Both Regent Brass and Regent Community Brass took their places at their London & Southern Counties regional qualification contests last weekend. For both bands it was a fantastic opportunity to re-establish our links to colleagues in the brass band movement, lots of whom we hadn’t seen since the 2019 event.

For Regent Brass it was a case of what might have been – the band produced an account of Gilbert Vinter’s ‘Spectrum’ which, in the words of 4BarsRest, was a ‘full blooded account’ for which the ‘players gave everything’. Our MD, Alan Duguid, reacted with a huge smile on the band’s final chord as we’d delivered everything that we’d planned in the practice room on the Gordon Craig stage. The band’s enthusiastic performance met with favour generally in the hall with some very emphatic applause before the final chord had stopped ringing. The post contest summing up from 4BR also placed the band in the prize positions, so we felt confident.

In their discussion of the performances, adjudicators Shoena Wade and Chris Wormold were generally forensic in their analysis and were careful to point out that the quality for them in the contest had ‘risen to the top’. Unfortunately when the results were announced, it wasn’t to be for us as we were placed 9th. However the band has a lot to celebrate in that we have completely rebuilt in the last year and we’ve laid a very sold foundation for our 2022 and beyond, so lots to be positive about.

Following us on Sunday, Regent Community Brass took to the main hall stage with their performance of Gordon Langford’s ‘Facets of Glass’, led by their new Musical Director, Simon Tong in his first contest with the band. The performance was confident and well judged with some particularly noteworthy contributions from the solo baritone in a tricky opening to the third movement, playing alone and showing absolutely no nerves – bravo! Their final placing of 13th will be disappointing for them but given that they also lost two players to COVID on the day, they are to be applauded for getting to the stage and delivering their planned performance.

The results, and the provisional grading tables featuring both bands, have been published and are here: L&SC Grading tables 2022

For Regent Brass, the planning now immediately moves onto our next event – the World Music Finals in Kerkrade, Holland in July, where the band will be presenting an entertainment programme, alongside their performance of Phillip Sparke’s ‘Tallis Variations’ – more on that in the next few weeks!