but we did finish a very creditable 5th. This was a very encouraging start to ‘contesting’ life under the leadership of our new MD and is a good foundation to move forward and start the climb back up the Brass Banding ladder!
On Sunday Bob’s other Band, Daventry Brass, long time neighbours and friendly rivals of TSB, won the 2nd Section! So congratulations to them and good luck in the finals. It was a good weekend for Northamptonshire Bands as Virtuosi GUS, based in Northampton, were crowned winners of the Championship Section.
So after all the hard work preparing for the Area Qualifying Contest the members of TSB return to the practice room this week to start work on Spring Concert programmes. The band will next be performing in St Lawrence Church on Saturday 10th May commencing at 7:30pm.