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2014 Midlands Regional Championships — As it happened

All the action from the 2014 Midlands Regional Championships — as it happened.

Midlands • Sunday 9, 19:05:29

Well, that's it from Bedworth folks. Time for some food and drink!!!

We really hope you've enjoyed the coverage.......we'll be doing it all again next year!!


Midlands • Sunday 9, 18:54:41

Championship Section: RESULTS
Test Piece: 'St Magnus' - Kenneth Downie

Civic Hall
Sunday 9 March

Adjudicators: Brett Baker and David Horsfield

1. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)
2. Desford Colliery (Russell Gray)
3. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)
4. Spal Automotive Sovereign Brass (David Maplestone)
5. Thoresby Colliery (Brian Grant)
6. Newstead Brass (Duncan Beckley)
7. Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles)
8. Foresters Brass 2000 (Peter Collins)
9. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
10. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (Nigel Seaman)
11. Hathern (David Newman)


Midlands • Sunday 9, 18:30:55

Championship Section

Well, it's all over in the Civic Hall and we are waiting for Brett Baker and David Horsfield to conclude their deliberations in the box.

The standard has been surprisingly good on such a tough test piece with no bands having disgraced themselves today.

Interestingly it wasn't simply the technical elements of the score that played a part but the colours and shaping of the slow music, with a few ravishing interpretations. For us there's one band that really led the way today and that was Virtuosi GUS.

1. Virtuosi GUS
2. Desford
3. Jaguar Landrover
4. Thoresby Colliery
5. Newstead
6. Sovereign


Midlands • Sunday 9, 18:23:23

Championship Section

11. Jaguar Landrover (Dave Lea) Just a little soprano clip in an otherwise well judged opening. Good detail heard in the ensuing passages and there is a sense of control about the playing that impresses.

The Andante espress. is subtly coloured and warm sound emanate from the lower and middle band. Just one or two uncomfortable entries in the cornets that detract. Lovely solo euph. Expressive and gets down to lower dynamics beautifully. We lose the horn voice before the Allegro. A shame.

Good work in the Allegro though and again , although it doesn't all sit completely comfortably, there's a sense of measured control rather than panic.

Fabulous euphonium solo. So well phrased and secure in the upper reaches. The Andante is so well coloured and shaped. There are just the occasional voices that don't speak with confidence.

The Allegro Vivace sets off at a good tempo and the excitement builds. This is really motoring now and Dave Lea milks it within an inch of its life but its a corker of an ending and the audience loves it. Some exceptional playing but not quite enough to retain the title for us.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 17:59:38

Championship Section

10. Foresters Brass 2000 (Peter Collins) A decent opening from the Championship Section debutantes although once we hit the quicker music the cracks start to appear with numerous scrambled and panicky entries. The MD really tries to find the colours in the Andante though and there are some sonorous sounds heard.

The Allegro con Moto certainly motors and what it lacks in transparency of detail it makes up for in sheer verve and energy. This is clearly a band that is enthusing about its new found status amongst the big boys.

Well done solo euph. Not quite immaculate but a worthy effort and lovely sounding solo trombone in the Meno Mosso. The detail is again lost in the approach to the conclusion but there remains a strong sense of energy about this that carries us along.

A very creditable Championship Section debut from Foresters. Great work!


Midlands • Sunday 9, 17:41:15

Championship Section

9. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (Nigel Seaman) A pretty safe opening for Jackfield and to their credit, the band is playing with little hint of pressure. We miss the detail though and there is something of a pedestrian feel about the faster music.

Euphonium gets through solo although missing a little elegance and refinement whilst the Andante is well shaped but lacking in subtlety. We really want to hear more of the magic from the colours Downie paints.

The final Allegro sets off at a good tempo and builds up a head of steam. Well done soprano! It gets very scrappy towards the end but this was a creditable effort from Nigel Seaman and his team.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 17:19:34

Championship Section

8. Thoresby Colliery (Brian Grant) The opening is a tad uncomfortable but it finds composure in the following bars. Detail isn't quite precise and although the MD shapes the music well in the Andante, we don't hear the range of colours that the best have given us so far.

The Allegro con Moto flies along with energy if not complete precision but there is drama and excitement here that sweeps us along. Well done solo euph. It's been a good day for euphonium players so far!

Some of the solo entries just need a little more time and space in the slower music but the Meno Mosso is very well done and leads us into a brisk and breezy Allegro. It just isn't quite together at times as different lines pull in different directions and the detail is sometimes hidden beneath lower band textures but the approach to the end is certainly full on.

Some playing of real quality here. A touch inconsistent at times but brimming with excitement and drama.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 16:59:59

Championship Section

7. Desford (Russell Gray). A lovely opening from Desford. Refined and beautifully coloured. The tempo seems to rock in the ensuing passages and it doesn't quite sit comfortably. The flowing nature of the Andante is so well done though and Mike Howley on solo euphonium is already making an impression. Some of the detail is brilliantly done but it hasn't quite got the composure of GUS at times. Solo euph just falters slightly at height of register but the Andante is finely done, if just lacking that last ounce of magic. The adrenalin fuelled dash for the end is exciting but also a touch untidy at times. A fine performance for sure but one that doesn't topple GUS off the top spot for us.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 16:34:20

Championship Section

Brett Baker and David Horsfield are out of the box for a well earned break in the Civic Hall having just heard a corker of a performance from Virtuosi GUS. So exciting and with the so much detail and energy.

