We are very proud of our horn player Samantha Ford and Euphonium players Anthony Smith and Thomas Dunne for their awards at the GBBA Virtual Festival - a solo and ensemble contest held online in December 2020. The contest was adjudicated by Dr Brett Baker.
The results were released on New Years Day and heralded our 1st Horn, Samantha, and Principal Euphonium, Anthony, who won first and second prizes in the Open Slow Melody class. Samantha and Thomas received first prize for their duet in the Open Ensemble class, which was up against duets, a quintet, a sextet, and band ensembles. Thomas was also awarded second prize for his performance in the Air Varie and Technical Solo class. The showcase of performances will be premiered in the coming weeks.
We want to congratulate all prize winners in the contest and to all those who entered, and to thank the GBBA for running the solo and ensemble contest online. A very good start to 2021!
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.
"There was also something of a musical revelation from Filton. Tom Davoren's poetic approach, dynamically light and delicately phrased impressed many (4BR included)"
The contest proved hard fought however, with the band eventually being placed third - only just missing out on qualification for the National Finals in London. According to the adjudicators it was extremely close between 2nd and 3rd, so despite not qualifying this year the band remain very proud indeed of their performance and the improvements they have made. The band would like to extend our congratulations to our friends at Flowers and Aldbourne bands for the 1st and 2nd spots!
The band's next contest appearance will be at the prestigious British Open Grand Shield on the 18th May at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, performing Thierry Deleruyelle's famous Fraternity - the former European Championships and British Open set work.
Performing excellently from the number 14 draw, the band reprised its successful Wychavon Festival of Brass programme from 2018. Opening with the driving rhythms of Joel Collier's Thy Matchless King, euphonium soloist Anthony Smith then followed with an outstanding rendition of Finale from Rituals by Tom Davoren. Geoffry Nobes' Prelude on Quem Pastores provided a moment of tranquillity, before the tongue-in-cheek fun of Queen's Bring Back That Leroy Brown. Lastly, Benjamin Tubb's Variations on Danse Macabre brought the programme to a thunderous close.
This proved more than enough to impress Philip Harper, who in his pre-results speech stated that there was a "clear winner" that had won by a "long, long way". Separate entertainment adjudicator Sarah Hayward concurred, awarding the band the 'Best Entertainment' prize.
A huge thank you must go to everyone in the band for all the hard work, MD Tom Davoren, and all who supported us on the day. Congratulations also to all the other prize winners!
The band will now continue working hard over the next few weeks ahead of the West of England Regional Championship in Torquay on the 10th March.
Thy Matchless King (Joel Collier), Finale from Rituals (Tom Davoren) - featuring solo euphonium Anthony Smith, Prelude on Quem Pastores (Geoffrey Nobes), Bring Back that Leroy Brown (Queen), and Danse Macabre Variations (Benjamin Tubb).
Playing from the number 17 draw, the hard work paid dividends and the band performed excellently, receiving a warm reception from the audience and impressed adjudicator Michael Fowles sufficiently to claim a title that had continuously eluded the band in the past. A special congratulations must go to solo euphonium Anthony Smith, who was awarded the very well deserved 'Best Soloist' accolade (you can listen to his performance below - mobile devices please click here).
The band would like to extend our sincere thanks to Russell Gray, not only a consummate musician, but a really great guy, and to Tom Davoren for helping prepare the programme in advance of Russell's arrival with his usual care and dedication. Congratulations also to our friends in Aldbourne and City of Cardiff bands on the podium places, and to the Wychavon organisers for running such an excellent contest.
Described by the judges as giving "something extra", adjudicator Paul Holland stated in his written remarks that it was "…a terrific performance, expertly directed". Meanwhile, John Doyle, (who played in major role in getting the work commissioned from composer Peter Meechan for Leyland Band in 2013), said "I feel this piece was written for you not Leyland!! Thank you so much for an outstanding and musical show. I have goosebumps."
Read the full 4barsrest.com report here!
Following our qualification for the National Finals at the West of England Regionals, the band could not be more delighted with how the year is progressing. Thank you to all for the messages of support. Next stop - the Royal Albert Hall!
Filton Concert Brass are delighted to announce their first win in the 'top section' of banding, being crowned Welsh Open Champions for 2016 at the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl. Giving a reprise of it's 'Fusion' programme from the Wychavon Festival of Brass the band invited international euphonium soloist Glenn Van Looy to lead their performance, with Musical Director Tom Davoren already engaged to conduct his home town band of Burry Port.
On his experience with Filton Glenn gave the following quote to the popular brass band news website www.4barsrest.com:"I'm so pleased to have been able to help Filton to this victory. Tom Davoren made sure the band was in great shape before I arrived on Monday, and then the players responded to everything I asked of them all week. They are a fantastic bunch of people - and I can't thank them enough."
The band certainly enjoyed Glenn's friendship, musical experience and exciting approach, and are already looking forward to working with him again in the future. Special conratulations must go to the band's flugel horn soloist, Tim Malpas, who was justly awarded the best soloist award for another gripping performance of 'South Loop'. Filton Concert Brass would like to congratulate all of the participating bands and the organisers of the Welsh Open contest on a fantastic event.
In only their second outing in the Championship section. Filton Concert Brass claimed second prize and the best percussion award in a competitive field of fifteen bands at the annual Wychavon Festival of Brass entertainment contest.
Conducted by their Musical Director, Tom Davoren, the band's programme was entitled 'Fusion', drawing together different musical styles through arranged and original music for brass band. It was praised by adjudicator Alan Morrison as being, 'a super programme underpinned by excellent direction and super soloists.' Flugel Horn soloist Tim Malpas was featured to great effect in the band's opening number, the James Last version of Harold Arlen's classic 'Over the Rainbow', and in a performance of Tom Davoren's 'South Loop' for flugel horn and brass band, which was a UK premiere. A sumptuous arrangement of the Norwegian folk song 'Bli Hos Oss' by Stan Niuewenhuis was a welcome moment of calm before a rousing rendition of 'Fusion', an original work for brass band by salvationist Martin Cordner.
Filton Concert Brass would like to congratulate Redbridge Band on their victory and Roberts Bakery Band on their third place. A special mention must also go to the Foresters Band who won the invite to compete at the British Open Spring Festival weekend.
Conducted by their Musical Director Tom Davoren, Filton gave a performance off a late number ten draw which the critics of brass band website www.4barsrest.com described as 'with brio and verve' and 'a performance that grew in stature impressively'. After a solid and musical performance the band were awarded third place out of twelve, Filton's highest ever placing at the Regional Championships, ahead of a selection of established championship bands, by adjudicators Dr. Roger Webster and David Hirst.
It’s something the founder Jim Scott wanted to encourage and it’s something we are determined to carry on in his memory. We had our sights on the Area title earlier this year and then decided to aim for the Nationals. Now we plan very carefully how we want to approach life in the Championship Section.”
Tom added: “Even though we practice once a week, the commitment from the players to what the band wants to achieve is 100%. I love that different, innovative approach - and I think the players do too. That’s why we can go out on the contest stage and take the risks that can pay off.”
Congratulations to all contesting members and the management team that lead the band to victory.