Regent Brass on stage at the Scottish Open, Perth, November 2012

On 23rd November, the band made their annual pilgrimage to Perth to perform at the Scottish Open Brass Band Championships, a very prestigious contest which attracts some of the top bands from across the UK.

The night before the contest itself, the band shared the concert stage with the Tullis Russell Mills Band based in Glenrothes, for an evening of musical entertainment. After a great concert with them last year this event was once again a success with a very receptive audience. A key highlight of the evening was the showcase of talent in their Youth Band and Percussion Ensemble who, despite being formed only recently, demonstrated the exciting strides being made by the band in drawing the younger generation into banding. As well as performing a programme of new music written by Martin Pearce, Philip Doe and Alan Duguid, Regent also accompanied two talented soloists from the Tullis Russell Youth Band, Kyle Kinnear and Michael McLaughlin, who both gave fantastic performances of “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” and “Wandrin’ Star” before joining the band in their finale of “Loch Lomond”.

At the contest this year, the strong line-up of bands each selected an own-choice test piece to perform which resulted in a wide spectrum of different pieces being performed ranging from older works such as “Un Vie de Matelot” by Robert Farnon through to the much newer “Earthrise” by Nigel Hess.

The band had elected to perform a truly seminal work for brass band, “The Year of the Dragon” by London-based composer Philip Sparke. Although this was written nearly 30 years ago, the piece is still very challenging to play with some difficult technical passages and demanding solo lines, however the band gave a confident and exciting performance which found favour with many listeners in the hall. A particular highlight of the performance was the contribution by the band’s star trombonist, Tetsuro Okamura, who gave a outstanding rendition of the iconic solo in the second movement for which many felt he was unfortunate not to take the soloist prize.

The competition’s interesting adjudication system meant that the band received independent marks from 3 adjudicators – Tom Brevik, Ray Farr and Steven Mead. Whilst the performance found favour with Tom and Steven who placed us 7th and 8th place respectively, Ray sadly felt differently and placed us 16th which gave us an overall 12th place above six bands ranked above us in the “4barsrest World Rankings”.

The band thoroughly enjoyed the trip up north and would like to thank the Tullis Russell Mills Band for their kind hospitality and Nigel Brinklow of the Redbridge band for performing with us. We look forward hopefully to another trip next year!

For more details, see 4Barsrest official report.

Full results, from 4Barsrest

Own Choice Competition

Adjudicators: Tom Brevik, Ray Farr & Steven Mead


Farr/Brevik/Mead = Total

1. Co-operative Funeralcare (Dr. Nicholas Childs): 2/2/2 = 6 Electra (Martin Ellerby)
2. Tertnes (Gary Peterson): 6/1/4 = 11 Seid – Version B (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
3. Marsden Silver (Glyn Williams): 1/10/3 = 14 A Tale as yet Untold (Philip Sparke)
4. EYMS (Alan Morrison): 4*/5/6 = 15 A Lowry Sketchbook (Philip Wilby)
5. Kirkintilloch (Phillip McCann): 8*/6/1 = 15 Breath of Souls (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)
6. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (David Nesbit): 3*/3/15 = 21 A Tale as yet Untold (Philip Sparke)
7. Milnrow (Mareika Gray): 5*/11/5 = 21 Earthrise (Nigel Clarke)
8. Felling (Stephen Malcolm): 7/12/7 = 26 Paganini Variations (Philip Wilby)
9. Northop Silver (Thomas Wyss): 11/8/10 = 29 Montage (Peter Graham)
10. Dalmellington (Archie Hutchison): 12*/9/9 = 30  Titan’s Progress (Hermann Pallhuber)
11. Kingdom Brass (Bede Williams): 14*/4/12 = 30 Music of the Spheres (Philip Sparke)
12. Regent Brass (Alan Duguid): 16/7/8 = 31 The Year of the Dragon (Philip Sparke)
13. Blackburn & Darwen (Nick Shephard): 9/14/13 = 36 The New Jerusalem (Philip Wilby)
14. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Mark Bentham): 10/13/14 = 37 From Ancient Times (Jan Van der Roost)
15. Kirkintilloch Kelvin Brass (Charles Keenan): 17/15/11 = 43 Un Vie de Matelot (Robert Farnon)
16. Lochgelly (Bryan Allan): 15/17/16 = 48 Rococo Variations (Edward Gregson)
17. Bo’ness & Carriden (Paul Drury): 13/18/18 = 49 Whitsun Wakes (Michael Ball)
18. Fishburn (Huw Thomas): 18/16/17 = 51 Vienna Nights (Philip Wilby)

*Ray Farr’s position takes precdent

4BR Best Instrumentalist: Scott Findlater (Euphonium) – Kirkintilloch