It"s a clear leader from us at the half way point with Newstead and Sovereign battling it out for second place.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 16:23:02

Championship Section

6. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke) What a lovely opening. Perfect dynamic, together and in tune. The Andante has a lovely feeling of poise about it. Slightest of euphonium slips as we approach the Allegro con Moto but at last, this has a sense of composure about it. Not without a few blips but the tension is so well managed and we hear the detail. Fine solo euphonium and there is such calm and repose as we hear towards the Allegro. The excitement is so well managed and the cumulative impact is compelling leading to a conclusion of majestic triumph. A clear leader so far.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 16:08:23

Championship Section

5. Newstead Brass (Duncan Beckley) Another nervy opening and the tuning is uncomfortable. A slightly cautious tempo but even so, it's still a tad untidy. The band creates a relaxed atmosphere in the Andante but the Allegro con Moto threatens to run out off control at times. Just a hint of strain in the upper reaches but otherwise solo euphonium sings with elegance. Individual entries are not the most subtle on occasions and although the MD tries to drive the pace the rhythmic playing doesn't always maintain a motorist pulse. The ending is well measured but it's a tired sounding final chord.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 15:39:49

Championship Section

4. Spa Automotive Sovereign (David Maplestone) Well that was an opening that blew the cobwebs away. More mf than mp and somewhat safety first. The cornets are beset by a liberal dose of panic in the following bars although it settles to soothing sounds as we progress through the Andante. The Allegro con Moto starts wells but gets scrappier as it progresses. Solo euphonium does well but the lyrical cornet lines don't quite coalesce. Much of the detail is lumpy in the upper band and the feeling is of panic (understandable!) rather than composure. It's a triumphant close though to a high adrenalin account.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 15:20:28

Championship Section

3. Ratby Co-Operative (Michael Fowles) Soprano struggles in the opening bar and the tuning is horribly skewed. It's so scrappy in the ensuing bars although solo euphonium is already proving to be a steadying influence. In the slower music the band produces a rounded sound and finds the emotion in the music well but we miss the precision that the music so desperately needs. Once again solo euphonium proves to be a star player as he gives us elegant, finely wrought solo lines. This is growing in stature though and despite the detail not being clear at times, there's a good dynamic range. Running lines in the cornets are scrambled leading to an effective ending.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 14:57:10

Championship Section

2. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard) An uncomfortable opening note but it settles and there are quality sounds heard around the band. There's a nice warmth about the sounds from the middle band but there's also a feeling that the band is throwing caution to the wind in the faster music and simply going for it. The MD doesn't hold back on the tempi neither and the results are sometimes wayward to say the least. This is adrenalin fuelled stuff though. You've got to admire a band that is willing to take risks. Well done solo euphonium and the MD shapes the music well. Blip from trombone but band tries to get down to dynamic lows. Again the tempo is brisk and the band is right on the edge here. Detail doesn't always knit together but the effects are heard and its a triumphant, well measured conclusion.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 14:37:20

Championship Section

1. Hathern The opening is a well negotiated but the ensuing detail is masked. The Allegro con brio sets off at a good tempo although a good deal of the detail is hidden beneath the surface. There is some brave playing going on here and the band is really throwing everything at it. Solo euphonium plays the notes but needs more elegance. Well done solo cornet. Allegro tempo is safe but that's probably a good thing. Trombones are so strident in the Piu Mosso and the running cornet detail just isn't there as the temp rises. Again all of the cornet detail is hidden as we head to the conclusion. Full marks for effort but this was a real challenge for the debutantes.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 14:13:30

Championship Section: DRAW
Test Piece: 'St Magnus' - Kenneth Downie

Civic Hall
Sunday 9 March

Adjudicators: Brett Baker and David Horsfield

Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard), 2
Desford Colliery (Russell Gray), 7
Foresters Brass 2000 (Peter Collins), 10
Hathern (David Newman), 1
Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (Nigel Seaman), 9
Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea), 11
Newstead Brass (Duncan Beckley), 5
Ratby Co-operative (Michael Fowles), 3
Spal Automotive Sovereign Brass (David Maplestone), 4
Thoresby Colliery (Brian Grant), 8
Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke), 6


Midlands • Sunday 9, 14:10:20

Second Section:
Test Piece: 'Chaucer's Tunes' - Dr Michael Ball

Civic Hall
Sunday 9 March

Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and Ian Brownbill

RESULTS

1. Daventry Brass (Bob Stradling), 4
2. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Ian Knapton), 12
3. Avonbank (Evesham) (Warren Belshaw), 11
4. Tintwistle (Sarah Groake Booth), 13
5. Bakewell Silver (Roland Spencer), 10
6. Brackley and District (Alex Webb), 1
7. Amington (Kevin Steward), 5
8. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper), 9
9. Ibstock Brick Brass (Huw Thomas), 3
10. Matlock (Andrew Dennis), 2
11. Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs), 8
12. Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield), 6
13. Arrow Valley (Paul White), 7


Midlands • Sunday 9, 13:59:02

Section 2

Results:

1. Daventry Silver
2. Ireland Colliery
3. Avonbank Evesham
4. Tintwistle


Midlands • Sunday 9, 13:49:33

Section 4: Alan Needham's analysis

We have reached the half way point of this enjoyable contest and you have to say the piece is perhaps winning out over the majority of the competitors.

