2007 London and Southern Counties Regional Championship - First Section

12-Mar-2007

Which bands will capture the beauty of Eric Ball’s Sinfonietta – The Wayfarer and impress Nicholas Childs?


Saturday 17th March
Adjudicator: Dr Nicholas J Childs
Test Piece: Sinfonietta – The Wayfarer - Eric Ball

Commences: after Section Two results
Draw: 1.30pm


BeocntreeBecontree Brass
Conductor:
Dudley Bright

Last 11 Years:
2006: 14th (G. Sheldon)
2005: 10th (G. Sheldon)
2004: Winners of Second Section  (G. Sheldon) (prom)
2003: 8th (J. Morahan)
2002: 2nd (W. Rumford)
2001: 2nd in Third Section (W. Rumford) (prom)
2000: 4th in Third Section (W. Rumford)
1999: 12th in Third Section
1998: 2nd in Fourth Section
1997: 2nd in Fourth Section
1996: 2nd in Fourth Section

2004's Second Section Champions have found life a little tough going having moved up to the First Section over the past couple of years but sometimes it takes time to adjust.  They weren’t at their best at Butlins where they came 20th under Dudley Bright, but such a fine musician will surely have ensured his charges are up for this one. 


BedfordBedford Town
Conductor:
John Berryman

Last 11 Years:
2006: 6th (C. Reeves)
2005: 4th (G. Bennet)
2004: 8th in Championship Section (G. Bennett) (rel)
2003: 9th (G. Bennett)
2002: 9th (G. Bennett)
2001: 8th (J. Berryman)
2000: Winners of First Section (J. Berryman) (prom)
1999: 12th (rel)
1998: 5th in First Section (prom)
1997: 7th in First Section
1996: 2nd in First Section

There are three things you can guarantee when John Berryman is at the helm of a band: One - they’ll go into a contest as thoroughly prepared as they can be; Two - it’ll be a real musical performance and, Three - they won’t be far away from a podium place at the results.  5th place at Butlins was an indication that they are in good form and that was a performance of some considerable merit, so watch out. 


BroseleyBroseley Brass
Conductor:
Paul Fensom

Last 11 Years:
2006: 8th (P. Fensom)
2005: 6th (P. Fensom)
2004: 6th (P. Fensom)
2003: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (P. Fensom)
2002: 3rd (P. Fensom)
2001: 6th (P. Fensom)
2000: 5th in Third Section (P. Fensom) (prom)
1999: 8th in Third Section
1998: 2nd in Third Section
1997: N/K
1996: 6th (rel)

The experienced Paul Fensom continues to work his magic and hard graft with and Broseley who have been pretty consistent here in the three years. Two sixth places and an eighth show that they can more than hold their own, but they would like to push a bit higher we are sure.  Law of averages suggests they’ll finish seventh on Sunday then.  


City of CambridgeCity of Cambridge
Conductor:
Peter Bassano

Last 11 Years:
2006: 9th (C. Paterson)
2005: 7th (R. Gray)
2004: 9th (R. Hull)
2003: 15th (R. Hull)
2002: 8th (R. Hull)
2001: 11th (P. Hudson)
2000: Winners of Second Section (P. Hudson) (prom)
1999: DNC
1998: 12th (rel)
1997: N/K
1996: 9th

Peter Bassano leads City of Cambridge’s challenge this year and the knowledgeable MD will be hoping to weave his magic on the band.  They disappointed a touch at Butlins in January off an early draw to come 12th, but they’ll be looking for a podium place at least - somewhere Russell Gray no less, had them two years ago, so they have got the ability to do it.  


Crystal PalacCrystal Palace
Conductor:
Mike Gray

Last 11 Years:
2006: 15th (M. Gray)
2005: 4th in Second Section (prom) (M. Gray)
2004: 4th (M. Gray)
2003: 7th (M. Gray)
2002: 12th (M. Gray)
2001: 13th (M. Gray)
2000: 9th (M. Gray)
1999: 3rd
1998: 3rd in Third Section (prom)
1997: 5th in Third Section
1996: 4th in Third Section

Crystal Place are a band who found it tough going last year having been promoted up from the Second Section.  They have come a long way in a very short space of time though and that was a dip into the colder waters of the First Section that will do them a world of good. Time to jump straight in then and make a splash.


DenhamDenham Hendon Brass
Conductor:
G. Davies

Last 11 Years:
2006: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (G. Davies)
2005: 15th in First Section (rel) (G. Davies)
2004: 15th (G. Davies)
2003: 6th (G. Davies)
2002: 15th (P. Cox)
2001: 11th in Championship Section (D. Richards) (rel)
2000: 10th in Championship Section (N/K)
1999: 8th (prom)
1998: 4th
1997: 3rd
1996: 8th in Championship Section (rel)

Denham Hendon bounced back into the First Section last year having been relegated in 2005.  Last year’s runners up spot took them to Harogate under Philip Sparke’s baton where they came 13th, so they will know they are facing a leap (not just a step) up in class. Odds on they may just do more than enough to enjoy it. 


