2020 Regional Test Pieces Revealed, including 2020 Commissions Project


The Kapitol Promotions Music Panel is delighted to announce the set test-pieces for the 2020 Regional Championships of Great Britain.

The Championship Section will tackle Philip Sparke’s A Tale as Yet Untold, published by Anglo Music Press.

The set test-pieces for Sections 1–4 are all new & exciting commissions for the brass band repertoire as part of the Kapitol Promotions Music Panel’s 2020 Commissions Project, as follows:

Section 1: Legacy (Tom Davoren), published by Tom Davoren

Section 2: The Golden Sabre - Tales of the Hussar-Poet, Denis Davydov (Kit Turnbull), published by Kit Turnbull Publishing

Section 3: Endurance (Andrew Baker), published by Morthanveld Publishing Ltd

Section 4: Neverland (Christopher Bond), published by Christopher Bond Music


Chairman of the Music Panel, Philip Morris commented: “Philip Sparke is one of the most respected and popular composers of the brass and wind band repertoire, and his A Tale as Yet Untold will provide an enjoyable but challenging piece for the Championship Section bands to rehearse and perform, as well as audiences to listen to. The challenging pieces for Sections 1–4 are new commissions receiving their world premières at the 2020 Regional Championships, as part of the Kapitol Promotions Music Panel’s important 2020 Commissions Project. We are delighted that four exciting British composers have written new works for the brass band medium as part of this Project, which shows our dedication to supporting brass banding at all levels”.


A Tale as Yet Untold (Philip Sparke)

The Championship Section test, A Tale as Yet Untold, was commissioned by Cory Band for the 2010 European Brass Band Championships in Linz, Austria, the winning performance of which earned the band a hat trick of victories. Cast in three movements, the theme of this impressive work recurs again and again throughout Philip Sparke’s music and is inspired by the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity, and how the beauty of music can help in this respect.


Legacy for Brass Band (Tom Davoren)

Inspired by the indomitable spirit of Aneurin Bevan and his creation of the NHS, Legacy for Section 1 is a work that, although not without its challenges on a technical level, will test MDs as much as the players themselves in bringing to life a score that seeks to create an emotional journey of hope, in the face of adversity.


The Golden Sabre – Tales of the Hussar-Poet, Denise Davydov (Kit Turnbull)

Section 2’s The Golden Sabre – Tales of the Hussar-Poet, Denise Davydov is inspired by the piece’s namesake, Denis Davydov (1784 – 1839), who was awarded a Golden Sabre, inscribed for courage, following the Battle of Friedland between French and Russian armies on 14 June, 1807. Although written as a continuous work, the piece comprises a series of musical portraits shaped around Davydov’s military actions during the 1812 Pariotic War, when Napoleon invaded Russia and retreated, leading to a resurgence of Russian national pride, and spawning the ideals and themes that defined the so-called ‘Hussar-Poets’. The composer notes that this is an ‘unashamedly romantic piece’.


Endurance (Andrew Baker)

The Section 3 test, Endurance, is sub-titled in five contrasting narrative variations, (named South, Ice, Beset, Patience and James Caird) that reflect the story of Endurance – the ship in which Sir Ernest Shackleton made an Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition from 1914 – 15, which ended off-course and broke up forcing the crew to camp on the ice until spring, when Shackleton and others sailed to Elephant Island in three lifeboats. Shackleton and five others then took the largest lifeboat and sailed 800 miles across the Southern Atlantic to South Georgia, where they arrived at a whaling station in 1916 and Shackleton returned to Elephant Island for his remaining crew, who all survived.



Neverland (Christopher Bond)

Neverland – the Section 4 test is in three movements based on the three main themes of J. M. Barrie’s 1911 book about Peter Pan and used to create new musical material. The opening, Journey to Neverland, is mysterious in style and reflects the opening chapters, the music building quickly in texture and momentum, whilst the central section, The Windows that Closed, reflects the sense of longing throughout the book and the final section - Aboard the Pirate Ship – evokes Peter Pan’s ultimate battle with the infamous Captain Hook character.