There have been some excellent performances so far though - with Stourport and Ifton comfortably leading the way. they managed to capture the spirit of the music to a tee - and were technically very god as well.

Just behind comes Pleasley and Ratby with plenty still to play for.

Updated prediction...

1. Stourport on Severn
2. Ifton Colliery
3. Pleasley
4. Ratby Co-operative Mid


Midlands • Sunday 9, 13:45:47

Section 2.

The Second Section is all over in the Civic Hall.

It's been a hugely enjoyable contest on Chaucer's Tunes with many of the band turning in spirited performances. It's been difficult for some to find consistency through the sections though and knit the piece into a convincing whole whilst the slower sections have really exposed any weaknesses amongst the soloists.

For us the best (although also the fastest!) came last with Tintwistle. With only two to qualify, we go for a top 6 of

1. Tintwistle
2. Amington
3. Brackley and District
4. Daventry Brass
5. Avonbank Evesham
6. Long Eaton Silver


Midlands • Sunday 9, 13:10:17

Section 4: Alan Needham's analysis

It's developing into a tasty contest here in Bedworth - but that early marker from Stourport still leads the way for me, although it will be pushed all the way so far by such a confident rendition from Ifton.

Pleasley Colliery have also done themselves proud and there was a performance of character from Skegness too with Kirkby Colliery Welfare not far behind.

Prediction so far....

1. Stourport on Severn
2. Ifton Colliery
3. Pleasley Colliery
4. Skegness Silver
5. Kirkby Colliery Welfare


Midlands • Sunday 9, 12:49:58

Section 2.

10. Bakewell Silver (Roland Spencer) The opening is big and broad but there is reticence in the detail. Solo cornet does well in the Fantasia and although there are moments of real quality this is another performance that has fallen pray to finding a convincing and consistent path through the myriad colours and styles of Michael Ball's score. It's an exciting 'Chase' and suddenly the band has fire in its belly but erratic moments could well cost today.

9. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper) The opening doesn't have the weight of sound and dynamic contrast of the best today but there is some neat and tidy playing heard from Shirland's usual healthy mix of young and experienced heads. The chorales lose their way but it really gathers steam towards the close and it's an exciting ending. Great to see so many youngsters playing their hearts out!

8. Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs) It's a brave attempt from the Second Section debutantes but the detail in the opening Intrada is indistinct and there are so many tentative individual entries. Excellent work from solo trombone and the experienced heads around the stands try to keep the ship steady. It does settle as nerves start to calm down but The Chase lacks any real aggression and the close is tired rather than sparkling. A tough initiation into 2nd Section banding.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 12:28:39

Section 4

Second half of the draw:

Audley Brass (Ian Turner), 19
Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (Colin Hartley), 20
Coleshill Town (Stephen Fagg), 18
Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain), 16
Croft Silver (Ian Needham), 11
Cubbington Silver (Gary Smallwood), 14
Malvern Hills District (Chris License), 13
Sherwood Forest Brass (Christine Lippeatt), 12
Syston (Dennis Powell), 17
Whitwell Brass (Bob Woffinden), 15


Midlands • Sunday 9, 12:06:29

Section 4: Alan Needham's analysis

Three bands have played so far and Stourport lead the way by some distance.

The piece has more than enough about it to test the bands here - but Stourport really brought the character out of the music and were technically very sound.

A long way to go, but it's turning into a very enjoyable contest.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 11:59:47

Section 2.

We are on a short comfort break in the Civic Hall.

It's a close contest here but it's Amington leading the way for us with a mighty close battle for 2nd place between Brackley and Daventry.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 11:49:24

Section 2.

7. Arrow Valley (Paul White) A good solid opening but niggling untidy entries then detract. There's a good style about the Fantasia but still those lapses. It's a good band sound though. Tuning raises its head in the chorales although the MD judges the tempi well. As with so many performances so far it feels disjointed at times, not an easy issue to overcome but the best performances should manage it. The Chase needs a touch more furioso about it and the ending sounds a touch tired.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 11:32:13

. Section 2.

6. Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield) Opening Intrada has a cautious feel about it. Nice solo cornet in the Fantasia but now it needs to flow a little more. There are same nice touches along the way though but such a shame that it loses its momentum at times. Good tempo in the Carol but it's a touch lumpy and needs to be more sustained at low dynamic levels. There's a fury about The Chase that we like even though its a touch untidy. Lively ending.

5. Amington (Kevin Steward) A bravura opening in true Intrada style and the contrast with the ensuing Fantasia is good. The MD accentuates the contrasts between the sections but then it loses its way a little as we approach the Intermezzo. There is humour and spirit about this though and the Carol is nicely sustained leading to a bright and breezy conclusion. An enjoyable performance and a definite contender so far.

4. Daventry Brass (Bob Stradling) There's a nice style about this as the MD really tries to get the shape of the music until we get to the Carol which needs to flow more 'always sustained and singing'. It's gets scrappier in the closing stages as concentration seems to wane. A pity as there was some good playing here.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 11:09:23

Section 4:

The first half of the draw has been made in the Midlands and the action in the Fourth section is about to get underway.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 10:50:11

Section 2

3. Ibstock Building Products With Huw Thomas busy with Leyland in Blackpool Simon Willis is at the helm with Ibstock. Lots of spirit about this although the momentum occasionally falters. Some quality solo lines heard and it's a bravura ending.

2. Matlock The opening Intrada is a touch scrappy. Good style but there are many ragged entries that rob the music of its flow. Good energy in the Interemzzo but more more breadth needed in the chorales.

1. Brackley and District An excellent marker from the number one draw. Nice sense of style to the opening Intrada, a solid band sound and quality solo cornet. It just loses its momentum at times but plenty of good playing on display here.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 10:18:11

Section 2.

It's interesting to ponder what Geoffrey Chaucer's bawdy tales might have been like if they were set in Bedworth rather than Canterbury. We might be about to find out!!


Midlands • Sunday 9, 10:02:57

Section 2

Stephen Roberts and Ian Brownbill are in the box in the Civic Hall and Brackley and District is about to kick off the 2nd section contest.

It's fair to say that the audience is more a sprinkling in here this morning.......a shame as it's a great test piece.


Midlands • Sunday 9, 09:53:19

Second Section:
Test Piece: 'Chaucer's Tunes' - Dr Michael Ball

Civic Hall
Sunday 9 March
Commences: 10.00am

Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and Ian Brownbill

Amington (Kevin Steward), 5
Arrow Valley (Paul White), 7
Avonbank (Evesham) (Warren Belshaw), 11
Bakewell Silver (Roland Spencer), 10
Brackley and District (Alex Webb), 1
Daventry Brass (Bob Stradling), 4
Ibstock Brick Brass (Huw Thomas), 3
Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Ian Knapton), 12
Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield), 6
Matlock (Andrew Dennis), 2
Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs), 8
Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper), 9
Tintwistle (Sarah Groake Booth), 13


Midlands • Sunday 9, 07:04:55

Section 4:

4BR is delighted to say that the wonderful conductor Alan Needham is making it to Bedworth to cover as much as he can today for us.

It is something he has been absolutely determined to do and will get there as soon as he can to sit and enjoy as many bands as possible.

Please go and say hello - as he says, you can't miss him with his hat on!


Midlands • Sunday 9, 05:50:36

Draw:

Fourth Section:
Test Piece: 'Three Spanish Impressions for Brass Band' - Alan Fernie

Sunday 9th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Draw: 10.00am and 12.00pm
Commence: 11.00am

Adjudicators: David Lancaster and Ewan Easton

Audley Brass (Ian Turner)
Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (Colin Hartley)
Black Country Brass (Alwyn Manley), 2
Coleshill Town (Stephen Fagg)
Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)
Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
Cubbington Silver (Gary Smallwood)
Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen),1
Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston), 4
Ilkeston Brass (Dave Jones), 8
Kirkby Colliery Welfare (Neville Buxton), 6
Malvern Hills District (Chris License)
Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Keith Buxton), 7
Ratby Co-operative Mid (Geoff Newman), 10
Sherwood Forest Brass (Christine Lippeatt)
Skegness Silver (Steve Walker), 5
Stourport-on-Severn (Oliver Wilson), 3
Syston (Dennis Powell)
WEM Jubilee (Roger Thorne), 9
Whitwell Brass (Bob Woffinden)


Midlands • Saturday 8, 17:07:34

That's all from the Midlands today. WE hope you have enjoyed our coverage.

We're back on Sunday morning with the Second, Fourth and Championship Sections across the two venues.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 17:05:38

Result Section 1:

First Section:
Test Piece: 'Cry of the Mountain' - Howard Lorriman

Civic Hall
Saturday 8 March
Draw: 10.00am and 12.00 noon
Commence: 11.00am

Adjudicators: David Lancaster and Ewan Easton

1. Enderby (Simon Jones)*
2. Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)*
3. Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)*
4. Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)
5. Leicestershire Co-op (Graham Jacklin)
6. Bedworth Brass (Jason Glynn)
7. Wigston (Garry Sleath)
8. Langley (Cliff Parker)
9. Shirley (Dave Bishop Roe)
10. Gresley Colliery (Simon Jones)
11. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper
12. Oddfellows Brass (Robert Boulter)
13. Harborough (Chris Groom)
14. Kibworth (Iain Rayner)
15. Shirebrook MW Unison (Mark Wilcockson)
16. Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)
17. Carlton Brass (Paul Watson)

*Top 3 bands qualify for National Final


Midlands • Saturday 8, 16:48:55

Result Section 3:

Third Section:
Test Piece: 'Partita for Band' (Postcards from Home) - Professor Philip Wilby

Saturday 8 March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 10.00am and 12.00 noon
Commence: 11.00am

Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts & Ian Brownbill

1. Rushden Town (John Hudson)*
2. Foss Dyke (Gareth Westwood)*
3. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)*
4. Resdev Market Rasen (David Dernley)
5. Towcester Studio (Bob Stradling)
6. Burbage (Buxton) (Steve Critchlow)
7. Wellington (Telford) (Fiona Rolfe)
8. Trentham Brass (Mike Caveny)
9. Hucknall and Linby MC Brass (Paul Whyley)
10. Stamford Brass (Bob Prew)
11. Melton (Graham Sutton)
12. Moulton 77 (Roger Stevens)
13. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
14. Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass (Saphran Ali)
15. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
16. City of Birmingham (Barry Pope)

Withdrawn: Porthywaen Silver (Mark Parry)

*Top 3 bands qualify for National Final


Midlands • Saturday 8, 16:26:06

Section 3:

Overview

It's been an interesting contest this. Philip Wilby's 'Partita' is difficult and not all bands were on top of it today. Of those that were, some MD's opted for quicker tempos to sound impressive whilst others opted for the slower but cleaner approach. A couple got an impressive balance of both.

The third movement caught so many bands out today. Tuning in the ensemble is as important as the soloists playing well. MD's also needed to remember that the trombones and tubas also have to play the semi-quavers in the fourth movement and some left their players no chance.

Ultimately, the result will come down to what the adjudicators preferred: excitement or clarity. For our prediction we're aiming straight down the middle but the top three of four can certainly be proud of their performances today.

4BR Prediction:

4BR's Matt Shaw has been listening in the Third Section and has gone for:

1. University of Warwick
2. Stamford
3. Wellington (Telford)
4. Trentham Brass
5. Burbage (Buxton)
6. Rushden

Dark Horse. Foss Dyke


Midlands • Saturday 8, 16:20:43

Section 3:

13. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)

A good opening to this. Once again the slightly restrained tempo allows for more detail to shine through. It carries on much the same into the dance and there's lots going on. Just becomes a little messy towards the end but it's going well.

The third movement is brought to life with some classy solo playing. Another flying start to the final movement but this one is keeping the quality reasonably high. One to watch this.

14. Trentham Brass (Mike Caveny)

Another solid opening and the first band to really master the dynamic contrasts at the end of the movement. More good playing in the dance movement. The percussion team look to be enjoying what they are doing without trying to take over the band! Perhaps a more delicate touch needed at the start of the third movement. The balance between soloists is working well. Definitely one of the more successful slow movements of the day.

The accuracy of the fourth movement is questionable but the MD has obviously put a lot of thought into the dynamics. A good one here from Trentham, should fare well come the results.

15. Towcester Studio (Bob Stradling)

A powerful opening here but it is sending the tuning all over the place. The dance is simply too heavy which is a shame as there's some good playing going on. Euph and Horn really stand out here with some brilliant playing. Ensemble is struggling with tuning in places but solos are flowing nicely.

Just becomes a little untidy in the fourth movement. Tempo never really settles and detracts but this started so well.

16. Foss Dyke (Gareth Westwood)

A powerful opening full of intent. The second movement is going at quite a pace but the detail is being brought out pretty well. The movement motors on to the finish. The third movement is well handled with some classy soloists.

Now this really is motoring. There are some scrappy sections but the adrenaline has really kicked in and they're going for it. A marmite performance this, everything or nothing.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 16:05:39

Section 1:

It's all over bar the shouting in the Civic Hall and the results should be out in about twenty minutes.

Howard Lorriman's Cry of the Mountain has certainly done its job here but so many. Performances have been prone to inconsistency and variable technical execution. We reckon there are three performances that lead the field by some way with several close contenders for the remaining tops six places.

So what do we think?

1. Staffordshire
2. Bilton Silver (Rugby)
3. Enderby
4. Leics Co-op
5. City of Coventry
6. Blidworth

Dark horse Langley


Midlands • Saturday 8, 15:57:28

Section 1.

17. Shirley (David Bishop-Rowe )

A bass miss-pitch to start is a shame although composure is regained and as the vision of the mountain is revealed there are dynamic and cohesive sounds heard in the second movement which motors along with brio. The transition into the slow movement falters although solo euphonium turns in a fine solo in the slow movement which is well shaped but occasionally marred by tuning issues. A performance that was terrific in parts but flawed in others.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 15:43:14

Section1:

The last band is about to take the stage in the Civic Hall, an honour that falls to Shirley.

It's been an interesting contest on Howard Lorriman's music although relatively few bands have turned in performances of real conviction.

Keep an eye on our prediction which will appear shortly!


Midlands • Saturday 8, 15:40:16

Section 1.

16. Harborough (Chris Groom)

After a reasonable opening the mountain path starts to get a touch uneven for Harborough as wayward entries and nervy solo contributions intervene as the glaciers appear on the horizon. The musical intent is evident in the slow movement and although the band gives it everything in the final movement, Harborough is unlikely to threaten to front runners today.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 15:25:21

Section 1.

15. Enderby (Simon Jones)

This a fine opening indeed from Enderby. Confident and so well shaped and measured. Clean individual entries and as we see the glaciers, there is excellent detail with impressive clarity of ensemble and momentum. Excellent solo contributions and solo euphonium is on fine form in the slow movement which is played with a sonorous depth of emotion. The avalanche descends from a crushing opening gesture and although it doesn't all quite click together perfectly the dynamic contrasts are excellent and the tension builds inexorably. A performance of real stature.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 15:16:22

Section 3:

10. Rushden Town (John Hudson)

Bright opening has lots of detail. Tuning detracts a little. The second movement is so full of character with the melody being passed around nicely. Once again the detail is brought out. A little more time in the third movement would have allowed for a lighter and more relaxed feel but the solos are holding well.

Tuning just scuppers the ending a little. Fourth movement starts well but becomes just a little heavy and the tempo suffers. MD does well to recover tempo gradually. A good performance this. Just lost concentration towards the end but a good introduction to the second half.

11. Resdev Market Rasen (David Dernley)

A meaningful start here but they fall into the same traps as several other bands. The dotted rhythms rush and the tuning isn't correct. The musical intent is good but some of the execution doesn't quite match.The dance goes well with just a couple of trips. Third movement isn't without slips but the style is well maintained.

Again, a little off the tempo would allow for so much more to come from this. Another good performance just let down by the same pitfalls as others today.

12. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)

The opening is clean with a good style but there's just something missing. The dance is the same, there's nothing alarmingly wrong but it's just lacking a bit of excitement and tuning issues are playing in.

The third movement has some stylish solo playing. The fourth movement kicks off at quite some pace. There's excitement now but the clarity is fading a little. An odd one from Rolls Royce here.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 15:07:34

Section 1.

14. Langley (Cliff Parker)

The opening is so quiet that the players struggle to make the notes speak. As soon as the dynamic opens up it improves and there are warmly sonorous sounds heard. Untidy entries occasionally undermine the vision of glaciers but it gathers momentum as it progresses and the solo euphonium makes a telling contribution to the slow movement which is played with palpable emotion. The avalanche motors along and there's no shortage of energy here for sure leading to a bracing conclusion.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 14:53:33

Section 1.

13. Kibworth (Iain Rayner)

The opening bass entry wobbles and it takes time for the band to gain its composure but despite some scrappy ensemble, there are some excellent solo contributions, notably from euphonium in the second movement. Such a shame that the solo euphonium then falters in the slow movement. There's a clear sense of what the MD is trying to achieve here but ultimately, there are too many mistakes creeping in. Another performance that was all too often marred by inconsistency.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 14:41:15

Section 1.

12. Gresley Colliery (Simon Jones)

The opening vision of the mountain emerging through the mist is deftly done and there is a feeling of radiance as the mists recede. As the glaciers appear however so do the cracks in the ice and the detail is all too often scrambled rather than measured and controlled. Tuning issues occasionally intervene in the slow movement which is otherwise well measured. Do the trombones really need to stand for the opening of the avalanche? The final movement has a tendency to be overblown whilst inconsistencies will surely count against as the stakes rise.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 14:25:34

Section 1.

11. Bedworth Brass (Jason Glynn)

The opening conjures with a majestically unfolding sense of atmosphere and radiance as the mountain reveals itself. The music gathers in pace and drama well through the vision of glaciers although there is hesitation in the transition into the slow movement. Former CBSO bass trombonist Alwyn Green turns in a fine contribution on solo euphonium and although it doesn't quite flow at times there is a sense of confidence about the playing. Not all of the detail is heard in the final avalanche and we need to hear more dynamic contrasts but there's no shortage of drama here. A competent and convincing reading from the local team.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 14:08:25

Section 1.

10. Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)

An opening vision of the mountain worthy of a Ravel sunrise. So controlled and there is a sonorous depth to the sound that we haven't heard so far today. The ensemble and detail as we see the initial vision of the glaciers is as sharp as an ice pick and there is so much energy about this. The slow movement is played like a hymn to the mountains. Just tiny blemishes but they don't detract from the musical picture. A hammer blow leads us into a tumultuous avalanche that bristles with power and dread. Fine direction from the middle and a final climax really brings the impact of the final shift of tonality to life. A clear leader at this stage.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 13:52:40

Section 3:

Half Way thoughts

An interesting mix of ideas so far. Some have gone for excitement whilst others have gone for clarity. A couple of bands have achieved both to a good standard. Will any of the final six bands produce a stunner?

Three bands stand out so far and could go any way depending just what the men in the box are looking for.

4BR half way Prediction:

1. Stamford
2. Wellington (Telford)
3. Burbage (Buxton)


Midlands • Saturday 8, 13:49:33

Section 3:

7. Wellington (Telford) (Fiona Rolfe)

The relaxed tempo immediately pays off. The level of detail is good and we're hearing all of the important lines. The third movement has it's moments but the ensemble is secure and accompanying well.

Again, the slight hold back on the tempo is paying for itself with the clarity. The rhythms are so secure and the sound is big but not overblown. A different performance but one that should hold itself well.

8. Melton (Graham Sutton)

Struggled to get going this one but eventually found its feet. Dance movement is a little untidy and the balance needs work. The unease continues in the third movement and the mutes are causing real tuning issues.

Seems this was perhaps a challenge too far today but the players must be commended for giving it their all.

