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2011 National Championships of Great Britain — Third Section runners & riders

4BR takes a closer look at the 16 bands all hoping to claim the national title

AmingtonAmington
Conductor:
Wesley Kendrick
Region: Midlands

Website: www.amingtonband.co.uk/index.asp

Qualified: 2nd (Wesley Kendrick)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Rebecca Stonehouse
Solo Euphonium: Kate Brookes
Solo Trombone: Sarah Francis
Soprano: Emma Lock
Flugel: Emma Morris
Horn: Stephanie Morris
Baritone: Roy Marrison
Eb Bass: Jenny Morris
Bb Bass: Bill Walton
Percussion: Ian Aulton

History:
Amington Band was started in 1917. The band began by using old instruments and began to enter competitions and soon enjoyed considerable success, including the National Championships held at Crystal Palace in 1924.

In 1928 they built their own band room and also performed on the BBC and became one of the leading bands in the country.

After a considerable period of success in the 1980s the band disappeared from the contest scene.

They returned in 2005 under the baton of Wesley Kendrick, who has since taken them to National Finals on three occasions.  

kENDRICKConductor:
Wesley Kendrick learned to play in the Salvation Army and gained the A.B.S.M. at Birmingham Conservatoire.

While in the Salvation Army he also became an experienced conductor, whilst professionally he became part of the Sandwell Youth Music peripatetic team and is Musical Director of their Junior and Youth Concert Bands.

In 1997 Wes felt the need for a change of direction and joined Staffordshire Band.

His arranging and compositional skills were already known to some of his colleagues in the band and he became their Arranger in Residence in 1999.

After a one-off job with Amington, one thing led to another and soon Wes was fully involved with the band.

Wes is very ambitious for Amington, and is fully engaged in preparing the band for the National Finals for the third time.

Test Piece opinions:

None given


baeBAE Systems
Conductor:
Keith Woodger
Region: London & Southern Counties

Website:
www.baesystemsbrassband.co.uk

Qualified:
Winners (Keith Woodger)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ian Lancely
Solo Euphonium: Peter Steer
Solo Trombone: Alan Bristow
Soprano: Colin Haynes
Flugel: Sian Lancely
Horn: Andy Ralph
Baritone:  Paul Driscall
Eb Bass: Penny Lambert
Bb Bass:  Martin Collard
Percussion: Rosemary Woodger

History:
The band has been an integral part of the BAE company’s social life since its foundation in 1971 as the Elliott Musicians Society.

It began life as a music club with the aim of providing an opportunity for musicians within the company to join together in all kinds of ensembles to perform anything from jazz to classical works, while appealing to a wide range of musical tastes.

The band has played in concert halls throughout Southern England as well as travelling on the continent and has represented the company at Farnborough Air show and the International Festival of the Sea at Portsmouth.

The personnel of the band have been together for many years.

Mothers, fathers and offspring are members along with a number of couples who have all met, without exception, as a direct involvement with music.

No member of the band receives payment of expenses but plays for the enjoyment of making music together.
 
Conductor:

Keith’s love of music started in the Salvation Army as an eight year old when he was taught to play a brass instrument.

He started training bands at the age of nineteen when he was in the RAF Music Service where he also studied the French horn.

After a period in the Royal Engineers Staff Band he was employed as a peripatetic brass teacher for the Kent County Council education authority in the Swale area.

He later transferred to the Thanet area as the Head of the local music centre. After taking early retirement he continues to teach in schools in the east of the county.

For many years he was the senior tutor for the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra and taught at the Kent County Council Summer Music School courses for twenty-five years.

During his professional career Keith has played in all kinds of groups: jazz, orchestral, wind bands, brass bands and small brass ensembles.

His main love is conducting and training brass bands and he has directed the BAE Systems Band since 1988.

Test Piece opinions:

None given


iNVERCLYDEBrass Sounds Inverclyde
Conductor:
Lynda Nicholson
Region: Scotland

Website: www.bsiband.com

Qualified:
Winners (Lynda Nicholson)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Murray McFarlane
Solo Euphonium: Laura Galbraith
Solo Trombone: Duncan Galbraith
Soprano: Gareth Bowman
Flugel: Alistair McCorkell
Horn: Scott Burns
Baritone: Anne Taylor
Eb Bass: Craig Dunsmore
Bb Bass: Andy Boag
Percussion: Charlie Stables

History:

Formed in 2004, Brass Sounds Inverclyde was the vision of Alistair G McCorkell and some enthusiastic musicians eager to see brass banding revived in their town.

