facebook twitter rss vimeo

*
banner

2015 Butlins Mineworkers Championship — As it happened

All the action from the 2015 Butlins Mineworkers Championship — as it happened.

General • Sunday 18, 23:01:25

4BR Editor Iwan Fox talks to the triumphant MD and Band Manager of the Flowers Band - Paul Holland and Lee Downie.

embedded picture
2015 Butlins Mineworkers Championship: Flowers with Paul Holland take the Championship Trophy

That's is the end of our live coverage from Butlins for this year. We hope you have enjoyed our coverage, but look out for our usual post contest thoughts in the coming days.

Good night from Skegness


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 22:47:23

Results: Championship Section:

Championship Section:
(Set Test + Own Choice) = Total
Test Piece: 'Facets of the Heart' - Tom Davoren
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts & Michael Fowles (Set Work) Stephen Roberts & Chad Shoopman (Entertainment)

embedded picture
2015 Butlins Mineworkers Championship: Flowers Band celebrate as they take the Championship Trophy

1. Flowers (Paul Holland): 1/1 = 2
2. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke): 2/5 = 7*
3. Woodfalls (Paul Lovatt-Cooper): 3/4 = 7*
4. Redbridge Brass (Alan Duguid): 4/3 = 7*
5. Friary Guildford (Chris King): 8/2 = 10
6. Thoresby Colliery (Leigh Baker): 5/7 = 12
7. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Alan Morrison): 7/6 = 13
8. Wantage A (Phillip Bailey): 6/8 = 14
9. Aveley & Newham (Richard Ward): 9/9 = 18

*Set Work placing takes precedence in event of tie.

Highest Placed Mining Band: Thoresby Colliery (Leigh Baker)
Most Entertaining Band: Friary Guildford
Best Bass section: Friary Guildford
Geoff Dove Soloist Award: David Childs (Flowers)


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 18:58:39

Three wise men of the press give their opinions on what the top section result could turn out to be....


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 18:19:55

The official announcement of the results will be around 9.00pm so we have a little bit of a wait now.

Plenty of entertainment to come before we know who will be crowned 2015 Champion.....

Time for some tea then.....


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 17:52:50

4BR Prediction and overall result:

An enjoyable day of entertainment but it wa still Flowers who led the way - and by a comfortable margin. It may be more of a toss up between quite a few bands behind them - with Virtuosi GUS ahead of EYMS, Woodfalls, Thoresby and Friary Guildford in a very close 2nd - 4th place fight.

Don't be surprised if Guildford could swap places with GUS etc - it's was that close, but Flowers took this today with a show of composed class.

After the top six we opt for Aveley & Newham, Redbridge and Wantage.

Entertainment prediction:

1. Flowers
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. EYMS
4. Woodfalls
5. Thoresby
6. Friary Guildford
7. Aveley & Newham
8. Redbridge
9. Wantage

Overall Result Prediction:

With all out votes cast from both days we can't see the title going anywhere other than back to the West Country with Flowers - and commanding winners they were too. They could well be £11,000 richer later tonight.

Virtuosi GUS played well on both days but we're some margin behind in second place, pushed we think by Woodfalls and Thoresby for the top four places.

The remaining top six should go to EYMS and Friary Guildford - who played so well today and might surprise a few big style.

Redbridge head Wantage and Aveley for the remaining places.

Overall 2015 prediction:

1. Flowers
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. Woodfalls
4. Thoresby
5. EYMS
6. Friary Guildford
7. Redbridge
8. Wantage
9. Aveley & Newham.


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 16:41:27

9. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Alan Morrison)

Another band that isn't afraid to delve back into the musical archives for inspiration, as EYMS opt for a 'faith, hope and charity' theme to their programme.

And it's 'Sweet Charity' for the first stop and the story of that old 'pro' Shirley Maclaine hoofing it with 'I'm a Brass Band' - complete with 'dayglo' percussion, vocals and images. Nearly a touch too long - but just cut off at the right time.

Another Alan Morrison arrangement - this time with 'Deborah's Theme' from the film, 'Once Upon a Time in America' - played with tenderness and fine control by Neil Day on cornet. Old black and white images from the Big Apple help to add to the ambience.

Another expertly chosen trip back in history with Berlin's 'Puttin' on the Ritz' in the superb Howard Snell arrangement - complete with cardboard cut out Nipper the dog, old gramophone and wind up MD. Didn't need the comedy ending with Frank, but the coda apperance of the old cleaner picking up Nipper's dog mess was very witty.

An odd segue to finish with 'Cossack Wedding Dance' - but it is delivered with real panache and vodka fuelled energy - with just enough time left to give things a belt with 'The Old Rugged Cross'.

Great choreography - all that was missing was sweet little baby Jesus himself....

Overall:

Cleverly aimed repertoire this from Alan Morrison and his band - expertly connecting with what the audience likes - nothing too left field, slick presentation and tunes they know.

It was very well delivere too - so it might do enough to secure another strong top six finish overall.


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 16:03:55

8. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

It's a theme based on the classic 'The Music Man' - all 76 trombones and all that. The big build up from Frank helps - with his exhortation from the film itself - and it just about works. It does come with carbon dated evidence of it's provenance though.

An interesting choice with the overture to 'Colas Breugnon' by Kabalevsky - a purple patch of raw excitment that is played with great energy and drive - and builds to what should have been a cracking climax - but the last note is a damp squib.

The trip down to Catfish Row and Porgy and Bess is well worth it with a lovely solo cornet lead from Richard Straker in 'Bess You Is My Woman Now' - great tunes never tire when played as well as this.

Not so sure about the leap of musical faith and segue to 'Defying Gravity' from 'Wicked' - and the same solo lead from the cornet. This is messy and untidy - all bathed in sickly green light. It's overblown and raucous. The audience love it though.

It's all Manhatten Transfer via Tredegar Band for the finale and Matt Hall's 'Nightingale Dances' - all energy, four flugels and variations on a theme to round off a very solid set that had plenty to enjoy and engage.

Overall:

Solid stuff that. MD wasn't afraid to delve into the musical archeological strata to dig out a few old classics - but they seemed to work better than the more modern stuff.

Just that curious leap of faith to include 'Wicked' - but overall a performance set that was well thought out and delivered.


