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More on the Open results

 --------------- Begin message from CARDPC  10-Sep-96 -------------------

 I went to the British open and sat for over 7 hours listening to every 
 bands performance.  I didn't know the piece before the day so I found it 
 difficult to judge Dyke's performance, but they certainly didn't make any 
 great impression on me.  I'm not an adjudicator and I probably wasn't 
 listening for the same things that an adjudicator would listen for but I 
 picked Britania Building Society, Tredegar and Grimethorpe as the three 
 bands which I felt made the music interesting to listen to.  Faireys played 
 very precisely and were very controlled - they were probably the best band 
 on the day but to me their performance was lifeless and un-interesting.

 I must say that I'm still puzzled by the results - Marple and Faireys both 
 played in a similar style (although there were twelve bands between them so 
 I could be mistaken) and Faireys made a much better job of it.  Marple were 
 one of very few bands where mistakes were made; the sop missed a few notes 
 and there were several entries that weren't together.  So, if that was the 
 style the adjudicators wanted why didn't Faireys win?  BUT, I did hear
 several, well-respected people saying that they thought Marple would win.

 I'm not taking anything away from Marple.  It's an incredible achievement 
 and they've  worked very hard for it.  All credit to Garry Cutt, their 
 conductor, who's interpretation of Elgar's music won the contest for them.  
 Who are we to judge when Bram Gay, the "editor" of the version of the Severn 
 Suite used for the competition was in the box together with two other 
 excellent musicians.  That brings me to the one thing that was desperately 
 lacking from the contest (maybe I missed it when I nipped out to the toilet 
 between the last band and the resuts) - feedback from the adjudicators.  
 Maybe we could understand the results better if we knew what they had been 
 listening for.  

 Two final thoughts:

 The hall is far from perfect for Brass Band music and the sound is different
 in different parts of the hall.  At the back of the stalls, none of the 
 bands sounded "loud" to us, and in fact some seemed underpower particularly
 in the bottom end.  We didn't hear any of the "booming" reported by other
 listeners.  Maybe if we'd sat next to the adjudicators we would all have come
 up with the same result?

 Many top players were disputing the result at the Abbercrombie (many others 
 actually gritted their teeth and shook hands with the Marple team) - but 
 throughout the day there was a distinct lack of players listening to their 
 opponents.  They are in no position to judge who won and lost.

 As always, these are just my personal thoughts on the matter.

 Don Cooper,

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