Bolsover Festival of Brass enjoyed a bumper day of nearly fifty bands this Sunday, 1st October. Forty-eight Brass Bands took to the stage across six sections in a bid to stake their claim for the many trophies and awards up for grabs.
Already an established entertainments contest, Bolsover District Council injected sponsorship four years ago. This has enabled Bolsover Festival of Brass to become a big date in the diaries of bands wishing to show off their entertainment skills in front of esteemed adjudicators, great audiences and indeed the world! The introduction of live coverage across all competing bands has meant that the larger banding community across the planet can tune in to watch the entire day, with segments from the growing Brass Band media coverage (www.4barsrest.com) playing a pivotal part. These videos are also uploaded to YouTube so viewers can revisit any performance from the contest. Along with the technical aspect, the festival boasts two great stages in the Heritage High School. This allows for plenty of space within the school for instrument storage and great facilities. The visiting bar is a particular highlight, however they may have underestimated the need for a beer after a performance with draught quickly drying out!
Due to the staggered timings of the different categories, Foresters Brass were able to take part in both the First and the Championship section.
We kicked off with a three brass choir "Investiture Antiphonal Fanfares" written for the investiture of HRH Charles as Prince of Wales, and segued into "Lake of Tenderness" from the pen of Ben Hollings. In our first section performance, we then turned to our solo piece with Rob Wilshaw, to deliver a sky high "The Summer Knows", a Trombone feature arranged by Darrol Barry. During our Championship slot, up stepped Principal Cornet Steph Ayton with "This is my Story" from the Salvation Army repertoire.
To round off our two programmes, we featured BBb Randy Hudson in "Under the Boardwalk", a brilliant arrangement by Philip Harper complete with full band choreography. Foresters' brilliant Flugel star Helen Parker-Bates also helped out! "Silverado", Bruce Broughton's original work for the 1985 film of the same name completed both our sets with a helping of spaghetti western feel.
Overall, the band were awarded 89/100 in the First section, and 73/100 in the Championship. For a full list of the results, please follow this link.
Once the online links are available, they'll be added onto this entry and shared on Facebook, so keep an eye out on our Media page for more!
Foresters Brass also had a representative in the winning Championship section band Elland Silver. Rob Wilshaw was drafted in the day before the contest to play Top Trombone with last year's First section winners due to unforeseen circumstances. After a 2 hour rehearsal, Rob took to the stage. Elland Silver promptly went on the win the Championship section, taking Best Soloist (Principal Cornet Ben Jarvis), Most Entertaining as well as the winning Musical Director trophy (MD Daniel Brookes). A huge congratulations to Elland Silver Band on their victory!
On a different note, Foresters Brass said goodbye to our timpani expert and all-round percussionist Kirsty Ruddle. As university beckons, Kirsty is focusing her efforts on her professional development whilst studying at Salford University.
MD John Davis said, "We're going to miss having Kirsty in the band. She's developed a great deal since joining the band over a year ago and she's been able to experience the thrills of the good form we've had during that time."
Percussion section leader Stephen Fraser said, "Kirsty played timps so I didn't have to, and did a great job. May she continue to buy superfluous drum kits, eat fig rolls and smile awkwardly."
We wish Kirsty all the very best for her time at Salford! She was presented with a card signed by the players as well as soon MoonGel (apparently it's a drummer thing) and a crate of beer to help her settle in.
Good luck Kirsty!
A properly enjoyable day with fantastic playing from so many bands has helped to cement the Bolsover Festival of Brass amongst a favourite of Foresters Brass and certainly more bands otherwise. Foresters Brass are now gearing up for a busy schedule ahead, so head over to our calendar page to see where we'll be!