A massive congratulations to our fabulous Principal Euphonium player Anthony R Smith for winning the Over 18s Slow Melody category of the Foden's Band Solo and Ensemble Contest! Check out his superb performance of Tom Davoren's 'A Simple Gift'.
"The Foden's Solo Contest was originally launched in 2010 and has grown to become the largest event of its kind in the UK. Due to Covid, the band's 10th-anniversary event was moved online. Seventy entries were received across four different categories being viewed over 140,000 times on the band's Facebook page. Due to the number of entries the band used six of its members to shortlist each section to five finalists.
Each finalist has been recorded 'live' with a band member present on Zoom to ensure that only one take was recorded. The various videos have been forwarded to the panel of adjudicators comprising Michael Fowles, Mark Wilkinson, Jonny Bates, Gary Curtin, John Barber, and Mark Landon who have been joined by Bramwell Tovey, Simone Rebello, Russell Gray, and David Childs. A panel member gave an overview of each section before the results are announced at the end of the programme. Due to the extremely high standard of performance, the adjudicating panel has had a difficult task in choosing the various prize winners."
The stream commenced at 7pm on Friday 30th October with the broadcast being hosted by Iwan Fox. View the contest on catch up below.
He was also invited to conduct several brass bands in the North East, including Fishburn and North Skelton, notably winning 7 contests in the last 2 years. From September, Lewis will be undertaking a Master’s Degree in conducting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama under the guidance of Dr Robert Childs.
Commenting on his appointment, Lewis stated “I’m really looking forward to starting work with such a well organised and forward thinking band. Hopefully this will be the start of a very successful partnership.”
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!