 

HorshamHorsham Borough
Conductor:
K. Maxwell

Last 11 Years:
2006: 5th (G. Bacon)
2005: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (G. Bacon)
2004: 10th (G. Bacon)
2003: 5th (G. Bacon)
2002: 4th (L. Barron)
2001: 3rd in Third Section (L. Barron)
2000: 7th in Third Section (L. Barron)
1999: N/K
1998: 10th
1997: N/K
1996: 4th

Horsham pulled off a fine result here last year when they came 5th having come up from the Second Section.  That was no mean achievement in anyone’s books and they will be out to show it was no fluke and push on further up the podium places. 


Ipswich and Norwich Co-op
Conductor:
Robin Norman

Last 11 Years:
2006: 11th in Championship Section (rel) (R. Norman)
2005: 10th (S. Kenna)
2004: 9th (S. Kenna)
2003: 3rd in First Section (prom) (S. Kenna)
2002: 11th (S. Kenna)
2001: 5th (S. Kenna)
2000: 4th (S. Kenna)
1999: 9th
1998: 9th
1997: 2nd
1996: 10th in Championship Section (rel)

After three years in the top tier, Ipswich come back into the First Section and they’ll be looking to bounce back as soon as possible.  They were disappointing at Butlins coming home in 16th place but they’ve got the knowledgeable and talented Robin Norman at the helm and we think the Skegness experience may well have given them the reality check they need to do well here.


JerseyJersey Premier Brass
Conductor:
Tim Pritchard

Last 11 Years:
2006: Winners of Second Section (prom) (T. Pritchard)
2005: Winners of Third Section (prom) (G. Saynor)
2004: 13th (T. Pritchard)
2003: 17th in Third Section (T. Pritchard) (West of England)
2002: 15th in Second Section (T. Pritchard) (West of England)
2001: DNC
2000: 14th in Second Section (T. Pritchard) (West of England)
1999: 4th in Second Section (West of England)

Jersey Premier Brass is a great success story under the baton of Welshman Tim Pritchard. They continued their surge through the sections last year by winning the Second Section title and went on to come a well merited 8th place at Harrogate. Nothing seems beyond them – including raising the funds to compete here, so could a hat trick be on the cards? 


MedwayKM Medway
Conductor:
Melvin White

Last 11 Years:
2006: 2nd (G. Wilson)
2005: 11th in Championship Section (rel) (G. Wilson)
2004: 10th (G. Wilson)
2003: 4th in First Section (prom) (G. Wilson)
2002: 9th (D. Cutting)
2001: 3rd (N/K)
2000: DNC
1999: 8th in Championship Section (rel)
1998: 5th in Championship Section
1997: N/K
1996: 3rd in Championship Section

KM Medway found the step up to the Championship Section a little tough in recent years but seem to be more at home here in the First Section where they qualified for Harrogate. There they drew the dreaded number 1 and did well to come home in 12th place against a strong field.  Another solid display will see them back in the Championship Section, and with Melvin White at the helm you think they will be short odds to do just that. 


Matthews Norfolk Brass
Conductor:
David Stowell

Last 11 Years:
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: Winners 1st Section (prom)
2001: 10th (rel)
2000: 7th
1999: 9th
1998: 8th
1997: 4th 1st Section (prom)
1996: 4th 1st Section

Will Matthews Norfolk Brass finally make it to the starting line up this year after four years away. According to their website they should be raring to go and are looking forward to meeting the deamnds of Eric Ball's test piece. Let's hope then that they make the trip.


NorthfleetNorthfleet Brass
Conductor:
A. Caldon

Last 11 Years:
2006: 12th in Championship Section (rel) (A. Caldon)
2005: 6th (D. Lewis)
2004: 2nd in First Section (D. Lewis) (prom)
2003: 5th (D. Lewis)
2002: Winners of Second Section (prom)
2001: 17th (rel)
2000: 12th
1999: 4th in Second Section (prom)
1998: 3rd in Second Section
1997: 6th in Second Section
1996: 9th in Second Section

Northfleet are another band who went up to the Championship Section and having done very well in 2005 found life tough going last year and they’ve come back down again.  Those two years will surely have benefited the band and given them the ambition to return there once again. They have come a long way in short space of time, so don’t bet against them making their mark here once more.  


