Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Monday, 8 December 2014

Advent Calendar ~ 8

What will be behind the eighth door on our Advent Calendar.   Every day I want to manage at least one picture, preferably a seasonal one.   Today's picture is one of me taken yesterday.

Yesterday I was playing with the Croydon Symphonic Band at the National Concert Band Festival,  London Regional Festival.   The idea of the Festival is that it is a non-competitive opportunity to listen to other bands playing different music.   Bands are divided up into four sections, Youth, Big Band, Community Band and Open.   Youth band and Big bands are pretty self explanatory, Community Bands are drawn from across the community and are non-selective, so are open to all ages and abilities.  The Open section is for bands that are in some way selective, bands that will audition members, or only draw from a closed community, such as a University.   We play in the Community Band class, as the whole object of the band is to provide place for people to play wind band music.   We have never auditioned or excluded anyone from performing, and are rather proud of that.

To ensure a certain standard of programming there is a list of pieces, one of which each band should include in their twenty minute programme.   To aid the bands in improving their standard of performance there are adjudicators who will give notes on the performances, and then give awards according to the standard of performance.   Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum awards are given.   For our performance of Philip Sparke's Hymns from the Highlands we received a platinum award.   So although this is a non-competitive festival ~ WE WON!!!!

This means we have the opportunity to play at the finals held at the Royal Northern College of Music, in Manchester on the 11th and 12th April next year.

As well as a fine performance, and collecting this acclamation of our prowess, yesterday was another little landmark for me personally, I have been playing with this band for over 40 years, and this was the first occasion that I performed as my female self!   Something I will be repeating on Sunday.
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