Regional Contest 2016 – A players reminisce

Tendring Brass Band’s day at the London and Southern Counties 2016 Regionals

The day of the Regionals Qualifying Contest finally arrived on the 20th March. The last 2 months of planning, rehearsals and drilling finally came to an end and nothing else could be done except to get out of our warm cosy beds at the crack of dawn ready to embark on the 2 hour coach journey to Stevenage (except those who chose to stay overnight the night before, the things people do to get an extra hour in bed!)

With no major dramas and all band members and supporters on board the coach on time, we set off for Stevenage. We arrived at our destination as planned at 08.30 and made our way to a local school for rehearsals. Rehearsals went well, with lots of praise and encouraging comments from our Musical director Antony Sanders and all were in good spirits.

Halfway through the rehearsals, Emma  came in and announced the results of the draw. “We are 8th” she said and all cheered. Everybody clearly relieved not be drawn first. After a few more minutes of polishing and perfecting we left the school and set off for the five minute journey to the venue. A venue that some have attended many a time and for some for the first time.

Once in the venue, band members went their separate ways, some to seek out food or drink (hopefully not from the bar!) and some to peruse the stalls selling an array of musical instruments and accessories. After barely an hour, the band met up again in the sports hall to change out of our very smart new casual Tendring Brass Band Uniforms into our more familiar formal blue band jackets. Once all changed, chuckles could be heard around the band as our Registration card photos were shown to each other (nice one Ellie!)

As we passed through the Registration process, we waited patiently to go backstage, I could feel the tension rising. Once in the waiting area backstage though, the message was loud and clear – stay calm, relax and just do what you have been doing. I think this helped and I felt a sense of self belief and confidence all round. Our performance reflected this mood and went very well, with minimal errors.

After the performance, we all breathed a sigh of relief and again went our separate ways, some to watch other bands, where hopefully we could gauge our performance, others for food or drink (and yes we did go to the bar this time!)

All met up again towards the end in the Gordon Craig theatre, where we watched our colleague Hannah Rose perform in the Simon Langton Brass Band – lovely to see you Hannah!

Tension in the Theatre began to rise again at the anticipation of the looming results. “Fourbarsrest” were predicting a 2nd place for Tendring Brass Band. Could it be?!

The fourth place band were announced first – Hangleton, no cup or cash for them just the prestige. Next – third place Waterbeach.

Hearts raced at the anticipation of a possible second or first place for us.

The master of ceremonies then said in ‘in second place with a prize of £125 and an invitation to attend the national finels – Tendring Brass’

We did it! Everyone in the band cheered.

First place went to Chinnor Silver – well done to them.

Lots of smiles, hugs and photos followed, and then the Adjudicators report!

Comments like “confident opening, played with style and attention to detail.” “Flowed well.” “Dynamic contrasts heard,” “intonation secure,” “lots of detail” and “soloists played well.”

A very good days work – well done everyone!

Authors Michelle and Ella Mowle


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