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2012 English National Championships — Runners & Riders

Eight bands will battle it out to be crowned English champion — and to book their place in Oslo in 2013.

Guild Hall, Preston
Saturday 23 June


band logoBlack Dyke

Conductor: Dr Nicholas Childs

The band to beat - without a doubt.

Dyke is on a roll that is fueled by a desire that courses through the contesting veins to create their own piece of Queensbury history by winning the Grand Slam of Grand Slams in 2012.

Under their MD, the Yorkshire, European and Whit Friday titles are already in the bag, so its not surprising that they are being backed at shorter odds to win here than Frankel at Royal Ascot recently.

The question is - can anyone stop them?

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Richard Marshall
Principal Euphonium: Gary Curtin
Soprano Cornet: Paul Duffy
Solo Trombone: Brett Baker
Solo Horn: Sheona White
Flugel: Zoe Hancock
Baritone: Katrina Marzella
Eb Tuba: Joe Cook
Bb Tuba: Matt Routley

4BR Ranking: 2

Recent Form:

European Championship: Winner
Saddleworth Whit Friday: Winner
Yorkshire Area: Winner

Appearances: 5th time

Debut: 2008

Best Result: Winners (2009 & 2011)
Worst Result: 2nd (2008)

Overall Record:
2011: Winners (N. Childs) (9/5)
2010: 2nd (N. Childs) (2)
2009: Winners (N. Childs) (6)
2008: 2nd (N. Childs) (14)
2007: DNC
2006: DNC

Last Year: Winners off the number 9 draw on set work and number 5 on own choice

Own Choice Selections:
2010: Vienna Nights (P. Wilby)


band logoFoden's

Conductor: Allan Withington

The 2006 champion comes to the English National with a point to prove.

They suffered a bloodied nose at the Areas earlier in the year - one that stung their pride and showed that they had to address their lack of recent contesting consistency.

The Tameside Whit Friday wins were more than a quick financial pick me up then: The quality of the performances was an indication that the famous steely resolve to dominate rivals had returned.

Whether that will be the precursor to an overdue major championship win this weekend we will have to wait and see though.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Mark Wilkinson
Principal Euphonium: Glyn Williams
Soprano: Richard Poole
Solo Horn: Lesley Howie
Flugel: Helen Williams
Solo Trombone: John Barber
Baritone: Natsumi Inaba
Eb Tuba: Stewart Baglin
Bb Tuba: Dave McGlynn

4BR Ranking: 4

Recent Form:
Tameside Whit Friday: Winner
North West Area: 3rd

Appearances: 7th time

Debut: 2006

Best Result: Winner (2006)
Worst Result: 6th (2007)

Overall Record:
2011: 2nd (A. Withington) (5/1)
2010: 6th (J. Gourlay) (3)
2009: 3rd (G. Cutt) (12)
2008: 5th (G. Cutt) (10)
2007: 6th (G. Cutt) (8)
2006: Winners (G. Cutt) (10)

Last Year: 2nd off the number 5 draw on set work and number 1 on own choice

Own Choice Selections:
2011: Vienna Nights (P. Wilby)


band logoHepworth

Conductor: Russell Gray

Hepworth's startling winning performance at the Grand Shield should ensure they travel to Preston with confidence bubbling to the brim under the baton of Russell Gray.

They were excellent value for their Blackpool victory - one that was a class apart from the rest of the field, so there will be a great deal of anticipation about their twin performances here.

They certainly enjoy this contest - with two runner up spots since 2007, so can they build on recent form and deliver against these high class rivals?

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Alan Hobbins
Principal Euphonium: James Fieldhouse
Soprano Cornet: Paul Shafi
Solo Trombone: Peter Moore
Solo Horn: Hannah Drage
Flugel: Katherine Bentham
Baritone: Charmain Gott
Eb Tuba: Simon Moffat
Bb Tuba: Jim Dickinson

4BR Ranking: 23

Recent Form:
Saddleworth Whit Friday: 4th
Grand Shield: Winner
Yorkshire Area: 10th

Appearances: 6th time

Debut: 2006

Best Result: 2nd (2007 & 2009)
Worst Result: 7th (2006)

Overall Record:
2011: 5th (I. Porthouse) (8/2)
2010: DNC
2009: 2nd (I. Porthouse) (11)
2008: 6th (I. Porthouse) (4)
2007: 2nd (M. Bentham) (15)
2006: 7th (M. Bentham) (7)

Last Year: 5th off the number 8 draw on set work and number 2 on own choice

Own Choice Selections:
2011: Music of the Spheres (P. Sparke)


band logoLeyland

Conductor: Michael Bach

The form band of late 2011 and early 2012, local favourites Leyland will be looking to notch up its first English National victory.

