in the top 6 at contests, to enter and progress through the British Open Spring Festival, and get the band to the Royal Albert Hall – objectives that seemed almost impossible at the time.
Now, the record speaks for itself - out of Tom’s 22 contests with the band, 18 of those have seen the band in the top 6 places, 14 in the top 3, and 8 victories! Some of many highlights include winning consecutive First Section regionals in 2013 and 2014, becoming First Section National Champions in 2014 and being promoted to the Championship Section for the first time, winning the British Open Senior Trophy in 2016 and the Senior Cup in 2017, qualifying for the National Finals in 2017 and performing at the Royal Albert Hall for the first time, and competing in the British Open Grand Shield for the first time in 2018. Aside from contesting, Tom has led the band through our first foreign tour - performing the Gala Concert at the Lithuanian National Championships in Palanga in 2018, and our first CD recording – with ‘Tales from the West Country’ being released in 2018.
Most importantly however, Tom has helped form the band into a close-knit circle of friends who thoroughly enjoy music making together, and strive for musical excellence at the highest level. Tom says: “I don’t have the words to describe what everyone who has passed through this band means to me. It’s been a constant in my life of true happiness… thank you for the wonderful gift and know that I’ll never experience anything quite like this again”.
In our band curry this week, we presented Tom with a framed photo of him conducting the band at the Royal Albert Hall atop a list of his contest achievements with the band – a true testament to his success. We also presented him with a ‘Filton Concert Brass’ beanie hat (though if there ever was anyone that didn’t need something to keep their head warm..!).
Tom, from all of us here at Filton, past and present, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done for us – the music, the contests, the concerts, friendship, and many, many laughs! We wish you all the best in your new adventure, and are sure we’ll meet again soon!
Over the coming days/weeks we will be sharing some of our highlights together – so keep an eye out!
While the performance contained moments of brilliance and some very fine individual playing from soloists, not everything came off as planned on stage - as is the nature of live music performance at times.
The band did however attract some favourable comments from the online pundits. 4barsrest.com stated "A performance painted in bold and often darkly majestic tones by Filton. Not without blemishes but portrayed with abundant emotion", while Brass Band World Magazine opined "Plenty to enjoy from Filton on Fraternity. It wasn't without fragilities at times but the music was portrayed with bold drama and tones of darkly hued majesty". Unfortunately the performance on this occasion did not find favour with the adjudicators and the band was placed 17th, which means relegation to the Senior Cup in 2020.
This is not all bad news however, as we have fond memories of the Senior Cup, which the band won on it's first attempt in 2017. We shall look forward to attempted to repeat this feat next year!
Thank you for all the positive comments from pundits and audience members alike, to the players for all their weeks of hard work, and to our wonderful MD Tom Davoren.