The bands entering the National Brass Band Area Contest in Torquay have been named.
The contest starts at 10am for the Second Section on the Saturday. We will be performing Edward Gregson's The Plantaganets to the two adjudicators, who are Lt Col Nick Grace RM & David Thornton. Chorum Records will be there as well, recording the whole event and producing a CD of the winners.
For more information, visit the West of England Brass Band Association website.
After a lazy Sunday morning (25th November) most of the Band met at the club ready for the coach to leave at 2pm (the members coming from Wales chose to make their own way). Spirits were subdued on the way up a rain-soaked M5 towards Leicestershire. The rehearsal / warm-up / final run-through was scheduled for 5.30pm and the coach made good time, dropping us off early: plenty of time for a drink and a biscuit, accompanied by a band rehearsing Between the Moon and Mexico.
After weeks of rehearsals, the time had come to put our hard work on stage. Our eminent leader had chosen a piece to push us to our limits, with Bruce Broughton's California Legend, written in 1986 and used in the Area Finals that year.
At 11am on Sunday, 18th the Band met for the morning warm up and final run-through. The draw, at 12 noon, gave us the number three slot (out of 8 bands) and, after a slight delay and a confusion over uniform, our contest was under way.
Welcome to the Cinema!
Sunday, 16th September, 2012 saw the Band take part in the Wychavon Festival of Brass, an entertainments contest held this year in Droitwich Spa. The pre-draw gave us the number one slot. Our theme this year was "Film" and the programme started with the band being ushered to their seats followed promptly by the 20th Century Fox Fanfare. Waiting in the wings were Laurel and Hardy (aka. Philip and Claire, our euphonium players) and they entered to the theme tune of the L&H films. Another Fine Mess followed, a euphonium duet arranged by Sandy Smith of various tunes used in their films, with dancing and an inflatable hammer all part of the act!
On Saturday, City of Bristol Brass Band competed against 7 other bands (including the Welsh Regional champions, Goodwick and runners-Up Llwydcoed) in the South East Wales Brass Band Association (Ebbw Vale) contest. The rehearsal at 11.30 was a good one (most likely due to the excellent teas, coffees and bacon butties available!) but our performance on stage was not our best. As is usual, we came off comparing it to other performances of the test-piece, Cross Patonce (Goff Richards).
The band travelled to Torquay for the Regional Championships to try and gain a place at the national finals in Cheltenham. With a disappointing result last year, the band was looking to bounce back and try and take a step forward in returning to the First Section. After an early morning rehearsal, the band took to the stage playing number 2 in a strong field of 16 bands. The band felt they played well, especially given the musical and technical difficulties in this year's set test piece Cross Patonce by Goff Richards.
Waiting to perform
On the 20th November 2011 the City of Bristol Brass Band made their way over the River Severn to Coleford for probably the last time. Don't worry: the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association contest is still going strong but next year it will be held in Ross!
The Band chose to play The New Colonial by R.B. Hall as their March and the test piece was the same as they chose for Torquay 2 weeks earlier: the fantastic Suite Gothic by Leon Boellmann.
In rehearsal before the Contest
After a long diversion round the terrible accident the night before on the M5, the Band grouped on time at Westlands School in Torquay for its morning rehearsal. A little nip and tuck here and there and then off to the Riviera Centre to the contest.
The test piece was the fantastic Suite Gothique Suite by Leon Boellmann. Everything went OK on stage and the performance put the band at a very creditable 4th out of 8.
A Very Entertaining Contest:
For the first time since 2004, the Band entered the Wychavon Entertainment Contest. Although now competing in the second section, the Band was hoping to make an impact against what was a strong line up of 10 bands. The Band, which is now not unfamiliar with entertainment contests, was to play a short program of music to entertain the audience and adjudicators alike. The pieces that were played were Fanfare of Daffodils (from Five Blooms in a Welsh Garden); tenor horn solo, Over the Rainbow; Be A Clown; Elegy (from Entertainments) and Children of Sanchez.
After a reasonable result at Torquay 2 weeks ago (6th November) where the band was placed 2nd playing Philip Sparke's Kaleidoscope, the Band travelled a little closer to home to the Forest of Dean's Five Acres Theatre. This was the GBBA's annual March and Testpiece contest.
Rehersals went well with a few slips but nothing too bad, even the percussionists were banging the right things in the right places! (Thanks to Bream band for letting us use their bandroom for a final blow before the contest.) So after a tale or two from the MD, we set off for the Theatre.
The band was drawn 3 out of 4 bands in section 'B' and duely waited their turn. Once on stage the band started their march, Mephistopheles and then onto the Testpiece, Kaleidoscope.