RegentRegent Brass
Conductor:
Alan Duguid

Last 11 Years:
2006: 10th (R. Ward)
2005: 5th (R. Ward)
2004: 11th in Championship Section (R. Ward) (rel)
2003: 5th (G. Wyatt)
2002: 10th (G. Wyatt)
2001: 5th (P. Littlemore)
2000: 8th in Championship Section (P. Littlemore)
1999: 2nd in First Section (P. Littlemore) (prom)
1998: 2nd in First Section (N. Taken)
1997: 7th in Championship Section (P. Fensom) (rel)
1996: 12th (P. Fensom)

Regent were solid enough here in 2005, but fell away somewhat last year to come 10th. The talented Scotsman Alan Duguid has taken over the helm and it seems to have given the band the shot in the arm they needed. A Harrogate place may be at the top of their wish list, but you never know – wishes can sometimes have the habit of coming true. 


SANDHURSTSandhurst Silver
Conductor:
Roger Burke

Last 11 Years:
2006: 7th (R. Burke)
2005: Winners of Second Section (prom) (R. Burke)
2004: Winners of Third Section (R. Burke) (prom)
2003: 3rd (R. Burke)
2002: Winners of Fourth Section (R. Burke) (prom)
2001: Winners of Fourth Section (R. Burke)
2000: 16th in Fourth Section (R. Burke)
1999: 24th in Fourth Section
1998: 28th in Fourth Section
1997: N/K
1996: 16th in Fourth Section

Sandhurst did very well here in their debut year in the First Section coming 7th in 2006. They are a solid and well drilled band that respond to Roger Burke’s excellent direction very well indeed.  Second place at Butlins in January was an excellent omen perhaps, taking a number of high quality scalps along the way. If that form is maintained here then they could well be celebrating once again with another Area title.  


St. Albans City
Conductor:
Stuart Garman

Last 11 Years:
2006: 11th (S. Garman)
2005: 17th (S. Garman)
2004: 2nd in Second Section (S. Garman) (prom)
2003: 9th (S. Garman)
2002: 5th in Third Section (W. Rumford) (prom)
2001: 8th in Third Section (W. Rumford)
2000: 13th in Fourth Section (W. Rumford) (prom)
1999: 3rd in Fourth Section
1998: 8th in Fourth Section
1997: N/K
1996: 10th in Fourth Section

St. Albans showed real improvement here last year after a debut in 2005 when they dipped their toes into the First Section waters and found it very chilly indeed.  Stuart Garman has done excellent work here and in the last five years they have been getting better results each time they compete. More of the same recipe may well be on the books. 


StonesfieldStonesfield Silver
Conductor:
S. Jones

Last 11 Years:
2006: 4th (T. Brotherhood)
2005: 16th (T. Brotherhood)
2004: 4th (T. Brotherhood)
2003: 12th (T. Brotherhood)
2002: 5th in Second Section (T. Brotherhood) (prom)
2001: 2nd in Second Section (T. Brotherhood)
2000: Winners of Third Section (T. Brotherhood) (prom)
1999: 5th in Third Section
1998: Winners of Fourth Section (prom)
1997: 5th in Fourth Section
1996: 20th in Third Section (rel)

Finishing in 16th in 2005 must have been a real one off blip because Stonesfield returned to form here last year finishing 4th – the second time on three years they have just missed out on a Finals trip. Can they push on that little bit more this year or will they suffer another bad day at the contesting office. An interesting one to wait and see. 


Past Qualifiers:
2006: Haverhill, KM Medway
2005: Staines Brass, Clacton on Sea, Wantage Silver
2004: Staines Brass, Northfleet Brass, Clacton On Sea Co-operative
2003: Friary Guildford, Zone One Brass
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:
2006: 12th, 13th
2005: 2nd, 12th, 15th
2004: 3rd, 16th, 8th
2003: 5th, 15th
2002: 14th, 16th
2001: 2nd, 14th
2000: 7th, 14th
1999: 10th, 13th
1998: 9th, 16th 


4BR Prediction:

This has the makings of a real hard fought contest for a third year in a row. All solid performers on paper and not much to tell them apart, a good old test piece to challenge them and a judge who will take a fair bit of impressing.

It could be very close though but with Haverhill in the Championship, we are guaranteed a new winner this year.

Look out for KM Medway, Horsham and Stonesfield who all were involved last year and don’t dare discount Bedford, Ipswich and Norwich Co-op and hat trick chasing Jersey.  We fancy Bedford though this year to be top of the pile, but it could go anywhere with Sandhurst snapping at their coat tails especially.

1. Bedford
2. Sandhurst
3. KM Medway
4. Stonesfield
5  Horsham
6. Ipswich and Norwich Co-op

Dark Horse: Jersey

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