General • Sunday 18, 15:49:31

Results: Youth & Junior Ensemble

Youth Section:

Adjudicator: John Doyle & Mark Walters

embedded picture
2015 Butlins Mineworkers Championship: Wardle High School Youth

1. Wardle Academy (Lee Rigg)
2. Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans)
3. Gresley Colliery Youth (Duncan Jackson)
4. Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)

Best Soloist: Laura Conway (cornet) - Wardle Academy

Junior Ensemble

Adjudicator: John Doyle & Mark Walters

embedded picture
2015 Butlins Mineworkers Championship: Wardle Junior

1. Wardle Junior (Gwen Smith)
2. Shirland Training (Lynden Cooper)
3. Youth Brass 1000 (Cathy Fountain)
4. Wigston Enterprise (Pat Allsopp)

Best Soloist: Luke Newbury (horn) - Shirland Training
Youngest Player: Harry Drawn (Gresley Colliery Youth)


General • Sunday 18, 15:33:06

Youth Section

Before results ceremony, a massive congratulations to Butlins for their commitment to this contest. Also thanks to Judith & Ian Beckett who are the contest controllers - they provided us with all the programmes of music in advance. Thank you to you both.


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 15:22:05

7. Woodfalls (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)

A typical PLC opener to start things off with a fizz bomb bang - and his full fat, turbo energy 'Horizons'. Cracking, if rather familiar stuff - but it's one that the audience lap up with unbridled enthusiasm.

Paul Duffy (ex of the manor of Black Dyke) takes to the trombone to lead off with the classic Duke Ellington standard, 'Don't Get Around Much Anymore'.

All multiphonics and smiles - and then he takes to the trumpet to steam a few screamers out too. A question mark or two over the pace of things - The Duke was more laid back with his take on things - but then again he didn't opt for a trumpet/trom duet.

The Jonathan Bates 'Old London Town' is an effective contrast - although a bit easy sounding. All that was missing was Liza Dollittle and Professor 'iggins meeting Dick Van Dyke halfway up a sooty chimney.

A bit of comedy and a neat take on 'La Danza' - with horn, flugel, sop, euph and xylophone - all adding to the ambience with Frank at the dinner table. Neatly done that - and lapped up again by the audience.

A little question mark over the PLC finale - 'The Tale of the Dragon', which sounds suspiciously like 'The Legend of the Blue Dragon' which was played at Brass in Conert by Leyland. Has our dragon changed colour to head to Skegness we wonder?

It's all up tempo Kung Fu Panda meets the old Disney classic 'One of our Dinosaurs is Missing' - but it is still very atmospheric, catchy and crowd pleasing and brings to a close a typical PLC planned set - with entertainment high on the agenda from start to finish.

Overall:

Another expertly planned and executed bit of entertainment fayre from PLC and his band. It was as frothy as a well poured latte coffee - and just as tasty for this audience.

A couple of question marks in places, but you wouldn't bet against it doing enough to push the band into a podium finish overall.


General • Sunday 18, 15:11:32

Youth Section Overview:

What a fine contest this has been with four cracking ensembles. In terms of picking a winner, Wardle has pushed Youth Brass 2000 very hard today and it will depend on how John Doyle and Mark Walters see it, but not much in it but Youth Brass 2000 by a nose for us.


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 14:52:53

6. Redbridge (Alan Duguid)

The Londoners take to the stage with the theme 'Music of the Americas' - and its a thumper to start with 'Chaos' - delivered with sparkle and energy. Impressive playing that and it is followed by a subtle, tasteful arrangement of the Irving Berlin classic, 'How Deep is the Ocean'.

The use of four flugels and four troms gives this such a rich and warm texture, and the MD shapes the music with a caring hand too. Very engaging.

Not so sure about 'Black Bottom Stomp' to follow - played at a rather breakneck tempo complete with cracking washboard lead and sousaphone foundation. Don't quite know what the wonderful Jelly Roll Morton would have thought of this though - it needed less pace to really get that slightly mischievous rag time feel.

Eric Whitacre's 'October' is a nicely balanced contrast - all cold, deep lying fogs, husky breath and melancholic feelings of summer lost, whilst a new arrangement by the MD on a old pot boiler with the finale of Dvorak's 'New World Symphony' rounds things off.

A traditional ending - but one that left you feeling a bit flat - the USA is no longer quite as 'Harry Spankers' 'new' now - and this one doesn't really bring things thrillingly to life either. The original quiet final chord is a surprise too, but the band shoot straight into the 'Estancia' which gives things a better, if oddly attached climax.

Overall:

An engaging theme that nearly came off. There were some real classy highlights on show here - and playing of high quality too, but the Dvorak was a bit of a let down.

Certainly a different one - and the two quieter items contained some of the best playing of the day so far. Don't know if it will feature highly today, but it could force its way into the top six overall.


General • Sunday 18, 14:47:03

Youth Section:

4. Gresley Colliery Youth (Duncan Jackson)

Gresley opens up with ‘633 Squadron’ which is a good old opener played with enthusiasm and polish.

The film theme continues with the tender sounds of ‘Schindlers List’—we’ve not heard too many quiet pieces today, but this is excellently delivered.

Steve Sykes’ take on ‘Eve of the War’ is nicely done, although it tests the stamina of the youngsters.

The required staple of the hymn tune ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ includes a confident trio of players—well balanced and connected to each other. The ensemble dynamics are excellent.

To close, music which sums up the whole day in Reds, a happy clappy rendition of ‘Happy’.

It rounds off a very enjoyable programme.


General • Sunday 18, 14:12:00

Youth Section

3. Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans)

The defending champions open their bid for their seventh title on the trot with a tight & disciplined account of Rimmer’s march, ‘The Cossack’, complete with excellent dynamics.

The hymn tune, ‘Abide With Me’, evolves with real musicality. The ensemble is tight, but again the dynamics ensure fine contrast. Excellent playing.

The reprise of last year’s National Youth Championship test piece, Sparke’s ‘Evolution: Five States of Change’ (which is also the challenge for Third Section bands at the Regionals in March) sees the ensemble overcome the technical and musical challenges so well.

Tight, disciplined, it’s good band playing and musicianship and they can’t have done any more today to regain their title.


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 13:53:49

5. Thoresby Colliery (Leigh Baker)

A curious start with the trombone led 'With a Little Help from my Friends' - which somehow lacks thumping impact despite being short and sweet. The choreography is simple enough, but it just sounds a tad flat.

Ben Hollins' 'Momentum' to flow more than makes up for things though - played with such vibrancy, pulse and drive. This was much more like it - bold and brilliant.

Leigh Baker's subtle homage to miners and bandsmen lost in 'Dedication' is wonderful stuff. Warm, simple, tender and poignant - with a lovely coda with the last few bars of 'Journey into Freedom'. That was a musical highlight.

Euph soloist Ian McCormick is on top notch form with Paul Nero's famous 'Hot Canary' - played with tweety pie innocent brilliance. He sounded so at ease here - a touch of real élan.

A Rolling Stones classic to close with 'Paint it Black' - which starts slowly but builds in drama and momentum. Not quite Keith, Mick and the lads on best Altmont form - but still an audience pleaser all right with a neat touch of audience participation.

A clever coda too with a reprise of 'Little Help' that rounds things off with a well aimed touch of aplomb,

Overall:

A well planned out and delivered set this from Leigh Baker and his band. Nothing too left field and with a quite superb central moment of thougtful lyricism.

The MD knows how to appeal to an audience like this - so the Rolling Stones addition may have sounded upbeat but very familiar, whilst the Paul Nero euph solo was also a touch of familiar virtuosity. A set that may see the band push for an overall podium place.


General • Sunday 18, 13:46:17

Youth Section:

2. Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)

It’s memories of ‘Brassed Off!’ to start with a well paced account of ‘Death or Glory’

The cornet soloist displays a lovely warmth and lots of composure as he plays ‘Be Thou My Vision’.

The Sixteenth century renaissance ‘Ronde’ is certainly a different challenge for the band. MD keeps a tight reign on things and the pull it off well.

Chris Wormald’s arrangement of ‘Crimond’ builds with confidence as it goes along—just a few uncertain moments, but closes confidently.

The finale from the Grand March from ‘AIDA’ is a brave old choice—stamina sapping it may be, but the band digs deep to end their programme.

A fine performance throughout with lots to admire.


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 13:10:56

4. Aveley & Newham (Richard Ward)

The Londoners opt for a trip to the musical theatre - starting with Monterverdi's overture excerpt from 'l'Orfeo' followed by Howard Snell's simply stunning arrangement of Gershwin's 'American in Paris'.

Brave, interesting choices - and well played too. The choreographed opening is simple but effective, but it is the elegant sophistication of Gershwin to follow that warms the cockles of the heart. Bravo MD - so well shaped and and styled on both pieces.

Another simple yet so sophisticated choice with the horn solo 'Send in the Clowns' - played with tenderness and poignancy by David Howell. No need for the imagery - which was a peculiar mix anyway - as the quality of the solo and the soloist stood out. That was very classy sir - very classy indeed.

The old tub thumping 'SirAlan' meets Prokofiev in 'Montegues and Capulets' seems curiously weak by comparison to what has gone before - not helped by the mixed imagery once more, but what a left field choice with music from 'Spamalot' - complete with comedy singers on 'The Song that goes like This'.

Well now - well now. Neat little brass band lyrics - and played to the comedy hilt, it works - short, sharp and quick witted - and the following 'Defying Gravity' from the stage show and film 'Wicked' is well aimed lightweight choice - catchy and popular.

Overall:

What an interesting and enjoyable set - although it just tailed away a little with the sugar coated ending and the rather weak Prokofiev insert.

Lots to commend about the playing though - especially the main soloists and the horn main feature, and the MD, who opened up a few new directions and timely reprises.

A much different band today - a one full of musical promise. Something different - and so welcome for it.


General • Sunday 18, 13:10:39

Youth Section:

1. Wardle Academy (Lee Rigg)

‘Prismatic Light’ is a cracking Alan Fernie fizzler that is played with the upmost of confidence.

The hymn tune, ‘Old Hundreth’ features cornets either side of the stage taking the lead backed by impressive ensemble.

Alford’s ‘On the Quarter Deck’, bristles along with energy and great dynamics—very much a strength of the band.

‘Sunset’ is another homage to the Great War showcasing three cornet players complete with the Last Post, all respectfully done.

To close, the uplifting ‘I’ll Walk With God’ is tender and pulls at the heart strings as it builds to the finale. Very impressive indeed.

It round’s off a great programme, which will take some beating.


General • Sunday 18, 13:09:40

Junior Section Overview

What a cracking contest that was, with each ensemble really delivering the goods. John Doyle, Mark Walyers got plenty to ponder, but very little for the title between Youth Brass 1000 and Wardle Acadamy/

There's a break of around ten minutes now before we hear four Youth bands.

Results at end of Youth Section.


General • Sunday 18, 12:52:59

Junior Ensemble

4. Shirland Training (Lynden Cooper)

Well now, what a start, a talented tenor horn stands to play the opening bars on his own of 'Calan Lan'. This is then backed by well judged ensemble playing.

The tenor horn player returns, to give a cracking account of ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ nicely phrased and delivered with confidence.

To conclude, a belter of a ‘Children’s March’ complete with various nursery rhymes and played with real gusto.


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 12:37:23

3. Flowers (Paul Holland)

Five new premiere works according to the comedy imagery of Her Majesty the Queen - starting with the Jonathan Bates take on 'God Save the Queen'.

Tempting treasonable fate with calling her a fibber - but what about their Brass in Concert programme a few months back then? We will wait and see Brenda my old love...

David Childs playing 'Gypsy Airs' has been heard before - but when you won't tire of hearing it again and again when it is delivered with such clarity, style and sheer breathtaking virtuosity as this by David Childs. What a treat for everyone here.

Another BiC reprise with the quartet led 'Empire of the Sun' film music 'Cadillac of the Skies' - complete with small screen excerpts from the film itself. It's a powerful combination that works, and works well.

Their set is rounded off with another Gateshead repeat with 'Upon the Celtic Cross' by Jonathan Bates - complete with dry ice, chanting monks and fizz, whizz technique.

This is a high class playing - so precise, bold, balanced and pulsating with Druidic passion. The music does move around a bit in its stylistic patterns, but it is so well delivered that you can forgive it for that.

Overall:

The £10,000 first prize is heading back to Flowers after that - hard to see it being beaten today by anyone.

The £1,000 entertainment prize may be heading their way too - with such a polished programme - despite the obvious faux pas of Her Majesty lying through her comic book teeth to start.

There was a stamp of authority about this that can only be imposed by a band of this class.


General • Sunday 18, 12:30:45

Junior Ensemble

3. Wardle Junior (Gwen Smith)

The opening march to the 'Great War' is a little fizzler—cracking tempos and so neat and tidy. All that’s needed is some war veterans having a singalong.

The trio of euphonium players combine well in 'Londonderry Air', all supported by ensemble playing that again is neat and secure.

