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2012 North of England Regional Championship — Darlington preview

There is so much to enjoy about the banding scene in these parts that it's a pity they haven't had much to fly the flag about of late.

North of EnglandThere is always such a great atmosphere to be enjoyed at the Dolphin Centre for the North of England Regional Championships weekend, that it’s a pity that the Area hasn’t had a great deal to cheer about results wise at the National Finals for a while.

Flag flying

BHK Horden’s First Section victory in 2003 was a long time ago now (and the band is no more) so it would be great to see at least one championship winning pennant flying proudly off the flagpole above the Dolphin Centre this time next year.

The venue itself is well worth a visit (and not just for the warm welcome you get from everyone involved) as despite being a very well maintained leisure complex, it also offers excellent facilities (you can have a dip in the pool to cool off after you played) even if the acoustic can be a bit lively.

That flag raising ceremony may be a little while off yet as 2011 wasn’t a particularly great year at the Finals, with midfield finishes at London and not a single top six placing to be had in Cheltenham.

Postcard
There is always something to catch the eye in the North East...

No despair


There isn’t a feeling of despair however as there has been a noticeable, if incremental improvement if the overall quality of the bands here in the past few years – especially in the lowest sections.

Despite Reg Vardy’s hegemony, they have been feeling the hot breath of the rivals breathing on the backs of their necks, whilst the First Section qualifiers have provided at least one top ten finish at the National Finals for five years in a row.

Numbers up

Numbers are up and there is the welcome sign of debuts in the Fourth Section for Barton Community as well as the return after some time away for Burneside Brass, Jayess Newbiggin, Spennymoor Town, Stape, Craghead and Kirkby Lonsdale.

There a few of non starters in Durham Constabulary, Lockwood, Wansbeck’s Ashington, Lanchester and Dearham, but Alan Hope and his exceptionally hard working team on the Regional Committee must be delighted that despite the relative lack of National success the event is still attracting new and old competitors.

Hope springs eternal

With such passionate brass band supporters in the region it would be great if a little bit of long overdue success came their way.

If Newcastle United and Sunderland can do it then hope springs eternal...

Martin Benson 



Lofthouse Brass Band - Mayor's Annual Charity Concert

Monday 23 April • Ossett Town Hall, Market Place, Ossett WF5 8BE WF5 8BE


Regent Hall Concerts - Clarendon Brass Ensemble

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


Egremont Junior Band - Egremont Town Band and Workington Town Band

Friday 27 April • Workington CA14 3AW


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


Silver Spectrum Wind Band

April 24 • Brass Players wanted for established Sheffield based wind band. MD George Morton.. Rehearsals Mondays 7:30 to 9:30 pm. We enter the NCBF festival where we have gained many gold awards and on one occasion a platinum.. Wind players also welcome to apply.


The Corsham Band

April 24 • With a solid result in our first year in the Second Section at the Regional Contest, the band are now looking for an experienced Front Row Cornet Player to join our friendly and enthusiastic team.


Hathern Band

April 23 • Hathern Band are looking for a PRINCIPAL EUPHONIUM to join their Championship Section Band. This position has become vacant because the present player wishes to retire. We are looking for a committed player to fill this key seat. www.hathernband.co.uk.


Mark Wilkinson


Cornet Soloist, Teacher, Adjudicator, Conductor