The final competition of a very long but incredibly rewarding and enjoyable season saw the youngsters of Thurrock Marching Brass compete two classes above their 2016 season level at the British Youth Band Association (www.byba.org.uk) National Championships. This year the championships were held at the impressive Sixways Stadium in Worcestershire on Saturday 7 October 2017.
Stepping out onto the field one last time this year in the Championship Class, the inevitable happened and the skies above decided to release a downpour that forced the team to use protective tarpaulin over the electronic equipment and main speaker system prior to the start of the performance. Seeding in seventh place going into championships, you could be forgiven to thinking that there was little interest from the audience in watching the production, but forgiven you are as the stand was packed with enthusiastic punters looking forward to seeing the show, some for the very first time. Not only the stands, but the sides of the stands too were packed with fantastic support from other marching members, including a huge gathering of our very dear friends from the Comets Performance Ensemble. All of which cheered the youngsters on through the rain and right through to the end of their performance.
A standing ovation at the end of Rockin’ all over the World will stay with these youngsters for a very long time and the whole experience on the day was just brilliant. A great venue, great atmosphere, fantastic crowd and immeasurable camaraderie from all units towards each other. This is exactly what banding is all about and our hats go off to everyone at BYBA for such a brilliant day.
When the results were announced, an improvement in score but not enough to change the final positioning on the day and so a credible seventh place in Championship Class this time round. With four judges (Field Wind, Field Percussion, Colourguard and Visual Effect) placing the show and performance in a top 5 position there is more than enough encouragement to be taken away from this experience to build on for next season. Competition aside, every single marching member, staff and supporter can be incredibly proud of what has been achieved. The sheer joy on the members faces as they mingled with the Comets Performance Ensemble during retreat just said it all. Fantastic job everyone, you made us all proud and once again flew the flag for Thurrock very high indeed today.
Speaking of the whole experience Thurrock Marching Brass Corps Director, Jay Lindner says “It was an incredibly emotional experience for me and for my staff today, and I dare say to everyone who supports these youngsters generally as they showed pure grit and determination to entertain, and yet again they did just that. This circuit was never about us winning a gold medal this year, it was about helping to teach the kids that to be a champion you also have to lose with dignity and grace and to appreciate all performances around you that may be adjudicated better than what you have performed on the day. That, for me and for all of us here at TMB is just as important a lesson for these kids as winning gold medals and championship titles. I have to say that they were all magnificent today. The support they gave to the other bands and the support and love that they received back was just incredible and I want to thank everyone for taking our youngsters into their hearts and under their wing. It means a great deal. The standing ovation at the end of Rockin’ just set me off so thank you again to everyone who enjoyed the program. To all my staff, supporters and everyone who has helped contribute to our 2017 production I cannot thank you enough. We now set our sights to a busy winter and will be announcing our 2018 corps show to our members and families at our Awards Night on 14 October, after which we will be sharing with the wider audience. See you all in 2018 if not before.”
Thurrock Marching Brass is proud to perform as much as they can within the local community and you can follow their progress by connecting to any of the following:-