2005 Regionals: Midlands - Preview: Third Section

1-Mar-2005

A very large field of 19 bands will tackle the joys (and pitfalls) of the story of drink, women and the Devil - what a combination eh?


Date: Sunday 6th March
Adjudicator: John Berryman
Test Piece: Tam O'Shanter's Ride - Denis Wright
Commences: 10.00
Split Draw: 09.00 & 11.00

No photo? Please send a JPEG to: stating the conductors name, your band, your region and section.


Arrow Valley Brass
Conductor:
Andy Culshaw

Last Nine Years:
2004: 17th (A. Culshaw) (rel)
2003: 16th (A. Culshaw)
2002: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)
2001: 5th 3rd Section
2000: 18th (rel)
1999: 13th
1998: 16th
1997: 4th

Arrow Valley found the Second Section very tough going in the past two years and as a result they fell through the relegation trap door and will take part here this time around. Hopefully Andy Culshaw will have pulled things around a bit and they can put up a strong showing in their first time back since 2002. 


Avonbank Evesham
Conductor:
A. McCrae

Last Nine Years:
2004: 11th (A. McCrae)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 7th Second Section (rel)
2000: 5th
1999: 14th
1998: 15th
1997: 6th

Having not competed here for a couple of years, Avonbank returned last year with a comfortable placing of eleventh.  They will be hoping for something similar or even better and a possible return to the days of 2000 and 2001 when they were up and around the top six places come results time. 


Bakewell Silver
Conductor:
M. Wilcockson

Last Nine Years:
2004: 14th (M. Wilcockson)
2003: 3rd in Fourth Section (prom) (M. Wilcockson)
2002: 6th
2001: 9th
2000: 15th 3rd Section (rel)
1999: 12th 3rd Section
1998: 10th 3rd Section
1997: 17th 3rd Section

The Derbyshire outfit will go to the Regionals hoping to consolidate on last years result.  Having come up from the Fourth Section after three years of ever improving results, they will be looking for more of the same here again. 


City of Birmingham
Conductor:
J. Cunningham

Last Nine Years:
2004: 9th (J. Cunningham)
2003: 10th (S. Platford)
2002: 8th
2001: 20th 2nd Section (rel)
2000: 16th 2nd Section
1999: 19th 2nd Section
1998: 12th 2nd Section
1997: 9th 2nd Section

The past three years have seen City of Birmingham finish in the top ten here, but not really show the form that could push them towards the top six placings or even a qualification place. Perhaps this is the year in which that can all change? 


Croft Silver
Conductor:
S. Burton

Last Nine Years:
2004: DNC
2003: 11th (C. Jones)
2002: 17th 2nd Section (rel)
2001: 11th 2nd Section
2000: 20th 2nd Section
1999: 7th 2nd Section
1998: 7th 2nd Section
1997: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)

Croft return to the contest this having not competed in 2004, so it is always nice to see a band make a welcome return. The last time they were here they came 11th, so what form they bring with them this time to Burton on Trent, we will have to wait and see.  


DPaul Northeyaventry Brass
Conductor:
P. Northey

Last Nine Years:
2004: 10th (P. Northey)
2003: Winners (P. Northey)
2002: 13th
2001: 13th
2000: 4th
1999: 17th 2nd Section (rel)
1998: 18th 2nd Section
1997: 12th 2nd Section

Having won here in 2003 the band came a disappointing tenth last year but looking at the results they have achieved here over the past few years, that win was a real bolt from the blue. Can they do it again though, or will it be another year of a place in the midifeld.


Fairfield (Buxton)
Conductor:
C. Kitchen

Last Nine Years:
2004: 13th (C. Kitchen)
2003: 19th (C. Kitchen)
2002: 11th
2001: 19th
2000: 15th
1999: 4th
1998: 4th 3rd Section (prom)
1997: 8th 3rd Section

Fairfield have bounced along around the bottom third of the prize list at the contest for the past few years after coming a very respectable 4th on their return here in 1999. If they get a bad one this time they could find themselves with a bit of relegation worries, so a top 10 finish is possibly a must. 


Lgraham jacklineicestershire Co-op Snibston Charnwood
Conductor:
G. Jacklin

Last Nine Years:
2004: 6th (G. Jacklin)
2003: 16th (G. Jacklin)
2002: 2nd 4th Section (prom)
2001: 10th 4th Section
2000: 12th 4th Section
1999: 17th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Having hard a real baptism of fire into the Third Section in 2003 when the came sixteenth, Leics Co-op put on a fine show here last year coming in sixth.  All ears will be listening to see if they can maintain that form and even challenge for honours this time then.


Lsharon stansfieldong Eaton Silver Prize
Conductor:
S. Stansfield

Last Nine Years:
2004: 4th (S. Stansfield)
2003: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom) (S. Stansfield)
2002: 3rd
2001: 13th
2000: 17th
1999: 23rd
1998: 16th
1997: 17th

Long Eaton got promotion in 2003 and produced a great performance last year to come in fourth place.  They have certainly come a long way here since the days when they were coming 23rd in the Fourth Section. Having just missed out 12 months ago they will be confident of going a few places better this time.


Nigel HallMalvern Mills & District
Conductor:
Nigel Hall

Last Nine Years:
2004: 7th (M.West)
2003: 5th (M.West)
2002: 10th
2001: 10th
2000: 2nd 4th Section
1999: 2nd 4th Section
1998: 16th 3rd Section (rel)
1997: 13th 3rd Section

Malvern have shown a great amount of consistency here over the past four years and were heading towards a possible qualification place last year only to come 7th. They will certainly be looking to do better than that this time around and a top six place will surely be the least of the ambitions. 


mark phillipsNewhall
Conductor:
M. Phillips

Last Nine Years:
2004: 2nd Fourth Section (M. Phillips) (prom)
2003: 9th (M. Phillips)
2002: 5th
2001: 8th 3rd Section (rel)
2000: 12th 3rd Section
1999: 16th 3rd Section
1998: 7th 3rd Section
1997: 2nd 4th Section (prom)

Newhall had a great time here last year when they came runners up in the Fourth Section, came 11th in Harrogate and gained promotion as well. This is their first year back in the Third Section since 2001 when they were last relegated, so they will be keen to carry on the good form of 2004 and make a mark here. 


Rowe BishopPhoenix West Midlands Brass
Conductor:
D. Bishop Rowe

Last Nine Years:
2004: 5th (D. Bishop Rowe)
2003: Winners Fourth Section (prom) (D. Bishop Rowe)
2002: 4th
2001: DNC
2000: DNC

Having won the Fourth Section here in 2003, the band gave a cracking performance last year to come fifth and under David Bishop-Rowe they seem to be a band heading in the right direction. Another performance like that of a twelve month ago and they could well feature highly again.


Ratby Co-op 'Mid' Band
Conductor:
G. Newman

Last Nine Years:
2004: 18th (G Newman)
2003: 9th (G. Newman)
2002: 16th
2001: 8th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 10th 4th Section
1999: 12th 4th Section
1998: 14th 4th Section
1997: DNC

Finishing in the wooden spoon position last year, Ratby clearly will need to do much better this time around to avoid the drop through the relegation trap door. They have shown before that they can do it though, when they came 9th the year before, but they will need to do that again at least this time around to avoid trouble. 


Rrichard gravesushden Windmill
Conductor:
R. Graves

Last Nine Years:
2004: Winners Fourth Section (R. Graves) (prom)
2003: 4th (R. Graves)
2002: 19th 3rd Section (rel)
2001: 12th 3rd Section
2000: 3rd 3rd Section
1999: 15th 3rd Section
1998: 3rd 3rd Section
1997: 6th 3rd Section

After being relegated to the Fourth Section in 2002, Rushden has bounced back in superb style over the past two years. After winning the Fourth Section last year and going on to come 7th in the Harrogate final they will be very confident of doing well here this time around. Ones to watch out for perhaps? 


Graham SuttonSyston
Conductor:
G. Sutton

Last Nine Years:
2004: 12th (G. Sutton)
2003: 6th (R. Boulter)
2002: 6th
2001: 6th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 6th
1999: 7th
1998: 6th
1997: 6th

A run of being placed sixth here in the last four years in the Third and Fourth Sections changed 12 months ago when they came in a disappointing twelfth place.  They would settle to come sixth again though this time around and even higher if they have their way.


simon hoggUniversity of Warwick
Conductor:
S. Hogg

Last Nine Years:
2004: DNC
2003: 10th (S. Hogg)
2002: 15th
2001: DNC
2000: 13th
1999: 4th 3rd Section (prom)
1998: Winners 4th Section (prom)
1997: DNC

A welcome return for the lads and lasses from the world of academia who didn't compete here last year. The University of Warwick have shown that they can more than hold their own, so lets hope the worries of exams and student loans are not with them this year and they can concentrate on getting a good result on this test.


WEM Jubilee
Conductor:
R. Thorne

Last Nine Years:
2004: 8th (R. Thorne)
2003: 4th (R. Thorne)
2002: Winners 4th Section (prom)
2001: 5th 4th Section
2000: 4th 4th Section
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: 4th 4th Section

Roger Thorne and his band will be hoping for a better show this time around having come eighth last year.  Good, hard working, solid performers led by a very good MD, they could be a band to listen out for this time around. 


Steve Pritchard-JonesWest Mercia Constabulary
Conductor:
S. Pritchard-Jones

Last Nine Years:
2004: 3rd (H. Gibbs)
2003: 12th (H. Gibbs)
2002: 4th
2001: 3rd 4th Section (prom)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

A cracking third place last year where they went on to come 9th at the Finals in Harrogate, Steve Pritchard-Jones and his band will surely be confident of at least repeating that result this time around, or even going a couple of places better. They should be in with a good shout at least.


Whitwell Brass
Conductor:
K. Vernon

Last Nine Years:
2004: 16th (K. Vernon)
2003: 13th (K. Vernon)
2002: 15th
2001: 4th 4th Section (prom)
2000: 11th 4th Section
1999: 15th 4th Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC

Given that they have a pretty poor record here in the past few years you would think that the confidence levels wouldn't be high for this contest. However, 2005 has been a great year so far, so why not take that form and put it into practice here? We will wait and see, but we think they could well feature.  


Past Qualifiers:

2004: Shirland Welfare Training, Stamford Brass and West Mercia Constabulary
2003: Daventry Brass, Carlton Brass, Audley Brass
2002: Raunds Temperance, Carlton Brass, Arrow Valley
2001: Brass 2000, Raunds Temperance
2000: Warwick University, Porthywaen
1999: Whaley Bridge, Chapel en le Frith
1998: RJB Brass, Charnwood
1997: Kirkby Colliery, Chapel en le Frith
1996: Whaley Bridge, Derwent Brass, Kirkby Colliery
1995: Whaley Bridge, Croft Silver, Derwent Brass
1994: Glossop Old, Bedworth Brass, South Notts Hussars

Midlands Bands at the Finals:

2004: 5th, 8th, 9th
2003: 3rd, 11th, 18th
2002: 5th, 7th, 8th
2001: 3rd, 13th
2000: 8th, 9th
1999: 12th, 16th
1998: 11th, 12th

4BR Prediction:

With a field this size, it will always be hard to predict a result as there are plenty of bands who will be looking to do well here (some with more of a realistic chance than others), but some will master the difficult set work and impress John Berryman. It is going to be hard though, as this is a real test piece of the highest order.

Still, a couple of the runners do stand out and should fancy their chances of booking one of the three qualification places up for grabs.

The three for us who should battle it out for the top places on the podium should be Long Eaton, West Mercia Constabulary and Phoenix West Midlands, whilst we think the top six should be filled by the likes of Whitwell, Rushden and WEM with our dark horse being Leicester Co-op.

1. Long Eaton
2. West Mercia Constabulary
3. Phoenix West Midlands
4. Whitwell
5. Rushden Windmill
6. WEM Jubilee

Dark Horse: Leicester Co-op

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