By any brass band’s standards, Fulham have had a very successful year. In March we won the London and Southern Counties regional competition and therefore qualified to represent the area in the National Finals in Harrogate. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and preparation, the dream of becoming National Champions was not to be. The band was on a roll and, buoyant from recent success, threw themselves into the task of perfecting their set piece, ‘The Willow Pattern’ by Philip Harper. No attention to detail was spared and the performance was honed through rehearsal and public performances, culminating in a final outdoor concert attended by The Worshipful the Mayor of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, Councillor Adronie Alford.
On 24th September the band travelled north to Harrogate before performing a warm up concert in York Town Centre on Saturday 25th. The band was well-received by the knowledgeable Yorkshire audience. On the following day, Fulham were drawn 6th to play out of the 17 bands representing their respective regions and nerves and expectations were high.
Despite a creditable performance, the adjudicators, David Lancaster and Kevin Wadsworth, considered the band to be placed only 8th out of 17. The worthy winners of the title were the Northern band, Delph.
The brass band website, 4barsrest.com, was impressed by Fulham’s performance, stating that it was: ‘Stylish stuff – colourful and full of drama’ and that the interpretation was ‘A really stylish drama packed tale. Not perfect by any means but great entertaining story telling’. All that said, this was Fulham’s highest-ever placing in their one hundred and fifteen year history and an accomplishment the whole band should be proud of. The star player on the day, as judged by 4Bars Rest was the euphonium player, Michael Dawson.
Back in the real world, Fulham are beginning to prepare their next assault on what will be the second section of the Brass Band leagues and they hope that next year, they may be able to bring more trophies back to decorate the Fulham British Legion.