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Wychavon Festival of Brass

Foresters Brass took to the stage once again this month at the highly popular Wychavon Festival of Brass to finalise our busy Entertainment season.

Against bands in the First and Championship section, Foresters delivered two exciting programmes featuring soloists within the ranks and displaying the band's overall technical and musical prowess.

In the First section, we began with Investiture Antiphonal Fanfares, written for the investiture of HRH Charles as the Prince of Wales, with the band separated out into 3 choirs. This allowed a segue into one of Foresters' staple pieces, Lake of Tenderness. Penned by the talented Ben Hollings for Grimethorpe's Brass in Concert 2015 programme, we utilised the space awarded on stage to manoeuvre ourselves back to our traditional set-up.

Up followed one of Forester's fastest rising stars, Ben Smith. Since joining the band earlier this year, Ben has instilled himself as a principal player and left us in no doubt of his ability with his beautiful rendition of Midnight Euphonium by Goff Richards. On his first solo with the band, Ben mesmerised the hall and adjudicators alike. A truly stunning performance.

Foresters rounded off the first section in Sombrero wearing style. Salsa Tres'Prado by Philip Harper allowed Steph (Cornet), Helen (Flugel), Paul (Horn) and Rob (Trombone) to unveil their Mexican flair. Procession to Covenant was our finale in the section.

With the rules at Wychavon permitting bands to compete upwards of their section, we began our assault on the Championship section soon after.

Opening with a lively Sway in a big band formation, Rob Wilshaw was next up to deliver The Summer Knows. Following our top section solo spot, Mambo, featuring our Cornet section transitioned us into Under the Boardwalk. Randy Hudson and Helen Parker-Bates delivered a stellar performance and gave the audience some comic relief. Foresters last piece of the day was Caravan which enabled us to finished in rousing style.

After a disappointing finish of tenth in the First section, Foresters managed to take some big scalps in the Championship, finishing a respectable eighth place.

The competition gave Foresters a chance to debut yet another new signing, Andy Mckeown on Timpani and Percussion. Andy has been helping out the band recently and already has a connection with the band as he is studying Mathematics at Nottingham University with a number of the bands musicians and plays a big part in the University's Brass Band. Welcome, Andy!

Up next for Foresters Brass is our own choice test piece contest at Leicester Open. Foresters have chosen to give the Butlin's test piece Renaissance an airing. From Peter Graham, there is a lot of emotion within the piece which will allow us to get to the heart of the music. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for more info!


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