The aim of the band is to encourage people of all ages to find enjoyment through music making.

nICHOLSONAlthough Brass Sounds is in its early years, it has already seen some notable successes by gaining promotion through the sections from Fourth to Second in only three years.

Two of the bands major contest achievements would be achieving second place at the 2009 Scottish Championships (Fourth Section) and first place at the 2011 Scottish Championships (Third Section).

Conductor:

Lynda is one of the finest brass teachers in the UK and her work with the St Helens Youth Band - who she led to six national youth championship titles, is widely recognised.

She became only the second woman to conduct a band at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain, when she led Besses to the Royal Albert Hall in 2002.

In in 1999 she won the prestigious Mortimer Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians for her work with brass bands.

Test Piece opinions:
The band have enjoyed the challenge posed by Darkness Visible feeling that it is a beautiful, emotional piece of music to play with a fantastic dynamic range which is enjoyable to play, but also enjoyable to listen to.


BradfordCity of Bradford
Conductor:
Lee Skipsey
Region: Yorkshire

Website: www.bradfordbrass.co.uk

Qualified: 2nd (Lee Skipsey)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Tim Pool
Solo Euphonium: Cath Mawson
Solo Trombone: Matthew Renshaw
Soprano: Claire Louise Allen
Flugel: Chris Barnes
Horn: Nicola Storey
Baritone: Jim Binns
Eb Bass: Jonathan Fennell
Bb Bass: Simon Hunter
Percussion: Andy Marshall

History:

The history of the City of Bradford Band can be traced back to the early twentieth century and the Salt’s Mill Band of Saltaire.

The band has had a number of different sponsors and names over the years, including Hammonds Hawley Brass Band and Yorkshire Building Society Concert Brass.

In 2006, the Yorkshire Building Society withdrew their funding and the band became an entity in its own right and subsequently became the City of Bradford Band in 2009.

The band recently performed at the ordination of the Bishop of Bradford and appeared on BBC News in April of this year having performed in Ilkley for the Royal Wedding celebrations.

The band came fourth at this year’s Butlin’s Championships and recently took home several trophies at the Whit Friday, Hebden Bridge and the Morley March and Hymn Tune contests.

Conductor:

Lee joined the City of Bradford Brass Band in 2010 and has managed to transform the band from a skeletal membership of just 12 players.

In the last 12 months the band has not only qualified for the National Championships, but also secured numerous prizes.    

Lee was brought up in the Salvation Army at the Regent Hall Corps on London’s Oxford Street.

His love was always for percussion, and in 2002 he joined Black Dyke. As Principal Percussionist, Lee played on over 50 recordings and in over 20 different countries.

In 2006 he was Black Dyke’s ‘Player of the Year’.

Lee has worked with the likes of James Morrison, Evelyn Glennie, Haley Westenra, and Sir Colin Davis and of late has worked with bands such Hebden Bridge and Wingates.

He is currently a tutor for the National Children’s Brass Band, the National Youth Brass Band, and the Brass Band Summer School.

Test Piece opinions:

Darkness Visible is an interesting test piece in that it is not a fast-moving technical challenge, but in our opinion more of a mood piece.

The phrase “Darkness Visible” first appeared in Milton’s Paradise Lost and we believe Grantham’s music attempts to capture the narrative trajectory of Milton’s poem.


DaventryDaventry Brass
Conductor:
Nigel Howard
Region: Midlands

Website:
www.daventrybrass.co.uk/

Q
ualified: Winners (Nigel Howard)

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Chris North
Solo Euphonium: Sue Herbert
Solo Trombone: Stuart Moss
Soprano: David Moorhouse
Flugel: Angie Lakey
Horn: Claire Fisher
Baritone: Karen Heagren
Eb Bass: Not given
Bb Bass: Not given
Percussion: Not given

History:
Daventry Brass originates from the 19th Century - known then as Daventry Band.

The Daventry and District Silver Band was formed following the amalgamation of Daventry Town, Long Buckby Town and Long Buckby Temperance Bands and the current name, Daventry Brass was decided upon after an embarrassing mispronunciation of their previous name, Danetre Brass!

The band has recently moved into their brand new, purpose build band hall and look forward to making music in their new home for many years to come.

nIGEL hOWARDConductor:
Nigel Howard became MD of Daventry Brass in 2006.

Nigel first started playing trombone aged 7, and has played with bands at all levels including spells as principal trombone with Lydbrook, Cinderford, Bilton Silver, Brackley & District, Shirleyand Kidlington Concert Brass.

Nigel has recently returned to the position of principal trombone with Lydbrook Band, where he played in the late 1980s and early 1990s

Nigel started conducting at the age of 15.

He is an established conductor of both brass and choirs, with a successful track record, including a West of England Third Section title with Bream in 2001, and a Midlands Area Third Section title with Daventry Brass in 2011, plus many other titles and placings.

When not conducting or playing, Nigel is Manager of the Oxfordshire Branch of Ryder Cheshire Volunteers.

Test Piece opinions:

The band is enjoying rehearsing Darkness Visible; finding it both a wonderfully descriptive and challenging piece, well suited to such an event as the finals.

In addition the piece is very easy on the ear for the listener, and we’re sure many people will enjoy listening to the different performances given by all the competing bands on the day. 


DowntonDownton
Conductor:
Steven Mead
Region: West of England

Website:
www.downtonband.org.uk

Qualified:
2nd (Roland Wright)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Richard Plaskett
Solo Euphonium: Ben Bennett
Solo Trombone: Laura Hillman
Soprano: Jamie Cherrett
Flugel: Martin Easterbrook
Horn: Danny Silver
Baritone: Peter Tanner
Eb Bass: Kevin Hillman
Bb Bass: Stuart Beck
Percussion: Lynda Beck
 
History:
With records as far back as 1873, the band prides itself as a major contributor to the cultural and community life of the village of Downton.

The band performs at the seasonal festivities of May Day, Harvest, Christmas and the act of remembrance.

With a full summer and winter of concerts and events, including all three days of the New Forest Show, the band is reliant on the generous players who make every effort to perform - including their Training Band, and the many valuable friends who come along on a less regular basis.

The band has mixed fortunes contesting but this is their sixth National Finals appearance in 10 years - and the first at Third Section level.

The band is performing under the baton of Steven Mead, following the unexpected accident involving MD Roland Wright and a Greek motor vehicle!

mEADConductor:

Steven Mead is the guest conductor for Downton at Cheltenham.

Better known as one of the world’s leading brass musicians, he began a connection with the band just over two years ago, leading rehearsals prior to contests.

Close to his hometown of Bournemouth, Steve is delighted his busy diary would allow him to step into the breach following a serious holiday accident to the band’s conductor Roland Wright.

His latest of 60 solo recordings, the CD 'Fandango', has met with universal critical acclaim.

He is also the Artistic Director of the next International Euphonium Tuba Conference, to be held in Austria in June 2012.

Test Piece opinions:
We also hope to perform to our best on the day and are enjoying the test piece - at this point, at least!


GoodwickGoodwick Brass
Conductor:
Matthew Jenkins
Region: Wales

Website:
www.goodwickbrass.org.uk

Qualified: Winners (Matthew Jenkins)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Luke Jenkins
Solo Euphonium: Keith Williams
Solo Trombone: Daniel Sajko
Soprano: Ffion Williams
Flugel: Alex Morgan
Horn: Ryan Howells
Baritone: Ben Stacey
Eb Bass: Mike Hughes
Bb Bass: Tony Evans
Percussion: Lawrence Stalbow-Best

History:

Goodwick Brass was formed in 1911 but later disbanded around 1936.

Fortunately the band was reformed in 1987 by John Evans, and since then has grown from strength to strength.

It now has both an active senior and youth band, which takes its membership from a wide cross section of the community from all over Pembrokeshire.

This last year, six of the band’s youngsters successfully auditioned for the National Youth Brass Band of Wales, and it’s worth noting that no other band in Wales provided as many players to the organisation.

