Champions. I really never tire of typing that word.
It's a good job too, as Foresters Brass became Champions (see, again!) at the Shirebrook Open Entertainments Contest this weekend.
With a programme featuring soloists throughout the band, Foresters Brass performed in the blistering heat to punters as well as a generous selection of performing musicians from other bands.
We had jazz, some James Bond pieces, even Greek-inspired Euphonium solos to wow adjudicator Mark Wilkinson; whom, after a field of twelve bands, awarded Foresters Brass top spot.
We finished 2 points clear of our closest rivals, and managed to secure a much needed confidence boost before the band heads to the National Finals, as well as many more Entertainment Contests through the remainder of the year.
One special aspect of the Shirebrook OEC is the fact that bands compete against bands from all sections for the trophy. This means that bands down in the 3rd and 4th section can often scalp a band in the 2nd, 1st or even Championship sections. Such was the case for Foresters (Currently 1st Section), as we claimed victory over Strata Brass (Current Yorkshire 1st Section Champions) and Blidworth Welfare (Championship Section).
We were praised on the strength of our programme, the ensemble work and the soloistic virtues that were presented. A special mention must go out the these performers! A huge well done to Steph Ayton, Ethan Hall, Jimmy Blay, Debra Smith, Lucy Smith and Helen Parker-Bates for their work on Caravan and Nobody Does It Better! Our acclaimed solo spot was filled by Ben Smith, as he stepped up and delivered a literally smashing Zeibekikos from Philip Wibly's Euphonium Concerto. This Greek-inspired piece is finished with the flourish of a plate crashing to the floor on the last note, a feat ably taken on by Johnny Abbot.
Lake of Tenderness, a band favourite was fitted alongside The Incredibles, as the second installment of the popular superhero animation is set to be released. With the soundtrack idea, Beetlejuice was a debut performance for Foresters and secured us top spot for the day.
Foresters Brass were also featured on a popular Brass Band website. Which one, I hear you ask? Follow the link here to read more! A big thank-you to 4barsrest for the write-up.
Our next task is to begin our extensive work on the National Finals Test Piece, as Foresters look to represent the Midlands and Foresters Friendly Society in Cheltenham later in the year. Fingers crossed our rich vein of form can see us achieve national success.