Thurrock Marching Brass Brings Home Silver At 2015 DCUK
At a packed Select Stadium in Widnes on Saturday 19 September 2015 the young Lions of Thurrock Marching Brass competed to defend their 2014 Drum Corps United Kingdom (DCUK) Junior Class British Championship title with their 2015 production called Leo, which tells the story of young Lion cubs growing up in the wild, getting captured, and then breaking free.
With an average age of a little over 10 years, and with a proud history of representing Thurrock as a borough all over the UK, this year’s production never failed to entertain audiences up and down the country. None more so that at the DCUK British Championships in Widnes this year. Their main competitor again this year came from the very impressive Concord AllStars, who, like Thurrock’s little Lions performed their socks off to entertain the crowd and on this occasion were the stronger performers following the assessment from 8 highly qualified judges and took top honours with our own Thurrock Marching Brass taking the Silver Medal and also the High Colourguard trophy too.
Many congratulations to everyone at Concord AllStars for their success at Championships, following the previous four years securing a Silver Medal at Junior level.
The day also included another competition in the evening with fun and energetic ‘Battles’ between two opposing teams all armed with Drums, Cymbals and bags of energy in the very first DCUK Drumline Battle contest. This contest saw two teams face off against each other, with each having a maximum of 60 seconds per turn and two turns to outwit and outperform the other team with showmanship, flare and in Thurrock Marching Brass’ case, a secret Lion Cub weapon with the use of two tiny triangles!
The judges for this battle were the audience, who were as enthusiastic as the competitors themselves and the whole day was made so much better for the support that each and every member of the audience gave every competing unit. Thurrock Marching Brass were drawn against the wonderful talents of the Concord AllStars for their semi-final heat.
As the battle commenced and Concord AllStars delivered a crisp, technical and very well-orchestrated initial burst of drumming, the response from TMB was short, sharp and crisp with movement as a block towards their opposing drumline that showed that they weren’t going to be intimidated in any way – ending with a huge Lion’s ROOOAAAARRRRRR to compete their first round and to lots of applause and support from the audience.
Concord AllStars responded in great style, with a second segment full of individual and group playing that got the audience to their feet and laying down the gauntlet for TMB’s final response to them. They, the experienced judges watching on from the ground level, nor the audience were prepared for what TMB had up their sleeve for this round and so the youngsters from TMB started to move their solid block forward, with playing that was rhythmic and that included all three sections of their line, Bass Drums, Snare Drums and Marching Cymbals, this time edging ever closer to the AllStars and into a straight line formation that started to slowly part in the centre and with four loud staccato beats to end the reply, our two little Lion cubs emerged from behind the line to run through the centre and up close to the AllStars and cheekily and confidently held up their triangles and struck them hard.
It was a moment that had everyone on their feet and laughing and cheering at what they had just witnessed. It was a moment that nobody present will ever forget. With massive drums surrounding them and a seemingly impossible task to be heard with their little triangles, the moment they emerged a silence fell just enough to hear this tiny instrument break through everything around it and it was one of the most humbling of sounds and totally unexpected.
What an amazing experience for these two young Lion Cubs in front of a packed stadium and for the whole TMB Drumline to have the audience react so brilliantly to the comedy and the relevance that you don’t have to be loud or large in numbers to create a moment of joy in music. The humble Triangle was going to be the winner of this battle regardless of the outcome of the match.
When put to the cheer test to determine the winner of the battle it was almost impossible to determine with both teams provoking an amazing cheer from everyone in the stand and so the master of ceremonies Alan Thompson drew on a second opinion which called the Concord AllStars the winners of the battle. What a fabulous conclusion to a championship that will be remembered for all the right reasons and where the youth of today performed on a platform that showcased all that is good about what youngsters can achieve.
One of Thurrock Marching Brass’ best ever Championships despite not being crowned British Champion, because this championships was all about the amazing times that our youngsters had and the new friendships they formed as a result of delivering an amazing performance on two fronts. This Championships were summed up so brilliantly well by the love and support shown to our young members all throughout and especially throughout the Drumline Battle at the end.
This Championships was all about the Triangle 😉
We take our young Lions across the channel on Friday 25 September to compete in Holland at the Drum Corps Europe (DCE) European Championships now, and can’t wait to see what memories these brilliantly talented youngsters create there too.
Speaking of the championships, Chairman, Paul Morgan comments “I don’t think I have ever come away from a championships with such a huge smile on my face and a pride that I am sure that anyone who has ever worked to develop young people from raw beginnings into incredible performers will no doubt also fully understand. The young boys and girls in our organisation have flown the flag of this great borough with the upmost respect, dignity and professionalism that it deserves and merits, and wherever we go on the circuits that we perform on the name “Thurrock” means something incredibly positive; and that, on top of the pride I and all the many people surrounding our youngsters feel for their performances, just adds to the whole sense of achievement. Our young Lions RROOOAAAARRRED today in both their marching band competition as well as their amazingly creative and hilariously funny Drumline Battle routines, but even though the routines for the latter were designed to be comedic in nature, something happened. Something special that none of us expected. Two young Lions, one 5 years of age and one just 6 actually silenced an entire stadium to allow the smallest of instruments to ring and shine through what had been previously a staccato of loud and rhythmic percussion. The timing was perfect. The moment was perfect and the reaction afterwards from all quarters of the stadium and on the floor where the battle was taking place was just perfect. It was as though these two innocent youngsters single handedly brought the entire stadium together. The aftermath was electricity like I have not experienced anywhere before. That moment of pure innocence seemed to break down barriers as everyone became united in praise for the effort and it will be something that I, and I am sure a lot of people, will remember for a very long time to come. Championships and being champion isn’t always about taking home top honours. Being a champion means doing your best and respecting others that on any given day have done better. I can hand on heart honestly say that each and every member of Thurrock Marching Brass came home champions from this year’s finals and when it is all said and done, at the end of the day, it’s all about the Triangle! #allaboutthetriangle”
Thurrock Marching Brass are proud to perform as much as they can within the community and you can keep up to date with all their engagements on our website below or by following their on Facebook.