It's not been a contest that has been the happiest of hunting grounds, with just the one podium finish in six attempts so far, so plenty of incentive to motivate a classy ensemble led by one of the hottest conducting properties around in Michael Bach.

As shown at the Areas, they are not afraid to put their musical necks on the line in pursuit of victory either - so plenty to look forward to then.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Iain Culross
Principal Euphonium: Lewis Musson
Soprano Cornet: John Doyle
Solo Trombone: Danny Brooks
Solo Horn: Rebbeca Landon
Flugel: Romana Holstead
Baritone: Hannah Platt
Eb Tuba: Chris Doran
Bb Tuba: Bill Cater

4BR Ranking: 8

Recent Form:
Tameside Whit Friday: 3rd
North West Area: Winner

Appearances: 7th time

Debut: 2006

Best Result: 3rd (2006)
Worst Result: 8th (2008)

Overall Record:
2011: 6th (R. Evans) (7/6)
2010: 5th (P. Harper)(6)
2009: 5th (J. Katsikaris) (14)
2008: 8th (J. Katsikaris) (5)
2007: 5th (R. Gray) (7)
2006: 3rd (R. Gray) (5)

Last Year: 6th off the number 7 draw on set work and number 6 on own choice

Own Choice Selections:
2011: The Legend of King Arthur (P. Meechan)


band logoPemberton Old Wigan JJB

Conductor: Mark Bentham

The hard working Pemberton makes its third appearance at the contest, looking to take its first competitive scalp after coming last in both 2010 and 2011.

Bold, ambitious and full of verve, they have certainly not been outclassed on their previous visits - especially last year with a cracking account of 'Spiriti' that certainly opened up eyes and ears of rivals.

After a series of solid contest performances this season, notably at the Areas, they should be making the trip confident of beating at least a couple of contenders this time around.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Joanne Johnson
Principal Euphonium: Nick Birch
Soprano: John Atkinson
Solo Horn: Lynne Campbell
Flugel: Carina Halliwell
Solo Trombone: David Chapman
Baritone: Ashley Jeffers
Eb Tuba: Steven Parfitt
Bb Tuba: Kieran Higham

4BR Ranking: 28


Recent Form:
Tameside Whit Friday: 5th
Grand Shield: 11th
North West Area: 5th
Brass at the Guild Hall: Winner

Appearances: 3rd time

Debut: 2010

Best Result: 9th (2010 & 2011)
Worst Result: 9th (2010 & 2011)

Overall Record:
2011: 9th (M. Bentham) (3/8)
2010: 9th (M. Bentham) (8)

Last Year: 9th off the number 3 draw on set work and number 8 on own choice

Own Choice Selections:
2011: Spiriti (T. Doss)


band logoReg Vardy

Conductor: Ray Farr

After showing plenty of quality to regain their British Open status in 2011, Reg Vardy was a touch unlucky that they couldn't come higher than 8th here last year, with a brace of quality performances under Ray Farr's direction.

They will not be taking anything for granted this time around for sure after the shock of failing to defend their North of England Area title, but missing out on a qualification place for the Albert Hall too.

With time on their side of late they should be well prepared to remind their rivals of their true contesting abilities this weekend.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Tina Mortimer
Principal Euphonium: Liz Pope
Soprano Cornet: Tom Glendinning
Solo Trombone: Chris Bentham
Solo Horn: Steven Hardy
Flugel: Steve King
Baritone: Fiona Casewell
Eb Tuba: Steve Boyd
Bb Tuba: Alistair Storey

4BR Ranking: 19

Recent Form:
North East Area: 3rd

Appearances: 7th time

Debut: 2006

Best Result: 4th (2010)
Worst Result: 11th (2007)

Overall Record:
2011: 8th (R. Farr) (1/6)
2010: 4th (R. Farr) (9)
2009: 10th (R. Farr) (1)
2008: 10th (S. Malcolm) (15)
2007: 11th (R. Farr) (3)
2006: 6th (R. Farr) (4)

Last Year: 8th off the number 1 draw on set work and number 6 on own choice

Own Choice Selections:
2011: Titan’s Progress (T. Pallhuber)


band logoFairey Band

Conductor: Ian Porthouse

The 2010 champion returns with one of the most sought after conductors in the business at the helm in former principal cornet Ian Porthouse.

