"We Qualified for the finals"
There was an explosion in Totnes last weekend, that only a few brass hearts heard: Totnes came out feeling like champions from the Regionals. This is a big deal in the brass band world. Once a year there is a big national wide competition amongst brass bands, in a very similar fashion to the FA cup: five divisions, Champion section, First, Second, Third and Fourth.
Fourth section is hard to compete in. Any bands worth their brass and wanting to enter into the ‘league’ have to start at the bottom...so there are more bands competing. This year there were twenty two bands all playing the same test piece, competing for the top three places to go through to the Nationals. Last year, Totnes came...last. We had no percussion section. What’s a football team without a goalie? What’s a brass band without percussion?
So this year, no one dared to dream, but we all dared to practise. Twice a week for months, we played the same piece, going into the finer details, working through the piece with painstaking repetitions. It is hard work at times, but it is always a pleasure to play together. Totnes has a special feel to it, three generations play together. Two of the original founders still play, along with their children, and their cousin’s children, and their grandchildren. It is a melting pot where music brings us all together.
On the morning of the competition we had a rehearsal which, for better or worse, was nearing on the latter. It was a shock. We had to pull our socks up. And so we did. We went onto the stage and played the piece to our best abilities, surrounded in the reverberations of the tam-tam that our youngest player (11 years old) hit for the first time in his life on the stage, changing the dynamics to a triple forte. We showed the brass band world we now had percussion! We came off feeling timidly hopeful, but no one dared say so. But the results did. We came in third! We are in the finals!!!
The finals are held in Cheltenham and also in the Royal Albert Hall in London. Totnes, is gearing up, getting ready to receive the test piece. We’re oiling valves, and strengthening lips. So if you play brass, or percussion, and would like to be part of the next journey, there are places in the band for certain instruments. Give us a call, on 07764 218647, and be part of playing your heart out.
St John's Church
We meet on Monday & Thursday evenings at 7.15pm. (Please check before attending)
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