Newcastle Under Lyme Festival of Music

By: PaulDarlington - 29 March 2015

Success for Lions at the competition

The Junior and Beginner Bands competed in the Newcastle Under Lyme Festival of Music on the 21st March and had a very successful day.

The Junior Band made an early start and arrived at 9am to enter the Under 19 section.  The average age of the Junior Band is just over 12 and in this class they were up against a number of youth and sixth form bands. This included the Co-op Wind Band, who had 6 of their players from the Lions Youth Band.  However the Junior Band gave a very creditable performance and were placed 4th.  The adjudicator made the following remarks.

"You looked very smart. Professional presentation.
1. [St Gertrude] A great sound. Your ensemble was generally very good - you breathed together and sustained phrases well. Very well managed dynamics. Well balanced parts.
2. [Clog Dance] This is an exciting sound - a great piece which you did very good justice to. Just occasional smudges in the line - a little more individual work is needed here.
You worked as a unit and watched your conductor.'H' Well managed lines and build up.

85 points - Commended: First Class Certificate  "A convincing performance technically and artistically".

The Beginner Band then joined the competition at 11am to play along with the Junior Band in the Under 14 Section.  The average age of the Beginner Band is just over 9, however they gave a very impressive performance which was rewarded with an excellent 2nd place.  The adjudicator remarked. 

A great entry and lovely announcements – bold and clear.
1. A slick opening.  A positive sound with an effective dynamic contrast. Well-rehearsed and to-the-point, Good balance. You all knew your parts really well.
2. A great solo. Sensitively accompanied. This was a well-planned and paced rendition.
3. A confident opening. Again, phrasing is well managed and you listened to one another.  Effective dynamics and a tight ending.
A great programme of music – well controlled.

85 points – Commended: First Class Certificate "A convincing performance technically and artistically"
Next up were the Junior Band in the same section. They played a different arrangement to that played in the earlier under 19 section, to further illustrate the wide portfolio of music they can play and this was appreciated by the audience. This was delivered just as competently as their earlier performance and it was rewarded by an excellent 1st place. So the Lions Junior and Beginner Bands were placed 1st and 2nd and it cant get any better than that! The adjudicator remarked on the Junior Band;

"Roadies! Thank you. (so thanks to the excellent support team for a slick and professional stage set up - it was appreciated)
1. [Happy] A great sound. I loved the choreography. Excellent articulation. Be sure not to rush the crotchets at bar 8! Very well balanced and shaped lines.
This was a polished, well thought out performance.
2. [Let It Go] Lovely solos - effectively accompanied. There was clear attention to the conductor and to each other. Impressive legato lines/phrasing and dynamic shaping.
Very well done a real sense of performance here!

87 points - Distinction: First Class Certificate "an excellent performance technically and artistically".

So an excellent day for the organisation.  There was further success for the Youth Band players who entered other sections on their own.  Catherine Flanders and Robyn Jolley came 1st & 2nd in the under 15 brass section, Catherine also came 1st in the instrumental solo class and won the Lions Youth Brass Trophy for the most promising brass player of the competition. This trophy was donated the Festival by Lions Youth Brass a number of years ago. 

The photos below are of the Junior Band at the competition