The annual GBBA Own Choice March and Test Piece Contest took place at All Saints Academy in Cheltenham, just down the road from the National Finals venue. With an experienced and respected adjudicator, John Winterflood, and the services of Dave Hayward as compere, the event ran smoothly and all bands commented on how their bands enjoyed playing.
Class A: Championship/First Section
Own Choice test piece: 1. Forest of Dean Brass (Gareth Ritter) 2. Lewis Merthyr (Craig Roberts)
March: 1. Forest of Dean Brass 2. Lewis Merthyr
Best Instrumentalist: Thomas Dunne (euphonium) — Forest of Dean Brass Winning Conductor: Gareth Ritter
Class B: Second & Third Section
Own Choice test piece: 1. Wotton Under Edge (Ian Dickinson) 2. Arrow Valley Brass (Andy Culshaw) 3. Bream Silver (Hugh Bamford) 4= Chinnor Silver (David Pegram) 4= Pillowell Silver (Ian Whitburn)
Best Instrumentalist: Kate Giles (flugel) — Bream Silver Highest Placed Second Section Band: Wotton Under Edge Highest Placed Third Section Band: Arrow Valley Brass
March: 1. Chinnor Silver 2. Wotton Under Edge 3. Bream Silver 4. Arrow Valley Brass 5. Pillowell Silver
Class D: Training/Youth & Unregistered
1. Lydney Training (Kevin Ford) — Gold Award 2. Lydbrook Training (Robert Morgan) — Gold Award 3. City of Bristol Learners (Steve Ellis) — Silver Award
Class D Winner: Lydney Training Band Best Instrumentalist: Katie Whitfield (Trombone) — City of Bristol Learners Best section containing most youth: Cornets (Lydney Training) Youngest Player: Bertie (aged 7) — Lydbrook Training Band with most Under 14 years of age: Lydbrook Training
Special Awards: (All Classes)
Best Cornet: Louise Russell (Lewis Merthyr) Best Flugel: Kate Giles (Bream Silver) Best Horn Section: Forest of Dean Brass Best Euphonium: Thomas Dunne (Forest of Dean Brass) Best Bass Section: Chinnor Silver Best Percussion Section: Forest of Dean Brass Best Instrumentalist: Thomas Dunne (Forest of Dean Brass)
REVIEW OF THE DAY
GBBA put effort into ensuring it is an enjoyable day for all, with a relaxed atmosphere albeit in a contesting environment. The contest was run, for the first time, under the rules of a BBE BOPA, for safeguarding and data protection. Appropriate controls were put in place that added some additional administration which the competing bands embraced. There was a rehearsal room available within the complex and a warm up room prior to taking to the stage, which were appreciated by the bands. With full refreshments available, plus Mr. Tuba on hand to give advice with a range of instruments to view, it meant everyone could stay in the warm!
The contest commenced with Class D - the Unregistered and Training Band Section - with an interesting and exciting selection of pieces. The section winners were Lydney Training Band under Kevin Ford playing 'The Winter's Tale'. They were awarded a Gold Award and a music voucher. All three training bands picked up some of the special awards on offer.
The next section covered 2nd/3rd section bands where the winners of the test piece were local band Wotton-Under-Edge Silver under Ian Dickinson playing Images for Brass. The March section was won by Chinnor Silver who played Knight Templar. The adjudicator, John Winterflood, commented that "the high standard and commitment of all the bands was obvious, leading to excellent performances and a close result overall."
The final section was for Championship/1st section bands where the winners were Forest of Dean Brass under Gareth Ritter playing Ad Undas. Lewis Merthyr conducted by Craig Roberts were a close second with a fine performance of Connotations. A number of instrumental trophies were awarded where Forest of Dean Brass picked up the lion's share including Thomas Dunne being awarded 3 instrumental awards. A good day for all at a well-run and most enjoyable contest with work underway for next year.
Written by Kevin Ford, GBBA Contest Controller
For more photographs of the event, please visit GBBA's Gallery. Feel free to use these photographs for your band's publicity.