Published on February 23rd, 2020 by gavin

LIVE: NW Regional Championships 2020 – Championship

Final Thoughts & Prediction

Wow, what an engaging contest on such a great piece. Every band here today has found music in it, but also found the difficulties of the piece. Props go to the Principal Cornet players today. Every single Cornet cadenza was excellent! The bands that feature well today, will be the ones that found the music, but then played the details as well. Lots to be found in the score, for sure.

We’re going to go for:

  1. Fodens
  2. Fairey
  3. Leyland
  4. Milnrow
  5. Wingates
  6. Pemberton Old Wigan DW

Dark Horse: Rainford


Band #12 – Oldham (Lees)

Good opening. Nice and tidy. The lower end melody flows well. Cornet detail can be heard. Balance not always perfect. Good band sound into the FF. Good playing in to 32. Plenty of detail can be heard. Some slight overblowing in places. Euph/Sop not always together. Good lyrical playing. Bravo Sop! Watch intonation. Nice close to finish.

Slightly loose opening to the 2nd movement. Watch the tuning in the longer notes. Nice flow into the Euphonium solo. Euphonium does mostly well. Good Euphonium cadenza. Nice trombone chorale. Baritone does well. A touch of nerves in the Horn cadenza. Well done Principal Cornet! Lovely flugel and following quartet. The PP section works well, just watch tuning as the band crescendos. Good effort Trombone. Nice close.

Another brisk tempo for the 3rd movement. Most of the detail can be heard. Great bass sound! This is full of excite and is just bubbling away. Euph/Sop duet excellent, just watch intonation. The detail being heard is excellent, just the odd tuning issue again. This is full of excitement as we get to the finale. Not always tight, but certainly engaging. Plenty of energy driving this last section! Great percussion. The band are giving it there all.

Overall – A very solid performance from Oldham this. Had plenty of detail, energy and engaging playing. Perhaps not the winner, but could potentially be up there! Lots to commend there.


Band #11 – Milnrow

Good secure opening. Most of the detail can be heard. The lower end melody could flow a little more. Great band sound on the FF. Uneasy trombone. In to 32 good. Little scrappy in places. The tempo is pushing and we’re loosing clarity. The more lyrical passages are good. Euph/Cornet duet not quite there. Well done sop! This has more detail towards the end. Great ending to close.

Good opening, just missing a little magic. The intonation sits really nice and the music flows into the Euphonium solo. A touch of nerver perhaps in the Euphonium solo, but well played. Euphonium cadenza good. Trombone chorale has intonation issues. Baritone cadenza good. Well done Horn! Good cadenza from cornet. The quartet is a touch slow. The PP section nicely played. Just the little bit of intonation creeping in on cornets. The crescendo works well. Nice Trombone to finish.

Brisk tempo into the 3rd movement. Slightly loses clarity. Good full band sound. The tempo doesn’t really allow for the detail to come through. Untidy in the lower end. Euph/Sop duet is good. The drive is good and the band shows no signs of slowing. The lyrical passages work well in to the finale section. The tempo doesn’t allow for clarity in some of the lower end. Still, this is very engaging and exciting! Nice big band sound to finish.

Overall – A solid performance from Milnrow. The choice of tempos may have restricted the amount of music that they could have extracted from this however. Still, the band sound was big and the tempos were exciting.


Band #10 – Rainford

Slightly uneasy opening. Tuning isn’t always accurate and the detail gets lost. The lower end melody flows nicely and the detail from the cornets starts to shine through. The band does well into 32. The is a sense of purpose to this. Some very clean playing on display here. The lyrical playing is good. The Cornet/Euph duet goes well. The clarity is lost a bit towards the end of the movement.

Opening isn’t together. Tuning is good though. Nice sounds into the Euph solo. Euph does well. Euph cadenza is good. Classy baritone cadenza. Horn does well. Well done Cornet in your cadenza. Nice quartet into the PP section. Loose entry on the bar. Watch tuning as the band gets louder duing the crescendo. Good trombone to finish. Slightly loose chords.