The band is very proud of their achievements and as an established band has competed in both regional and national competitions, with some of their most notable recent successes both at home (once again winning the Welsh Area title) and at major British championship such as Pontins.

JenkinsConductor:

Matthew Jenkins started playing at the age of 8 and took up the euphonium aged 13.

He was taught by Hilary Lewis and John Jones and has recently completed a four year course at the Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff under the tutelage of David Childs.

In 2002, Matthew became a member of the NYBBW and progressed to play solo euphonium with the band.

Matthew represented Wales in the European Youth Brass Band in 2006 where he was selected to play principal euphonium and is a former member of the Cory Band.

In his short time as conductor Matthew has certainly made his mark, leading Goodwick to the Welsh League title and a fine runner up spot at Pontins in 2009.

He also led the band to be placed runner up last year at these finals and win the 2011 Welsh Area title once more.

Test Piece opinions:

The band are enjoying working their way through the test piece, there's more to it than what meets the eye and it poses a different set of challenges in comparison to last year's test piece.


HangletonHangleton
Conductor:
Richard Baker
Region: London & Southern Counties

Website: www.hangletonband.co.uk/

Qualified: 2nd (Richard Baker)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet:
Solo Euphonium:
Solo Trombone:
Soprano:
Flugel:
Horn:
Baritone:
Eb Bass:
Bb Bass:
Percussion:

History:

The Hangleton Band was formed in 1965 by Bert Osgood, the music teacher and Deputy Head of the school from which the Band derives its name.

Hangleton now has a Senior and Youth Band and a wide cross section of members from the local community.

There are around 70 members, some of who play in both bands, with a group of young learners constantly feeding into the Youth Band, which alone has 40 members.

The band has charitable status and operates as a single entity with all proceeds being spent on the band, rather than being targeted at any individuals or sections.

Conductor:

Richard was born and educated in Hove, joining Hangleton at the age of six. He attended Salford University where he studied under Roy Newsome, Goff Richards, David King and Dr. Kevin Thompson.

After completing his Graduate Diploma in Band Musicianship, he returned to the South East and successfully applied for a job with the Metropolitan Police Band.

Whilst based in London, Richard took the opportunity to study the trumpet with Ian Wilson and Brian Ranse.

In 2004 Richard joined the Brighton and Hove Music and Performing Arts Service.

As a response to requests from ex West Sussex pupils he set up the Class Brass Big Band in 2004.

In 2008 the circle was completed and Richard has returned to conduct the Hangleton Youth Band.

Richard continues to perform professionally when time allows appearing as a soloist, in orchestras, bands and shows.

Test Piece opinions:

None given


HooverHoover Band
Conductor:
Trevor Halliwell
Region: North West

Website: boltonhooverband.co.uk/

Qualified:
Winners (Trevor Halliwell)

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Sheena
Solo Euphonium: Andy Jackson
Solo Trombone: Sam-Hindley-Birchall
Soprano: Jay Shepherd
Flugel: Amy Holmes
Horn: Kate Simm
Baritone: Kay Brannon
Eb Bass: Stef Borszcz
Bb Bass: N/K
Percussion: John Wadeson

History:

Hoover Bolton Band, formerly known as the Bolton Borough Band, has one of the longest histories in the banding world.

Research has confirmed that the band led a procession of Bolton schools to celebrate the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, with a possible volunteer corps founded as early as 1794.

At some point prior to 1881 it converted solely to brass instrumentation.
 
Periodically, the band has incorporated one or two alterations to its name such as Bolton Subscription Band, Bolton Subscription Prize Band, and Bolton Borough Band.
 
In 1985, Warburtons Baker sponsored the band, resulting in an appropriate change of name for some six years, before funds came from the Hoover Foundation in 1992 and, as a result the current name.

HalliwellConductor:
Trevor Halliwell’s musical career started at the age of 9 with Pemberton Old, on cornet working his way to becoming flugel horn with Wingates Band.

He later joined Foden’s as assistant principal cornet and played with Harry Mortimer’s, ‘Men O’ Brass’. 

Trevor also decided to study musical theory and harmony and took his Associated Board Examinations.

He held the position of principal cornet with Wingates for 10 years and became the Solo Champion of Britain in 1979 and 1980.

