Report & Results: 2018 Brass in Concert Championship
20 bands took part over two days in the recent BBLNI ‘Brass in Concert’ Championships in Fivemiletown, N. Ireland.
Held at the excellent Valley Hotel, the event has expanded in recent years to include a Friday night concert featuring local, non-contesting bands. This year saw seven bands play to a large audience – including, for the first time, two local school bands from Omagh Academy and Enniskillen Grammar.
Saturday, the main contest day, got off to a great start with some excellent performances in the Fourth Section. Despite the early start, there was a large audience to see Poyntzpass secure victory along with the ‘Most Entertaining Band’ award.
A fine rendition of ‘Home Again’ saw Poyntzpass also take the ‘Best March’ prize, whilst Letterbreen’s Nigel Armstrong took the ‘Best Soloist’ accolade with a secure performance of ‘Blue Moon’
Wellington Memorial once again secured a clean sweep in the Third Section, continuing their excellent run of contesting performances over the last 2 years under the baton of Gary Proctor. They claimed ‘Most Entertaining Band’, the ‘Best March’ prize with their rendition of ‘Glorious Victory’ and the ‘Best Soloist’ prize with Graham McNamara’s horn solo ‘Goodbye to Love’.
A tightly fought Second Section saw defending champion Roughan reclaim their title under new conductor Stephen Crooks. They secured first place in both music and entertainment, took the ‘Best March’ prize with ‘The Cornish Cavalier’ and principal cornet, Andrew Gordon won best soloist.
Battle of the Bands
The day was rounded off by a cracking top section battle which really impressed adjudicators Alan Morrison and Frank Sweeney.
A moving rendition of the soprano cornet solo ‘On With the Motley’ gave Murley’s James Cooke his third ‘Best Soloist’ prize at this event in the last 4 years.
1st Old Boys took the best March Prize with ‘The Champions’, but it was Laganvale (Metal Technology) who took first prize overall, giving their conductor Stephen Crooks a personal double at the event. To cap things off, Laganvale were also adjudged the ‘Most Entertaining Band’ with their themed programme ‘Darkness into Light’ featuring music by Peter Graham, Ben Hollings and local composer, Brendan Breslin.
An event spokesperson told 4BR: “The Brass Band League NI would like to congratulate all the prize-winners, and all competing bands for a fantastic day of music making and entertainment. Adjudicator Alan Morrison noted how the standard of both playing and entertainment programming had improved massively across all sections since he last adjudicated in N. Ireland some 9 years ago.
We also thank Greg Williamson and his team at the Valley Hotel for all their support, without which the event would not have been possible.”
Adjudicators: Alan Morrison (Music) & Frank Sweeney (Entertainment)
1. Laganvale (Metal Technology) Band (Stephen Crooks): 10/10=20
2. 1st Old Boys Association Silver Band (Stephen Cairns): 9/8=17
3. Downshire Brass (Michael Alcorn): 8/7=15*
4. Murley Silver Band (William Hill): 6/9=15*
5. Third Carrickfergus Band (Brian Connolly): 7/6=13
*Music mark takes precedence
Most Entertaining Band: Laganvale
Best March: 1st Old Boys
Best Soloist: James Cooke (Murley)
1. Roughan Silver Band (Stephen Crooks): 10/10=20
2. CWA Brass (Ernie Ruddock): 9/8=17*
3. Ballyduff Silver Band (William Hill): 8/9=17*
Most Entertaining Band: Roughan Silver Band
Best March: Roughan Silver Band
Best Soloist: Andrew Gordon (Roughan)
1. Wellington Memorial Silver Band (Gary Proctor): 10/10=20
2. Dungannon Silver Band (Boris Pinto): 9/9=18
3. . Dynamic Brass (Harold Whan): 8/8=16
Most Entertaining Band: Wellington Memorial Silver Band
Best March: Wellington Memorial Silver Band
Best Soloist: Graham McNamara (Wellington)
1. Poyntzpass Silver Band (Bobby Davidson): 10/10=20
2. Letterbreen Silver Band (Robert Wilson): 9/9=18
Most Entertaining Band: Poyntzpass Silver Band
Best March: Poyntzpass Silver Band
Best Soloist: Nigel Armstrong (Letterbreen)