Apr 2010 - Marching Away With The Silverware

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SCABA Spring Contest

Sunday the 19th of April, saw the band travel to Hove for the annual SCABA Spring contest. Despite the competition clashing with the Brighton Marathon this year, everyone made it to Hove Town Hall on time, even Soprano Bob Turner who likes to make a late entrance most of the time, arrived an hour early.

Despite a low entry for the competition, the band were looking forward to performing in the second section against other bands from the South. But it was a particularly poignant contest for the band this year as it would be the last for several members including a couple of long serving players.

Andy Hill at the Pantiles in 2008Hazel Walsh at the Pantiles in 2008For Hazel Walsh (second trombone) and Andy Hill (Former principal Cornet) this would be their last engagement with the band and we all wanted it to end on a high for them.

While Andy was a relative newcomer to the band compared to Hazel who had been in the band for over 20 years, both players had made significant contributions to the band, with Hazel being part of the triple award winning Trombone section in recent years and Andy performing some fine solos as principal Cornet for the last couple of years. 

Both players will be sorely missed.

Sharon McCallum who normally does not contest with the band due to conflicting stall holding duties at the event and is shortly to move to Wales also decided to play for one final contest with the band and provided a much appreciated boost for the front row cornet line up.

Our thanks must also go to Jerry Traves who played Ebb Bass for us and Pete Steer from BAE Systems Brass Band. Pete who is normally a fine euphonium player, stepped into the breach and played kit percussion for us. A role which demanded significant multi-tasking as both whistles, drums and cymbals were required in the same bar at some points.

As related in the previous article, the rehearsal with John Hudson in the lead up to the competition saw the band looking at two potential contest pieces and while the musical director would perhaps have preferred to play Paul Lovatt Cooper's Prelude and Jubilate, due to our vacancies in the percussion section we eventually decided to play Goff Richard's Hollywood preceded by the March Army of the Nile by K Alford.

Both pieces had been enjoyed by the band and both John and Ian's conducting had resulted in a well practised band, a situation which is quite rare leading up to a contest as it can often be difficult to get everyone together for extended rehearsals. On the day the band gave a relatively relaxed but tight performance which both band and audience enjoyed and resulted in some much appreciated silverware when Stan Lippeatt, the days contest adjudicator awarded us first place for the March and Second place for the Test Piece.

 

Kenneth Alford - Army of the Nile

Kenneth Joseph Alford is a pseudonym taken by Major Fredrick Joseph Ricketts. As a composer he is best known for his marches, the most famous of which being Colonel Bogey. British officers of his day were not encouraged to pursue interests outside the Services so, as a Lieutenant, he published works under a pseudonym. The first name, "Kenneth", was that of his eldest son, and the surname, "Alford", was his mother's maiden name.

Major Fredrick Joseph Ricketts (21 February 1881 - 15 May 1945), joined the Royal Irish Regiment as a musician in 1895 and was commissioned into the Royal Marines as a Director of Music in 1927. He retired in 1944 with the rank of Major.

Ricketts/Alford is known as "The British March King", and is considered by many to be Britain's equivalent of America's John Phillip Sousa.

He composed Army of the Nile  in 1941 dedicating it to General Wavell for halting the advance of the Axis Powers in Egypt during World War II.