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Butlins Mineworkers Open Brass Band Festival 2007

Date: Saturday 20th January 
Test piece: The Journeyman, Ray Steadman-Allen
Adjudicators: Barry Thompson and Bruce Fraser
Venue: Centre Stage, Butlins Skyline Resort

Finally then the winners Thoresby Colliery Youth. Theirs wasn't the most exciting performance of the day, but it was certainly the most complete. Full of well balanced and tuneful ensemble sounds and some wonderful little cameo slots from the main soloists it had all that you required and a bit more from the score. Christine Gent simply allowed the music to flow, confident that all the hard work and good teaching had been done in the rehearsal room. So it proved and there wasn't a single moment when things went even remotely awry.

At Fourth Section level it is all about getting the basics right and Christine Gent and her band did just that. It was a performance of consistency and merit and showcased some remarkably talented young players to the full. A hat trick next year is surely not beyond them whilst a qualification place at Harrogate will be next on the agenda at Burton upon Trent in March. Don't bet against the doing just that.

All in all this was a fine contest well matched bands all producing something for the adjudicators and audience to enjoy. Each one of them will leave a better band because of this experience and many should be confident that they have the foundations in place to enjoy further success in 2007.

Iwan Fox.