Littleport Brass win second place trophy in major contest

PUBLISHED: 14:53 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:10 09 October 2019

Littleport Brass with musical director Ian Knapton with trophy - and beer after the Bolsover Festival of Brass. Picture: CATHY GIBB-DE SWARTE.

Littleport Brass with musical director Ian Knapton with trophy - and beer after the Bolsover Festival of Brass. Picture: CATHY GIBB-DE SWARTE.

Archant

Littleport got a glowing reference from its brass band's musical director Ian Knapton when he introduced Littleport Brass to the audience in Bolsover.

The band was there on Sunday October 6 to compete in the new Bolsover Festival of Brass in its second section category.

Hosted by Iwan Fox of 4BarsRest and Chris Thomas of Brass Band World magazine, it was held in the Heritage High School in Clowne.

The day-long competition in Derbyshire was live-streamed, supported by the Warwick Music Group, creators of the modern pBone, pTrumpet and pCornet, and the viewing figures ran into tens of thousands world-wide.

Littleport Brass's programme was superbly presented and executed. Brass president Bill Sharpe said: "Congratulations on a splendid effort."

The ever-popular jazzy Blackbird Special opened it as spectacularly and tunefully as they meant to go on.

Drummer Nathaniel Revell started the show and the band members got up in groups and stood in rows out front to play before retaking their seats.

This was followed by a Motown-style presentation of Under the Boardwalk; the musicians moving and clapping, snapping their fingers in a routine worthy of the Drifters.

The soloist Jan Wyndham-Hall played the flugel as soulfully and pitch-perfect as you'd expect from someone who'd been playing since they were five-years-old.

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Philip Harper would surely have been as delighted with that performance of his arrangement of Under the Boardwalk as he would have been with the rendering of his composition Salsa Tres' Prado which was the band's third offering complete with scored Flamenco clapping and traditional shouts.

Then to the stirring 19th century classic New Colonial March in perfect time and ending with the 21st century Glorifico Aeturnum written by the Salvationist composer Dean Jones - and played exactly as directed - beginning in strict tempo and ending with plenty of rubato and feeling to round off the set.

After that magnificent effort Littleport Brass just missed winning their section by three points and brought home a second-place trophy.

Certainly some of the point scoring system is subjective as evidenced by this result.

Musical director Ian Knapton said: "The band played very well. Although Chapeltown Silver should have beaten us on paper, they came second in the national finals this year and presented a more difficult technical performance that could have attracted more points.

"I think that from the way we played we should have got that top spot. Littleport has an amazing band and the village should be so proud of them!"

See them live in concert at Littleport Ex-Servicemen's Club on Sunday October 20. 'Stage and Screen, Broadway to Hollywood' starts at 3.30pm and tickets cost £5 on the door. Children under 15 receive free entry.

For more information visit www.littleportbrass.co.uk or search for Littleport Brass on Facebook.

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