STOP PRESS – FRIARY STRIKES AUTUMN GOLD AT CRAWLEY!
MUSIC IN THE MEADOW CONCERT: Despite a chilly afternoon with unremitting rain, there was a good-sized audiencefor this conclusion to Farnham Town Council’s programme of summer concerts in Gostrey Meadow. There was no hope of any rays of sun, let alone a rainbow, and Chris Pannell did his best to ease the audience into his Somewhere Over the Rainbow solo by starting it with a few bars of Singin’ in the Rain! The programme was broadly similar to the one for Godalming bandstand, concluding with the magnificent Glorificio Aeternum and Bach’s Toccata in D minor, both guaranteed to get toes tapping. Thanks to all those hardy souls who huddled under gazebos and umbrellas, or who were simply prepared to get wet listening to our music on an otherwise miserable afternoon.
SCABA AUTUMN CONTEST: It’s been three years since Friary last competed at the scaba Autumn contest at The Hawth, Crawley. With the contest format comprising a hymn tune and own-choice test piece, it was an ideal opportunity for the Band to give its first public performance of the National Finals’ test piece, Gallery by Howard Snell. Of the performance of hymn Passion Chorale, adjudicator Dr David Lancaster wrote: ‘Super playing … a band with a warm tone and lyrical legato … there’s no doubting the quality of your playing.’Summarising the test piece performance, he was similarly impressed: ‘This has been an authoritative performance with super attention to detail. You’ve worked hard to capture the different moods of each movement and the characterisation is exceptional. Wow - thankyou!’Musical Director Chris King was delighted with the result: ‘The Band has worked hard on Gallery and we can all see that it’s really paid off. David’s comments about individual sections within the piece give us a great opportunity to polish our performance for the A good haul of silverware! National Finals in just under three weeks’ time.’As well as taking first prize, with an impressive trophy, Friary also took the awards for the Best Hymn Tune; Best Percussion Section; Best Bass Section; Best Instrumentalist (Simon Tong – Soprano Cornet); and Best Conductor (Chris King).
RANKINGS NEWS: There was little movement in the overall World Rankings between mid August and September, and instead British Bandsman magazine published tables showing the bands which had increased their points total the most, and those which showed the greatest decrease in points during 2017. At number 10 in the world for the best improvers was … Friary Guildford! ‘That’s just the sort of boost we need in the run-up to the National Finals,’acknowledged Contest Secretary Alex Stevens.