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Aldbourne Sweep the Board at Oxford Contest

The Oxford and District Brass Band Association run a February “Winter” contest at Woodstock and the Band entered this year in order to give themselves an opportunity to play, in contest conditions, the test piece for the Western Area finals.

This year’s piece, St Magnus by Kenneth Downie, is regarded by many bandsmen as the most difficult they have ever played, so preparations have been going on since Christmas with great concentration. Playing it in an actual contest and receiving detailed criticism from an experienced adjudicator was thought an extremely valuable part of the preparations. As it turned out, they had no need to worry.

The adjudicator, John Winterflood, awarded all four of their section’s prizes to Aldbourne. He gave best soloist jointly to the percussion section. Unusually, there was a “Best Bass section” prize, which they won (see photo below, with Ian Keene, James Sheppard, Ben Newton and Phil Ockwell) and they were also awarded best overall performance in the Championship section. In a separate march tune competition they were also awarded best performance.

The adjudicator said that the playing was “Majestic” and “a fantastic performance of a very difficult piece.” Chairman James Sheppard said “The Band is perfectly placed to put on a great performance at Torquay next Sunday. We have been working hard on the few areas that we know need to improve in order to achieve our aim, of qualification for the National Finals in October at the Royal Albert Hall.“

The West of England Finals take place on Sunday 9th March in Torquay. There is a coach for the Band and Supporters leaving at from Aldbourne and if anyone would like to accompany the Band on this exciting day, contact James Sheppard, see details below. The cost is £20 per person.

For other information please visit the Band’s website or contact Deborah Sheppard. All contact details are shown below.

Posted by: RB on 5th March 2014

Contact Details

James Sheppard
Telephone: 01672 516888