We’ve only gone and done it! Yes Sunday 28th Feb 2016 we played our way to victory at the Blackpool regional area contest, earning ourselves an invite to the national finals in Cheltenham this September. This is a momentous victory for the band having never achieved a high enough position for an invite in recent years.
“Under the baton of King’s Division flugel player Stephen Craig, a performance rich in character and security in delivery made just the right impression with adjudicators Kevin Wadsworth and Steve Pritchard-Jones in the box – 4BR”
The band have gone from strength to strength in the past 7 months since the arrival of Stephen Craig at the helm, his musicality and interpretation of the test piece shone through in the band sound coupled with his ‘encouraging’ style of training and his steadfast determination not to accept anything other than the best, he has instilled a sense of pride in the players and their brass playing, a truly remarkable turn around in the few months he has been with us.
“However, it was Thornton Cleveleys that in the opinion of the judges brought the stylistic and technical differences together the best – from a Paris ‘Can-Can’ to Russian ‘snow waltz’ to capture the biggest prize in their 55 year history – 4br”
The success was followed by the ritual sipping of alcohol at a small celebration.
So the next few months we are going to be hard at it, rehearsing, performing and raising money for the trip to Cheltenham, estimated to be about £5000 we need all the help and support we can get, so, keep your eyes peeled as we will be posting our fundraising efforts on the website so you can see what your generous donations have amounted to.
The following write up on 4barsrest.com give more detail from the days performance: –
Thornton Cleveleys will perhaps have to have to find some of Phileas Fogg’s old travel maps after they won the Fourth Section title to claim their place at the National Finals for the first time since the band was reformed in 1962.
Under the baton of King’s Division flugel player Stephen Craig, a performance rich in character and security in delivery made just the right impression with adjudicators Kevin Wadsworth and Steve Pritchard-Jones in the box.
Meanwhile, stamping their qualification passports for a second successive year will be Formby, as the defending champion ensured their Cheltenham return with a fine account of Fogg’s musical journal to claim the runner-up spot ahead of a spirited Stalybridge Old.
Just behind them came a host of well directed top six efforts from Tarleton Brass, Blackley and Sale Brass.
Peter Graham’s set work proved a good test of musicality as well as contesting basics, as Kevin Wadsworth told the audience: “The piece tested every facet of the bands. Basics, dynamics, tuning and control were important, and the MD’s individuality and interpretation also figured.
The fanfares were fabulous and both Steve and I were impressed by prize winners playing in particular. There were encouraging performances from all bands.”
“We are delighted as well as totally surprised,” Thorntons’ spokesperson later old 4BR. “We’ve never qualified before and haven’t really come close in the past, but since Stephen came to the band last year everything has changed.
We are now much more positive, enthused and enjoying what we do. This is the pinnacle of our banding history – a real gear change. Now we have to start raising funds and looking at potential hotels. It’s a fantastic result for the band.”
Earlier, Stalybridge offered a fine marker off the number 1 draw for others to beat, with Formby upping the ante just after the halfway point (aided by some excellent ‘Best Percussion’ playing).
However, it was Thornton Cleveleys that in the opinion of the judges brought the stylistic and technical differences together the best – from a Paris ‘Can-Can’ to Russian ‘snow waltz’ to capture the biggest prize in their 55 year history – although not the £20,000 first prize that the intrepid explorer won for his 1873 efforts.