He gained a Fellowship of the Trinity College of Music in London in 1981, before moving into conducting, adjudicating and teaching.

He is a full member of the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators (ABBA) and the Association of Brass Band Conductors. .

Test Piece opinions:

None given


HorburyHorbury Victoria
Conductor:
Duncan Beckley
Region: Yorkshire

Website: www.horburyband.co.uk

Qualified: Winners (Duncan Beckley)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet:
Solo Euphonium:
Solo Trombone:
Soprano:
Flugel:
Horn:
Baritone:
Eb Bass:
Bb Bass:
Percussion:

History:

Horbury Victoria was first formed in 1868.

Many early contests were entered with excellent results, the most notable victory being at Crystal Palace. As a result of this event the band adopted a new title, Horbury Victoria Prize Band.
 
In 1984 fire completely destroyed their old wooden bandroom, which had been the bands home for many years.

However, after some 6 months later a new bandroom was designed and built on the old site.
 
In more recent years successful competition results have been claimed.

In 2000, 2001 and 2002 the band qualified for the National Finals and did so again in 2001 under the direction of Duncan Beckley.
 
The Horbury Victoria Band now consists of a Senior Band, Youth Band, Intermediate Band and Learner Section, in all numbering almost 60 members, backed by a very willing and hard working committee.
 
BeckleyConductor:

Duncan was born in London but moved shortly afterwards to Wakefield, West Yorkshire where his love for music grew into a passion and a profession.

He started playing the flugel at ten years of age and progressed to the tuba, which he played with many brass bands. He is now a conductor, band trainer, teacher and adjudicator.

Duncan is a member of The Royal College of Music and a Fellow of Trinity College of Music.

He also gained a degree in Music from Sheffield University and holds a P.G.C.E. from Leeds University.

As a conductor he travels widely conducting bands throughout Great Britain gaining five National Championships, three in England and two in Northern Ireland.

He has been Musical Director for Newstead Welfare for the last 15 years achieving many successes during that time. He is a member of the NABBC.

Duncan is also a member of the national adjudicating panel and has adjudicated at National and Area level. He is in increasing demand as an adjudicator and is a member of the ABBA.

Test Piece opinions:
None given


RiponRipon City
Conductor:
Malcolm Dibb
Region: North of England

Website: www.riponcityband.co.uk

Qualified: 2nd (Malcolm Dibb)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Owen James
Solo Euphonium: David Lonsdale
Solo Trombone:  Steve Fieldhouse
Soprano: Ed Yarborough
Flugel: Rachel Andrews
Horn:  Eleanor Stokes
Baritone: Ross Baldwin
Eb Bass: Steve Noble
Bb Bass: Tim Yarborough
Percussion: Mike Preston

History:
Ripon City is a friendly and sociable band, based in the beautiful cathedral city in North Yorkshire.

The bandroom is situated in the shadow of Ripon Cathedral on the banks of the River Skell, whilst the band was formed around 1860 and has served the local community ever since.

The band has led the annual St.Wilfreds procession around the city since the early 1940’s and last year produced their first CD to celebrate their 150th anniversary.

2007 saw the band placed 10th at the National Finals and they qualified again this year in 2nd place at Darlington.

The band has had a good 2011, taking first place at the Ripon Festival and later taking second place at the Battle of the Bands contest.

DibbConductor:

Malcolm played for many years with the Hammond's Hawley Band.

After moving to Harrogate, Malcolm started conducting the Knaresborough Silver and then went on to conduct Tewit Youth where he was MDr for 14 years.

The band had numerous successes in the youth section and played in many prestigious venues both locally, nationally and internationally as the band toured Europe on a number of occasions.

Since retiring from Tewit, Malcolm has been in the middle at Ripon City for almost 4 years leading the band to successes on the competition and concert platform

Malcolm has also worked with various Yorkshire bands including the Elland Silver, Grange Moor, Wetherby and Emley standing in when required at both rehearsals and concerts.

Test Piece opinions:
The band are enjoying playing the piece and although maybe not as technically demanding as the area piece it still has enough tests to challenge bands, especially on the day.