Fairey has been knocking persistently on the door of another major victory since that win on 'Eden', but as yet has been unable to make the breakthrough against their main rivals.

They just missed out at the Areas, when the Tredegar MD also took them, so it will be a confident team that takes to the Preston stage on the weekend we are sure.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: James McCabe
Principal Euphonium: David Thornton
Soprano Cornet: Benjamin Richeton
Solo Trombone: Ryan Watkins
Solo Horn: Julie Meechan
Flugel: Mike Eccles
Baritone: Sarah Lenton
Eb Tuba: Jon Davies
Bb Tuba: Mark Evans

4BR Ranking: 6

Recent Form:
Tameside Whit Friday: 2nd
North West Area: 2nd

Appearances: 7th time

Debut: 2006

Best Result: Winner (2010)
Worst Result: 9th (2007 & 2008)

Overall Record:
2011: 4th (R. Gray) (4/9)
2010: Winners (R. Gray) (7)
2009: 7th (P. Chalk) (8)
2008: 9th (P. Chalk) (2)
2007: 9th (P. Parkes) (9)
2006: 4th (S. Stonehouse) (14)

Last Year: 4th off the number 4 draw on set work and number 9 on own choice

Own Choice Selections:
2010: Symphony of Colours (S. Dobson)


band logoVirtuosi GUS

Conductor: John Berryman

A long overdue English Nationals debut for Virtuosi GUS - and it comes at a time when the band could do with a decent result to boost the confidence.

They showed plenty of quality in coming runner up at the Mineworkers Championship in Skegness, and they could count themselves unlucky that the contesting Gods didn't really smile on them at the Areas.

However, they were disappointing at the Masters, so they have a bit of a point to prove under the baton of one of the best MDs in the business in John Berryman.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Peter Collins
Principal Euphonium: Mark Giles
Soprano Cornet: Martin Britt
Solo Trombone: Chris Jeans
Solo Horn: Nathan Waterman
Flugel: Thomas Fountain
Baritone: Jo Stephenson
Eb Tuba: Linda Hobbs
Bb Tuba: Mike Smith

Current Ranking: 25

Recent Form:
All England Masters International: 10th
Midlands Area: 3rd
Butlins Mineworkers Championship: 2nd

Appearances: Debut

Debut: 2012

Best Result: N/A
Worst Result: N/A

Overall Record: N/A

Last Year: N/A

Own Choice Selections: N/A




Walsall Brass Band - Willenhall Singers

Saturday 18 November • Sneyd Communnity Centre, Vernon Way, Bloxwich, Walsall. WS3 2PA


Rushden Town Band -

Saturday 18 November • Park Rd Baptist Church, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 0RW


Contest: Brass in Concert

Saturday 18 November • Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead NE28 2JR


Foden's Band - Morley Town Hall

Saturday 18 November • Queen Street, Morley LS27 9DY


Black Dyke Band - Waterford, Ireland

Saturday 18 November • Carriganore Arena, Waterford Institute of Technology Sports Campus tbc


Newstead Brass

November 18 • Bb Cornet (position negotiable). . Newstead Brass, established Midlands Championship section, have opportunity for an additional cornet player. Suitable for experienced player or someone looking to take the next step in their development.


Wakefield Metropolitan Brass Band

November 17 • FRONT ROW CORNET. SOLO TROMBONE. . The band have an exciting concert/contest/marching schedule ahead. We are looking for a committed front row cornet and solo trombone player to come and join us in the Yorkshire 1st Section! MD: Richard Larder.


Glossop Old Band

November 17 • SOLO TROMBONE. The Glossop Old Band Welcomes applications for the Solo Trombone Chair. The Band will be competing in the First Section as of 2018 and are looking to continue its progression back to the top levels of performance


Alan Fernie

DRSAM, Dip.NCOS
Arranger, composer, adjudicator, conductor