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Solid 4th place finish at West of England Championships

With a mere hint of spring in the air, the band took the annual trip to Torquay this year on Saturday 12th March. The band were brimming with confidence this year, with the recent return of Malcolm Francis on Principal Euphonium, wife Val on 3rd Cornet, Rob Stone playing Timpani and Martin Perrin on 2nd Trombone. In recent months we have also welcomed to the band Elaine Laurence on Solo Cornet, Claire Chapman on 3rd Cornet and Holly Chapman on 2nd Baritone. 

With these additions to our regular ranks the band were well rehearsed, in good spirits and functioning as a highly cohesive unit!!!

Taking to the stage in rather a hurry due to the contest running ahead of schedule (an unusual occurrence for a band contest!), the band gave a highly detailed, confident and musical account of Michael Ball's delightful take on Welsh tunes, "A Cambrian Suite". 

Here are the comments made on our performance by brass band website 4barsrest, who were present broadcasting live critique of every performance over the web:

Nice relaxed style in the opening movement and all sections contribute to one of the few really consistent openings we've heard so far.
Excellent lead into 2nd mvt where soloists all play with a touch of panache. Best moment of the day so far from the lovely, delicate solo horn, but soprano and flugel don't let her down at all!
3. Very secure opening and but for a moment of poor tuning in the horn section it is very good indeed. Continues in similar vein through a well-controlled return of the main theme. We liked this one, a lot!

And here are the live comments from the British Bandsman Magazine, on Twitter:

Bags of style from @GillinghamBand & it’s all delivered with precision. Solo horn player the star but there was quality all round

Unfortunately they then gave us the kiss of death by predicting us to win!!!:

W3: OUR PREDICTION: @GillinghamBand @BrattonSilver Weston @phoenixbrass @CINDERFORDBAND @PorthlevenBand. Real result soon...

All in all 4th place out of a strong field of 18 bands was very satisfactory and secures the band's place in the 3rd section for another year. 

Special thanks must go to Ruth Eshelby who stepped in at the last minute to play 2nd horn following an illness, and Scott Mills who learnt to read music and play percussion in just 4 weeks, and both played fantastically well on stage!!!

We will endeavour to post the adjudicator's remarks on our Facebook page as soon as possible. 

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