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ARTICLES

 

2003 Spring Brass Band Festival

Senior Cup:
Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Saturday May 3rd
Pavilion - Draw 09:30hrs - Commence 10:30hrs


Just as with the line up with the Grand Shield, the Senior Cup for 2003 has a very strong list of contenders hoping to gain one of the six automatic qualification spots on offer.

The Senior Cup and Trophy for that matter differ from the Shield in that although it is always the ambition of the bands to come away with a victory, there is some consolation in the fact that a good performance can still be rewarded with promotion. That not only allows for some leeway for the judges, but will also mean a lot of headscratching for the organisers as they add up the scores from the two years to determine who gets the nod and the leg up towards the British Open.

As we have said, there are plenty of very good bands here although they will all have to be on top form if they are to overcome the difficulties posed by Philip Wilby’s “Paganini Variations” - a severe test at the best of times. This popular piece will no doubt take more than a few casualties as the demands on the soloists in particular are immense. The audience should enjoy it though and we think it will give the opportunity for the best bands in the field to come through to the front.

15 of the 20 bands are ranked in the 4BR list, with the top two numbered 27 and 28, and a whole batch listed between 34 and 74 - so you can see how closely matched the contenders are. There are two Regional winners - Camborne and Redbridge as well, so they will be looking to make it a double of sorts, whilst there are a few famous names, past British Open and Grand Shield winners plus plenty of bands who have the belief to go with the players to possibly win here. It should make for a very interesting contest.


Aldbourne
Conductor:
Ian Holmes

4BR Ranking: Outside top 100

Principal Cornet: Chris Lewis
Soprano Cornet: Richard Hughes
Flugel: Claudia Tomkins
Solo Horn: Clare Smith
Solo Euphonium: Danny Dullforce
Solo Trombone: Robert Marsh

Form Guide:
April 2003 - Regionals (S1) - 7th
May 2002 - Senior Trophy - 6th
April 2002 - Regionals - 11th
Feb 2002 - Yeovil Entertainment Contest - 13th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 6th Senior Trophy (prom)

Didn’t compete at these contests before 2002.

Aldbourne step up to the Senior Cup contest after the 6th place in the Senior Trophy 2002. A band that has a full engagement schedule which included the release of a new CD with two brand new compositions by internationally renowned composer David Fanshawe. They are capable of producing good quality, solid performances and they are tough contenders who certainly won’t disgrace themselves. They may hope to consolidate their position in this competition with a safe result here.


Ashton Under Lyne
Conductor:
John Maines

4BR Ranking: 60

Principal Cornet: Debbie Woods
Soprano Cornet: Phil Ramsden
Solo Horn: Matthew Maines
Solo Euphonium: Nigel Lawless
Solo Trombone: Dave Priestley

Form Guide:
April 2003 - Tameside - 2nd
March 2003 - Regionals (ChS) - 9th
Sep 2002 - National Finals (S1) - Torquay - 5th
May 2002 - Grand Shield - 16th
April 2002 - Tameside - 1st
March 2002 - Regionals (S1) - 2nd
Feb 2002 - Brass at The Guild - 8th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 16th Grand Shield (rel)
2001: 7th Grand Shield (M. Evans)
2000: 5th Grand Shield (M. Evans)

Didn’t take part at these contests before 2000.

The band practice practise out of a wooden band room in the centre of the Town and they enter the competition with the much respected and vastly experienced GMR brass presenter and adjudicator John Maines at the helm. He conducted The BT Band in 1992 when they played and won the 1st Section Final at Wembley (when the 1st section first appeared) and a couple of the players in this Ashton Band were with him in BT at that time. The Grand Shield result of 16th last year didn’t sit with the other good results the band has recently returned.

The band did make an impression at the Grand Shield in 2000 and 2001 but last year saw them fall away and get relegated on the back of their 16th place. We heard the band perform ‘Paganini’ at the Tameside Contest a fortnight ago when they played very cleanly all through. The extra bit of time they have now spent in rehearsal may pay dividends.


BTM
Conductor:
David Stowell

4BR Ranking:
28

Principal Cornet: Jeff Hutcherson
Soprano Cornet: John Evans
Flugel: Trevor Isaac
Solo Horn: Sarah Giles
Solo Euphonium: Mark Hutcherson
Solo Trombone: Suzanne Cherrington

Form Guide:
March 2003 - Regionals - 4th
Oct 2002 - Pontins - 18th
Sept 2002 - Wychavon - 3rd
May 2002 - Senior Cup - 9th
March 2002 - Regionals - 6th
Feb 2002 - Yeovil Entertainment Contest - 5th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 9th
2001: 18th Grand Shield (rel) (G. Pritchard)
2000: 4th Grand Shield (G. Pritchard)
1999: DNC
1998: N/K Grand Shield (A. Morrison)
1997: 11th Grand Shield (A. Morrison)
1996: 11th Grand Shield (S. Sykes)
1995: 5th Grand Shield (S. Sykes)
1994: DNC
1993: 6th Grand Shield (M. White)

A solid performer in the Welsh Area with plenty of fine players. BTM are a band that over the past two or three of years have come back to form. They just missed out on a trip to the Open in 2000 when they came 4th at the Grand Shield. They came 9th here last year in the Senior Cup after their relegation the year before but recent form has been good and they came 4th at the Area. That put the disappointing result at Pontins in 2002 behind them and if they do play to form they could feature highly. They are the second highest ranked band here so the expectations are high as well.


Camborne
Conductor:
Paul Murrell

4BR Ranking: 34

No player information

Form Guide:
April 2003 - Regionals - 1st
September 2002 - National Finals - 19th
June 2002 - Bugle - 1st
April 2002 - Regionals - 2nd

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

First year back in newly formed Grand Shield qualifiers.

No question this band doesn’t get the publicity it deserves - that it has a strong youth policy and now have over 60 youngsters involved in brass playing just shows, that they don’t sit back on their laurels. In winning the West of England Areas in April 2003 they are bound to come to this contest buoyed up. They have climbed 10 places in the 4BR rankings to 34 and they really performed like a class band in Torquay. That was under Frank Renton (who is in Norway this weekend) so Paul Murrell fills the shoes and will be hoping to carry on the good form they have so far showed. They will not be short of confidence for sure and certainly have the pedigree to get a result. We’ll see.


Hepworth
Conductor:
Mark Bentham

4BR Ranking: 55

Principal Cornet: Mark Rogers
Soprano Cornet: Mark Smedley
Flugel: Catherine Booth
Solo Horn: Mark Wagstaffe
Solo Euphonium: Neil Wharton
Solo Trombone: Yvonne Embury

Form Guide:
Mar 2003 - Regionals - 11th
Feb 2003 - Brass at the Guild - 3rd
Nov 2002 - Wilkinson Northern Open - 4th
Oct 2002 - Pontins - 12th
Oct 2002 - North West Open - 3rd
July 2002 - Brighouse March and Hymn Tune Contest - 1st
May 2002 - All England Masters - 18th
May 2002 - Senior Cup - 5th
March 2002 - Regionals - 5th
Feb 2002 - Brass At The Guild - 1st

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 7th
2001: 19th (K. Bolton)
2000: DNC
1999: 17th Grand Shield (rel) (N. Law)
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC
1995: DNC
1994: 20th Grand Shield (N. Law)
1993: DNC

Hepworth, are yet another band that will be hoping to make another impact on the Senior Cup after the 7th place last year. Their form has been fairly good and they recently gained another trophy with the result at the Preston contest. They came a disappointing 11th place at the Yorkshire Regional Championships with a piece that didn’t seem to suit both band and MD. This one should though and with plenty of talent around the stands and a work ethic (just look at the contests they enter) they should feature highly. They are a very decent band indeed.

Over the years they have tried to win through to the Grand Shield and as far back as 1994 they came 20th under Norman Law. They are a few steps away at the moment but this could be the start of good things to come.


