On the weekend of the 16th and 17th of September, Foresters Brass took a well earned trip to Cheltenham and the National Finals of 1st to 4th Section bands as Champions of the 1st Section in the Midlands.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon and checked in to our hotel before heading off to a local school hall to fit a rehearsal in. We were all booked in at a restaurant later in the evening and enjoyed a great meal at Bill's in Cheltenham.
The next morning we had a warm-up session then traveled to the Racecourse to see where we'd been drawn to play. At 2pm we had our answer - Draw to play 1st. This meant a quick run to the car, grab instruments and Concert dress and get ready to play.
We were held backstage for slightly longer than usual whilst the hall was being readied, as well as sitting on stage listening to all about the hashtags that were being used to promote the event by the spokesperson. This invaluable information delivered, it was our chance to perform in front of the many supporters who had come to watch the band. It really helped us to play!
High spirits, a high level of performance and the highest draw left us high and dry come results time. Despite a stellar performance, and some incredible work by soloists, we were awarded a disappointing 15th out of 17 placing.
Foresters left it all on stage. We gave a good as an account as possible, and perhaps a later draw, as a vast majority of the highest judgements came in the second half of the day, would have meant a more favourable result.
However, despite all of this, Foresters Brass enjoyed one of their most enjoyable socials yet. We saw our friends from all over banding across the UK and were proud to have taken the Foresters name to the finals.
The journey to Cheltenham was also marred by the departure of Foresters' Principal Tuba. Pending a move to the North East, Matt Jolley called time on his tenure with the band to focus on career options and to prepare for the future. Matt will be sorely missed by all at Foresters Brass, and we sincerely wish him every success in the future.
Foresters Brass also wished Izzy Jozsa a very happy 18th Birthday! Izzy is the band's talented Soprano Cornet player and her birthday fell on the Sunday we actually played.
Happy Birthday Izzy!