SidmouthSidmouth Town
Conductor:
Adrian Harvey
Region: West of England

Website:
www.sidmouthtownband.co.uk

Qualified:
Winners (Adrian Harvey)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Fiona Bell
Solo Euphonium: Hilary Costa
Solo Trombone: Christopher Holland
Soprano: Christine Sweetapple
Flugel: Esther Harbour
Horn: Verity Baker
Baritone: Marie-Claire Gibbs
Eb Bass: Steve Belli
Bb Bass: Graham Pollard
Percussion: Tom Clemo

History:

Based in the picturesque Regency town of Sidmouth, East Devon, the earliest record of the band dates back to 1862.

By the turn of the century the band had become part of the local Army Volunteers, but by 1911 the transformation to all brass was complete.

Having reformed in 1919, the band won prizes at Crystal Palace in 1929-30 and 1931.

With history repeating itself in 1939, instruments were laid aside once more until the band was again reformed and started its affiliation with the SWBBA.

Since then they have enjoyed a happy and successful time. In addition to competing in contests throughout the year, they hold regular summer concerts in the Connaught Gardens in Sidmouth from May until September.

The increasing popularity of these concerts, in addition to recent contest successes, demonstrates the huge improvements made since Adrian Harvey took over the helm in 1998.

There have been a number of highlights for the band in recent years, including winning the Third Section at the West of England Area in 2010 and coming third at the National Finals later that year. 2

2011 has, so far, continued in the same fashion, with the band being crowned West of England Third Section champions for the second year running

HarveyConductor:

Adrian began playing the cornet at an early age with the St. Dennis Band, in his native Cornwall.

He progressed and gained much success with both the youth and senior bands, before joining Bodmin Town on solo cornet in the mid-80s.

In 1996, he left Cornwall and moved to east Devon, where he held the position of principal cornet with the Stoke Sub Hamdon Band in Somerset.

It was the end of that year that a chance conversation began his conducting career.

The Ottery St. Mary Band was in urgent need of an MD and Adrian was given an audition and offered the post immediately, even though he had no previous conducting experience.

After two very enjoyable years with Ottery, he accepted his present post with the Sidmouth Town Band. He has worked tirelessly with them to raise the standard of the band and try and regain their former contest success.

The improvements have been immense, culminating in victory at the Areas in both 2010 and 2011.

Test Piece opinions:
The band is finding Darkness Visible an enjoyable, tuneful piece to play and we are looking forward to bringing out its story.


St DvidsSt David’s Brass
Conductor:
John Dickson
Region: Scotland

Website: www.stdavidsbrass.co.uk

Qualified: 2nd (John Dickson)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Stuart Dickson
Solo Euphonium: Michael Dickson
Solo Trombone: John Kettle
Soprano: Tony Laidlaw
Flugel: Derek Hall
Horn: Katy Trotter
Baritone: Andy Oxley
Eb Bass: Stuart McNiven
Bb Bass: Brenda Fernie
Percussion: Andy Thomson
 
History:

John Dickson founded the band in 1981 to develop his pupil’s ensemble playing. They became Scottish Youth Champions in 1986, at the first attempt.

In 1991, the school band broke new ground and entered the Scottish Championships Fourth Section for the first time.

In 1997, the band adopted a formal constitution, with the name St David’s Brass Band and registered as a Scottish Charity.

The band’s stature grew and in 1998 it won the Scottish Fourth Section.

The band has played at many prestigious events throughout the years, more recently at Scottish Rugby Union Internationals at Murrayfield.

Players have also triumphed in solo and quartet contests and have held the East of Scotland titles on many occasions.

Players now come from as far afield as Norway, Peterhead, Edinburgh and the Lothians to play in a band that includes players from university lecturers to school pupils.

dicksopnConductor:
John Dickson learned cornet with Kirkintilloch Silver at the age of seven.

He later played in the senior band for 18 years, progressing from 3rd cornet to principal, winning the Terris Medal in the process.

He was a soloist with Dumbarton Schools Orchestra and Principal Trumpet with the National Wind Band of Scotland.

John studied at RSAMD under David James, winning the Trumpet Prize, then gained DRSAM and a Teaching Diploma, followed by a post graduate year at the RCM under Bob Walton, whilst freelancing with the BBCSO, SNO, Scottish Ensemble and Scottish Opera.

