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2003 London and Southern Counties Regional Qualifying Championships

First Section
Sunday 16th March
Starts at 10.30am

Adjudicator: Brian Buckley


Test Piece: Passacaglia on a Theme of Brahms - Arthur Butterworth


Arthur Butterworth’s “Passagaclia” has been taking more than a few causalities around the Regions this year, and we think it could well wreck some havoc here. It isn’t a technically difficult piece (although the sop players will argue) but bands haven’t seemed to have been able to really capture the style and musical shape of the work.

Brian Buckley is an “old head” when it comes to the basics and he will surely be looking for those things to be in place as a matter of certainty before bands try and tackle the hidden qualities of the music. Be over ambitious on this one and the MD will have his musical backside spanked.

The bands themselves should be more than capable of playing well but in a field of 16 the quality of performances will vary between the very good and the below par. Once the band qualify though they will certainly have their work cut out to make an impression at the Finals themselves in Dundee. Alliance Brass did well in 2001 to come runners up but apart from them the results have been pretty disappointing with a best of 7th in 2000. Who ever gets the trip come Sunday will have to do better than that to become the first London based band to win the National First Section title.


Alder Valley Brass
Conductor:
D. Barringer

Last Year: 4th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 4th
2001: 9th
2000: 11th Championship (rel)
1999: 11th Championship
1998: Winners (prom)
1997: 5th
1996: 7th

Alder Valley were winners here in 1998 when they went on to come 16th at the National Finals and they spent two years in the top flight where they found the going a bit tougher and were relegated back in 2001. They came 9th that year under D. Marshall and then put in a strong effort last year to come 4th under Dave Barringer. Should do well again we think.


Chichester City
Conductor:
J. Williams

Last Year: 3rd
Last Seven Years:
2002: 3rd
2001: 14th
2000: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)
1999: 5th 2nd Section
1998: 7th 3rd Section (prom)
1997: 2nd 3rd Section
1996: 3rd 4th Section (prom)

A band on the up and heading for the Championship Section if past results are to go by. In 1996 they were competing in the 4th Section, but since then they have leapt up through the sections taking just two years each to get out of the 3rd and 2nd. In 2000 they were runners up in the 2nd Section and they went on to come 8th in Harrogate at the Finals. Since then they had a consolidation year by coming 14th in 2001 and then pushed all the way last year to come 3rd. More could be on the cards and a step away from the big time.


City of Cambridge
Conductor:
R. Hull

Last Year: 8th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 8th
2001: 11th
2000: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
1999: DNC
1998: 12th (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: 9th

City of Cambridge were winners of the 2nd Section here in 2000 when they went on to come 16th under P. Hudson at the Harrogate Finals. Promotion followed and in the past two years they have made steps in the right direction by coming 11th and then 8th last year. More of the same would do them nicely.


Denham Hendon
Conductor:
Gordon Davies

Last Year: 15th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 15th
2001: 11th Championship (rel)
2000: 10th Championship
1999: 8th (prom)
1998: 4th
1997: 3rd
1996: 8th Championship (rel)

Denham have been back and forth the Championship and 1st Section over the past few years but are in real need of a good result this year to stave off possible relegation. In the three years in the Championship they tended to struggle but they did come 3rd here in 1997 under A. Goodhall and 4th the following year. We don’t think they will be up in the top prizes this time but a better result than a twelve month ago is what they should really be aiming for first.


Egham
Conductor:
G. Green

Last Year: 6th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 6th
2001: 6th
2000: 9th
1999: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)
1998: 5th 2nd Section
1997: N/K
1996: 7th 2nd Section

Egham have more than held their own in this section over the past few years and have come 6th in 2001 and last year. They were runners up in the 2nd Section in 1999 and went on to come 14th at the Finals also under their current conductor. Since then it’s been a solid record, but is it possibly time for them to push once more for a qualification spot?


Epping Forest
Conductor:
M. Easener

Last Year: 12th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 12th
2001: 10th
2000: 14th
1999: 6th 2nd Section (prom)
1998: 4th 2nd Section
1997: 4th 2nd Section
1996: 9th 2nd Section

Epping Forest took a little while to get out of the 2nd Section and since they did in 2000 they have just about held their own, but should be looking to try and get into the top 10 if they can. They were 14th in 2000 and then came 10th in 2001 but fell away to come 12th last year. More of the same may by on the cards come results time.


