Land O'Burns Contest 2006

The Lochgelly band made a return trip to the Ayrshire coast for the Land O’Burns contest on 26th August. Last year in the 2nd section saw the band achieve seventh place, being beaten only by the Championship section bands present. This year we competed in the 1st section and again finished seventh overall although we missed out on the 1st section award as Dunaskin Doon finished fifth. It was still a successful day out to the seaside though and the bands performance drew plaudits from many observers.

The band played off the number 9 draw and opened their programme with a Sandy Smith arrangement of “Stingray”. A powerful and strong opening to any programme the whole piece is often played at breakneck speed with the dynamic rarely dropping below mf. After that hectic opener the band slowed things down with a new item from the pen of Alan Fernie, who also conducted the band on the day. Alan has arranged the love theme from the animated movie “Shrek” for brass band, and very effective it is too. In rehearsal there were many comments in the band that this was a very apt choice as we have our very own collection of ogres in the bass section. I of course, being one of the ogres in question, could not possibly comment on this. The band returned to the classic brass band repertoire for their next item, the cornet solo “The Nightingale” by Harold Moss and played today by principal cornet Stuart Hepburn. Stewart gave a very polished performance of this piece and the band accompaniment was sympathetic to the soloist. In previous years we have been criticised for the band accompaniment being too loud during solo items but Alan Fernie did not allow us to fall into our old ways this time. Another Alan Fernie arrangement followed with “I Only Have Eyes For You” which featured bass trombone. Truth be told some of the band were initially puzzled by this choice but come contest day Alan had imparted his vision of the piece to the band and it worked very well. The band captured the jazz club atmosphere very well and Bryan Johnson burbling away on bass trombone in the background was very well done. The contest organisers had stipulated that this year each band must play a movement from a recognised test piece. The band chose to close their programme with our test piece choice, “Heroic March” from Percy Fletcher’s “Epic Symphony”. This energetic march provides the climax to the test piece and the band presented a very good performance of this classic work. It was pleasing to note that the band maintained their stamina throughout the programme and the final selection did not suffer from tiredness so often evident in the past.

All in all a well constructed and executed programme and one which the band themselves were pleased with. The adjudicator obviously thought so too as he placed us exactly where our current grading would have predicted us to finish. What this outing tells us is that we are a good band but we need to work a little harder to make an impression on higher section bands. After a period where we seemed to be faltering, with contest withdrawals and a general feeling of malaise, it was great to see the atmosphere back in the band. The band are now working hard again and we can prepare for the next contest in confident mood.

As for the Land O’Burns, it is now firmly entrenched as one of the bands favourite outings. Having been missing from Troon for a long number of years we are back and we intend to keep coming back. When the sun shines on Troon there is no better contest day out to be had in Scotland. The sun is hot the beer is cold and the burgers, well thanks Diane. The Lochgelly band would like to congratulate Dalmellington on another impeccably organised contest and wish them well for the future.

The results of the Land O Burns 2006

Venue:Walker Halls, Troon
Date:26th August 2006
Adjudicator(s):Derek Broadbent

Programme: Stingray  -  Barry Gray , arr.  Sandy Smith
Love Theme from Shrek  -  John Powell , arr.  Alan Fernie
The Nightingale  -  Harry Moss
I Only Have Eyes For You  -  arr.  Alan Fernie
Heroic March from Epic Symphony  -  Percy Fletcher

  Band Conductor
1. Whitburn Andrew Duncan
2. Fishburn Russell Gray
3. Kirkintilloch Kelvin Alistair Orr
4. Unison Kinneil Paul Drury
5. Dunaskin Doon John Boax
6. Johnstone Silver Charles Keenan
7. Lochgelly Alan Fernie
8. Shotts St Patricks Brass
9. Coalburn Silver
10. Dunfermline Town Dave Neil
11. Renfrew Burgh
12. Buckhaven & Methil Bob McDonald
13. St Davids Brass
14. Annan Town David Shanks
15. Campbeltown Craig Anderson
16. Brass Sounds Inverclyde

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