I was invited to adjudicate at the Scottish Concert Band Festival Finals in Perth on Sunday by Nigel Durno who founded the event three years ago.
It was a beautiful day in Perth and the venue was quite excellent. The Perth Concert Hall has all the facilities anyone could want and it is staffed by helpful, experienced people who know exactly what they need to do to support an event like this one.
Before long the foyer was brimming with young players, full of enthusiasm and excitement. It was impossible to miss the buzz around this festival and I think much has to do with the attitude of the organisation and the enabling method of adjudication.
The adjudication procedure is prescriptive yet flexible with every musical director ending up with a clear and precise picture of how the grading was awarded. The adjudication sheets are worded in a positive and musical fashion with every word designed to encourage improvement and good practice.
Performances were very well attended by supporters and other bands with the two adjudications having a full house for the presentations.
On the whole I was impressed with the standard of playing, conducting, rehearsing and choice of repertoire. There were some outstanding solo performances and these were elligible for special awards and prizes.
This is a modern, forward thinking, evolving festival that I can see growing quite quickly as musicians see how beneficial it can be in developing their bands.
I enjoyed hearing all the groups, enjoyed the environment and the atmosphere but most of all the enthusiasm and energy of so many young players made the day seem very worth while and special.
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