Not all bands enter competitions and there are some which shun the contest stage, preferring to concentrate their efforts in providing music for local events. For most players, though, contesting has always been an important part of brass banding, the reason that they spend so many hours trying to perfect their art. It provides them with the opportunity to test their musical skills against others and, of course, to bring home that silverware.
This section includes brass band contests which have taken place in Cornwall. I doubt that all are here, and there are certainly some results missing, but, over time, it is hoped that it will become a comprehensive record of all Cornish Contests.
St Agnes Contest
(St Agnes Band)
16th May 1914
Adjudicator: Jessie Manley
St Agnes Band members who organised the contest
Second section test piece: Classic Gems / Voluntary
|1||Indian Queens||Mr Dobbing|
|2||Stenalees Temperance Brass||J Lennon|
Cornet: Mr J Lennon, Stenalees Temperance Brass
Euphonium: Mr Tamblyn, Indian Queens
Second section test march:
|1||Stenalees Temperance Brass|
Third section test piece: Sunny Memories / Own choice
|1||St Newlyn East Ambulance||L Abram|
|2||Fourlanes Temperance Brass||W Floyd|
|=3||St Columb Town||W H Webber|
|=3||Tre Pol & Pen Brass (St Minver)||J F Wills|
|Truro Town||L Abram|
|Treviscoe Brass||J G Jubb|
Cornet: (St Newlyn East Ambulance)
Euphonium: (St Newlyn East Ambulance)
Third section test march:
|1||St Columb Town|
|St Newlyn East Ambulance|
|Fourlanes Temperance Brass|
|Tre Pol & Pen Brass (St Minver)|
The Royal Cornwall Gazette report talked of excellent arrangements and glorious weather with bands coming from as far north as St Minver. It states, “The adjudicator was Mr Jessie Manley, who has judged nine times at the Crystal Palace, and who during his career has judged over 100 contests. There were six entries in the third section including Truro Town Band and the general consensus of opinion was that they stood well for a place, but when the decision was given they were found to be entirely out of the hunt. It is with no desire to criticise Mr Manley’s decision that we make the remarks; it simply shows where the musician and the musical people differ. There is no doubt if Truro Town Band go on improving they will yet know the pleasure of being placed, so it is merely a case of glory deferred.” Not a bad write up for a band which was unplaced in the bottom section!
It goes on to say there were, “prizes to the value of £38 and the arrangements were made by St Agnes Town Band (Bandmaster H Robins), with Mr R Waters as President; Mr H R Wills, Hon. Secretary; Mr. C. Chegwyn, Hon. Treasurer; and Messrs. Prisk, J. Pope, J. Angwin and A. Jones, committee.”
Mr Manley criticised the sluggish tonguing in the third section marches. He was certain the players were aware of it and considered it, “Their duty to rid themselves of it as soon as possible.” There was a lot of loose playing in the test piece and the accompaniment was too loud. He considered the players to be very careless.
The Royal Cornwall Gazette rounded off their report with the final item of the event and one last mention of a particular band; “At the close the bands, under the baton of the judge, played en masse with beautiful effect the march “Legion of Honour” and on returning to Truro the Truro Town Band played the ‘Westward Ho’ march in Boscawen Street.”
Compiled by Tony Mansell (Bardh Kernow)