When John was appointed as brass teacher at St David’s High School, Dalkeith, it was a natural progression from teacher to conductor, which role he took up with Dalkeith Burgh Band, winning the 4th Section Championship in 1984.

Further conducting successes came with Cowdenbeath Public, Tullis Russel Mills and Penicuik Silver Bands.

John continues to teach in Midlothian schools and tutors at both Stevenson College and Napier University, Edinburgh.

Test Piece opinions:

The band is finding the test piece a very musical yet challenging piece of music.

Darkness Visible has many tricky parts to it right from the opening idea with the cross rhythms in the horn to the sustained playing at the close of the music.

It is an enjoyable piece to work on.


Treherbert & District
Conductor:
Nigel Seaman
Region: Wales

Website: treherbertband.weebly.com/index.html

Qualified: 2nd (Craig Roberts)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Louise Russell
Solo Euphonium: Jeremy Rugman
Solo Trombone: Jo Hurst
Soprano: Carol Flannary-Davies
Flugel: Jessica Mullens
Horn: Jo Huxton
Baritone: William Cross
Eb Bass: Len Dennett
Bb Bass: Eric Malpas
Percussion: Stephen Harris

History:

Treherbert & District Band is one of the longest established bands in South Wales and has been in existence since around  1897, set up by the miners of the Glenrhondda Colliery.

The colliery closed in 1966, but the band continued and has enjoyed many successes over the years both locally and nationally and during the 1990's the band gained promotion from Fourth to Championship Section and enjoyed considerable success under the baton of Graham Shepherd.

Following a difficult period the band has now rebuilt with local players and returned to contesting this year.

The band came runner up at the Welsh Area contest in March, came third at Ebbw Vale and became National Eisteddfod Third Section Champions in Wrexham in late July. 

They recently came runner up at the inaugural Miner’s Welfare Contest in Porthcawl.

The band now looks forward to a new chapter in its history and a bright future ahead.

SeamanConductor:
With regular MD Craig Roberts working abroad Treherbert & District are fortunate to have secured the services of the experienced Nigel Seaman .

One of the foremost Welsh conductors he has held appointments with all the top ranked Welsh bands, including Cory, Tredegar, and numerous others.

He has also worked closely with such bands as Flowers and Desford, and has been successful at the very highest level.
 
During the last 30 years Nigel has directed over 350 contest performances and many more concert appearances with over 40 different bands, and during his professional playing and conducting career has travelled all over the world.

Formerly Principal Tuba of the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Nigel has also maintained a busy teaching schedule and has been tutor of tuba and brass studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama since 1977.

Test Piece opinions:

The band is enjoying working on Darkness Visible. It’s nice to see a new work being used in the lower sections.

The piece is enjoyable to play, very filmatic in style, and will be a good test for any band, both physically and musically.


WhitworthWhitworth Vale & Healey
Conductor:
John Binns
Region: North West

Website: www.whitworthband.co.uk

Qualified: 2nd (John Binns)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David Tattersall
Solo Euphonium: Bryan Warrington
Solo Trombone: Stuart Russell
Soprano: Carl Needham
Flugel: Rachel Dyson
Horn: Ian Dyson
Baritone: Johnny Willetts
Eb Bass: Aaron Wolfe
Bb Bass: George Salt
Percussion: Nathan Hall
 
History:

Whitworth Band was formed in 1853 and some 30 years later merged with the Healey Hall Band to become the Whitworth Vale and Healey Band.

From an area rich in brass band tradition the band has had some high profile contest successes including Belle Vue victories in 1934 and 1966.

More recent success has come in local competitions in the 90s and a 2nd in the National 4th section in 1992 and 4th at Harrogate in 1998.

2011 has seen the band contest at Butlins with a 6th place and 2nd in the North West Area contest.

Built on traditional values the majority of the band still live close to the band club and many have come up through the ranks of the thriving Whitworth Youth Band.

There is also a veterans band that every year raises money for the band and other local charities

BinnsConductor:
John Binns has been the MD of Whitworth Vale and Healey Band on and off for the last 20 years.

He started back in 1990 and led the band to the National Finals in London in 1992 where we gained 2nd place in the 4th Section.

