British championship victory for youngsters of Thurrock Marching Brass

Mick Ferris

On Saturday September 21 the talented youngsters of Thurrock Marching Brass, with an average age of just over 11 years, travelled to the Select Stadium in Widnes, Lancs, to compete in the Junior Class at the Drum Corps United Kingdom ( 2019 British Championship Finals.

Performing their 2019 production, “Apollo”, which is a celebration of 50 years since the first moon landing, Thurrock’s premier marching and performing arts team beat off five times British Champions from Sheffield, Concord Allstars to take the top honours and to bring back to Thurrock their fourth British Championship title since launching for youngsters in the Thurrock and surrounding areas in October 2010.

Caption awards for the Junior Class Championships were also adjudicated by eight separate judges and each also secures a British Champions status for the relevant sections of the performance and were awarded as follows:-

  • High Colourguard: Thurrock Marching Brass
  • High Brass: Thurrock Marching Brass
  • High Percussion: Thurrock Marching Brass
  • Hi Music: Thurrock Marching Brass
  • Hi Visual: Thurrock Marching Brass
  • Hi Effect: Thurrock Marching Brass

With the first clean sweep in all caption awards at this level for quite some time, this was an emphatic display of precision performance and music presentation from these incredibly talented youngsters.

In addition to the main competition on the day, there was also a side line fun challenge called Drumline Battle, in which the percussion sections from bands across the country and all ages challenge each other to a drum off with each having two rounds to out perform the other.

Seven entrants made it to championships and a preliminary round, semi finals and then the ultimate drum off in the final round between the last two standing took place to determine the winners overall of the 2019 Drumline Battle.

The percussion section of Thurrock Marching Brass, who compete separately under the name Drumsound45, took on open age competitors in the preliminary round and progressed to the semi finals, where they face one of the top two drumlines in the country.

The fun and entertaining package presented by our very own Drumsound45, which included a blind folded presentation of multi drums just edged them into the finals, and a showdown with arch rivals Concord Allstars.

By the narrowest of margins, the victors on the night were Concord Allstars.

Corps Director, David Friend said: “Getting a clean sweep in all captions at this level is all but unheard of, but this year the name of Thurrock is flying high and proud.”

Adding to this Chairman, Paul Morgan said “For once I am a little speechless, but I and the entire board couldn’t be any prouder of David and the corps’ achievements this weekend. It is a stunning result.

This is the fourth British Championship title that TMB has brought back to Thurrock, the last being at cadet level in 2016 and to do it in the manner in which they have done was just so impressive, “Everyone on the marching and performing arts circuit is talking about Thurrock right now, not just locally but globally.”

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Mick Ferris

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