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Hitting the right notes: Nailsworth Silver Band qualify for national finals

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Nailsworth Silver Band have booked their place in the national finals after a second-place finish at the West of England regional finals in Devon.

Bands placing in the top two or three from each region are invited to compete at the national finals, held at Cheltenham Racecourse in September. Nailsworth Silver Band compete in the West of England Region, which incorporates bands from as far north as Tewkesbury all the way to the tip of Cornwall.

Brass bands are separated into five nationwide leagues or ‘sections’ with promotions and relegations each season. Each region of the UK hosts an annual competition in which bands in each section are required to perform the same piece of music, called a ‘test piece’. Two adjudicators then judge the performances blind and rank the bands based on their interpretation of the music.

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The band has had a brilliant few years with two invitations to the national finals, a first place regional victory in 2019 and a promotion from the Fourth to the Third Section. Nailsworth have since backed this up with third, fourth and now second place finishes in the Third Section. As a result of this, the band has been invited to compete in the national finals once again – their first appearance in this competition in the Third Section. This will be the band’s third National Final in five years, having not qualified previously since 1969. The band won the Fourth Section National Final in 2021.

As Musical Director since 2020, Anri Adachi has been fundamental to the band’s recent upward trajectory. She had this to say on this year’s performane: “We all enjoyed preparing Christopher Bond’s expressive and dramatic testpiece – Corineus – for the contest, and are so delighted that our hard work and many hours of rehearsals have paid dividends! I am very proud of what Nailsworth has achieved in a short period of time, and it is testament to the players’ commitment, positive attitude and community spirit. We are very much looking forward to the future – a future filled with exciting events, projects and, of course, participation in the National Finals of Great Britain.”

This year’s piece was entitled Corineus by Christopher Bond and was based on a medieval British legend. Corineus was a prodigious warrior, fighter of giants and founder of Cornwall. The piece opens with Corineus’s jubilant arrival in Britain from Europe, before moving into a slower, more lyrical theme of unrequited love. The piece concludes with the raising of an army and a dramatic battle, before returning to the rousing fanfare heard at the beginning. Nailsworth were praised by adjudicators for the detail and storytelling they incorporated into their performance of the music.

Nailsworth’s next outing will be to Birmingham to participate in the ConsTest contest, performing Philip Harper’s Olympus on 6th April.

If you’re looking for a band for an event, please contact secretary Debbie McDougall at secretary@nailsworth.band. Interested in learning? Nailsworth offer two beginner groups: Brasshoppers and Training Band. Get in touch for more details or visit our Facebook or Instagram pages.

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