Adjudicator's thoughts ahead of Yorkshire Regional Championships
Robert Childs will be adjudicating the 3rd section of the Yorkshire Regional Championships this Saturday. Read his thoughts on Philip Sparke's set test.
Five States of Change
Philip Sparke

Really looking forward to adjudicating the 3rd Section at St Georges Hall on Saturday. Philip Sparke’s Evolution is a real test asking so much of the Bands and the Conductors.

Movt.1 Earth-Meditation,
The easiest challenge technically. However the meditative style and delicate balance will cause a few problems for some.

Movt.2 Metal – Sorrow,
Listeso tempo (the same tempo!) so many of the Bands I’ve listened to on youtube take this faster!
Accurate balance between cnt, euph and side drum is crucial. The side drum semi-quavers and the stacc crotchets create a more animated style than the previous movement.

Movt.3 Water – Fear
A tricky transition into this movt (accel from 104-138). Again I was surprised how many youtube bands played this movt too fast, which tended to dilute the malicious intent of the next movt.
The need to capture the various styles in this movement is key to its success, sometimes feeling jazzy (bongos and troms) and other times like a war march!
Mixing legato musical lines with animated staccato figures can also cause ensemble problems.
This movt is a real challenge technically and musically.

Movt 4 Wood – Anger
Another tricky transition (138-166) that will be easy to adjudicate.
This movt is probably the most challenging technically and of the many performances on youtube so many performances go too fast to hear the detail and general clarity. Much of the malicious character is lost because of excessive tempi.
Percussion play a big part throughout the composition but especially in this movt really needs to be integrated. (especially the w.blks). The dynamic contrasts in this movt also allow bands to score valuable points . Just play what’s on the score (p- mf!).

Movt 5 Fire – Joy
Again there should be no change of pulse to start this and a real pianissimo will be rewarded.
Much for bands and MDs to work on here but not as technical as the two previous movements. Although the dynamics are quite loud towards the end, the character of the music should be joyous and not aggressive.

All in all another wonderful piece by Philip Sparke, one which I’m sure the bands and conductors have enjoyed working on, the audience will enjoy listening to and the adjudicators will find relative ease in assessing.
Good luck to all the bands in all the regionals.

Bob Childs
05 Mar 2015