Foresters Brass - Champions!
Champions! Foresters Brass take the title at the Midlands Area contest. What a weekend! Foresters Brass are the Midlands First Section Champion Band after delivering a stunning rendition of "Land of the Long White Cloud." In an extremely tough field with strong bands, Foresters left it late to claim the first section area win in over 20 years, with a 15 draw out of 16 bands total.
The adjudicators spoke to a full Bedworth Civic Hall before their verdicts, citing the difference between bands fell down to musicality and conviction of performance. With an unusual time signature and tricky styles to capture this gave us a lot to work on in the bandroom. However, despite looming issues with our rehearsal hall, Foresters Brass went on stage very late in the order and gave the winning performance. See below for the social media reports on the day! Winning MD John Davis "I’m over the moon. Such a great achievement for the band. Achieved with hard work, amazing teamwork and a very strong sense of togetherness that makes conducting Foresters such a joy. It's such a privilege to be a small part of that team." Principal Trombone Rob Wilshaw "It's a great feeling. The band have worked hard and the spirit around the players is fantastic. To see it pay off in this fashion against strong bands in the section on a difficult piece shows the ability around the stands and the direction from the MD." Stephen Fraser, Principal Percussion quipped "I liked the bit where we won it." The band will now get back to work, aiming to deliver other strong performance in upcoming contests, such as the Enderby March and Hymn contest, as well as beginning preparations for our trip to Cheltenham in September to represent the Midlands in the National Finals.
4BarsRest write-up; Saturday 11, 15:33:02 First Section 15. Foresters Brass A well shaped opening and the atmosphere builds well through the opening bars. There are some nice touches of colour that haven't always come through in other performances today and technically the band is taking the challenges of the music in its stride. Lovely soprano to open the Larghetto and the atmosphere is again so carefully created and laid down with a distant mystery and tolling of drums prevalent. There are one or two moments when voices don't quite speak but the musical picture remains intact and this is emerging as having a real sense of engagement with the music. The final section motors along with purpose and momentum and there a vigour and bracing open air spirit that is just right whilst the final majestic statement of the opening theme is well controlled ahead of the final exhilarating bars. Overall: Such an engaging account from Foresters. Exciting and invigorating in the outer movements and warmly emotional in the central Larghetto.
British Bandsman Write-up; 15. Foresters Brass (John Davis)
A resonant start, depth of tone we haven’t heard yet today, and close attention to the details of dynamic and articulation. It’s not perfect, but the musical intentions are convincing and it is colourful. The Allegro is fast and lively, but the band is coping pretty well and those little ‘pearly’ solos are all going in. The Soprano and Solo Cornets sounded a little undernourished compared to some we’ve heard, but Flugel is strong, with a sultry tone. The processional is a bit pedestrian to start but opens up to a sumptuous double forte – lovely Euphonium sound. The MD makes a huge pause before the Fugato, in which the details are clear. A pity about the smudge going into the big reprise of the opening, but the final pay-off is one of the best of the day. Spirited and engaging.