9. Moulton 77 (Roger Stevens)

Slightly relaxed tempo allows for great detail but it is not always achieved. The dance just stumbles a little but recovers well and the balance is good. Solo lines are handled well but the tuning in the ensemble is wavering.

Again, the final movement is uneasy and doesn't really settle. Another band that were up for the challenge or Partita but came off second best.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 13:32:47

Section 1.

It's the half way point in the Civic Hall and we are waiting for David Lancaster and Ewan Easton to emerge from the box for a well earned break.

It's been an interesting if at times frustrating contest so far with Howard Lorriman's music certainly doing its job as a test piece.

Bilton's exciting performance leads the way for us so far with Blidworth and Leics Co-op in a close tussle for second place from City of Coventry in 4th.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 13:20:11

Section 1.

9. Blidworth (Martin Heartfield)

The horns have clearly raided their cleaning cupboards judging by the dusters draped over their bells at the opening. They don't help the tuning though which impacts on the opening bars. It quickly settles however and there is impressive confidence about the playing, tight ensemble and impressive control in the slow movement which unfolds to a majestic climactic chord and a driving final avalanche. A sure fire contender for us.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 13:04:46

Section 1.

8. Leicestershire Co-op (Graham Jacklin)

An evocative opening and as the glaciers come into view, there is bold and confident playing heard. The drama builds well and although the transition into the slow movement falters solo euphonium does well as the MD draws a well balanced crescendo from the band. Excellent detail from the cornets as the avalanche gathers pace. It just needs to keep that tempo going. Exciting stuff though and a strong contender.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 12:53:42

Section 3:

4. Stamford Brass (Bob Prew)

Some big sounds here but they are well controlled. The dance is well managed with the percussion accompanying rather than leading. Some good solo lines are heard in the third movement.

The balance is being well managed here, all the interesting lines are being heard. Perhaps a little care with the dotted rhythms but this was a good performance.

5. Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass (Saphran Ali)

The opening is purposeful but a little more care with the dotted rhythms would allow it to settle better. The dance is well manoeuvred with the MD controlling his percussion who thought about taking over. Not all the solo lines are sitting comfortably here and the flow is taking a knock as a result.

A little off the tempo in the final movement would have added so much more clarity but praise must go to the players for sticking in there. The ambition here is admirable but it didn't quite come off today.

6. City of Birmingham (Barry Pope)

A massive sound to start - took many in the hall by surprise. The dance is powerful but generally well controlled. The solo lines could do with a little more security. Horn does well before a gentle close.

The big sounds here are not quite matched with the level of clarity in the moving passages. Percussion becomes the lead and it's losing some of the control and a lot of detail. Such a shame as it started with such promise.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 12:49:48

Section 1.

7. Wigston (Garry Sleath)

There's an impressive distant vision of the mountain in the opening bars which are well shaped and evocative. Ensemble and detail is not always as tight as it should be as the glaciers come into view but the slow movement is is well handled albeit with some nervy individual entries. The momentum of the avalanche is at times erratic but it's a brave mountain ascent from newly promoted Wigston.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 12:30:43

Section 1.

6. Carlton Brass (Paul Watson)

Confident sounds to open and the vision of the mountain unfolds majestically as the mists recede. Good detail as the glaciers come into view but there's just a tendency for the tempo to rock at times. Euphonium struggles again in the slow movement......but not alone so far today. Confident sounds in the avalanche although again the tempo wavers at times and its a tired sounding climactic chord.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 12:16:15

Section 1.

5. Shirebrook (MW) Unison ( Mark Wilcockson)

Nervy opening entries reveal a degree of trepidation about the ascent ahead. There's a nice sense of style about this though and those early morning nerves start to roll way with the mist only to return in the slow movement with a number of shaky individual entries. The final movement is taken at a very steady tempo and the music loses its sense of drama and cumulative energy as a result. Plenty of good intent on display but not always matched in execution.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 12:12:31

Section 3:

1. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)

Not a bad marker. Excellent opening just loses a bit of clarity towards the end. Intonation and mutes noises need a little attention in second movement. Outstanding horn soloist displays nerves of steel.

Euph and Bass section work well together. It all regains composure nicely for an exciting final movement. Well thought out interpretation with some wonderful ensemble sounds.

2. Burbage (Buxton) (Steve Critchlow)

Percussion issue delays the start. Above tempo start brings great excitement but also great danger. The dance is pulsating nicely with solid cornet lead. Percussion perhaps a little loud detracting from elsewhere but there is still a great buzz. Solo lines well lead in third movement.

The excitement continues in the final movement but in places it is a little too excited and the moving lines are lost. Regroups for a thundering finale. An entertaining rendition which perhaps got a little too boisterous in places but lots to admire.

3. Hucknall and Linby MC Brass (Paul Whyley)

The animated MD is clearly conducting and singing how he wants his band to play. The opening movement is well managed leading in to the dance which is full of character.

Once again the percussion try to take over the show and the moving lines are lost. Third movement doesn't quite have the same lilt as the MD. Mutes are dictating the intonation here. Solid final movement brings this interesting performance to a close.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 12:01:00

Section 1.

