Butlins: 2nd section debut for Fulham

Fulham Brass Band entered for the Butlins Mineworkers National Open Brass Band Festival, held on the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd January, for the third consecutive year. This year was, however, a little different and special. This was the first outing of the band in a second section contest.

This year the second section bands were playing a piece called: “The Rise of the Phoenix” written by Darrol Barry.  Indeed, this year, all of the test pieces were written by Darrol Barry, including Requiems (Championship), Granite Variations (Third Section) and Hungerford Town (Fourth Section). Indeed, there was a connection for Fulham with the composer, as Darrol Barry had been Simon Jones’s conductor in the past.

Despite the trauma of being drawn 13th, Fulham went on to give an assured performance and certainly played to their ability and potential. The band then had to wait until the evening before finding out the results. The players were really keen to find out how they had fared in the somewhat more testing environment of the second section. Well, the band needn’t have worried as Fulham were placed 8th out of 16 bands. A really creditable first outing.

What’s more, is the standard of those bands that Fulham outpointed. These included all of the bands in the London and Southern Counties area (Northfleet Brass; Becontree Brass; Betteshanger and Denham Hendon Brass) and last year’s third section National Champions, Delph. A number of very significant scalps.

Hopefully this all bodes well for Fulham’s first foray into the London and Southern Counties area championships in March.