On Saturday the 17th of September, Saints competed against 15 other bands in the National Finals held at The Centaur in Cheltenham.
Having come 2nd at the London and Southern Counties Area Contest back in March, the band worked really hard on Images for Brass by Stephen Bulla.
It was not an easy road, but everyone pulled together; having two very good conductors and a great bandmaster prepare us for the challenges of our first National Finals in the Second Section.
We thank Lee Woodward, who shaped the band for over 7 years and led us to 2nd place in the Area Contest and qualification for the National Finals; we are grateful for Lee’s hard work and dedication to the band.
We also thank Nigel Howard for further refining the band’s performance of Images for Brass, doing an excellent job in maintaining the momentum and leading the band through the finals to take 9th place.
Special thanks go to Steve Block, Saints’ bandmaster, who worked closely with Nigel to help get the band ready and for his continuing enthusiasm.
Coming 9th is a great achievement for Saints and for the London and Southern Counties area. The other band in our area, Cawston (MD: Leigh Sharpe), came 6th – this shows the growing standard of bands in our area!
The adjudicators, Alan Fernie and Steve Sykes had some very good things to say about Saints; ‘Super to open – really sets the scene’….’good blend. Clean and clear cords from sections – noble trombones’. They also had some constructive input, pointing out some insecurities and how the band can improve.
With the National Finals over, we will prepare for the autumn and winter season of banding, before focusing on the next 2nd Section area test piece, Rhapsody in Brass by Dean Goffin, which we will perform at the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre on Sunday the 19th of March 2017.
Full results for the 2nd section can be found here: