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Regional Test-Pieces Workshop

On Sunday 6th January, the No.2 Area of the NABBC together with ABBA promoted a Regional test-piece workshop at the Bailiff Bridge Community Centre near Brighouse.

Guest band once again was the excellent Skelmanthorpe Band under M D John Roberts, performing the Area pieces for 4th, 3rd and 2nd sections being held in Bradford on 2/3 March.

ABBA's newly elected Chairman Alan Morrison welcomed a capacity audience of players, conductors, adjudicators and many members from other Regions before introducing the band and our 3 Analysts for these sessions.

Chris Davis used the band most effectively in highlighting the many pitfalls and awkward passages which 'The Plantagenets' by Edward Gregson presents for 2nd section bands, and his research and presentation of Gregson's musical background presented much 'food for thought' towards the preparation of this challenging test-piece.

David Lancaster then introduced 'A Devon Fantasy' by Eric Ball, a beautiful musical test for 4th section bands, and again he offered many well chosen examples of other works by Ball to highlight issues with style particularly, as this piece doesn't really present too many technical problems.

David Horsfield presented the final analysis of the 3rd section piece 'Hollywood' by the late Goff Richards. This was indeed a most knowledgeable and humorous delivery, with David adding his own personal experiences of big-band playing to emphasize the crucial stylistic elements which 3rd section bands must grasp in their contest preparations.

Simone Rebello gave excellent advice and positive, practical suggestions when highlighting the many potential percussion problems in all of the pieces, particularly in the final piece.

Skelmanthorpe Band and John are to be congratulated yet again, not only on the quality of their playing, but on having made the time and effort to prepare 3 more test-pieces as well as their own preparation for the Area top section piece.

The whole session was a tremendous success, and the extremely large audience fully endorsed the decision to move to this new venue

J. Stuart Fawcett- Chairman No.2 Area.