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Derwent Do Blackpool - Senior Trophy Review

The 2011 Senior Trophy competition saw 20 of the country’s top brass bands battle it out on stage at the winter Gardens in Blackpool. 

Peter Graham’s ‘Prisms’ was the chosen piece to test all competing bands:

Dating from 1986 Prisms (Symphonic Study No. 2 for Brass band) was extensively revised in 1988 to form the preent work. Though not programmatic as such, the work has its roots in traditional brass band music, being strongly melodic and adopting a broad ternary form. The main themes call all be traced to the fourth-based first subject, these offshoots drawing a parallel with light refraction - Prisms. As well as the lyrical sections, much of the music is highly rhythmic, with a busy percussion section, and accessible and enjoyable to all.

Unlike other bands, Derwent Brass are heavily committed to maintaining the band 'family-friendly ethos' and therefore only rehearse once a week which at this level is some achievement. For this contest however the rehearsal schedule was slightly intensified over the last couple of weeks to ensure a class performance on stage, which the band did deliver in fine style.

"...a powerful approach" - 4barsrest.com

A dignified performance earnt them a solid placing of 8 out of 20 to ensure a place in next years competition. Many people around the hall expected the placing to be higher, especially following the tremendous cadenza work from the band's soloists, but on this occasion the interpretation wasn't as well received 'in the box.'

(Above: a relaxed, pre-performance Derwent Brass, back-stage)

Keith Leonard, the band's musical director commented: "I was delighted with the band's on stage confident performance, especially from our soloists. Most importantly this is a good improvement on last year’s position and the result gives the true impression that the band is continuing to progress to a higher standard on a national level."

Of course the band couldn't travel all that way to Blackpool without making the most of the country's favourite seaside resort! Celebrations, mainly based on how well the band felt they had played, (the most important thing) went on into the early hours... for more photos on this, and more, please visit our facebook page - click!

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