On Sunday Fulham made their annual pilgrimage to Stevenage, for the 2014 London and Southern Counties Regional contest. An unseasonably warm spring day with blue sky aplenty was topped off with a fantastic WIN for Team Fulham in the 2nd section!
This year’s piece was Chaucer’s Tunes by Michael Ball, written in 1998 for the 1999 National Youth Brass Band Championships. It began life as a theme for a BBC radio series, written for wind band. On face value, not as technically challenging as pieces from previous years but containing plenty of room for interpretation as the six sections were navigated.
Fulham had an inauspicious start to the year. Finishing fifteenth in a field of seventeen at the Butlins Mineworkers contest in January, this was unexpected for an event where in recent years a solid top-ten place has been achieved. This was followed by, in the run-up to the areas, a change of MD, a soprano player out for an operation, a move from 2nd man down on cornet to solo horn and a last-minute recall for bass playing alumnus trying to complete his biochemistry Masters in Lyon.
Given these travails, the band was thrilled to come in first place, with the adjudicators praising our interpretation of the piece, just as the composer had intended. Fulham were presented with the trophies for winning band, conductor and best bass section.
Along with the trophy, Sunday’s win means the band are awarded a place at the national finals in Cheltenham, in September. We’ll find out what the piece for the finals is in April. The win also means the band is likely to be promoted to the 1st section so the players can expect a new degree of challenge over the coming years.
This latest result is the seventh consecutive year of improvement for Fulham at the L&SC areas contest. Being based in London the band at times has experienced a high turnover of players, so it’s been extremely satisfying to see the band grow this way: steadily and as a TEAM!
A massive thanks to all involved including the players, supporters and the people who have put in hours of hard work behind the scenes to get the band to the level they are now at. Keep following us to see how we get on, as the determination and energy of the band will not be fading out anytime soon… #TEAMFULHAM