After several ‘sabbatical’ away from the band (and conducting all together) John’s latest spell with the band began in April 2010 and he again has led the band to the National Finals after gaining second place at the area contest

A talented musician John was a trombone player of some repute being a former playing member of bands such as Besses o’ th’ Barn and Fairey Engineering as well as the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

John works as a senior manager at Hopwood Hall College in Rochdale.

Test Piece opinions:
The band is enjoying the challenge of Darkness Visible.

After a heavy summer schedule of concerts we are just getting to grips with the test piece and finding some very exciting sounds hidden within! Although not technically the most challenging piece we feel that it will be a good test for the third section bands.


york RAILWAYYork Railway Institute
Conductor:
Gordon Eddison
Region: North of England

Website: www.yrib.org.uk

Qualified: Winners (Gordon Eddison)

Principal Players:

Principal Cornet: Sam Lovatt
Solo Euphonium: Richard Lovatt
Solo Trombone: Nick Eastwood
Soprano: James West
Flugel: Charles Tomlinson
Horn: Linda Bruce
Baritone: Dawn Groves
Eb Bass: Ian Bruce
Bb Bass: John Freeborn
Percussion: Franchesca Rochester

History:

York Railway Institute Band was established in 1883 and since that time has had several names and homes, but, despite often-turbulent times and fortunes, has remained an active an successful band.

It was the first band in the York area to achieve Championship Section status, and many outstanding players have started their careers at the 'Institute' and have gone on to play for the very best bands and orchestras in the world.

York Railway Institute Band has established a reputation for entertaining the public with its lively concert performances, and regularly appears at the National Railway Museum in York and at theatres, halls and concert venues all over the UK.

In 2011, the band has won the Third Section Area title, whilst also retaining the Best Percussion trophy first won in 2010, and was runners-up in the Third Section of the Tameside Open Contest.  

They have competed successfully at the Whit Friday Marches and is now looking forward to the challenge of competing in the Second Section nationally from 2012.

EddisonConductor:

Gordon Eddison started his musical career at the age of 11 when he was encouraged to join the Hammonds Sauce Works Junior Band by his brass teacher Geoff Whitham.

He went on to play with Yorkshire Imperial Metals Band before a career in the police service intervened and he spent a few years playing with The Hawley Band.

Gordon was awarded a Bachelor of Education Honours Degree and has still found time to play on occasions with many leading Yorkshire bands.

Gordon has enjoyed contesting success conducting Elland Band at Pontins and the Yorkshire Area.

Gordon took up full-time brass teaching on his retirement from the Police seven years ago and currently teaches, for Education Leeds Music Service.

Test Piece opinions:
This piece is a cracker. My band has enjoyed the work so far and really wants to bring all its tone and musicality to bear.

Bands and conductors will have to work hard and look very closely to get everything that Richard has put in



Foden's Band - Matt Ford - Lichfield Cathedral

Friday 24 November • 19A The Close, Lichfield WS13 7LD


Lofthouse Brass Band - Pudsey Churches Together Christmas Concert

Saturday 25 November • Pudsey Parish Church, Church Lane, Pudsey, LS28 7BD LS28 7BD


Lofthouse Brass Band - Lofthouse Christmas Fair

Saturday 25 November • Lofthouse Methodist Church, Leeds Road, Lofthouse, Wakefield WF3 3NE


Enfield Citadel Band -

Saturday 25 November • The Salvation Army. 42 Clarence Road. Southend. SS1 1AN SS1 1AN


Newstead Brass -

Saturday 25 November • John Godber Centre. Ogle Street. Hucknall. Nottingham NG15 7FQ


Olney Brass

November 23 • 2nd Trombones, look no further. We are looking for a 2nd trombone to join our band. We are an ambitious 3rd section band with a new MD, winning the ODBBA winter contest 2017. Any other instruments, we would be interested to talk, please get in touch.


The Corsham Band

November 23 • With promotion to the 2nd Section from January 2018 the band are now looking to fill a couple of vacancies. One back row cornet (2nd or 3rd) plus an EEb Bass.


Thoresby Colliery Band

November 22 • Sadly due to work commitments we are looking for an experienced Percussionist to join our friendly and progressive Band. The Band has experienced a recent run of good form and is currently enjoying a sensible mix of contests, concerts and recordings.


John Maines

BA (Hons)
Presenter, compere and conductor