page 3 british bandsman
The leading international brass band magazine
Regular Contributors and Consultants
Dr Joel Collier
Dr Jonathan Corry
Dr Liz Lane
John Stirzaker ARPS
Glenn Van Looy
Dr Keith Wilkinson
Across the country, households are frantically trying to ensure babysitters are organised,
shirts are being ironed before having 'dinner', which consists of squeezing in a late-night
sandwich - it can only be those nights in the build-up to the Regional Championships, when
life is juggled, one way or the other, around a busy rehearsal schedule.
The North West saw its contest take place last weekend, with Blackpool's Winter Gardens a
hive of activity which saw all five sections take place in one day - well done to the organisers
for keeping everything ticking over. It made for an intense, engaging day of listening and
an interesting marker for the weeks to come. Across the levels, the finest performances
generally rose to the top of the pile but regardless of the level, the same issues threatened
to detract from bands' performances: playing the notes and rhythms together, with good
balance and a pleasing sound, while in tune. The need for the basics to be intact is so
important across the board though of course, the consistency is expected to rise as one
rises through the sections. After that, it was interesting to note how conductors sought,
each in their own different ways, to bringing the performances to life.
Although standards were, at times, variable, there was much to enjoy and it was celebration
time for the bands which found themselves in the prizes. This weekend sees Wales become
the focal point of the action. Which bands will join the qualifiers at the National Brass Band
Championships? We'll find out soon.
Have a great week.
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