Adjudicator’s Remarks for the FBA 2015 Own Choice Contest

Championship Section

Ballyclare Victoria John Hinchey

‘Ave Maria’

“Less is more”, I like the choice very much but think you could have done more to capture the intimacy and make it quieter. Nonetheless, some beautiful playing, lovely phrasing good intonation and a very valid performance.


 ‘Night on the Bare Mountain’

Solid playing with some dramatic moments. Intonation is solid and articulation is generally exacting. Bravo low flutes – an excellent section with great articulation. Solo C at key change sounded a little panicked. Your performance was solid; a shining example of a Championship Band, exploring a broader dynamic range, being daring with how quiet you can be and being daring at exploring new sounds. Bravo!


Points 97  

Hamilton Ben McGonigle


Capturing the rhythmical vitality in every single entry to this piece is vital to its success.

Figure 11 worked much more effectively than the opening which was a bit sluggish and under tempo. An even bigger bass section is needed to bring out the full harmonic gamut of this. More dramatic effect is required in terms of timbre and colour to make this work on flutes.

Corral Nocturne - some lovely moments. You explore the wide harmonies which Copland is famous for. We missed the gentle and more serene quieter playing.  A solid performance.

Hoe Down – you captured the rhythmicality of it with a real sense of fun and the bass section comes into its own.

In conclusion this is an extremely challenging piece which your group takes between the teeth and gives it a great shot. Whether it translates effectively into a good flute band piece is something else to consider. There is much to admire in your group however I feel that something like Copland is not the best vehicle for it.

An excellent attempt at a brilliant orchestral piece.


Points 94  

Ballygowan Stephen Cairns

‘Marche Slave’

Opening - bravo, simple yet very effective! A – very tight. C – absolutely wonderful playing, each and  every sound confident and stylish.

H – the bubbliness sounds string-like. This is exciting playing - Flute banding at its very best. 179 – exemplary execution.

K – what a diminuendo – brilliant.

This was simply a stunning performance. A tiny bit of steam was lost at O but this did not detract at all from your performance.


 ‘Sicilian Vespers’

A vehicle showing this group’s virtuosity.

D – rather loud and dark but it worked. Your group brings out the necessary colouring and shape to bring this piece to life. The entire bass section is exemplary in how to make those instruments punctuate the texture. Percussion is sensitive and marries itself well to the needs of the band. Absolutely wonderful flute band playing – what more can I say. A complete pleasure!


Points 99 Best overall performance of the day

Ballylone Philip Walton BMus (Hons) Dip NCOS


The opening is all about the drama of the crescendo - I missed this and it seemed to happen without any real sense of style. As the piece progressed it shows it is obviously a very competent group taking on a very good arrangement.

L is lovely with a real chorale feeling. You rise to all challenges of this arrangement; my only criticism would be to be more daring with your quiet playing to show off your control.

PS – the percussion was a little bit over-zealous at times.  

 “Fire in the Blood”

Brilliantly arranged.

4 before D – COLOURS ARE EXCEPTIONAL - VERY IMPRESSIVE. You are using the flute to bring out the colour that the music needs; not vice versa. The solo entries make a beautiful sound; you blend wonderfully back into one another.

This is simply one of the best arrangements and performances of a modern arrangement I have heard. Your band was exemplary and a pleasure to listen to.


Points 98

Position 2nd  Interpretation Prize

Percussion Prize

Piccolo Prize – Margaret Murray

Ballymena YC Kevin Duffy

‘Crown Imperial’

Great articulation - it really captured the style. You retain this energy throughout this section. Well done.

E – lovely legato that you sustained throughout. Percussion was well balanced and tight. A bold and exacting performance which I enjoyed very much. An accomplished band - well done.


 “Festival Overture”

Tight and secure although Altos dragging at 63.

This is very good ensemble playing.  Whilst the bass sound is not the biggest it does not detract from the musicality and energy in your playing. A broader dynamic range would have brought this to life even more, otherwise, it was really a very good performance within a very strong category.

Well done.


Points 91  

Hunter Moore James Murray

‘Norwegian Rhapsody No 2’

Nice sense of style and you capture the mood well. Intonation is problematic in Solos C 81 to 107.

109 – you capture the dance-like essence really very well indeed. This is solid ensemble playing. You show a good dynamic range and bring out the subtleties very well indeed. I enjoyed this performance very much. Well done - a good performance in a strong section.


Points 92