Jaguar (Coventry)
Conductor:
David Lea

4BR Ranking: 63

Form Guide:
Mar 2003 - Regionals - 9th
Oct 2002 - Pontins - 2nd
May 2002 - All England Masters - 19th
May 2002 - Senior Cup - 10th
Mar 2002 - Regionals - 7th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 10th
2001: 16th Grand Shield (rel)
2000: 16th British Open (rel)
1999: 2nd Grand Shield (prom) 22nd British Open
1998: N/K
1997: DNC
1996: 18th Grand Shield


Late 2002 saw a real return to form for the Jaguar (Coventry) Band and they have a decent record of consistency. They could cause a few problems in this company. They need to show that they can aim high and at least get into the top six after a good Pontins result last year. A strong and well-played performance at the Regionals has seen the band climb 8 places in the 4BR rankings and so the change of name from Rolls Royce to the all British Jaguar has been a good omen.

They have done well at this level before and were runners up at the Grand Shield in 1999, going on to have two years in the Open itself before dropping back down. They have recovered in fine style though and could well be ready for another stab at the big time.


Laganvale
Conductor:
Ernie Ruddock

4BR Ranking: Outside top 100

Principal Cornet: Philip Whiteside
Soprano Cornet: Mark Ruddock
Flugel: Jaqueline Greer
Solo Horn: Lana Kaymac
Solo Euphonium: Richard Ruddock
Solo Trombone: Maria Savage

Form Guide:
Feb 2003 - BBL Entertainment Contest - 1st
Dec 2002 - BBL Entertainment Contest - 1st
Oct 2002 - NIBA Contest - 4th
May 2002 - Senior Cup - 12th
Mar 2002 - BBL Contest - 5th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 12th (S. Cairns)
2001: 9th (S. Cairns)

Didn’t compete at the contest before 2001

Irish band Laganvale will be making the trip across the Irish Sea hoping also to improve on last years 12th place. A band that always features well in its local contests against the local opposition, they should once again do well enough to retain their place at the Senior Cup for yet another year. In their first year in 2001 they came 9th under the direction of S. Cairns and he also directed them here last year. Plenty of fine players (including a British Solo Champion if our memory
serves us correct) they will fly the flag with honour.


Lindley
Conductor:
Neil Jowett

4BR Ranking: 72

Form Guide:
March 2003 - Regionals - 8th
Oct 2002 - Pontins - 11th
Jun 2002 - Whit Friday - Roundthorn 3rd
May 2002 - Grand Shield - J16
March 2002 - Regionals - 4th (S1)

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 16th Grand Shield (rel)
2001: Winners Senior Cup (prom)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: N/K (N. Jowett)
1997: DNC
1996: DNC
1995: 21st Grand Shield (D. Horsfield)
1994: DNC
1993: 18th (N. Jowett)

Lindley Band are a case in point about the strength in depth in the Yorkshire Region. In 2001 taking both the Pontins and Senior Cup titles back to Yorkshire they became 4BR Lower Section Band of the Year. The question is can they raise the stakes here to turn around that joint 16th place in Blackpool last year to claim a top prize in the Senior Cup again. They gained promotion to the Championship Section after two successive fourth places in the First Section and they have now climbed 21 places in the 4BR rankings. Just as in the recent Regional contest they will meet some top bands in this contest and will be keen to prove that their win here in 2001 was no one off.

The band has a long record at the contest and the records show them to have been in the Open itself a few years ago, so the heritage is there - lets see if the 2003 vintage can start them on the road back there.


Newstead Welfare
Conductor:
Duncan Beckley

4BR Ranking: 50

Principal Cornet: Mark Young
Soprano Cornet: Phil White
Flugel: Michael Cordon
Solo Horn: Sandra Kowalenko
Solo Euphonium: Lynden Cooper

Form Guide:
March 2003 - Regionals - 3rd
Dec 2002 - Leamington Spa - 1st
Nov 2002 - Mineworkers - 9th
July 2002 - Bevoir Castle - 1st
May 2002 - Senior Trophy - 2nd
March 2002 - Regionals - 4th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 2nd Senior Trophy (prom)

Didn’t compete at the contests before 2002.


Newstead have really been upwardly mobile making steady progress through the 1st Section and finally to the Championship Section. They have some quality results under their belt over the last 18 months and have climbed 17 places in the 4BR rankings up to number 50. A good result isn’t beyond them in this step up in competition from the Senior Trophy but it would be an even better achievement if they could get a podium place this time around. Duncan Beckley is a man who knows what it takes to win contests at just about every level and after their fine 3rd place in the Midlands where they just missed out on a trip to London their confidence will be high.


Newtongrange
Conductor:
Tony Swainson

4BR Ranking: 56

Form Guide:
Mar 2003 - Regionals - 9th
Nov 2002 - Mineworkers - 7th
May 2002 - Grand Shield - 14th
Apr 2002 - Carnegie Invitation - 3rd
Mar 2002 - Regionals - 3rd

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 14th Grand Shield (rel) (R. Farr)
2001: 5th (prom) (S. Kerwin)
2000: DNC
1999: 19th Grand Shield (D. Hirst)
1998: N/K (T. Swainson)
1997: DNC
1996: DNC
1995: 16th Grand Shield (D. Broadbent)
1994: 15th Grand Shield (T. Swainson)
1993: 12th Grand Shield (R. Tennant)

Newtongrange have the experienced Tony Swainson directing operations. They came 5th in the Senior Cup when they played in 2001 to gain their shot at the Grand Shield and went on to come 14th here last year whilst 3rd place in the Scottish Areas in 2002 was a good indicator that on their day they could well feature highly. They were a little unlucky to lose their status in the higher contest as 14th place wasn’t a bad result by any means. Lots of quality around the stand they will be keen to get back into the Grand Shield, even if over the years the best they have done since 1993 was 12th place under Raymond Tennant They have slipped 8 places in the 4BR rankings but you can be sure they will be well rehearsed and determined to mount a challenge.


Pemberton Old Wigan
Conductor:
Gary Cutt

4BR Ranking: 69

Principal Cornet: Joanne Johnson
Soprano Cornet: Chris Ratchford
Flugel: Carina Halliwell
Solo Horn: Alec Banks
Solo Euphonium: Jamie Ogden
Solo Trombone: Stephen Breen

Form Guide:
Mar 2003 - Regionals (S1) - 9th
Feb 2003 - Brass at the Guild - 2nd
Oct 2002 - Pontins - 21st
Sep 2002 - National Finals (S1) - 9th
Sep 2002 - Wychavon Entertainment (S1) - 5th
June 2002 - Whit Friday - Lees - 3rd
May 2002 - Senior Trophy - 1st
Mar 2002 - Regionals (S1) - 1st
Feb 2002 - Brass at the Guild - 9th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: Winners Senior Trophy (prom) (A. Lawton)

Didn’t compete at the Grand Shield contests before 2002.

Slipping somewhat in the rankings after a sparkling 2001/2 when they were consistent top ten finishers they played wonderfully well to win the Senior Trophy last year under the direction of the experienced Alan Lawton. They took the Section 1 Regionals in 2002 which gives an indication of how well this band can perform on their day and on this occasion they have Gary Cutt at the helm. They recently came 2nd at the Brass in the Guild Hall contest but the Regionals were a disappointment and so they will be keen to impress. Garry Cutt will ensure they will be well prepared, but they will have to play to the top of their form if they are to feature in the promotion places.


Ratby Co-operative
Conductor:
Kevin J. Steward

4BR Ranking: Outside top 100

Principal Cornet: Shiela Coates
Soprano Cornet: Mark Tarry
Flugel: Phil Sturdy
Solo Horn: Matthew Taylor
Solo Euphonium: Geoff Newman
Solo Trombone: Tony Bryan

Form Guide:
Mar 2003 - Regionals - 8th
Sep 2002 - Wychavon Entertainment - 7th
May 2002 - Senior Cup - 8th
Mar 2002 - Regionals - 9th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 8th
2001: 15th
2000: 15th Grand Shield (rel)
1999: 6th Grand Shield

Ratby Co-operative dropped from the Grand Shield after coming 15th in 2000, but they did show in 1999 that they were capable of performing really well as they came 6th. Their first year in the Senior Cup in 2001 saw them come 15th but they improved on that last year in fine fashion to come 8th and just miss out on a promotion place to the Grand Shield. A bit of an up and down existence at the Regionals over the last few years, with them twice winning the 1st Section and once being relegated. 9th last year was steady enough and they improved by a place this year. The band of course played in the Open itself in 1978 under Betty Andersen, but have yet to return there since. They seem to have a penchant for finishing between 7th & 9th lately. Same again may be on the cards.


Redbridge
Conductor:
Melvyn White

4BR Ranking: 35

No player information

Form Guide:
Mar 2003 - Regionals - 1st
Feb 2003 - Yeovil Entertainment - 4th
October - 2002 - National Finals - 11th
May 2002 - Senior Trophy - 5th
Mar 2002 - Regionals - 1st
Feb 2002 - Yeovil Entertainment - 10th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 5th Senior Trophy (prom)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC
1995: 18th Grand Shield (J. Clark)
1994: 7th Grand Shield (J. Clark)
1993: 15th Grand Shield (J. Clark)

Last years 5th place in the Senior Trophy showed that on their day they weren’t out of place in a high-class National field. Melvyn White is once more at the helm and he knows what it takes to get bands through a tough test like this. They could do well again but we think it will be a good result if they get into the one of the promotion spots. 2003 has been a great year so far with a decent showing at Yeovil and then with the band retaining the London Regional title in some style at Stevenage.

They have been trying to get themselves into the Open for a few years now and as far back as 1994 they put in a strong showing to come 7th under John Clarke. More of the same here maybe or just enough to get them another step closer to Symphony Hall.


Rothwell Temperance
Conductor:
David Roberts

4BR Ranking: 27

Principal Cornet: Thomas Hutchinson
Soprano Cornet: Paul Argyle
Flugel: John Ward
Solo Horn: Les McCormack
Solo Euphonium: Chris Larder
Solo Trombone: Stephen Haynes

Form Guide:
March 2003 - Regionals - 4th
May 2002 - All England Masters - 12th
May 2002 - Grand Shield - 15th
March 2002 - Regionals - 7th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 15th Grand Shield (rel)
2001: 8th Grand Shield
2000: 7th Grand Shield

Didn’t compete here before 2000.

Rothwell Temperance and David Roberts are a band that on their day can perform as well as anyone here and they certainly have some quality players. 4th at the Yorkshire Regionals was a cracking result pushing them 13 places up the rankings and they could well feature here as well. They are good competitors at this level and with perhaps the boost in confidence of the Regionals may just get into the frame and back into the Grand Shield.

Last years result was a disappointment, especially in the previous two years they seemed to be on the verge of really pushing for a place in Birmingham. If they play to the form they showed at Bradford though then they should make sure the first step there is taken in style. As the highest 4BR ranked band here they have something to live up to.


Staffordshire
Conductor:
David Maplestone

4BR Ranking: 61

Principal Cornet: Paul White
Solo Horn: Tracey White
Solo Euphonium: Mark Glover
Solo Trombone: Mark Spedding
Soprano Cornet: Steve Leigh

Form Guide:
Mar 2003 - Regionals - 6th
Oct 2002 - Pontins - 16th
Sep 2002 - Wychavon Entertainment (S1) - 1st
Sep 2002 - National Finals (S1) - 1st
May 2002 - Senior Trophy - 3rd
May 2002 - Buxton - 7th
Mar 2002 - Regionals (S1) - 1st
Feb 2002 - Milton Keynes - 7th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 3rd Senior Trophy (prom)
2001: 17th Senior Cup (rel)
2000: DNC
1999: 18th Grand Shield (A. Culshaw)
1998: N/K Grand Shield (A. Culshaw)
1997: 7th Grand Shield (A. Culshaw)

Winners at Burton Town Hall in the Midlands Regionals in 2002 they figured in the frame twice more in 2002 - 3rd at Delph on Whit Friday and also at Blackpool in the Senior Trophy where they also came 3rd. Conductor David Maplestone, who played with many of top bands including Grimethorpe, brought out some good playing in 2002 and non more so than the stunning performance in the National Finals. In performances that were characterised by plenty of spirit and detail they were just off the mark at Pontins but a safe result at the Regionals this year lifted has them 4 places in the rankings. They will almost certainly give a good account of themselves and although they were relegated back to the Senior Trophy in 2002 their response showed a band that knows it has the ability to perform well at a higher level.

2003 hasn’t yet seen them take off, but this could well be the start.


Stalybridge
Conductor:
David Hirst

4BR Ranking: Outside top 100

Form Guide:
March 2003 - Regionals (S1) - 4th
Oct 2002 - Pontins (S1) - 18th
May 2002 - Senior Cup - 11th
March 202 - Regionals - 8th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 11th (A. White)
2001: 19th Grand Shield (rel) (D. Hirst)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: N/K Grand Shield (A. Exeley)
1997: 9th Grand Shield (J. Cant)
1996: 6th Grand Shield (J. Maines)
1995: 8th Grand Shield (T. Halliwell)
1994: 16th Grand Shield (T. Halliwell)
1993: 21st British Open (rel) (D. Broadbent)

Not long ago Stalybridge were competing strongly in the Championship Section so they will surely be determined to stamp their presence on this contest and 4th at the Regionals on their last outing may be an indicator to how they will do here. They are to be directed by the very experienced David Hirst this year and they will be keen to push for a top six placing at least. That may just be beyond them at present but a band with such a proud heritage should be closer to the Open than they are.

In 1993 they last played at the Open when they were relegated, but they put in a succession of strong performances at the Shield before they were relegated in 2001. 11th last year under Andrew White, they will want to improve on that for sure.


Kingdom Brass
Conductor:
Archie Hutchinson

4BR Ranking: 53

Principal Cornet: Helen McGill
Soprano Cornet: Martin Edwards
Flugel: Laura McConnell
Solo Horn: Stuart McKenzie
Solo Euphonium: Brian Paterson
Solo Trombone: Bill Giles

Form Guide:
Mar 2003 - Regionals - 7th
Nov 2002 - Mineworkers - 8th
Sep 2002 - European Open - 6th
Sep 2002 - Fife Open - 1st
June 2002 - Jubilee Challenge - 2nd
May 2002 - Senior Cup - 15th
Apr 2002 - Carnegie Invitation - 4th
Mar 2002 - Regionals - 4th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 15th (S. Kerwin)
2001: 13th (I. Davey)

Didn’t compete at the contests before 2001.

Kingdom Brass have, in the main, been top ten challengers since they were promoted up from the 1st Section in 2000. They may not quite have been strong enough last year to make a dent on the Senior Cup but should be contenders this time. They make the long trip to the North West in the hope that they will be at least able to improve on last years 15th place at the contest. They gained 7th place at the Scottish Regional Championships and they will be hoping to climb at least one place to come in the top six here and get into the Grand Shield.

The immensely experienced Archie Hutchinson is at the helm - the third new MD in as many years to front the band here, but he knows what it takes to do well at these contests and so we can expect a pretty strong challenge we think.


United Co-op Crewe
Conductor:
Jef Sparkes

4BR Ranking: 67

Principal Cornet: Andy Welsh
Soprano Cornet: Jon Gibbs
Flugel: Andy King
Solo Horn: Annette Sparkes
Solo Euphonium: Dave Mason
Solo Trombone: Clare Bennett

Form Guide:
Mar 2003 - Regionals (S1) - 1st
Feb 2003 - NEMBBA (S1) - 1st
Sep 2002 - Wychavon Entertainment (S1) - 3rd
Sep 2002 - Buxton Entertainment - 1st
May 2002 - Senior Trophy - 4th
Mar 2002 - Regionals - 5th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 4th Senior Trophy (prom)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: N/K (J. Sparkes)

Didn’t compete at the contests before 1998.

Just look at United Co-op Crewe’s last four results. Put that with a 4th in the Senior Trophy last year and is it any wonder they have a +29 gain in the rankings? This seems to be a band heading very much in the right direction and if you go and listen to the recording of ‘The Contestor’ on their website you will hear a fine band in the making. If they play anything like they did in the Regionals in Blackpool in March they will surely be in line for one of the promotion spots on offer and may well get their hands on another bit of silverware. Ones to watch out for.


