Friary made its seventh consecutive appearance at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 12th October to compete against 19 other top bands from England, Scotland and Wales in the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. On a wet, dreary day there was an all day wait to go on stage, with the Band being drawn 17th: it was close to 5.00 pm before it was time to perform the set test piece, Hermann Pallhuber’s Titan’s Progress. The work was commissioned by Brass Band Oberösterreich at the 2007 European Championships, held at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, and is influenced by the music of Gustav Mahler.
The performance generally went very well, and found considerable favour with the three adjudicators, Dr Robert Childs, Alan Morrison and Rob Wiffin OBE, who placed the Band 11th. Comments included: ‘Much to commend and a musical reading with secure soloists, particularly cornet. Not all the sections came off, but the overall performance was really controlled and secure.’ ‘An accurate, controlled performance. There was much to commend here.’
Over the past four years, Friary has been remarkably consistent, being placed 12th in both 2016 and 2017, and 11th in 2018. All the bands placed in the top ten this year were ranked higher than Friary in the world rankings. Cory, Black Dyke and Whitburn took the top three places. Cory’s performance was breathtakingly superb: few in the audience would dispute their win.
Band Chairman Nigel Stevens summed up the result: ‘We would dearly have loved to come in the top ten, but cannot complain at 11th, looking at the quality of the bands placed above us. And we came well ahead of two leading Yorkshire bands, too!’ ‘Congratulations also to our fellow London & Southern Counties representatives, Zone One, who came in just behind us at 12th,’ he added. For the full results, see www.4barsrest.com/archive/results