Wow. This is motoring to start. We’re losing a bit of detail because of it. This has lots of drive and energy, but the detail isn’t always there. Euph/Sop does well, just watch the intonation. Good overall playing, still lacking detail for me. Good trombone shot notes. The bass detail is plowing through the band. Little unsteady as we head in to the finale section. Some messy playing, but some very good playing too. Good ending to close.

Overall – A mixed one from Rainford. Lots of good moments, a few rough moments and then some unsteady ones. Overall, we enjoyed it! Have they done enough to feature?



Band #9 – Wardle Anderson Brass

Nice opening. Not all the detail can be heard. Few intonation issues here and there. Lower end melody flows nicely. Full band sound is good! In to 32 works well. Slightly untidy to follow, but not out of control. Odd blips here and there don’t detract from the music. There is a good flow to this. Euph/Sop duet mostly works. Euph/Cornet duet slightly scrappy. Bravo sop! Good solid playing through this final section. Nice, clean close.

Good, secure opening to the 2nd movement. Just watch the tuning. This is being played so beautifully, but intonation detracts sadly. Euphonium solo is nicely played! Good effort in the cadenza. Trombone chorale does well. Nice Baritone & Horn cadenzas. Cornet does well! Nice quartet. The PP section is nicely played. Good tuning. Well done Sop! Good trombone to close the movement.

Slightly scrappy opening to the 3rd movement. Quickly settles. Good full band sound. The detail is not always clear. Watch tuning in Euph/Sop duet. The fragmented section just comes off. This is still full of energy in to the finale section. Slight tuning issues, nothing major. Great ending to close!

Overall – Great performance from this group of youngsters. What a sound they can create. Unfortunately, there were a few clips and tuning issues. Nonetheless, a performance the band should be proud of!


Band #8 – Fodens

Tight opening. Slightly steady perhaps. Again, all the detail is clear and can be heard. Lower end melody sings. The full band sound is huge! Nice lead in to 32. Slightly uneasy for less than a moment before the tempo settles. Lots of energy and drive. Stunning Euph/Sop duet. The accents are so precise from the lower end & percussion. Bravo Sop! Plenty to commend here towards the close.

Subtle opening to the 2nd movement. The music has loads of space, but is still allowed to flow. Euphonium solo is gorgeous. Leading into a very classy cadenza. Trombone choral works well. Well done Baritone & Horn! Slightly loose into the tutti before the Cornet cadenza. Classy cornet cadenza. Nice quartet. Not totally together on the entry to the PP section. This is stunningly quiet! And the crescendo is immense. The band are pulling all the stops here. Excellent trombone to close.

Good opening to the 3rd movement. The detail is there. The attention to detail is very apparent. Lots of dynamic contrast. Excellent Euph/Sop duet. This is so good. The bass lines can very clearly be heard. The music is moving nice, but it’s full of control. In to the finale section, this is so good. Nothing is over done. It just works. Excellent and exciting close.

Overall – Wow. That was a performance. All the fundamentals were there and the soloists were classy as! Still some loose playing at times, but so, so much to commend the band on. Is this the one to beat?


Band #7 – Fairey

Solid opening. All detail can be heard clearly. The lower end melody flows nicely. Great band sound, and nice trombone. In to 32 works well, and there is a real sense of purpose to this. There’s so much control and so much detail. The dynamic contrast is excellent. Euph/Cornet duet is lovely. Odd untidy moment, but there is so much good playing on show here! The band is pulling so much music from the detail. Fantastic close to the 1st movement.

Very slight intonation issues to start the 2nd movement, but the music flows along well. Euphonium solo is so well played, just the odd bit of intonation here and there. Excellent Euphonium Cadenza,. Trombone chorals are stunning. Baritone does well. Horn cadenza is very well played. Cornet cadenza sounds effortless. The following quartet works so well. The PP section is so close to being perfection. Trombone is stunning to close.

