Friary took the honours at last Sunday’s Southern Counties Amateur Bands Association (scaba) Spring Contest held at the University of Sussex, an encouraging start to the Band’s contest season. Friary took first place for both the march and the test piece, with Chris Straker taking the award for Outstanding Euphonium. The Band chose to play Shipley Douglas’ classic march Mephistopheles (as featured on the CD Letter from Home) and run out the Regional Championship test piece, Philip Wilby’s The Red Priest. Referring to Antonio Vivaldi, the test piece was originally commissioned by Black Dyke for the 2010 European Championships and was subsequently used the following year for the British Open.
Adjudicator Alan Duguid was impressed: “Overall a performance of real merit with so much to enjoy and admire, particularly in attention to dynamic and stylistic detail with an extremely persuasive reading.”
Friary Chairman Dave Wicks was pleased with the result: "This was a really useful opportunity to perform the test piece in public ahead of the Regional Championship and gain an adjudicator’s feedback. We are very grateful to scaba for organising the event.” Egham and St. Sebastian’s bands took second and third place respectively.
The Regional Championships take place on Sunday 19th March at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage with the championship section starting no earlier than 3.30pm. The adjudicators will be Howard Evans and David Hirst.