'Bare Necessities' is an absolute hoot—you can see the smiles on the players faces, loved every minute of it.

'Abide with Me' is disciplined and so well controlled—effective dynamics.

The closing 'Bandstand Boogie' showcases this multi talented ensemble—each section displaying what they can and nothing is over the top when it comes to dynamics.

Well done all, great stuff.


General • Sunday 18, 12:19:29

Junior Ensemble

2. Wigston Enterprise (Pat Allsopp)

Jonny Bates’ quirky Punchinello meets Nellie the Elephant entitled 'Punchinellie' is a great little starter, full of passion and balanced sounds.

The first movement from Bruce Fraser’s 'Miniature Concerto' features a talented soloist, nerves of steel especially in the tricky moments.

'Nearer My God to Thee' grows in confidence as the verses progress—soloists do great.

Now then, the percussion team get in on the act, with the cracking 'African Funk'—you sense the band has been looking forward to this one—they gave it everything. Great stuff rounding off another excellent programme.


General • Sunday 18, 12:04:59

Junior Ensemble

Programme of Music not to exceed 10 minutes but must include a hymn tune
Adjudicator: John Doyle & Mark Walters

1. Youth Brass 1000 (Cathy Fountain)

The opening march 'Simmoraine' is a great start. Taken at a steady tempo with the principal cornet and euphoniums standing to play their solo contributions. Nerves, you must be kidding..

'Dear Lord & Father of Mankind' is full of warmth and effective dynamics—well done band & MD.

Music from 'Pirates of the Caribbean' gives the band to really show off its talents. Effective ensemble with soloists standing to play from memory—no shortage of confidence on display.

A great way to close a cracking set


General • Sunday 18, 11:57:03

Youth Section:

Morning from the Youth Section. We are about five minutes away from starting the Youth Contest. We get underway with four Junior Ensembles who have to play for a maximum of ten minutes and must include a march and a hymn tune.

The two judges are John Doyle & Mark Walters.

Great atmosphere in Reds. Come and join us.....


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 11:52:54

2. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

The sounds of the Saturn V moon rocket and countdown see GUS explode into life with the tasty opener 'Launch' by Ben Tubb - that leads into the equally pulsating 'Backlash' by Simon Dobson.

Don't quite think the iconic images of the great 1969 take off and space flight works on the small screens each side of the stage, but the Dobson does - although it perhaps neded a touch more dynamic contrast. Interesting combination that.

What a wonderful piece of tasteful, sumptuous trumpet playing from James Fountain on 'Memories of You' - a real showcase of controlled class. Not quite the same league in the style of the accompaniment at times, but the solo line was the focal point - and what a focal point too.

The arrangement of Evanepoel's 'Chorale of Hope' is a display of fine brass band ensemble playing - neatly (if a little obviously) linked to the 'Je Suis Charlie' images. The wonderful playing kept this on the right side of things, but it was a little close to being needlessly over sentimentalised by the imagery - espeically as they also played this at Brass in Concert.

The finale from Shostokovich's 'Symphony No 5' is a bold choice to close - and brings the best out of the band - especially the superb sop. It's robust and musical - with building drama and a touch of pathos too.

Overall:

A display of strong brass band virtues here - with balance to the programme content and an outstanding soloist.

The only question marks were over some style issues and the real need to have the imagery. Big images on big screens to convey a big message work - on the little screens here it seems a touch cheap.

Safe, solid with just enough sparkle - but it is also eminently beatable.


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 10:52:56

1. Wantage Silver (Philip Bailey)

It's the fizzy bop stuff to start with 'Los Hermanos de Bop' - played with a rather over precise straight laced style - as if you had walked onto a LA dance floor wearing a new bright coloured shirt your mother had washed with too much starch.

The 'Dreaded Groove and Hook' follows on - played with a thump and a pulse - but again you have that feeling that it's not quite dark and dangerous enough to get you really 'hooked' line and sinker.

Mike Wallbridge is the featured soloist on the second movement of Gareth Wood's 'Dance Sequence' which doesn't feel quite at ease. It was nervous and tentative. A real pity.

Finally the band comes to life and shows its quality with 'Gypsy Dance' by Rob Wiffin - full sounds, a touch of Romany drama and flame haired excitement - a touch different and wicked with abandonment.

Something has gone dreadfully wrong here. Has no one thought of getting the electric violin in tune - it's about a tone and half out in the Moulin Rouge feature 'Tango de Roxanne'. My sweet lord - poor Sarah Jane Humphries swaps her principal cornet role for the electric violin - but it sounds as in tune as a musical electric toaster.

Nicole Kidman would have been found swinging from the top of the Moulin Rouge windmill after that. No excuse for getting this basic element so wrong at this level.

A brave recovery with the 'Fire' finale from Khachaturian 'Symphony No 2' - which is very well played with drive, passion and bold authority, and the little encore coda of 'Boogie Wonderland' without conductor added a neat Earth, Wind and Fire close.

Overall:

A real hit and miss affair here - the hits were decent, but this misses were a country mile off. Some nerves on show and some style elements were questionable, but not being able to get a violin even remotely in tune for a major item was inexcusable.

A brave dance concept but one that didn't come off - and the damage was self inflicted.


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 10:51:42

Welcome everyone to the second leg of the Championship Section contest at Butlins Skegness.

We are about 10 minutes away from the action starting here this morning - with Frank Renton as our host.

Should be an interesting contest - with Flowers and Virtuosi GUS most probably the favourites after yesterday, but with the likes of Woodfalls and Thoresby still on their coat tails - just.

Plenty to play for then....


General • Sunday 18, 09:28:28

In Reds at 12 noon, the Butlins Youth Championships take place. The draws were made in advance of the weekend and are as follows:

Draw: Junior Ensemble

Sunday 18th January
Venue: Reds
Draw: Pre-drawn
Commence: 12 noon


Programme of Music not to exceed 10 minutes but must include a hymn tune
Adjudicator: John Doyle & Mark Walters

1. Youth Brass 1000 (Cathy Fountain)
2. Wigston Enterprise (Pat Allsopp)
3. Wardle Junior (Gwen Smith)
4. Shirland Training (Lynden Cooper)

Draw: Youth Section

Sunday 18th January
Venue: Reds
Draw: Pre-drawn
Commence: at the conclusion of the Junior Ensembles

Programme of Music not to exceed 20 minutes but must include a march and a hymn tune
Adjudicator: John Doyle & Mark Walters

1. Wardle High School Youth (Lee Rigg)
2. Enderby Youth (Trevor Hounsome)
3. Youth Brass 2000 (Chris Jeans)
4. Gresley Colliery Youth (Duncan Jackson)


Championship Section • Sunday 18, 09:25:28

At 11.00am this morning in Centre Stage, the nine Championship Section bands will continue their battle for honours in the entertainment section.

