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2012 Midlands Regional Championship — Bedworth preview

The price of banding may be rising faster than a gallon of 4 star, but the Midlands keeps topping up the tank...

Civic HallMidlands banding continues to drive the UK movement with a no nonsense fuel line of competitive life blood.

Nothing too fancy, nothing too weak. Without them the vast majority of contests would be left high and dry.

Price of 4 star

From Butlins to the Scottish Open, local association contests to national finals; look at the line-ups and see which region provides band upon band.

The price of banding may well be rising just as fast as a gallon of 4 star, but somehow the area keeps filling the tank.  

Virtuosi GUS
There is strength in depth in the Midlands from top to bottom now

Full to the brim

This year the Regional contest is almost full to the brim with 81 contenders (up 6 from 2011) all looking to claim their qualification places either for the Royal Albert Hall or Cheltenham.

It’s a heartening sight not just for the excellent organisational team headed by Lesley Bentley, but for Midlands brass band supporters too.  

And even though results may be a little patchy, the overall quality is starting to match the quantity – slowly but surely.

No major honours at the Nationals last year (the last winner was in 2008 in the Third Section), but encouraging signs nonetheless with two podium finishers and one other top six placing.

Well run

The strength comes in the lower sections, with 25 bands in the Fourth and 17 in the Third this year at the brand harry spankers Nicholas Chamberlain Technology College – bands that contest on a regular basis at well run local contests and especially at Butlins, where there were a number of encouraging early season results posted by bands keen to make a mark here this weekend.

Meanwhile in the top section Virtuosi GUS will be looking to make it  hat trick of Area wins - something which hasn't been done for many a moon, and perhaps another sign of just how well matched the tops bands are too.

Exotic names

It’s also great to see new and exotic names like Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass making their debuts in the Fourth Section, whilst there are a few returnees too.

Plenty then for the experienced line up of judges to ponder over in the boxes in the various sections, and plenty to enjoy for the neutral listeners and more biased supporters.

4BR will be there over both days too, with our correspondents in each of the sections ready to enjoy what promises to be an entertaining weekend of well matched contests.

Martin Benson



Foden's Band - RNCM Brass Band Festival

Friday 26 January • RNCM. 124 Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9RD M13 9RD


Regent Hall Concerts - The Countess Of Wessex's String Orchestra

Friday 26 January • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


Elland Silver Band - Elland Silver Youth & The Cory Band

Saturday 27 January • Halifax Minster HX51 1 QL


Tredegar Town Band - RNCM Brass Band Festival

Saturday 27 January • RNCM. 124 Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9RD M13 9RD


Black Dyke Band - RNCM Brass Band Festival

Saturday 27 January • RNCM, 124 Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9RD


Concert Brass Poynton

January 23 • Poynton Concert Brass Band - 220 Park Lane - SK12 1QR . (Stockport and Macclesfield). NOT A LEARNERS BAND AND NO CONTESTING: We seek Good Standard; Front Row Cornet, 2nd Euphonium, 2nd Baritone. Rehearse Weds, 8.00 to 10.00 pm with a short comfort break.


Clevedon Brass

January 23 • Clevedon Brass has vacancies for a cornet and a horn player. We are a 10 piece brass ensemble who play a wide variety of music some specially arranged for us. We rehearse in Long Ashton near Bristol on a Tuesday evening,


Clevedon Brass

January 23 • Clevedon Brass has vacancies for a Trombone/Euphonium/Baritone player.. We are a 10 piece brass ensemble who play a wide variety of music some specially arranged for us.. We rehearse in Long Ashton near Bristol on a Tuesday evening,


Ian Porthouse


Cornet soloist, clinician, conductor and adjudicator