Good opening to the final movement. The detail is not always heard, but it’s there. This is motoring along, but it works. There’s so much energy being put into this performance. Euph/Sop duet is good! All the bass lines can be heard clearly. The fragmented section is tight. The attention to detail in the dynamic contrast is very well executed. Slight issues with balance in the Trombones/Euph. In to the finale section is exciting and the music moves on. Slight intonation issues again. This is very well played! Fantastic ending!

Overall – A fantastic performance that. The band gave it everything. Odd moments here or there but nothing that detracted from the playing. This shoud definitely be up there!


Band #6 – Boarshurst Silver

Great opening. Loses some clarity into the following lines. Bit overblown into the FF, becomes a bit harsh. Good lead into 32. This sounds a little frantic. Lots of energy in this, if not a bit too much! Hasn’t quite settled yet. Flowing Euph/Cornet lines ok, just watching tuning. The detail is not always clear. Slightly untidy ending.

Good opening to the 2nd movement. Some uneasy playing. Tuning isn’t always accurate. Euphonium does well. Euphonium cadenza nearly comes off. Baritone & Horn do well. Cornet cadenza is good. The quartet works well, although a tad uneasy in places. The PP section is well done and the crescendo is effective. Good close.

Loose opening to start the 3rd movement. This sounds a little frantic. The detail is all there, just not always together. Euph/Sop duet is ok. Watching the tuning! Slowly coming together again now and the detail can be heard. Watch tuning on the upper register. Great energy into the finale section. Slight tuning issues in the lower end of the band. Excellent ending!

Overall – Another slow burner that didn’t get going until the end. Some really classy quiet playing was on show, but the loud playing was a little overblown.


Band #5 – VBS Poynton

Good opening. Melodic lines mostly good, just odd moment that doesn’t work. The relentless back row cornet parts are working well. Just watch tuning in the upper registers. Into 32 works ok. This has a good feel, if slightly frantic. Good playing up to the Euph/Sop duet. Slightly rushing the technical passages. Good trombones. Solid finish.

Tuning is suspect to open this movement. The music flows ok in to the Euphonum solo. Euphonium does well. Euphonium cadenza does mostly well. Just the odd touch of nerves. Baritone cadenza works well! Trombone choral is good. Horn cadenza mostly good. Cornet cadenza is good! Quartet works well, watch intonation. PP section a little loose, and intonation isn’t brilliant. Nerves to finish this movement.

Good opening to this. Good drive and energy. Little scrappy in places, but most of this first section comes off. Euph/Sop Duet mostly works well, just watch tuning. At risk of becoming overblown in places. The detail is mostly there throughout.  Good into the final section. The band have finally arrived! This is so good. Great ending.

Overall – A nervous one from VBS this. There were some brilliant moments, and some that didn’t quite shine. By the end of the last movement the band were in full flow. If they could’ve just had that level of concentration all the way through!


Band #4 – TCTC Group

Untidy, frantic opening. The melodic lines don’t gel properly. The louder dynamics sound quite harsh and overblown. Odd nervous line. Into 32 works mostly. This is becoming frantic and messy. The detail is being lost. Euph/Cornet duet not together. Solo lines messy. This is holding together…just. Sop does well, just watch the tuning. Slightly uneasy to finish.

Nervous start to the 2nd movement, but quickly settles. The melody flows well, just odd moments of tuning creeping in. Euph mostly does well. Euph cadenza didn’t quite come off. Trombone choral works. Baritone & Horn cadenza just spoilt by nerves. Well done Cornet! Good cadenza. The following quartet doesn’t quite work. Lead into PP section is nice. This is effective, just needs to flow more. Balance a little off in loud playing. Nervous trombone to close.

