Bill Shaw Slow Melody Contest

Sunday 30th April saw the Lochgelly Band staging the fourth Bill Shaw Memorial Contest. For almost 40 years, Bill Shaw was a member of Lochgelly Band. Although he only ever registered for Lochgelly, Bill played and conducted as a guest for many bands. Bill was also committed to the brass band movement and over the years was involved, and worked with various organisations especially FCBA and SBBA. This involvement made him a well-known face around the local, national and even international events. Bill was an accomplished cornetist and was a member of the 1973 Scottish Champion band, which went on to gain a creditable 6th place at the National Finals in the Royal Albert Hall. Bill was also a member of a Scottish Champion quartet. Bill always felt that solo contests were heavily biased towards very technically competent players, playing difficult pieces and did not accommodate players who played simpler pieces with feeling. He always said he would like to run a solo contest for slow melody pieces only and hence the format of the contest was decided.

This year saw a totally of 18 competitors from 6 bands across the country. The draw for the junior section started at 11:30 with Alan Fernie welcoming the competitors and told them all to just enjoy themselves. The senior draw was going well until the arrival of Fifeís finest, brought speeding to the 385 in Lochgelly due to a small misunderstanding and an intruder alarm in the down stairs part of the hall. However the crisis was averted, without any arrests, by the band treasurer, Neil McComack.

All the competitors were accompanied skilfully by Susan Gormley, who not only played the difficult piano parts handed to her, but also done a bit of improvisation when Kingdom star bass trombone player, Bill Sandell, realised he didnít have a piano part!!!!!

At the end of the day adjudicator, Alan Fernie, summed up an enjoyable day with a very high standard of playing in both sections. The fact that it is open adjudication also allowed Alan to provide some very good target feed back to the junior section in particular. In the senior section Alanís comments were just as targeted but not always as concerned with the music, particularly when he told Lochgelly principal cornet player, Stewart Hepburn how impressed he was with Stewartís sound when he had obviously just arrived from the nightshift!!!!

The results of the contest were as follows:-

1st Scott Findlater, Euphonium, Broxburn and Livingston
2nd Michael Abbott, Baritone, Lochgelly

1st Alison Hall, Horn, Dunfermline Town
2nd Graham Fraser, Eb Bass, Whitburn
3rd Laura Herriot, Flugel, Kingdom Brass
4th=Stewart Hepburn, Cornet, Lochgelly
4th= Neil McCormack, Bb Bass, Lochgelly

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