MK Brass claims welcome 5th Place in Regional Championship
Updated: Nov 14, 2019
Following promotion to banding’s First Section in January, MK Brass faced its first Regional Championship at the new level on Saturday 16th March in Stevenage. The preparation of the band has been taxing but fun over the past few weeks, with MD Jonathan Mott guiding the band to meet the challenges of a much more demanding set work and less forgiving adjudicators; challenges which his background with the famous GUS band has made him all too well aware.
Traps & Witticisms
The test piece this time was Gilbert Vinter‘s classic “Symphony of Marches”. Vinter, an accomplished orchestral musician, crafted an engaging work full of musical witticisms (like writing marches with bars in ⅞ time!). There were technical demands a-plenty for all the players, with a hat-full of ‘traps’ for the unwary.
Great Result, but Room for Improvement too
MK Brass’ performance on the day reflected much of the preparation work of the MD – the band’s sound and balance was good and much of the playing captured the contrasting character of the three movements of the work, particularly the lively joyful nature of the third movement and the grave, brooding mood of the second movement. Soloists Matt Ball (cornet), Martin Groves (soprano cornet), Sarah Potts (tenor horn) and Duncan Bruce (euphonium) added real quality to the band’s performance too. While the quality of our MD’s musical interpretation shone through, there were a few lapses of concentration and errors resulted. Room for improvement noted! Nevertheless, the resulting fifth place is a great result for the band on its first regional contest outing for some time at this level, and leaves the band 4th in the rankings for next year’s promotion struggle.
The band owes particular thanks to Tim Flach (BBb Bass) and Sue Blunt (Baritone) who moved instruments at short notice to cover gaps in the line-up, and to recent recruits to the cornet ‘front-bench’, Julia Head and Lewis Wallington. Also, importantly, thanks go to former member Chris Blunt who stayed on to cover the First Baritone chair (and driving hundreds of additional miles to rehearsals) despite moving to Nottingham.