Fairlop Brass
Conductor:
K. Jordan

Last Year: 7th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 7th
2001: 12th
2000: 6th
1999: 10th
1998: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)
1997: 2nd 2nd Section
1996: 12th 2nd Section

Fairlop and K. Jordan were 3rd Section National Champions in 1995 and after they were promoted they reached the Finals again in the 2nd Section in 1997 and were promoted up once more. Since then they haven’t quite hit the mark here but did make the top six in 2000. 12th in 2001 was a fall but they returned back to some form last year to come 7th. Should do OK but a top six place is there if they can out in a string performance.


Friary Guildford Brass
Conductor:
K. Maxwell

Last Year: 5th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 5th
2001: 13th
2000: 5th
1999: 10th Championship (rel)
1998: 9th Championship (rel)
1997: 5th Championship
1996: 5th Championship

Friary Guilford were strong competitors in the Championship Section during the mid 1990’s but fell away in 1998 and 1999 and were relegated. They put in a strong effort in 2000 where they came 5th but dropped off to come13th in 2001. Last year they recovered though and came 5th again. They will need to up their game again if they are to get one of the two qualification spots on offer, but it isn’t beyond them.


Hatfields of Colchester
Conductor:
B. Reader

Last Year: 12th Championship (rel)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 12th Championship (rel)
2001: 7th (prom)
2000: 3rd
1999: 6th
1998: 10th Championship (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: Winners 1st Section

Hatfield seem to be another band that has flitted between the top section and the 1st in recent years and find themselves back here after coming 12th under T. Davey a twelve month ago. They won this section in 1996 and came 3rd here once more in 2000 so they seem to a band that is more than strong enough to do well at this level. How they do this year we will have to wait and see.


Haverhill Silver
Conductor:
M. Ager

Last Year: DNC
Last Seven Years:
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: 8th
1999: Winners
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: 2nd 2nd Section (prom)

According to our records Haverhill haven’t competed here for the past two years and so what their current form will be we haven’t a clue. They have done very well here though and in 1999 were crowned Champions and went to the National Finals where they came 13th under C. Shipp. They followed that up with an 8th place here the next year but since then they have been AWOL. What form they bring back is anyone’s business.


Ipswich and Norwich Co-op
Conductor:
S. Kenna

Last Year: 11th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 11th
2001: 5th
2000: 4th
1999: 9th
1998: 9th
1997: 2nd
1996: 10th Championship (rel)

Ipswich were relegated from the Championship Section in 1996 after they came 10th in the top flight, but since then they have had a rather mixed bag of results here. They were runners up in 1997 and 4th in 2000 but they have also had two 9th places and fell away to come 11th last year. They will be hoping for a return to better things this time out then.


KM Medway
Conductor:
G. Wilson

Last Year: 9th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 9th
2001: 3rd
2000: DNC
1999: 8th Championship (rel)
1998: 5th Championship
1997: N/K
1996: 3rd Championship

KM Medway came 3rd in the top section in 1996 and were competing there until 1999. Since then though they have dropped down a section and didn’t compete in 2000. They returned though with a very strong 3rd place in 2001 but dropped off the pace quite a bit when they came 9th last year. They will be hoping for better things come Sunday.


Northfleet Brass
Conductor:
D. Lewis

Last Year: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
Last Seven Years:
2002: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
2001: 17th (rel)
2000: 12th
1999: 4th 2nd Section (prom)
1998: 3rd 2nd Section
1997: 6th 2nd Section
1996: 9th 2nd Section

Northfleet were deserved winners of the 2nd Section last year under the direction of David Lewis and they went on to come 11th at Torquay. That has meant promotion up to the 1st Section for the second time in the past few years and they will be hoping to make a better impression than last time when they could only come12th and 17th in 2000 and 2001 and were relegated back down. We think they should do OK though and a consolidation year may be just about right.


Stonesfield Silver
Conductor:
T. Brotherhood

Last Year: 5th 2nd Section (prom)
Last Seven Years:
2002: 5th 2nd Section (prom)
2001: 2nd 2nd Section
2000: Winners 3rd Section (prom)
1999: 5th 3rd Section
1998: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1997: 5th 4th Section
1996: 20th 3rd Section (rel)

Stonesfield are certainly a band moving in the right direction and they will surely be looking to make a mark here after being promoted up from the 2nd Section following their 5th place a twelve month ago. They won the 4th Section title here in 1998 and went on to come 5th at the Finals and then repeated the feat in the 3rd Section in 2000 when they went to Harrogate and came 5th once more. Runners up in 2001 in the 2nd Section they went to Preston and came 10th. Terry Brotherhood has done some splendid work with the band and they should continue on the road to success. A top six place may not be beyond them.


