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Midlands Area Contest 2015

3rd place, a trip to the national finals and promotion to the 2nd section!

On Saturday the band took part in their sixth 3rd Section area contest, hoping to repeat their victory of 2013. The area championships are the focal point of any band’s contesting year, as it gives the band the opportunity to qualify for the national finals in Cheltenham as well as being the only contest to determine promotion and relegation within the brass band grading tables.


Evolution – 5 States of Change

The test piece this year was Philip Sparke’s Evolution – 5 States of Change.Evolution Score

The composer writes:

“The idea for the piece came when I was reading an article about a branch of Chinese philosophy which is abbreviated as Wu Xing*, which has no exact translation but can mean, for example, five elements, five phases or five states of change.

I was particularly interested in the cycle of emotions:-

Meditation – Sorrow – Fear – Anger – Joy – (Meditation) etc.

and thought this cyclic principle would provide an effective emotional journey for a piece of music. So Evolution has five equal sections which loosely characterise this emotional cycle. I have tried to make the music grow organically, with minimal repetition, and each movement evolves from the musical elements at the end of the previous one, with the opening material appearing, transformed, at the end of the piece to complete the cycle.”


Strong Competition

This year, as always, we faced strong competition, including Butlins Champions Stamford Brass, last year’s runners up Foss Dyke and newly promoted Ifton Colliery. Drawn 7th the band took to the stage in a confident mood thanks in part to their recent successes including 3rd place at Butlins and their win at Leicester.

The band delivered a fine performance with brass band website 4barsrest saying:

“Hucknall & Linby give us the strongest start so far! Lovely bass sounds and full band sits nicely on top. Very tidy quaver passages sees Hucknall in fine form for a podium finish here today.

Everything in the right place, well balanced and clean! A star quality performance setting the standard to beat for us today.”

At the end of a very long day the results were announced and the band were delighted to hear that they had finished in 3rd place. This means that along with Ifton and Foss Dyke the band will be representing the midlands at the national finals in Cheltenham in September. On top of this, the band, after consistently performing well in the 3rd section, are now top of the grading table, and will be promoted to the 2nd section in 2016.


The band are already looking forward to the finals and competing at a higher level in 2016. Exciting times ahead!

Midlands Area Third Section Results:

Test Piece: Test Piece:’Evolution, Five States of Change’ – Philip Sparke

Saturday 7th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College

Adjudicators: John Berryman & Mark Wilkinson

1. Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston)*
2. Foss Dyke (Simon Oates)*
3. Hucknall & Linby MC Brass (Paul Whyley)*
4. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
5. Trentham Brass (Mike Caveney)
6. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
7. City of Birmingham (Iain Masson)
8. Arrow Valley (Andy Culshaw)
9. Matlock (Geoff Hawley)
10. Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)
11. Resdev Market Rasen (David Dernley)
12. Wellington (Telford) (Fiona Rolfe)
13. Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
14. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
15. Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass (Craig Stevens)
16. Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)
17. Melton (Graham Sutton)
18. Moulton 77 (Roger Stevens)

* Top 3 bands qualify for National Final

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