The draw which was made on Saturday evening is as follows:

Draw: Championship Section
Sunday 18th January

Venue: Centre Stage
Draw: Saturday evening
Commence: 11.00am
Entertainment Contest
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and Chad Shoopman

1. Wantage A (Phillip Bailey)
2. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)
3. Flowers (Paul Holland)
4. Aveley & Newham (Richard Ward)
5. Thoresby Colliery (Leigh Baker)
6. Redbridge Brass (Alan Duguid)
7. Woodfalls (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)
8. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
9. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Alan Morrison)


General • Sunday 18, 07:58:12

4BR Editor Iwan Fox meets Chris North, composer of the delightful 'Five French Masters' in the Fourth Section at the Butlins Mineworkers Championship.


General • Saturday 17, 23:05:36

4BR Editor Iwan Fox meets the winners of the First, Second, Third and Fourth Sections at Skegness this year


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 22:43:30

Full results from Sections 1-4:

embedded picture
2015 Butlins Mineworkers Championship: Winners Together

First Section

Saturday 17th January
Venue: Reds
Draw: 9.00am
Commence: 10.00am

Test Piece: 'Three Folk Songs Settings for Brass Band' - Andrew Boysen Jnr. arr Mike Kilmartin
Adjudicators: David Thornton and Chad Shoopman

embedded picture
2015 Butlins Mineworkers Championship: Winners - Unite the Union

1. Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) (David Hirst)
2. Oakland University Brass (Kenneth Kroesche)
3. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (Simon Platford)
4. Enderby (Simon Jones)
5. Hebden Bridge (Trevor Halliwell)
6. Becontree Brass (Nigel Taken)
7. Fulham Brass (John Ward)
8. Ipswich & Norwich Co-op (Ian Johnson)
9. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)
10. Langley (Cliff Parker)
11. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
12. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
13. Leicester Co-operative SMW (Graham Jacklin)
14. Diggle (Alan Wycherley)
15. Mossley (Duncan Byers)
16. Gresley Colliery (Simon Jones)
17. Whitworth Vale & Healey (John Binns)
18. Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Mark Wilcockson)
19. Harborough (Chris Groom))

Highest Placed Mining Band: Leicester Co-operative SMW (Graham Jacklin)


Second Section

Saturday 17th January
Venue: Lakeside
Draw: 8.50am
Commence: 10.00am

Test Piece: 'Phoenix' - David Holling
Adjudicators: Alwyn Green and David Horsfield

embedded picture
2015 Butlins Mineworkers Championship: Winners - Eccles Borough

1. Eccles Borough (Mareika Gray)
2. Haydock (Mark Quinn)
3. Colchester (David Maddocks)
4. Amington (Bob Stradling)
5. Emley Brass (Garry Hallas)
6. Kippax (Keiron Anderson)
7. Cawston (David Stowell)
8. Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)
9. Pemberton Old Wigan DW ‘B’ (Peter Ashley)
10. Rushden Town (John Hudson)
11. Dronfield Genquip (Simon Kerwin)
12. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)
13. Tilbury (Andrew Austin)

Highest Placed Mining Band: Haydock (Mark Quinn)


Third Section

Saturday 17th January
Venue: Royal Arthur Suite
Draw: 8.40am
Commence: 10.30am

Test Piece: 'Woodland Pictures' - Percy Fletcher arr Nigel Hall
Adjudicators: Kevin Wadsworth and Mark Walters

embedded picture
2015 Butlins Mineworkers Championship: Winners - Stamford Brass

1. Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
2. Golborne (Matthew Whitfield)
3. Hucknall & Linby (Paul Whyley)
4. Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston)
5. Coppull & Standish (Matt Stringer)
6. Boarshurst Silver (James Garlick)
7. Worsbrough Brass (John Roberts)
8. Foss Dyke (Simon Oates)
9. Old Hall Brass (John North)
10. Crofton Silver (Kevin Belcher)
11. Dodworth Colliery (M.W.) (Eliot J Darwin)
12. BMP Goodshaw (Mike Cotter)
13. Dunston Silver (Steven Archer)
14. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
15. Greenfield (Tom Haslam)
16. Maltby Miners Welfare (Terry Clifford)
17. Melton Band (Graham Sutton)
18. Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes (Steven Askew)


Highest Placed Mining Band: Golborne (Matthew Whitfield)


Fourth Section

Saturday 17th January
Venue: Centre Stage
Draw: 8.30am
Commence: 9.30am

Test Piece: 'Five French Masters' - Chris North

embedded picture
Chris North, composer of 'Five French Masters'

Adjudicators: David Ashworth and John Doyle

embedded picture
2015 Butlins Mineworkers Championship: Winners - Sale Brass

1. Sale Brass (Joshua Hughes)
2. Skelmerdale Prize (David Chapman)
3. Whitwell Brass (Bob Woffinden)
4. Sherwood Forest Brass (Christine Lippeatt)
5. Brighton & Hove City Brass (Matt Hackett)
6. Ynyshir (Gary Davies)
7. Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Keith Buxton)
8. Thurcroft Welfare (Matthew Wright)
9. Syston (Dennis Powell)
10. Banovallum Brass (Steve Ingham)
11. East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)
12. Woodbridge Excelsior (C J Lewis-Garnham)

Highest Placed Mining Band: Whitwell Brass (Bob Woffinden)


Championship Section • Saturday 17, 17:33:44

Championship Section Round up and prediction:

An interesting first leg of action here at Skegness - helped by a very interesting and absorbing work by Tom Davoren.

The succesful bands today were able to show the contrasts and dichotomies posed by the raw and at times visceral emotions of fear and hope, pain and comfort, doubt and course. Those who were able to tap into the visceral veins linking to the heart gained most - despite little errors.

For us the quality shone through one more - with Flowers and Virtuosi GUS a good few lengths ahead of the rest of the field which is topped by Woodfalls in third. It's nip and tuck at the top but the extra depth of power and precision of Flowers just gives it the nod for us.

Woodfalls showed enough to be secure in third today, with Thoresby, Wantage, and EYMS making up .out top six ahead of the rather anonymous sounding Redbridge, Friary Guildford and Aveley & Newham.

4BR Prediction:

1. Flowers
2. Virtuosi GUS
3. Woodfalls
4. Thoresby
5. Wantage
6. EYMS
7. Redbridge
8. Friary Guildford
9. Aveley & Newham


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 17:05:21

Section 1: Final thoughts

The opening First Section contest of the year lasting over six and half hours can be best described as frustrating and disappointing at times today. A number of the bands just didn’t manage to bring out the detail or get the style right.

Those that thought it was easier than at first glance will want to dust themselves down quickly ahead of the next contest.

Those that pulled off the various layers of the musical onion skin courtesy of intuitive MDs should get rewarded.

The judge’s thoughts will be interesting for sure—two very astute musicians who will have plenty to ponder throughout the day.

Credit goes to soprano players who did a fine job throughout, along with those that stayed in wrapped up with numerous layers on in a very cold Reds today.

4BR Prediction:

The cream really did rise to the top today, with a only a handful being in with a serious shout of being able to sing a folk song or two later tonight.

Personal preference may count in the box but we have it between Unite the Union, Oakland, Mossley, Longridge, Hebden Bridge, Fulham

1. Unite the Union
2. Oakland
3. Mossley
4. Longridge
5. Hebden Bridge
6. Fulham

Dark Horse: Jackfield


Championship Section • Saturday 17, 17:00:57

9. Aveley & Newham (Richard Ward)

A scrappy opening just lacks the in depth authority to really make an impact - but we do hear the inner detail and the increasing depth of fearfulness. The lack of precision in the rhythmic structures is shown though - and we don't get that pulsating Nyman sounding ground bass foundation.

Much better in the following sections - and MD is one of the few to really expose the soft underbelly of the music - so well crafted and shaped. The pain is obvious - if not exactly slashed wrists wrenching stuff, but the comfort of elegance and optimisom shines through. One of the few to make these section really understandable today.

The final two elements though are a mess though - a tired band unable to capture the creeping doubt or the contrasting fleet footed courage that will eventually lead to a triumphant end. A pity - it all comes to something of an anti climax to close.n


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 16:51:28

Section 1:
19. Langley (Cliff Parker)

Starts off ok with good intention, but not everything locks into gear in the way the MD and band would like.

There is some fine playing, but it is mixed with a few unforeseen slips at times, but it concludes well and confidently.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 16:32:20

Section 1:
18. Hebden Bridge (Trevor Halliwell)

The opening isn’t too bad, it’s a touch cautious at times though, but confidence grows throughout. All credit to the soprano, it’s not without a wobble or two, but they dig in deep.

The final Scarborough Fair is a tasty, tidy offering full of musical colour and good percussion. Plenty to admire but not totally secure throughout to really be in with a shout today.


Championship Section • Saturday 17, 16:31:10

8. Redbridge (Alan Duguid)

An untidy opening section takes time to find its elemental footing - pointed but so imprecise and the fall into the darker caverns of a broken heart isn't handled well either. There is a lack of ensemble blend - so the foundation drive is so wayward.

Some lovely moments in solo lines (euph and cornet) but the ensemble work is so lack lustre - no sense of fear or hopefulness either as a result - just meandering blandness. When MD catches the pulse it works well - but it's like fishing with a blunt hook here.

You get what the MD is trying to achieve with the broad stroke approach to delving into the emotional core - but it can only work if the basics are solid and supportive - and they are not. This is struggling to make sense for us.

The final twins of doubt and courage are better defined, but it has taken so long to be revealed. A tired band just can't draw inner strength to make a triumphant claim for courageous glory.

A strangely unengaging performance this....


Championship Section • Saturday 17, 16:17:47

7. Thoresby Colliery (Leigh Baker)

A slightly lighter approach to start, but still with the pointed, clear articulation that the composer asks for - and it leads into a dark hued ground base foundation that has drive and pulse. There is character to this - if a little emotion 'lite' at the moment.

The fearfulness draws the music on and deeper into the recesses of a broken heart, but comfort is also shown with lyrical optimism, blended sounds and balance.

It does need a much harsher, nastier sense of wrenched longing though - this is a bit too nice and controlled. Lips tremble with emotion, but it needs to be on the edge of blubbering wreck.

The final contrast are well contrasted though - doubt overcome with joyful, almost playful triumph - neat filigree work and conscientious balances in the ensemble. Could do with a little more juice in the engine for the closing chapters, but the final few moments are played with conviction to round off a well managed performance.


General • Saturday 17, 16:16:15

Section 3: Prediction:

It's been a long but enjoybale day listening to 18 very different versions of Woodland Pictures - and we think the band's may well have enjoyed this different type of music making - even if many won't say so too loudly.

The solos were key in the middle section and many bands did struggle but some of the playing was as good as any you would here in the t section this weekend we are sure.

Thre were 4 or 5 very good performances that will for us make a mark in the box - but then it is a bit of a lottery.

4BR Prediction:

1. Ifton Colliery
2. Stamford Brass
3. Old Hall Brass
4. Golborne
5. Foss Dyke
6. Boarshurst Silver


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 16:11:00

Section 1:
17. Harborough (Chris Groom)

It’s not a bad opening from Harborough, just a few uncomfortable moments. The second movement isn’t too bad with the soprano making an impression, but Harborough not first today to be caught out by intonation.

We’ve had the classic inconsistent performance here—the good stuff is mixed in with errors which takes the edge off.


Championship Section • Saturday 17, 16:01:14

6. Flowers (Paul Holland)

Powerful, precise and pointed to open - a statement of intent if ever there was one. That dark drive continues - but there are some notable unforced errors in the back row. Tremendous sense of depth to the ground bass Nyman foundation though and the counterpoint of dancing hope is fully realised through solo lines.

More quality as we progress - and we get to hear small nuance and subtle dynamic variances. The emotion is restrained somewhat though - not quite as wrenching as you may have imagined - not quite the pain of a heart ripped from its emotional moorings.

A few more moments of discomfort arise though - but MD regains control and keeps the lid on things - just bubbling Mickey thank you. Some messy moments as we head for home, but then we get playing of the highest quality - so well balanced, clean and precise.

It's a triumphant dance to the close - but the final chord is a mess - split asunder. Just makes a deep pockmarked scratch on the deeply polished veneer of a high class performance.


General • Saturday 17, 15:53:40

Section 3:
18. Stamford Brass (Rob Prew)

A top class opening was one of the best of a long day here - well worth waiting for - and the atmosphere it creates is splendid.

It just gets a little over blown and harsh in the middle section as the MD really searches for the passionate undercurrent - but what a classy flugel. That was superb stuff. Some question marks over triplet rhythms form the upper band in the finale, but what excitement and drive. A cracking climax to the contest.


General • Saturday 17, 15:52:52

Section 3:
17. KP Cleethorpes Band (Steven Askew)

A tentative start does not help the band - and they struggle to overcome the challenges of the more exposed sections of writing.

When they did they produce such a nice, warm balanced ensemble sound - not overblown either. There seems to be a bit of a reluctance to follow the MDs desire to increase pace in places in the finale but they eventually catch on and produce some wonderfully spirited playing for a rousing climax.

A pity the tentative opening took so long to shrug off.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 15:50:38

Section 1:
16. Longridge (Mark Peacock)

Impressive opening from Longridge—plenty of musical intent in the approach that was effective. It’s all tastefully done, nothing overdone. MD just lets the band play and they bring the music to life.

Once more there is real purpose and thought from MD Mark Peacock—he doesn’t overcook it in anyway—the music breathes with a nice pulse and closes with conviction. One that may not be that far away today……………


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 15:31:39

Section 1:
15. Fulham Brass (John Ward)

It’s a confident start well thought out, but nervousness is in evidence, which impacts on the ending of the section The MD again brings out some nice warm sounds from the band, it’s all tastefully done.

Scarborough Fair is a nice little ditty, effortlessly done with some good playing and not pushing the boundaries at all. It leads to a well judged ending. Interesting reading and performance for sure.


Championship Section • Saturday 17, 15:24:12

5. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Alan Morrison)

A solid start - bold and precise has that pointed sense of spikes purpose, and it soon moves into darker territory with the Nyman sounding ground bass themes. It's tethered well by the MD as they explore fear and hope.

Pain and comfort are treated with respect - not quite with the heart on sleeve emotional impact that seems to be asked from the score - but enough to make sure your get the right feelings of love won and lost.

It loses focus soon after this though - untidy in solo lines and ensemble, but MD brings things back on track with directness and authority. Perhaps they were really playing he doubt card as required by the composer - as the triumphant ending does speak of courage.

Not everything came off here - but overall this was a solid, well manged account that delivered a performance of substance and merit.


General • Saturday 17, 15:23:15

3. Wantage (Philip Bailey)

A bold start has a spiked sense of impact and intent - neatly packaged and precise. The music rather falls into the darker elements of the Nymanesque ground base theme - and it is increasingly untidy in the ensemble playing.

The sense of fear isn't foreboding enough? A little hesitant in places although the dancing filigree work is well delivered and the MD finally gets the contrast to reveal themselves in full.

Again - there are certain elemental emotions that need to have a visceral edge - this is a little too well mannered. The wrenching sense of loss has a darker, perhaps more sinister edge than that shown here.

Thre final two sections are much better delivered - led by fine euph and cornet, but a tired band can't quite lift itself despite the obvious courage, for a truly triumphant ending.


Section 3:
16. Crofton Silver (Kevin Belcher)

A performance of missed opportunities this - a fine reading, great ensemble sounds, but a hotch potch bag of unforced errors, nerves and laxity that took the gloss of such a promising approach.

Unlucky perhaps, but the players will know that this was a real missed chance to get themselves in with a real shout for the big prizes. So much musical flow, subtle shaping of phrases and ensemble texture. The finale is their best playing - but too little too late. If only.....


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 15:11:45

Section 1 :
14. Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) (David Hirst)

A bold & committed opening from Unite. It’s not often today we’ve heard so much detail played with security. Some lovely warm sounds on offer in a section full of control and intuitive understanding of what the MD intended—something so many have missed today.

Poised and effective opening to final movement that is full of Yorkshire pride, passion and good playing. It ends a reading where they are really in the mix for honours.


Championship Section • Saturday 17, 15:04:36

4. Woodfalls (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)

Stridently pointed opening soon moves into ground bass territory, but there is a question mark over the accuracy and precision of the rhythms now and again.

There is a breadth of clarity to the reading by the MD and we hear a great deal of inner detail - although strangely the contrasts in emotions are not as stark as you thought they would be.

Main soloists do well - espeically euph and cornet and then we get more emotion with the gut wrenching elements. MD now delves deep into the heart and pulls the strings of love and loss - it's malleable stuff. Perhaps just loses the intense focus required - but it was well enough handled.

Oddly, the final two elements sound a little non description - as if the heart has given up hope. It rallies with spirit, but a tired sounding band is now running on empty in the last stages - and sounding drained. Just makes it to the finishing line of what has been a performance of interest.


General • Saturday 17, 15:03:44

Section 3:
15. Greenfield (Tom Haslam)

It's a slow burner this - especially after a nasty opening few bars that took time to settle. A steadier pace then most today allows the music to breath - especially in the middle section which is full of lyrical intent.

This section has been one of the best today - flowing naturally with fine solo leads and careful phrase shaping. The finale is a little over blown in places, but it has drive and pulse - despite the occasional nasty clip and smudge or two. Horns deserve a special mention though - excellent throughout in a performance of merit.


General • Saturday 17, 14:56:17

Section 3:
14. Melton Band (Graham Sutton)

A performance that never really came to life this - despite moments when you thought it was going to blossom into something of real note.

Nerves and ensemble, fragilities played their part - and despite the hard work of the MD the confidence seemed to ebb away - especially in the middle section.

Every band gets a day like this now and again - but this was one of them. Perc and others do so well, but this will be one the collective won't remember fondly.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 14:51:30

Section 1 :
13. Mossley (Duncan Byers)

The Lancastrians start off in a composed and confident manner with plenty to admire—this has been thought out with an understanding of what the composer wanted. Soprano sings nicely at the back of the stage—delicate and musical. There’s a nice feel to the section throughout—credit to the MD, he knows where the musical potholes are and has done everything he can to make sure his troops don’t fall down them.

The red rose outfit doff their musical caps respectfully to the white rose county with musical respect to the traditional tune. There’s a nice sense of balanced ensemble and rhythmic control although a few lapses towards the end.


General • Saturday 17, 14:48:46

Section 3:
13. Worsborough (John Roberts)

One of the very openings of the day was full of rich promise, but it never quite materialised - what a pity.

The middle section was so musically laid out, but poor intonation took the shine off things. Clips and unforced errors also proved costly too - as if the bucolic walkers caught their ankles on a few nettles. Euphonium shines, but this hasn't really come off.

