And they’re off….

…to Cheltenham.

Bilton Silver are preparing to wow audiences once again at this year’s National Final’s of the Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. The band is returning to Cheltenham race course on Saturday 21st September 2013, where last year Bilton Silver grabbed 2nd place, only to be pipped to the post by South Milford. South Milford’s rendition of ‘Academic Festival Overture’ off the number 16 draw, snatched the title from Bilton Silver and Haslingden & Helmshore — the only other contenders the judges felt had really given them what they were looking for on a day of varied competition.

This year, with promotion to the First Section from 2014 already guaranteed, Bilton Silver look forward to taking to the stage again for a new challenge, Kenneth Downies ‘Purcell Variations’, with only pride to lose. Composed to commemorate the tercentenary of Purcell’s death, this piece is based on the hymn tune ‘Westminster Abbey’ and offers variety, vitality and technical movements.

Bilton Silver is more than happy to welcome back professional conductor David Stowell, while resident musical director, Mark Allen takes his place back in the horn section. Bilton Silver’s BBb Bass player, and Band Sergeant, Matthew Moran tells us more:

“The build up to Cheltenham this year has been as intense as any contest in recent history, with sectionals and extra practices almost every night, squeezed around our busy concert schedule. At first glance the piece looked relatively harmless compared with past ones, but I now admit I underestimated the detail.  The piece has really grown on me and I look forward to showing the judges, audiences and other Second Section bands our interpretation of it.”

“Next year is going to be a completely different league of competition. I haven’t had personal experience contesting in anything other than Second Section, but I am confident that Bilton is progressing rapidly and will feel comfortable in the higher level. Our recent contest results are a testament to the hard work invested by the players and musical direction from Mark Allen, Stuart Fisher and of course David Stowell.”

Attending the National finals for the third time in as many years has earned Bilton Silver a reputation amongst the banding world. An article published today by www.all4brass.com predicts the band will be placed first, out of the eighteen attending, whilst www.emptychairs.co.uk places them in the top six. Who really knows what will earn a band first place apart from the two adjudicators, Glyn Williams and David Hirst?

Keep your eyes peeled on this site, Bilton Silvers’ Facebook or Twitter feeds for live news on the big day!

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