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2011 Midlands Regional Championship — Bedworth preview

The new Bedworth experience is producing solid results but perhaps the bands here need something of the old Burton on Trent to get them really 'going'?

Civic HallNothing spectacular – just good solid non-nonsense banding: That’s the recipe at the Midlands of late.  

Spark into life

The Area contest at Bedworth has yet to memorably catch fire –although there are signs that things may be about to spark into life after the smouldering form of late of bands here in all five sections.

There is undoubtedly passion and emotion running through the veins, but it only occasionally provides the fuel for a flashpoint of startling contesting brilliance. 

Plenty of talking points over results, but not many over a performance that singed an indelible stamp of permanency in the memory banks.

Missing the grime and germs

Perhaps the players are missing the grime and germs of the old Burton on Trent experience – the old burger van certainly used to get those with pre contest nervous dispositions ‘going’…  

2010 was a case in point – solid qualifiers produced decent returns at both London and Harrogate, but no winner and no podium finishers.

Three top six finishes and two other bands in the top 10.  OK – nothing more, nothing less. 

A bit more squeaky bum, edge of the seat stuff may do the Midlanders some good in preparation for the finals.

Talent

The talent is there – as seen by a host of strong performances at Butlins, but it’s a frustration that an area that boasts 76 bands making it to the starting blocks (down 4 this year) has only three National champions to boast about in the past five years – and only one since 2008.

Could that change this year we wonder?

Well run

Bedworth is a very well run event  - with two cracking venues providing excellent facilities for the bands. The organisation is slick and professional and there is always a warm welcome to be enjoyed.

It is a pity that numbers are slightly down this year, with no Thoresby Colliery Youth, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Coleshill, Audley, Syston or Burbage Silver (and with Dronfield opting for Yorkshire), but there is good news in the return of Ifton and Skegness.

There is also the big field of contenders in the Fourth Section as always – a sure sign that the grass roots banding in the area is still in a pretty healthy state.

Interesting choices

Meanwhile, there are also some interesting choices in the box too (a feature of this contest in recent years) with Philip Harper joined by Peter Bassano in the top section and Paul Norley, David Horsfield, Alan Hope and Steve Pritchard Jones making up an eclectic mix to decide the Cheltenham places.  

Let’s hope there is something spectacular to get them all going then…

Iwan Fox



Egremont Junior Band - Egremont Town Band and Workington Town Band

Friday 27 April • Workington CA14 3AW


Regent Hall Concerts - Clarendon Brass Ensemble

Friday 27 April • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


Wotton and District Silver Band - Tom Hutchinson

Saturday 28 April • St Mary's Church, Wotton Under Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 7LS


Black Dyke Band - Lincoln Cathedral

Saturday 28 April • Minster Yard, Lincoln LN2 1PX


The Fairey Band - Pre-European Championships concert

Sunday 29 April • Glossop Old Bandroom. Derby Street, Glossop SK13 8LP SK13 8LP


The Hepworth Band

April 26 • The Hepworth Band has a vacancy for solo horn. We rehearse Tuesdays and Thursdays 8pm and are based in Hepworth, near Holmfirth, Huddersfield


Kippax Band

April 26 • Kippax Band. Require a Musical Director. Due to the work and family commitments of our current MD, Kippax Band are looking for a new Musical Director to take us forward.. We rehearse Monday and Thursday at our own bandroom in Kippax 8.00-10.00pm.


The Corsham Band

April 26 • Due to work commitments, a vacancy has arisen for a Tenor Trombone player. First or Second position available. We are a newly promoted Second Section band with a friendly and enthusiastic team.


Sarah Groarke-Booth

BA (Hons) MA
Conductor, Adjudicator, Compere, Actor