4. Oddfellows Brass (Rob Boulter)

First bass entry wavers but it settles and there's a big dynamic range heard as we head for the glaciers. Ensemble just rocks a touch at times but there are confident sounds on display. Solo euphonium makes heavy weather of the slow movement and there are one or two fissures appearing in the ice here. Again it settles but there are niggling in consistencies causing concern along the way. Tempo rocks in the final movement. Some good playing in places but those inconsistencies will surely cost a few places.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 11:44:00

Section 1.

3. Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)

What an impressive opening from the First Section debutantes. A lovely sense of mystery and as the music unfolds there is impressive detail and security heard. Just minor lapses in the slow movement but solo euphonium excels and the pacing is so well handled. A fine climax that isn't overblown and a chilling start to the avalanche. Tension builds so well and there's real drama here. Bravo! A highly convincing and exciting account.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 11:32:11

It's great to see a good audience in the Civic Hall for the First Section contest in Bedworth. The atmosphere is building nicely. Newly promoted Bilton Silver up next.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 11:29:58

Section 1.

2. Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)

The mist shrouded opening is beset by tuning problems; a shame as it seriously impacts on the atmosphere. It starts to settle as the glaciers come into view although its a touch edgy and aggressive in places. One or two slippery moments for the soloists along the way and the detail is all too often untidy. This was a tired sounding ascent.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 11:13:06

Section 1:

1. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)

Steve Cooper and his team have thrown down a pretty good marker from the number one draw in the Civic Hall. Nicely created atmospheres and although it got a touch scrappy at times with intonation also causing the occasional problem the band built the drama well as the performance progressed. Impressive soloists too!


Midlands • Saturday 8, 11:04:17

City of Coventry are on stage and we are about to hear the first Cry of the Mountain from Bedworth.


Midlands • Saturday 8, 10:50:49

Section 1 Draw:

First Section:
Test Piece: 'Cry of the Mountain' - Howard Lorriman

Civic Hall
Saturday 8 March
Draw: 10.00am and 12.00 noon
Commence: 11.00am

Adjudicators: David Lancaster and Ewan Easton

1. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
2. Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)
3. Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)
4. Oddfellows Brass (Robert Boulter)
5. Shirebrook MW Unison (Mark Wilcockson)
6. Carlton Brass (Paul Watson)
7. Wigston (Garry Sleath)
8. Leicestershire Co-op (Graham Jacklin)
9. Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)
10. Staffordshire (Leigh Baker)
11. Bedworth Brass (Jason Glynn)
12. Gresley Colliery (Simon Jones)
13. Kibworth (Iain Rayner)
14. Langley (Cliff Parker)
15. Enderby (Simon Jones)
16. Harborough (Chris Groom)
17. Shirley (Dave Bishop Roe)


Midlands • Saturday 8, 10:49:32

Section 3 Draw:


Third Section:
Test Piece: 'Partita for Band' (Postcards from Home) - Professor Philip Wilby

Saturday 8 March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 10.00am and 12.00 noon
Commence: 11.00am

Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and Ian Brownbill

1. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
2. Burbage (Buxton) (Steve Critchlow)
3. Hucknall and Linby MC Brass (Paul Whyley)
4. Stamford Brass (Bob Prew)
5. Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass (Saphran Ali)
6. City of Birmingham (Barry Pope)
7. Wellington (Telford) (Fiona Rolfe)
8. Melton (Graham Sutton)
9. Moulton 77 (Roger Stevens)
10. Rushden Town (John Hudson)
11. Resdev Market Rasen (David Dernley)
12. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
13. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
14. Trentham Brass (Mike Caveny)
15. Towcester Studio (Bob Stradling)
16. Foss Dyke (Gareth Westwood)

withdrawn: Porthywaen Silver (Mark Parry)


Midlands • Saturday 8, 10:48:49

The Midlands weekend kicks off in Bedworth at 11am with the First and Third Sections taking place in two different venues.

Both sections have split draws on what should be keenly thought contests.


Midlands • Friday 7, 18:44:08

Less than 24 hours to go now before the second round of Regional Championship events in Torquay, Perth and Bedworth, with Blackpool a day later.

We will be at each venue - but please bear in mind that trying to co-ordinate information from four different sources is stretching us to the limit this weekend.

We will try to overcome any glitches as best we can to get everything up from draws to results as best we can. We haven't got the resources of the BBC mind you!


Midlands • Friday 7, 11:37:39

For Midlands preview & predictions go to:
www.4barsrest.com/­articles/­2014/­1437.asp




Gloucestershire Brass Band Association - Own Choice March & Test Piece Contest

Sunday 19 November • All Saints’ Academy. Blaisdon Way. Cheltenham GL51 0WH


Rotherham Schools' Youth Brass Band - Fountain City Brass Band

Monday 20 November • Rotherham Minster - Rotherham s60 1pd


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


Hucknall & Linby Brass

November 20 • Hucknall and Linby Band - 2nd section- Require a front row cornet player. We rehearse Thursdays 7.30 -9.30 in Hucknall, Nottingham. With great transport links to the city centre and the universities.


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.


Chris Wormald

B.Mus (Hons), LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, adjudicator, arranger