The band recently competed in the First Section of the London & Southern Counties Championships at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage. Playing alongside fifteen other bands each one had prepared the same piece, Essay for Brass Band by Edward Gregson.
Written in 1970, Gregson’s piece was quite a challenge not least because it’s lyrical and technical demands are as relevant today as they were forty-five years ago. Over 150 bands across the UK had competed on this piece (there are seven other regional championships that take place during February and March from as far north as Perth in Scotland and as far south as Torquay in Devon) and only a handful of bands in each region managed to overcome the demands of the music.
Ware Brass was one such band and impressed adjudicators Mark Wilkinson and Paul Norley enough to secure a fifth place. Musical Director, Phillip Littlemore said: “The band had worked hard throughout February and March on a very difficult piece of music. With our adrenalin pumping, our performance was not without drama, as the contest arena is not for the feint-hearted, and we did not come away unscathed, However, our overall performance was very good indeed and but for a few momentarily lapses in concentration could have seen a higher placing. Special mention should go to all our soloists and especially to Assistant Principal Cornet, Jo Todd, who gave an exquisite rendition of a very difficult, and fairly long solo.”
The band is now firmly established as one of the leading First Section bands in the London & Southern Counties Area but with the contest over it now returns to its core activity of concert performances. Please take a look at the Concert Diary here.