(pic. Craig Chapman)
Friary put in a towering performance of Peter Graham’s ‘Dynasty’ at the British Open Spring Festival held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens earlier this month. Whilst the ultimate prize of an invitation to the British Open itself – first or second place – remained as elusive as ever, the Band registered its best result to date in the Grand Shield.
In a field of 19 bands (Woodfalls withdrew), Friary was drawn third, rather earlier than ideal. Nevertheless despite that, and the challenges of some extremely exposed solos, the performance drew high praise in 4barsrest commentator Chris Thomas’ summary: ‘A performance that radiated quality from Friary Brass. Musically astute and executed with admirable consistency throughout.’
The website’s post contest review was equally complimentary: ‘The admirably consistent London & Southern Counties challengers produced another solidly delivered account to post their best finish at the contest under Chris King — although never quite ever suggesting that it was going to be enough to see them book B&B in Birmingham in September. They are a band though that is getting closer to Symphony Hall.’
Band Chairman Nigel Stevens was more than delighted with the result: ‘Of course, a trip to the Open was
the ultimate prize, but this was our finest result to date at the Spring Festival. All the Band, in particular our soloists, made a first class contribution.’ ‘How could we be disappointed with that,’ he concluded.
Congratulations to Rothwell Temperance and Northop Silver who took the all-important top two places.