It was a truly memorable occasion for the band, rekindling many memories, as we gathered for photos, moments after hearing the winning announcement, “…the band that played third…”
It was a Herculean team effort for the band, following an earlier, unsettled run-up to the contest, which was carefully orchestrated by Sarah Groarke-Booth, who returned to conduct the band she played for in her youth, only three weeks prior to the contest.
“The band deserve all the credit,” Sarah said as she posed with the trophy that was last in Marple’s possession back in 1988. “It has been amazing to come back and be able to help them for this event. It has brought back so many happy memories – and so many new ones to cherish too.”
4barsrest – “Marple’s excellent rendition of Oliver Waespi’s ‘Traversada’, from the early number 3 draw, saw them post a high-class marker that could not be matched by the rest of the 17 band field. In the end, it was the finely shaped detail of Marple that won through.”
Traversada was a contest piece that tested the band and challenged every section across the different disciplines of expansive, lyrical themes to very intricate, syncopated passages. The adjudicators Ian Porthouse and David Thornton were “impressed by Marple’s ability to maintain musical flow without losing intricate detail. The top two bands were a little bit apart, with the winners having that extra degree of consistency and control.” (from 4BR)
For the band, the result wasn’t without tears as we celebrated, particularly for some of the players who had tasted such victories with Marple in the past. “It’s been well worth the wait,” said Duncan Stephenson clutching the National Challenge Cup with friend and fellow bandsman Matt Murphy. “This will be remembered by us both as being every bit as special as the British Open win in 1996.”
The band has enjoyed several recent contest successes, propelling us from third section in 2013 to first section from 2015, and much credit, recognition and thanks goes to Les Webb for his hard work and contribution, enabling the band to qualify for the National Finals in successive years 2013/14.
Band Chairman John Richardson, who has been associated with the band since 1966 said, “We have been a band that has enjoyed great highs and lows, but this is as remarkable an achievement as any that has gone before. We have rebuilt carefully since our reformation ten years ago – from six players to this. A few weeks ago we were not expecting to come anywhere at the contest. Sarah has been remarkable and her connection with the band makes this victory so special.”
We are very fortunate to have a band of excellent, dedicated players that pulled out all the stops to attain this remarkable result. The band was ably supported by the enthusiasm of the committee, who’s efforts in the smooth organisation in preparation for the contest should also be recognised, in particular the Secretary – Mary Pollock, Contest Secretary – Louisa Clark and Chairman – John Richardson without who’s commitment achieving such momentous results would not be possible.
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