Tilbury
Conductor:
R. Nunnery

Last Year: 10th
Last Seven Years:
2002: 10th
2001: Winners 2nd Section (prom)
2000: 4th 2nd Section
1999: 13th (rel)
1998: 15th
1997: N/K
1996: 6th

Robert Nunnery continues to direct Tilbury with good sense and the band were winners of the 2nd Section here in 2001 and went on to come 14th at the Finals in Preston. That lead to promotion and the band put in a solid performance to come 10th here last year. They would like to improve on that this time around and we think they may find themselves there or thereabouts a top six place.


Zone One Brass
Conductor:
S. Dobson

Last Year: DNC
Last Seven Years:
2002: DNC

A very interesting addition to the 1st Section this year is Zone One Brass which is made up of music students from some of the top colleges in the capital and will be directed by Simon Dobson the very talented young man who composed the 4th Section test piece this year. It will be interesting to see how they do and whether or not they can make a real impression here. The talent is certainly there, but can they carry it off on the contest stage. Ones to watch out for.


Past Winners:

2002: Matthews Norfolk Brass
2001: Alliance Brass
2000: Bedford Town
1999: Haverhill
1998: Alder Valley Brass
1997: City of Oxford
1996: Hatfields of Colchester
1995: City of Cambridge
1994: Friary Guidford
1993: KM Medway
1992: KM Medway

Winning Conductors:

2002: D. Stowell
2001: B. Ellin
2000: J. Berryman
1999: C. Shipp
1998: D. Beckley
1997: N. Taken
1996: B. Howard
1995: C. Shipp
1994: B. Gentry
1993: D. Cutting
1992: D. Cutting


Test Pieces:

2002: Royal Parks – G. Lloyd
2001: The Undaunted – E. Ball
2000: Music for the Common Man – K. Downie
1999: Kenilworth – A. Bliss
1998: Purcell Variations – K. Downie
1997: Ballet for Band – J. Horovitz
1996: Spectrum – G. Vinter
1995: Land of the Long White Cloud – P. Sparke
1994: Maoriana – A. Butterworth
1993: The Forest of Dean – D. Bourgeois
1992: Celebration – E. Gregson

Adjudicators:

2002: R. Sparkes
2001: R. Roe
2000: M. White
1999: N/K
1998: P. McCann
1997: D. Read
1996: N/K
1995: I. Craddock

Past Qualifiers:

2002: Matthews Norfolk Brass*, Welwyn Garden City
2001: Alliance Brass, Staines Brass
2000: Bedford Town, Staines
1999: Haverhill, Regent Brass
1998: Alder Valley Brass, Regent Brass
1997: City of Oxford, Ipswich Co-op
1996: Hatfields of Colchester, Bedford Town
1995: City of Cambridge, City of Oxford

*Didn’t take place at Finals – replaced by Alder Valley

London Bands at the Finals:

2002: 14th, 16th
2001: 2nd, 14th
2000: 7th, 14th
1999: 10th, 13th
1998: 9th, 16th


Last Years Result:

1. Matthews Norfork Brass – D. Stowell 192pts
2. Welwyn Garden City – D. Stokes 191pts
3. Chichester City – J. Williams 190pts
4. Alder Valley Brass – D. Barringer 189pts
5. Friary Guildford Brass – K. Maxwell 188pts
6. Egham – G. Green 187pts
7. Fairlop Brass – K. Jordan 186pts
8. City of Cambridge – R. Hull 185pts
9. KM Gillingham – D. Cutting 184pts
10. Tilbury – R. Nunnery 183pts
11. Ipswich Co-op – S. Kenna 182pts
12. Epping Forest – M. Easener 181pts
13. Luton – T. Brotherhood 180pts
14. Capital Concert Brass – E. Campbell 179pts
15. Denham Hendon Brass – P. Cox 178pts
16. Betteshanger Colliery – K. Dennison 177pts


4BR Prediction:

It should be a close contest come Sunday but one or two of the bands should show their qualities and come high in the prizes. The top two bands from last year were promoted and with Hatfield coming down and both Northfleet and Stonesfield coming up it should make for a good scrap.

We think though that Alder Valley and Zone One will make it to Dundee with Hatfields and Chichester pushing them close. It could be a toss up between any of these four. Behind them we go for Egham and Friary Guildford with Northfleet as our dark horse.

1. Alder Valley
2. Zone One
3. Hatfields
4. Chichester
5. Egham
6. Friary Guildford

Dark Horse: Northfleet

 


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