Countdown to Cheltenham: The National Finals Preview Evening

Four bands showcase test pieces for Cheltenham date

Four brass bands from Section Four to One showed off their playing techniques at Boarshurst Band Club last night [10 September]. This was in advance of this weekend’s National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain finals at Cheltenham. As of last year, the finals for Section Four to One bands are taking place at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse.

This year, Section Two and Section Four bands will be heading down to Gloucestershire on the 16 September. Section One and Section Three bands will be making the journey on Sunday [17 September]. As with previous Preview Nights, there was a packed house at Boarshurst Band Club.

The man with the notes on the notes – our adjudicator for the evening – was Martin Heartfield. Mr. Heartfield studied trombone at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Peter Gane. After being Head of Music at Brunt’s Academy in Mansfield, he has now become the school’s Deputy Headteacher.

Runners and Riders

  1. Huddersfield and Ripponden Band (4, Adam Bell): Petite Suite de Ballet (Eric Ball);
  2. Trinity Girls Brass Band (3, Ryan Watkins): Hinemoa (Gareth Wood);
  3. Boarshurst Silver Band (2, James Garlick): Music of a Legacy (Steven Ponsford);
  4. Marsden Silver Band (1, Alan Widdop): Tournament For Brass (Eric Ball).

All four bands played a hymn of their own choice, followed by each section’s test piece. Both the Eric Ball pieces (Petite Suite de Ballet and Tournament for Brass) Huddersfield and Ripponden, and Marsden Silver Bands something to get their teeth into. As well as being a joy to listen to for the audience.

Hinemoa, played by Trinity Girls Brass Band was similarly well received by the audience. As was Music of a Legacy, played by Boarshurst Silver Band. With distinct movements, both a test for the band and a joy for the listener.

In all it was a good night. We wish Huddersfield and Ripponden, Trinity Girls, and Marsden Silver bands the very best of luck in their sectional finals. Also to Boarshurst Silver Band, who could continue their upward rise through the sections.

Getting to Cheltenham

The nearest railway station is actually Cheltenham Racecourse, but this is a stop on a preserved line. This is fine if you wish to do the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (a good option for bored youngsters).

The one you really need is Cheltenham Spa but with fares a few quid shy of £80 from Greenfield, Mossley, or Stalybridge stations, a mortgage application is a must. It is three miles south west of Cheltenham Racecourse. If you are travelling to the racecourse by bus, Stagecoach West’s ‘D’ service stops near the Racecourse Roundabout, then it’s a short walk.

Apart from that, allow sufficient time for your journey if travelling by road. Especially with the M6 and M5 motorways being constantly busy.

Next at Boarshurst Band Club…

The usual Sunday Brass programme resumes on the 17 September at the usual start time of 8pm. This time, Linthwaite Brass Band will be making the short journey via the A635 towards Greenfield and Boarshurst Band Club. The band were formed in 1852 and rehearse at the Broad Oak Cricket Club on Cowlersley Lane.

Buses:

Alight at stop next to the former Greenfield Conservative Club, then walk past club and turn left onto Greenbridge Lane. After passing Boarshurst Band Club, turn right onto driveway and right again towards the entrance.

  • 180: Lees, Oldham, Hollinwood, Failsworth and Manchester [Oldham Street] (First Greater Manchester).
  • 350: Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne or Uppermill, Dobcross, Delph, Scouthead, Waterhead and Oldham (First Greater Manchester).

Spread the word:

Twitter: going to any of the Sunday Brass concerts? Add the #SundayBrass hashtag to your Twitter feed. Don’t forget to add @boarshurstband to your status too!

Tell Your Friends! Nothing beats word of mouth. Tell them about the joys of watching top class brass band entertainment within the westerly fringes of the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Facebook: use the #SundayBrass hashtag on the Lil’ Ol’ Book of Face. Why not subscribe to the Boarshurst Band Club page to keep up to date with forthcoming concerts?

S.V., 11 September 2017.

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