3rd movement opening slightly scrappy. Nice relaxed feel to the tempo however. Watch the balance in the full band playing. Scrappy into the Euph/Sop Duet. Underlying parts aren’t really coming off here. There’s a sense of drive about the playing. Lead into the finale section is not together. Tuning in the Trombones/Euphonium is not always good. The ending is frantic and scrappy. Well done percussion!

Overall – This was bit too much for TCTC Group today. There was some very good playing, but unfortunately some disappointing playing too. Nerves got the best of some of the soloists and the vertical lines didn’t match up.


Band #3 – Pemberton Old Wigan DW

Slightly unsteady to open. Flowing melody in lower end is solid. Cornets sound frantic at times. Nice full band sounds. Touch of nerves in to 32. Most of the detail can be heard in the semi-quavers. Just the odd moment of untidyness. Good sounds from the Sop! This has lots of energy. The band sound is nice and balanced.

Slightly unsure entry into the 2nd movement. The melody flows nicely and leads into a lovely Euphonium solo. Just the odd bit of intonation. Euphonium & Baritone cadenzas do well. Watch tuning in the trombone choral. Well done Horn! Best one so far today. Cornet cadenza is good. Untidy into pp section. This works well however with a great crescendo. Nice trombone to finish.

3rd movement starts well with plenty of energy. Music has a great sense of drive and the clarity is good. Euph/Sop duet is brilliant. Slight moments of untidyness in the fragmented section. Full band sound is good! Well balanced. Lead into the final section works well. Slightly uneasy tuning in the lower end tune. Exciting close to finish.

Overall – A fantastic performance from Pemberton this. Had everything it needed. Odd moments here and there but nothing that detracted. Shout out to the Solo Horn player, best one so far!


Band #2 – Leyland

Opening is well done. Detail comes through. Just the odd moment in the lower end melody. Great band sound in the louder dynamics. Untidy into 32. This sounds slightly frantic. Plenty of energy, just lacks some of the subtleness this section needs. Watch the tuning between the Sop & Euph. Slightly untidy in the Euph/Cornet duet. Solid full band sounds. Well done Sop! Excellent close.

The intonation isn’t brilliant to open, but soon settles. The music has plenty of space and a nice flow. Excellent euphonium solo. All mostly cadenzas work well. Trombone chorals are a little top heavy. Cornet cadenza is nicely played. The quartet is nicely played. The pp section isn’t quiet enough for me. Too much cornet. The tuning suffers as the band crescendo. Few nerves at the end of this movement.

Opening starts well. Lots of detail to enjoy. A very different style and feel to the music. Plenty of drive here. Odd moment of insecurity in the Euph/Sop duet. Watch the tempo doesn’t push. Good trombone accents. Excellent band balance allows all the detail to come out. Odd moments of intonation in the final section. Moments of frantic playing as we get to the end.

Overall – A solid account from Leyland. Some fantastic playing, just spoilt by the odd bit of wayward tuning.


Band #1 – Wingates

Tidy opening. Cornet rhythm works so well. The flowing melody in the Euphs Horns works well. Dynamic contrast into 32 works well. Detail is clear. Few clips detract. Just watch intonation in the lower end. Accents work well. All detail comes across clearly. Tight to close.

2nd movement opening could be softer, but still flows nicely. Dynamics work well. Euphonium solo starts well. Underlying parts compliment. Euphonium & Baritone cadenzas are nicely done. Trombone choral balance is good. Stunning cornet Cadenza. The following quartet is slightly loose, but still effective. The pp section (45) has good balance but the odd moment of fragility. Nice trombone to finish.

The final movement opening is 95% there, odd moments. However, this is so good! The build up to the Euph/Sop duet is well handled. Watch the intonation when the Horns take over. Watch tuning in the Sop. The odd moment of untidyness creeping in. This has plenty of drive as we get to the finale section. Watch the tempo doesn’t take off towards the end. Tidy finish!

Overall – A great opening performance from Wingates. Plenty of music and drive. The soloists all mostly did well. Just the odd moment here and there.

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