Eccles Borough Under Starter’s Orders For National Finals!

September 17th 2015

Cheltenham Racecourse will be alive to the sounds of music this weekend as it hosts the National Brass Band Finals; and Eccles Borough Band is chomping at the bit to represent the North West in the 2nd Section.

The set piece for this year’s final is the emotive ‘The Snaring Of The Sun’ by Stephen Roberts, and the band has been working hard to bring the piece up to the required high standard. The piece is a celebration of youth based on ancient Polynesian folklore, a coming of age tale of the young god Maui and his struggle to tame the erratic sun.

The legend tells of the unpredictable rise and fall of the sun and the difficulties this caused the people of Polynesia.

The piece opens as daylight creeps across the land and slowly sunrise builds to a brief climax, but falls away again almost instantly, leaving the world dark and desolate. The athletic Maui appears, but must first talk to his sad mother who convinces him to capture the sun and set it on a steady path. The beginning of the piece poses very difficult sections for the bass end of the band. Quiet and subtle, descriptive and emotive; not things usually associated with tubas.

After a Hakka battle cry from the solo cornet, Maui finds the sun sleeping in a crater and a fierce battle ensues between the different sections of the band until, finally, the sun is snared in Maui’s magic lasso. Peace is brought to the land again, until the sun majestically rises for the first time in its new rhythm across the heavens, bringing life to the World.

The band will perform on Saturday morning; the section commences at 9:30, with the difficult task of adjudication falling to the capable ears of Anne Crookston & David Hirst. Eccles Borough Band has been working hard over the last few weeks to really get to grips with the piece, we’ve been to weigh in and all been given our racing colours. Some personnel re-shuffles have taken place throughout the band and the Musical Director; Mareika Gray, has drawn on her experience to lead the players to, hopefully, a musical and emotive performance.

15 other bands will be jockeying for the number one spot on Saturday, and Eccles Borough wishes all the bands the best of luck. The form cards have been studied, and going is good-to-firm for Eccles Borough, but the race is anyone’s for the taking, and a rank outsider could surprise the field.

Place your bets now; hopefully Eccles Borough will be first past the post.

You can follow our progress over the course of the weekend on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds.