2005 Scottish Open Brass Band Championships - The Runners and Riders

23-Nov-2005

17 bands line up at the Royal Concert Hall with their own choice selections at the ready. 4BR casts its eye over them all.


BessesBesses o' th' Barn
www.besses.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 52
Conductor: James Cant

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Tim Hynd
Soprano: Simon Gray
Flugel: Lizzie Sawyer
Horn: Dave Aston
Euphonium: Dan Hunt
Trombone: Paul Coupe
Eb Tuba: Richard Cookson
Percussion: Graeme Lyster

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2003
 
Last 2 Years:
2004:  10th (Steve Sykes) (12)
2003:  9th  (Steve Sykes) (1)

2005 Form:
Regionals:  9th
Tameside Open:  3rd
Grand Shield:  9th
Pontins: 5th

Jim CantIt's not been too bad a year for Besses, but it hasn't been sparkling either on the contest stages for them. 

They haven't really sparkled here either in the past two years, although in 2003 that may have had something to do with their bus driver over sleeping and forcing them to rush to the hall only to be faced with less people in the audience than there was on stage!

Their two premier contests at the Regionals and Grand Shield saw them fall short of challenging for top honours when they came 9th on both occasions, but they bounced back from with a credible 3rd place at Tameside and 5th place at Pontins last month.  It's more of that sort of form they will be looking for here in Glasgow this Sunday.


Bon Accord logoBon Accord Silver
www.davido.freeserve.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 105
Conductor:  Duncan Beckley

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David Cooper
Euphonium: Richard Kidd
Trombone: Julie Smith
Soprano: Emma Nicol
Horn: Karen Johnston
Flugel: Pauline Craib
Baritone: Karen Crozier
Eb Tuba: Mandy Wilson
Percussion: Chris Yule

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: 2nd time
Debut: 2003
 
Last 2 Years:

2004: 14th (Tony Swainson) (10)
2003:  DNC

2005 Form:
Regionals: 7th
Whitburn: Winners

Duncan BeckleyA little bit difficult to fully assess the bands current form as in pure contesting terms they have had a quiet 2005. However they did win the Whitburn contest and that should mean they come to Glasgow with confidence riding high.

This will be the bands second appearance here after they came 14th last year under the direction of the experienced Tony Swainson. This time it is Duncan Beckley who will lead them and that will surely mean they will be well prepared. They are up against strong opposition both from their domestic rivals and from England, but if they can reproduce that Whitburn form they could well make a mark.


Boness and CarridenBo'ness & Carriden
www.carridenband.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 83
Conductor: Bryan Keachie

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Craig Robertson
Euphonium: Scott Cameron
Trombone: Garry Kennedy
Soprano: Michelle Ibbotson
Horn: Suzanne Robertson
Flugel: Diane Waugh
Baritone: Jan Komoroski
Eb Tuba: Tony Bacher
Percussion: Kirk Richardson

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: 2nd time
Debut: 2003
 
Last 2 Years:
2004:  DNC
2003:  14th (David James)

2005 Form:
Regionals: 8th
Senior Cup: 16th
Land O' Burns: 5th

Brian KeachieThe experienced Bryan Keachie takes the helm for Bo'ness here this year and the band will be looking to improve on their last outing in 2003 when they could only manage 14th place under the direction of the great David James.

2005 has been a bit up and down so far, what with 8th place at the Regionals and a lowly 16th place at the Senior Cup, but they recovered somewhat to come home in 5th place at the Land O' Burns contest.

An interesting lineup of talent too with Michelle Ibbotson, currently playing on top form with the BAYV Band in Wales making a guest appearance on soprano cornet. 


Carlton Main logoCarlton Main Frickley Colliery
www.carltonmain.com

4BR Ranking: 32
Conductor: Allan Ramsay

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kirsty Abbotts
Euphonium: Ciaran Young
Trombone: Kevin Holdgate
Soprano: Clare Taylor
Horn: Kate Eggleshaw
Flugel: Clarance Mansell
Baritone: Nick Harris
Eb Tuba: Paul Davis
Percussion: Mick Godber

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: Debut

2005 Form:
Butlins: 5th
Regionals: 8th
Grand Shield: 13th
All-England International Masters: 14th
Pontins: 6th

Allan RamseyCarlton Main will surely be hoping that their run of bad luck will change here when they make their debut at the Scottish Open this weekend. 2005 has seen the band play well on all the various contest stages they have set foot on, but have come away with just about nothing for their efforts.
 
Lots of talented players around the stands and they are now producing a fine warm sound to go with some solid technique. All they need is a touch of luck and they could well come away from Glasgow crowned as champions.

Allan Ramsey takes over the conducting duties following the departure of Brian Grant, and this could possibly be the missing ingredient they have been looking for all year. Ones to watch out for.


Dobcross SilverDobcross Silver
www.dobcrossband.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 53
Conductor: Dennis Hadfield

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Laura Hirst
Euphonium: Nigel Atwell
Trombone: Danny Brooks
Soprano Darren Jones
Horn: Christina Saunders
Flugel: David Moore
Baritone: Clare Fawcett
Eb Tuba: Matt Mills
Percussion: Simon Pymm and Danny Baldwin
 
Scottish Open Record:
Debut: 2005

2005 Form:
Butlins: 10th
Regionals: 6th
Senior Cup: 11th
Wychavon: 4th

Denid HadfieldCelebrating their 130th Anniversary, 2005 has been rather special for Dobcross, and they will be looking to round it off in fine style with a top class result here. Within the band there are a number of fine young players including David Moore on flugel and younger brother Peter, who is only nine years old and is the current British Open Intermediate Champion.

Dennis Hadfield is an experienced campaigner and a talented MD, and we are sure he will get his players well and truly up for this one. Recently they did well at the Wychavon Contest, so that could well be an indicator that the form is good going into this contest. They could well feature if they really play to form.


FishburnFishburn
www.fishburnband.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 48
Conductor: Ray Farr

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: John Gill
Euphonium: Jeff Bell
Trombone: Malcolm Gill
Soprano: Malcolm Usher
Horn: Steven Hardy
Flugel: Patrick Garner
Baritone: Caroline Bell
Eb Tuba: Anthony Taylor
Percussion: Kevin Franey

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2003
 
Last 2 Years:
2004:  16th (Major Graham Jones) (6)
2003:  6th (Graham O'Connor) (4)

2005 Form:
Butlins: 8th
Regionals: 4th
Grand Shield: 14th
Pontins: 3rd

Ray FarrFishburn will fancy their chances here of getting in the mix at the results after a decent year.  They were unlucky to miss out on a trip to London for The Nationals, where under Chris Bentham they put in a fine show at the Regionals and whilst the Grand Shield wasn't their best showing, they played exceptionally well at Pontins last month, finishing in third place.

Lots of talent in and around the stands with the likes of Mal Usher, the Gills and Bells forming a strong backbone of quality that runs through the spine of the band.

Nice to see that any regional rivalry has been put to one side also with Ray Farr making the trip from Reg Vardy to take the helm here. That should also provide them with an added to confidence boost as well, as he is on top form at present too. If they click then they too could be looking to push for a podium place at the very least.


FreckletonFreckleton
www.freckletonband.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 36
Conductor: Paul Dalton

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Mike Pritt
Euphonium: Pat Howard
Trombone: John Stevens
Soprano: Phil Symonds
Horn: Julie Backhouse
Flugel: Vicky Byrne
Baritone: Alan Brewer
Eb Tuba: Peter Lockett
Percussion: Dave Hogg

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2003
 
Last 2 Years:
2004:  4th (Paul Dalton) (2)
2003:  10th (Paul Dalton) (8)

2005 Form:
Brass at the Guild: 14th
Regionals: Winners (First Section)
Senior Cup: 4th
National Finals: 9th
Fleetwood: Winners

Paul DaltonFreckleton really put the cat amongst the pigeons here last year when they claimed fourth place ahead of many more fancied (and much higher ranked) bands.  If people thought that was a one off though, 2005 has certainly proved them to be wrong after a fine string of contest results.

Brass at the Guild wasn't great, but a win at the Regionals was followed by an excellent 4th place at the Senior Cup and a creditable 9th place at Harrogate. They recently won the Fleetwood contest too, so they will not be under estimated here this year for sure. Another 4th place or higher may just be beyond them – but you never know as they have talented players in the ranks and a crafty old head to direct them.


Johnstone SilverJohnstone Silver
www.johnstonesilver.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 97
Conductor: Chris Bradley

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Sarah Findlay
Soprano: Clare Thomas
Flugel: Fiona Macluskey
Horn: Laura Mullen
Euphonium: John Stark
Trombone: Gus MacIntyre
Eb Tuba: Tom McCrone
Percussion: Douglas Young

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: Debut
 
2005 Form:
Scottish Championships: Winners (1st Section)
Land O' Burns: 9th
Brass in the Park: 2nd
National Finals: 8th
Whitburn: 3rd

Johnstone Silver will certainly be looking forward to this contest after a year in which they have really gone from strength to strength.

The highlight so far was undoubtedly the win at the Scottish Regionals that gave them the chance to show their worth at Harrogate. There they came a very creditable 8th, but they have also soon good form at the Whitburn contest and Brass in the Park.

Chris Bradley takes over the conducting duties and will be hoping that the draw is kind to them as he will also be on playing duty with Whitburn as acting Principal Cornet. If things go to plan then they could well be celebrating by taking more than a few well earned scalps. 


Kingdom Brass logoKingdom Brass
www.kingdombrass.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 43
Conductor: Graham O'Connor

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Lee Bathgate
Soprano: Tommy Harrower
Flugel: Laura Heriot
Horn: Stuart McKenzie
Euphonium: Brian Paterson
Trombone: Bill Giles
Eb Bass: Angus Pearce
Percussion: Barry Kerr

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2003
 
Last 2 Years:
2004:  7th (Ray Farr) (3)
2003:  13th (Archie Hutchinson) (2)

2005 Form:
Regionals: 5th
Fife Brass Band Festival: Winners
Senior Trophy: 5th
West Lothian: 3rd=
FCBA Open: Winners 
 
Graham OconnorAny band that takes the step of engaging Graham O'Connor to take them to a contest cannot be underestimated, as the Yorkshireman has one of the very best records in the business of winning prizes wherever he goes. The hallmarks of his performances are usually found in the preparation and you can therefore be guaranteed that Kingdom will be well rehearsed.

The bands confidence should also be high anyway after a pretty good 2005 that has seen two winner pennants gained and a fine result at the Senior Trophy in Blackpool and a podium finish at West Lothian. All in all the form book should suggest a strong contender for a top six prize.


KirkintillochKirkintilloch Band
www.kirkintilloch-band.com

4BR Ranking: 15
Conductor: Steve Bastable

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David Prentice
Euphonium: Andy McLean
Trombone: Marion Brackpool
Soprano: Steve Stewart
Horn: Allan Wardrope
Flugel: Martyn Ramsay
Baritone: Debbie Newby
Eb Tuba: Andy McKreel
Percussion: Kenny Carlyle

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2003
 
Last 2 Years:
2004:  8th (Steve Bastable) (4)
2003:  5th (Frank Renton) (6)

2005 Form:
Regionals: 4th
All-England International Masters: 4th
British Open: 13th

STEVE bASTABLEIf the mood is really with Kirkintilloch and their MD Steve Bastable they could well just about walk away with this contest with something to spare as on their day they can be a quite thrilling band to listen to.

On the other hand, they do have a slightly annoying habit of not quite playing to pre contest form and that has been shown in 2005 what with a disappointing 4th place at the Regional Championships and a mid table return at the British Open where twelve months previous they were in the top four. 

The All England Masters did show their class and a recent CD release entitled ‘Angels and Demons' is excellent. The title track sums them up as well – on their day they could be heavenly, but they can also be little unpredictable devils as well. It should be the former this time and not the latter.


Kirkintilloch KelvinKirkintilloch Kelvin Brass
www.kirkintilloch-band.com/kkbie.htm

4BR Ranking: 157
Conductor: Alistair Orr

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Hazel Barr
Soprano: Richard Pugh
Flugel: Laura Hall
Horn: Gemma Gardiner
Euphonium: Ranald Rixson
Trombone: Chris Pugh
Eb Tuba: Adam Wilson
Percussion: Jaclyn Needham

Scottish Open Record:
Debut: 2005
 
2005 Form:
Regionals: 2nd
Fife Brass Band Festival: 5th
National Finals: 7th

Alastair OrrBill Shankley used to say that the second best team in Liverpool were Liverpool reserves, but that would underestimate the talents of the sister organisation of the Kirkintilloch Band.

Alistair Orr has moulded a talent outfit under his direction and as they have shown in 2005 they will come to Glasgow determined to show that it is well merited too. A fine runners up place at the Regionals led them to a solid 7th place at Harrogate whilst they were also placed at the Fife Festival.

It may be great to see two bands from one town doing so well, but we are sure they will be looking to get one over their closest rivals.


NewtongrangeNewtongrange Silver Band
www.newtongrangesilverband.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 31
Conductor: Steve Sykes

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Angus Edmond
Soprano Cornet: Graeme Williamson
Flugelhorn: John Philip
Solo Horn: Kevin Smith
Principal Euphonium: Neil Philip
Solo Trombone: Alex Philip
Principal Eb Bass: Paul McGrath
Percussion: Jillian Spence

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2003
  
Last 2 Years:
2004:  15th (Archie Hutchinson) (1)
2003:  12th (David Hirst) (9)

2005 Form:
Regionals: Winners
Senior Cup: 18th
West Lothian: Winners
Nationals: 14th

Steve SykesThe Scottish Champions have had a pretty good year in 2005, what with that famous win that led them to the Royal Albert Hall and victory at the West Lothian contest.

That Regional victory under Alan Ramsay was no one off fluke either as they showed in London that they were more than capable of producing a solid account of a very difficult set work in coming 14th against strong opposition.

For their third appearance here they have opted to team up with Steve Sykes and it is nice to see the tuba virtuoso conducting north of border once more. With plenty of talented players at his disposal (including the brothers Philip all in key positions) they could well fancy their chances of once more showing that they are the leading Scottish band at the contest. Maybe, maybe not, but they cannot be discounted for sure.


Scottish CoopScottish Co-op Band
www.scottishco-opband.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 8
Conductor: Frank Renton

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Roger Webster
Euphonium: Alison Bonnar
Trombone: Paul Kiernan
Soprano: Caroline Tennant
Horn: Lyndsay Smith
Flugel: Andrea Casey
Baritone: Kirsten Lyndsey
Eb Tuba: Jonathan Gawn
Percussion: Derek Love

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2003

Last 2 Years:
2004:  2nd (Frank Renton) (15)
2003:  Winners  (Russell Gray) (11)

2005 Form:
Regionals: 3rd
All-England International Masters: Winners
British Open: 10th
Brass in Concert: 7th  

Frank RentonThe All-England International Champions come to Glasgow as pre-contest favourites and will be looking to regain the title they won in 2003.

It has been a slightly uneven year for the band however, but it was their win in Cambridge under Dr Nicholas Childs though that stands out, as they were musically excellent on the day and had moments of sheer quality that few matched.

They are not immune from silly mistakes however (and at Cambridge they suffered a couple of nasty moments) and their chances at the British Open were almost fatally undermined by an errant first entry. That was a pity as they sounded a fine outfit thereafter and 10th was a little harsh.

Frank Renton returns to head the assault once more this year and after a solid performance at Brass in Concert they will be keen to resume normal service here and top the prize table once more. Lots of quality players, although they have another new face on sop, but they should be there or thereabouts come results time. It would be a real shock if they weren't.   


SWT Woodfalls
www. woodfallsband.freeserve.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 48
Conductor: David Barringer
 
Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Barbara Camps
Soprano: Mark Pye
Flugel: Chantal Pye
Horn: Trish Chislett
Euphonium: Graham Lawrence
Trombone: Scott Stewart
Eb Tuba: Terry Cawte
Percussion: Paul Williams

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: Debut
 
2005 Form:
Yeovil: 2nd
Regionals: 6th
All-England International Masters: 13th

Dave BarringerNice to see SWT Woodfalls make the long trip north to compete at the contest this year as they are a band on their day that can mix it with the best as they have shown over the last couple of years.

2005 hasn't seen them on their best form, but they confounded the critics (4BR included) to come runners up at Yeovil. The Regionals were not as good and they missed out on the trip to London, whilst the Masters saw them drop away to a mid table 13th place after their fine effort of 2003.

Lots of good quality players in the ranks though and a good solid MD at the helm, they could well make a real mark if they play to top form. If not, it could be a long trip home.


Unison Kinneil
www.kinneilband.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 33
Conductor: Andrew Berryman

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Iain Culross
Euphonium: Ian Campbell
Trombone: Geoff Turnball
Soprano: Owen Downs
Horn: Alison Hall
Flugel: Laura Fitzpatrick
Baritone: Brian Mitchell
Eb Tuba: Paul Drury
Percussion: Camy Marr

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2003
 
Last 2 Years:
2004: 13th (Allan Ramsay) (5)
2003: 11th (Allan Ramsay) (12)

2005 Form:
Regionals: 6th
Senior Cup: 6th
Land O' Burns: 4th
Whitburn Invitation Contest: 2nd

Andrew BerrymanA solid year of achievement for Unison Kinneil, although they couldn't quite hold onto their stranglehold at the Whitburn Invitation Contest a few weeks before. 

That though would have been just a slight disappointment after they had shown throughout the past twelve months that they are a band to look out for at every contest they have competed in. The Regionals were OK, but the Senior Cup was a real solid outing. Land O' Burns was a slight dip perhaps and then came Whitburn – but it all adds up to a band that has the ability to feature.

Andrew Berryman is the man at the helm and his experience will come in handy for sure and we think they could be a bit of a dark horse to really improve on their results at this contest this time out.


Whitburn logoWhitburn
www.whitburnband.co.uk

4BR Ranking: 10
Conductor: Andy Duncan

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Chris Bradley
Euphonium: Evelyn Bradley
Trombone: Mark Boyd
Soprano: Scott Forrest
Horn: Ian Fleming
Flugel: James Chamberlain
Baritone: Anne Crookston
Eb Tuba: Graham Fraser
Percussion: Richard Dyson

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2003
  
Last 2 Years:
2004:  3rd (Andrew Duncan) (8)
2003:  8th (Andrew Duncan) (5)

2005 Form:
Regionals: 2nd
Europeans: 8th
British Open: 11th
Nationals: 11th
Brass in Concert: 6th

Andy DuncanWhitburn return to the Scottish Open having appeared at this event since its inception with slightly mixed results. Last year they were very good, but the year before they played minus a bass player following a real comedy of errors.

2005 hasn't been the best of years so far. And we say so far, as at Brass in Concert in particular they were very good indeed and just fell away with their last item. London saw them produce a bit of an error strewn account which resulted in 11th place and much the same could be said for the British Open.

If they don't try and blow the roof down (they do produce a superb sound up to fortissimo, but it can get strained above this) they will possibly be the band to beat.  Andy Duncan is a class act as a musician and MD and if they take his lead a first Scottish Open could be theirs for the taking as they have the players to more than win here in style. Ones to watch out for.


WingatesWingates
www.wingatesband.org

4BR Ranking: 28
Conductor: Phillip McCann

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Andy MacDonald
Euphonium: David Thornton
Soprano: Alan Hobbins
Flugel: Laura Hobbins
Baritone: Mariane Cliff
Horn: Robbie Cargill
Trombone: Rebecca Smith
Eb Bass: Andy Wyatt
Percussion: Pat Noone

Scottish Open Record:
Appearances: 2nd time
Debut: 2004
 
Last 2 Years:
2004:  6th (Roy Curran) (16)
2003:  DNC

2005 Form:
Regional Championships: 4th
Senior Cup: 9th
Brass at the Guild Hall: 3rd
Pontins: 2nd
Wychavon: 2nd

Philip McCannWingates make their second appearance here and will fancy their chances of being in the frame after recently coming in second place at Pontins.

2005 has seen them in good form with an excellent 4th place at the Regionals, followed by 9th at the Senior Cup, which may have been below expectations. 3rd place at Brass at the Guild Hall was OK, but they will be looking for better here for sure and Wychavon was a fine boost. 

The bands principal trombone is the newly-crowned British Open Solo Champion, Phillip Dias, whilst there are interesting guest appearances in the form of David Thornton, Ian Twis and Rebecca Smith. Philip McCann is at the helm and that should ensure a well drilled and very solid performance.

Can the ‘enhanced' Wingates win? Given the mix of quality regular players and guests they should fancy their chances no end. 

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