Last Sunday the band took to the stage at Blackpool’s infamous Winter Gardens as part of the 2017 North West Regional Championships.
The test piece selected for Second Section was Dean Goffin’s unforgiving ‘Rhapsody in Brass’, originally written for the 1949 British Open Championships. With many challenges to conquer, 21 competing bands performed for adjudicators Stephen Roberts and Kevin Wadsworth and, in the words of brass band website 4barsrest, “no band emerged unscathed”.
The band’s performance was a spirited attempt, opening with bravado and character which moved into lyrical playing with breadth and emotion. The warm sounds of the slow movement had flow and shape, enabling some mellifluous horn playing (George Lawryshn) to shine through.
Solos from principal cornet (Claire Holt) and soprano cornet (Jonathan Downing) further enhanced an engaging performance, which was deemed by the adjudicators to impart stylish musicality. Despite this, not all of the challenges could be overcome on the day and the band were placed 11th overall.
MD James Holt said: “Rhapsody in Brass has proved a very stern test for the band, different to many pieces recently selected. It is a fantastic piece of music and the band have enjoyed getting to grips with it. Whilst today may not have been our absolute best, there were some magical moments of real quality and I am extremely proud of all the players, and they should be too. Our sincere congratulations go to all prize winners, especially those who are going on to represent the North West at the Finals, where they will have our full support.”