Saturday, September 29, 2007

Duchy of Fenwick - The Battle of the Bands

Extract from the Wittenberg Times .....
The Duchy of Fenwick's military band contest was held recently at Polstoffen. As usual it was well attended with bands representing most of the states of Europa. Each band had to play a meddly of marches for the first round; in the second round each band had to play two pieces especially written for the occasion. The winning band receives a handsome money prize of 1000 thalers and plays a private performance to the Duke of Fenwick.

The first round went well; the judges were divided and undecided on the candidates for the best band at this point. Before the second round started the event was marred by an incident between the Monrovian and Wittenberg contestants at the Boars Head Inn. Locals say a man dressed in an old black hussar's uniform wearing an eye patch was involved when the fight started. The two bands got into a protracted fight and the local militia had to be bought in to restore order. As a result both bands were disqualified and sent home; bills for the repairs were sent to both Monrovia and Wittenberg.

The second round was well attended, with the Duke of Fenwick in his ducal box specially built for the occasion. So many people came this year that the Duke's Grenadier Guard were posted to maintain order. There was an outcry and commotion in the crowd when the Stagonian band played their piece;

order was restored and the contest continued.

After all the bands had played the judges deliberated and the winners and runner's up were announced:

1st: Saxe-Bearstein, with their rendition of "Do Bears Tra-La-La in the Forest"; especially written for the event by their band leader - Frederick Hofmeister

2nd: Duchy of Stollen, the judges liked their piece 'The Dancing Lobster'.

3rd: Duchy of Noverre, one of their pieces which the impressed the judges was 'Nowhere Man'.

Prussia came 5th; and Hanover 12th. On a final point Stagonia came last, the judges found their playing to be awful, vile and out of tune.

The winning band of Saxe-Bearstein:


Stagonian Jeff said...

"Baron, this is vile. Intolerable! To be beaten by those drunken Saxe-Bearsteiners . . . it is not allowable."

"Sire, I have already protested. It seems that two of the judges were deaf and the other three had been bribed with that Saxe-Bearstein swill they call lager . . . In addition, the commotion in the stands was undoubtably caused by the Tipplebruders, who are known to be in the pay of Furst Bruno."

"See that you spread the appropriate rumors. I want this vile award to be debased. Be sure that everyone knows that the contest was 'rigged'.

"Of course, Your Majesty."

"And I despise lobsters. Didn't the lead-eating dogs do any damage in Stollen?"

"Not that we are aware of, Sire. But there is still time for that plot to mature. As that idiot spreads the pups about his Grand Duchy, we may still see some results."

"What about Noverre? And the rest? Can't we do something to besmirch their bands?

"We're exploring possibilities. Give me a few days and we'll think of something."

"See that you do, Baron. Or you might find yourself the bait in a bear hunt."

Bluebear Jeff said...

"What? I thought that Wittenberg was a sure thing. Their band is superb."

"Yes, but the Monrovians sabotaged them; started a fight in which both bands were disqualified. Actually, I've had reports that a certain Stagonian hussar egged the Monrovians on (not that they needed much urging)."

"Well, we shall have to see that Herr Hofmeister is properly rewarded. He has done wonders with those musicians."

"Oh, and the vile Stagonians finished last, my Prince. They sounded worse than you can imagine. They featured accordians, bagpipes, tubas and a harpsichord . . . none of which were in tune and all of which were playing different songs at the same time. It was truly VILE!"

Frankfurter said...

Interesting that poor Frankszonia didn't even get an honorable mention ... our whole education system is devoted to training oom-pah marching bands ....
Perhaps the judges weren't into polka music?

Frankfurter said...

Popular Frankszonian tunes:
Hot Dog Polka,
Pickle Reslish March,
Mustard on the Greens (traditionally with a bag-pipe solo),
The Chile Salsa,
the Foot Long Waltz ...