Band has great success at the Guild

April 2009

Last weekend saw the Band compete in the 117th Manx Music festival and as I mentioned in the last newsletter we had 59 entries over 12 classes.

The band had great success from the first class on Saturday morning to the very last class which finally came to an end at 11.30pm on Sunday evening.

Congratulations to all that took part. I was there for every performance and I must say I was very impressed with the standard of all our players especially the younger members of the Band and those playing in the Guild for the first time.

The first class of the day was the Under 12 Solo class where we had 17 entries. Everyone played well and the adjudicator, Mr Colin Hardy, mentioned that he had heard a lot about the Isle of Man banding scene and could now see why banding was thriving on the Island. The winner of the class was Breesha Foxton with an excellent performance of Mr Cellophane from the show Chicago. Breesha was awarded 91 points which incidentally was the highest score given by the adjudicator all weekend. Well done Breesha!


The next solo class was the 12 and under 16 age group where we had 4 entries. Again everyone put up a creditable performance and our highest placed player in this class was Chloe Harrison who played a lovely arrangement of The Enchanted Trumpet and gained a distinction mark of 85.

Next up was the 16 and under 19 class, this time there were 3 entries and the class was won by James Aire with a very technically demanding piece called La Belle Americaine. James was awarded 82 points.

The last solo class of the night was the Open class. There were a few no shows here but those that did play were very impressive, especially Karen Mahood who took the class with a wonderful performance of Demelza. Karen was awarded 90 points.

In amongst the solo classes on the Saturday, we had some under 16 groups play in the ensemble and quartet classes. All played very well, especially as we had some of our players playing in a group for the first time. It is great to see our younger players coming through and learning the trade, gaining experience all the time. What a future we have!

Sunday was the turn of the over 16 players in the ensemble and quartets. There was 1 ensemble and 3 quartets. The ensemble was made up of 2 cornets, 1 horn, 1 trombone and a bass, namely Simon, James, Graham, Stephen and Jim. They played a piece called Summertime and put on an impressive performance to take the class being awarded 90 points. We had 3 quartets, 1 which was put together at 11.30 that morning so well done to David, Mark, Graham and Stephen! The winning quartet though for the second year running was the Bass and Euphonium show.The adjudicator said this was an outstanding performance with excellent sounds. They played Clouds and Sunshine and were awarded 85 points. Well done Philip, Markus, Jim and Johnny!

The evening was over to the full bands. We had forty players in the band for the last class with a whole range of players from under 12s to over 50s. The first class was the Own Choice test piece where there were 4 entries. We played Renaissance by Peter Graham. The adjudicator was impressed with our performance and we were awarded 90 points which gave us the class win. Thoroughly enjoyable to play and I hope for the audience listen to. What a last note!!!

The next two classes were combined with 5 bands taking part, the first half was the March and Hymn Tune, where we again came out on top with a sound performance of the march The Cossack and the hymn The Day thou Gavest. We were awarded 87 points. The second half was the 20 minute program and Ian had picked 4 pieces which were easy to listen to but with a fair degree of difficulty. The first piece was Songs of the Quay, the second was the Elegy from Entertainments, the third piece we played was a Baritone solo, Hebridean Lullaby, played by Ian Mansell. This was a lovely piece, played beautifully by Manse. Well done Ian! The finale was a piece which the band really enjoys playing 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Again Mr Hardy was impressed and awarded us 90 points and the class win.

I must at this point congratulate the other bands that took part, especially Ramsey who came second in the test piece and Rushen who played extremely well and came second in the March and Hymn Tune and the 20 minute program class. Also well done to Martin Norbury who won the best solo with his Euphonium solo.

What a weekend. It was a thoroughly excellent show put on by the brass band fraternity of the Island. Where else can you get 24 hours of quality brass playing (which was almost as long as I was in the Villa over the weekend).

Well done to all who took part, especially the winners of the various classes. Thanks to Ian and Jim for conducting and to everyone that has helped over the last few weeks. Special thanks to the official accompanist Julian Power and also to Helen Morrisson who accompanied Breesha.