This weekend saw all at Otterbourne Brass in high spirits and excited to set off on our annual trip to Torquay, where we were to compete at the West of England Brass Band Regional Contest held at the Riviera Centre.
After many weeks of hard work in the rehearsal room with planned sectional work and many hours practising just one set test piece, Essay by Edward Gregson, we had finally reached the main event.
Some of the band travelled down on the Friday and made a long weekend of it, others travelling on the Saturday and arriving just in time for our penultimate rehearsal which went really well and we were rewarded with an early finish.
We followed the rehearsal with a fantastic band meal at the Aztec Bistro where we could all relax with good food and great company. A good opportunity for us all to bond socially which of course helps our teamwork in the bandroom.
Sunday morning – and back to work. Our final rehearsal and just enough time for us to work on our tuning and mentally prepare before we found out our draw for the afternoons’ proceedings. We were drawn 5th out of 15 bands in our section which meant that we didn’t have to rush to the venue, but also didn’t have too much time to hang around before it was time for our last and most important performance of this great piece.
The band played really well on stage and we were pleased with the massive progress we had made over the last few months. We received lots of positive comments from the audience and now we just had to await the adjudicators decision.
Unfortunately, we were disappointed to come away with a 10th place, especially as the adjudicators reports were both very positive. However, this could not take away from the huge sense of achievement that the band felt and we will now return to the rehearsal room to prepare for our next engagement, our Spring Concert on the 8th May in Chandlers Ford, with renewed determination and refreshed motivation to continue our progress and ready to come back fighting for our next visit to Torquay in 2017.
Article by Sonja Charters