Granite City Brass
Granite City Brass commenced its programme with the powerful march ‘Farvel til en Slavisk Kvinne’ (Farewell to a Slavic woman) by Vasiliev Agapkin (arr. Reid Gilje). Adjudicator John Boax particularly appreciated the … “excellent bass tune”. In complete contrast followed a beautiful arrangement by Greg Jasperse of the William Henry Monk hymn ‘Abide with me’. Mr Boax remarked that it was … “a lovely piece”. The solo spot featured principal euphonium Lewis Catto with the devilishly rapid ‘Banjo and Fiddle’ by William Kroll (arr. Thomas Ruedi). Mr Boax noted that the soloist … “played so well”. GCB always keen to dabble with the avant garde, next presented musical director Bruce Wallace’s own arrangement of the Michael Colgrass “Old Churches”. Mr Boax wrote … “an interesting piece that I really enjoyed … well done!” The band concluded with the final section from Stephen Bulla’s dramatic Rhapsody for Band – ‘Firestorm’. Mr Boax commented that the music was …“well handled with good ensemble … a good last piece”. In return for its labours, GCB received the trophy for best 1st section band and the shield for 3rd best band overall.
Granite City Community Band
The 2016 contest was to see the first time participation of Granite City Community Band in a non-contesting (adjudication only) capacity. The resurgence of this ensemble over the last couple of years has been dramatic and the band under its leader Lewis Catto ably presented a solid and challenging programme. This opened with ‘Prismatic Light’ by Alan Fernie. Then followed the classic tenor horn solo ‘Iona’ by W.A. Allison featuring the talented young Molly Lees, which prompted adjudicator John Boax to note “good solo work”. Next up was ‘Celtic Impressions’ by Darrol Barrie, followed by ‘Amadeus’ by Alan Fernie and finally the dynamic ‘Critical Mass’ by Todd Stalter. Mr Boax enjoyed the performance commenting … “great energy on show”. Members commented that their participation in the contest event had proved most enjoyable and a good learning experience.