On Saturday 9th March 2019 we will be competing in the Scottish Brass Band Association Championships - that's just 47 days from now.
The only thing is, are we ready?
Yesterday the band came together at the Gailes Hotel in Irvine for an intensive training day as part of our preparations for this years competition.
Each year, bands perform their best rendition of a pre-set piece of music. Each performance is heard by a panel of experts in the field. Listening from within a canvas tent in the grand setting of Perth Concert Hall, the adjudicators have no idea of the running order - or who is performing for them. This year the 'test piece' is Gustav Holst's First Suite in E-flat, which was originally completed in 1909. This particular arrangement for Brass Bands is by Sydney Herbert.
This piece of music consists of three movements: "Chaconne", "Intermezzo" and "March". Written initially for military bands this arrangement is for brass bands and will prove challenging for all sections to play well. The devil really is in the detail with this piece of music and the band will have to pull out all the stops to do well in this contest.
Speaking of which, the band enlisted and were very grateful for the help of our expert tutors for the training day
Trombones - Adam Dougherty
Horns - Karin MacKenzie
Front Row - Rebecca Wilson
Back Row - Mark James
Bass - Lauren McCormick Foden
Thank you also to our guests Rachel Cardno & Fiona Waddington on Euphonium and Evan Orr on Soprano Cornet.
The band are also delighted to see the return of Phyl Flemming playing Bass Trombone. It's wonderful to have you back!
Lewis Started things off around 1200 with a warm up and first hour of rehearsals as a full band, working on various details in all three movements. Shortly afterwards a well earned lunch break was enjoyed before the expert tutors broke off with each of the bands main sections for rehearsals. With the exception of our percussion team, who knows what they were up to?!
At the end of the day, the band came together for a final run through. Clearly the tutors were worth their weight in salt because the difference in the bands sound was immediately apparent. We've made some good progress and it marks the start of a period of intense rehearsals and hours of practice at home for all of us, as we prepare to compete in March.
Keep your eyes on the Facebook Page, our Instagram feed and on the blog for more news as we approach the competition. Who knows, we might even throw a wee concert before hand to loosen up…. Watch this space!