Wingates
Conductor: Roy Curran

4BR Ranking: 51

Principal Cornet: Andy MacDonald
Flugel: Phil Sharples
Solo Euphonium: Jeff Lewis
Solo Trombone: Kevin Holgate

Form Guide:
April 2003 - Tameside - 3rd
Mar 2003 - Regionals - 11th
Nov 2002 - Wilkinson Open - 5th
Feb 2003 - Brass at the Guild - 1st
Oct 2002 - Fleetwood - 2nd
June 2002 - Whit Friday - Overall Tameside - 3rd
June 2002 - Whit Friday -Broadoak - 3rd
June 2002 - Whit Friday -Heyrod - 3rd
June 2002 - Whit Friday -Millbrook - 2nd
June 2002 - Whit Friday -The Station - 3rd
June 2002 - Whit Friday -Uppermill - 3rd
May 2002 - Grand Shield - 18th
Mar 2002 - Regionals - 5th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 18th Grand Shield (rel) (J. Gourlay)
2001: 9th Grand Shield (B. Grant)
2000: 6th Grand Shield (J. Gourlay)
1999: 23rd British Open (rel) (J. Davies)
1998: 15th British Open (C. Wormald)
1997: DNC
1996: Winners Grand Shield (prom) (N. Childs) 9th British Open (G. Whitham)
1995: 21st British Open (rel) (J. Hudson)
1994: 17th British Open (J. Hudson)
1993: 6th British Open (J. Hudson)

Only the Regionals have let Wingates down in this record sheet. They were superb at Preston on ‘Paganini’ and if they play like that it will be vintage stuff. On their day they are a band that can mix it with the best and they have some really top class performers around the stands. They should be strong contenders and will be very keen to make an improvement on their shock result in the Grand Shield last year when they played well but didn’t catch the ears of the judges (one of whom was Nick Childs who directed them to their 1996 Grand Shield victory).

One of the most famous names in banding, but ones who have in recent times known both the ups and downs of fortune. Roy Curran is a very experienced MD and if they play to form they should well feature highly. Well worth a listen to.


Wooley Pritchard Sovereign Brass
Conductor:
Wayne Ruston

4BR Ranking: 74

No player details at the moment

Form Guide:
Mar 2003 - Regionals - 4th
Oct 2003 - Pontins - 19th
May 2002 - Senior Cup 12th
Mar 2002 - Regionals 10th
Feb 2002 - Yeovil 12th

Form Guide at the Grand Shield:

2002: 14th (J. Hinckley)
2001: 10th (D. Beckley
2000: DNC
1999: 13th Grand Shield (S. Roberts)
1998: DNC
1997: 15th Grand Shield (D. Maplestone)
1996: 7th Grand Shield (D. Maplestone)
1995: 7th Grand Shield (D. Maplestone)
1994: 6th Grand Shield (D. Maplestone)
1993: 12th Grand Shield (D. Maplestone)

Wooley needed a good result at the Regionals this year to stop them from dropping through the trap door and into the 1st Section and they proved that on their day they are a band that can hold their own. They were hovering around mid-table until Burton in March when they produced the goods. They should have enough about them to be safe here as well though you know they will be looking to push for yet another top six place in this contest to make 2003 a year to remember.

They have been trying to gain a berth in the British Open for some time and came closest back in a three year period between 1994 and 1996 when they had one 6th and two 7th places. They are a bit away from doing that just yet, but possibly this may the first step back in the right direction.


4Bars Rest Prediction:

This is going to be another hard one, but we think there may be something of a "suprise" name on the winners podium this weekend.

We have heard Newstead on a number of occassions in the past twelve months or so and their recent performances have been very good indeed, so we have plumbed for them taking the top honours - (that's them given the kiss of death then!)

As for the other places we think current form may well play a part again so we have gone for Wingates, Redbridge, Camborne, Kingdom Brass and Ashton to get the promotion places on offer. Our dark horse we think may well be United Co-op Crewe who should follow the fortunes of their footy team and maybe snatch a place in the higher division.

1. Newstead Welfare
2. Wingates
3. Redbridge Brass
4. Camborne
5. Kingdom Brass
6. Ashton-under-Lyne
Dark Horse: United Co-op Crewe

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