A spirited response to close, but a little too late you sense. If only they could have captured that initial confidence and quality and bottled it all the way through.


General • Saturday 17, 14:43:45

Section 3:
12. Old Hall Brass (John North)

Now then - this one popped out of just about nowhere - and what an inspired reading by the MD.

Took risks and asked a great deal of his players on each of the movements - but it all came off. Just the odd nasty slip, but it didn't really spoil things too much. They are a very loud band in places - perhaps a little OTT - but you have to say, it is good stuff. The finale is a case in point - right on the edge - and just over in places, but so exciting.

Very enjoybale, but perhaps an acquired taste in the box?


Championship Section • Saturday 17, 14:38:07

2. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

Pointed pulse and presence from the word go here - and it continues with that Nymanesque foundation on which the opening is set - played with a touch of classy poise and ensemble commitment.

The secondary love pairing is contrasted with growing emotional impact too - led by splendid cornet and sop with euph as the counterpoint. Just gets a little overwrought in places, but the composer does ask for its to be almost gut wrenching.

The final pairing is played with neat joyfulness against blender balances - all moving inexorably to a triumphant conclusion. MD has played a cool and calculating musical hand with his interpretation - only occasionally going for the overtly visceral - and it has worked very well too.

A very competent, classy performance.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 14:30:49

Section 1 :
12. Ipswich & Norwich Co-op (Ian Johnson)

It’s a confident & composed start although one or two unforced errors creep in to take the sheen off a touch. There’s a gentile feel to the middle folk song—soprano takes leave of his to deliver an impressive solo contribution. Nice section this, that closes well.

Scarborough Fair proves to be purposeful musical homage—plenty of flair and energy—just the odd movement takes the edge off in the lower end of the band.


General • Saturday 17, 14:27:07

Section 3:
11. BMP Europe Goodshaw (Mike Cotter)

A slightly tentative start but from here on in it grows with purpose and confidence aplenty. If only they could have caught the piece by the scruff of the neck from the beginning.

Intonation problems just take the gloss off some high class playing in the middle section, but what a cracking finale - perhaps the best of the day. So much precision, drive, passion - and quality individual moments too led by wizard sop. Up there in with the big boys, but that opening may just cost a podium slot.


General • Saturday 17, 14:25:49

Section 3:
10. Maltby Miners Welfare (Terry Clifford)

An impressive start with solid soloists are a real feature in the opening movement of control and confidence here. If this carries on it could be good - but somehow it loses focus, and intonation problems arise in a rather non description second movement.

The recovery is almost immediate - led by excellent cornets and the band is back on track. MD is enjoying this and it shows as his band responds wonderfully well. Once again we hear excellent ensemble playing - bold and full of drive to the close.

The outer movements were very good here - just a pity it dipped a little in the central section.


Championship Section • Saturday 17, 14:19:38

1. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

A solid, confident opening has precision and flow - especially with the rhythmic almost Michael Nymanesque undercurrents.

There is a warmth to the ensemble balance - darkly hued and driven. It builds with purpose (despite occasional little mishaps) and the MD is keeping a tight rein on tempo and dynamics. Perhaps in need of more contrast of emotion, but it's not quite heart on sleeve stuff as yet.

When it does ask for more descriptive playing in the score, the band responds - not really as visceral as required, but it does have a sense of wrenching lose. The final pairing of emotional dichotomies are well handled, although the ensemble does lose focus and drive as they build to pulsating climax to close.

A solid unpretentious account this - and handled with a subtle hand by the MD.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 14:06:13

Section 1:
11. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)

City of Coventry starts in a composed and effective manner with lots to admire. The second movement sits well on the ear—just a few blemishes but plenty of admirable playing on display.

Scarborough Fair is full of colour, dynamics and percussion although not everything clicks into gear as it should have done. Not a bad one though.


General • Saturday 17, 14:05:57

Section 3:
9. Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston)

This was delivered on such commanding fashion that you take your hat off to the MD and players if we were wearing one.

Clean, classy, articulate and commanding in all lines - especially cornets to start. The are in control and command of the second movement too - but it is played with subtle textures and flow. Some moments of intonation, but it does not detract.

Last movement isn't the biggest sounding but the quality is - yes indeed. All round top notch stuff led by the soprano who was the pick of some very good individuals.


Championship Section • Saturday 17, 13:55:32

Draw:
Championship Section:
Set Work: Facets of the Heart (Tom Davoren)

Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts & Michael Fowles

1. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
2. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)
3. Wantage Silver Band (Philip Bailey)
4. Woodfalls (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)
5. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Alan Morrison)
6. Flowers (Paul Holland)
7. Thoresby Colliery (Leigh Baker)
8. Redbridge Brass (Alan Duguid)
9. Aveley & Newham (Richard Ward)


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 13:54:04

Section 1:

We're back under way now with City of Coventry and the Three Folk Song Settings, although with the cool temperature in Reds today, music from 'Frozen' would have been an apt choice.


General • Saturday 17, 13:40:27

Section 4:

All over in the Fourth Section and we have really enjoyed it - despite the chill in the Centre Stage venue.

Lots to commend about each of the performances too - with the MDs searching for the character in each of the five impressionist movements.

Of them though we think it could be Sale Brass just getting the nod over Whitwell with Sherwood Brass in third. After that it is up for grabs though with Ynyshir, Thurcroft and Skelmersdale.

4BR Prediction:

1. Sale Brass
2. Whitwell
3. Sherwood Brass
4. Ynyshir
5. Thurcroft
6. Skelmersdale


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 13:32:40

Section 1: Half way thoughts

It’s been an intriguing contest that has still (like Reds) to warm up. Mike Kilmartin’s piece has proved to be a tricky contesting work to master—plenty of musical hurdles to be unravelled, the more you peel back the layers of the musical onion skin, the more the bands have found the detail and style.

The impressive accounts have come from the conductor’s who have intuitively brought the music to life.

For us, Oakland leads the way and then it’s throw the lottery balls in the air and see how they land for the other places. Game on, plenty to play for, nine to go


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 13:30:58

Section 1:
10. Gresley Colliery (Simon Jones)

Simon Jones returns to the stage to conduct his second band of the day, Gresley Colliery. As with Enderby, the thoughtful approach is there, but just needs more impetus in the first movement.

The trickeries of the central song challenge the ensemble but they work hard before sounding more at home in the closing Scarborough Fair, although tiredness is in evidence at the end.


General • Saturday 17, 13:16:00

Section 4:
12. Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geoff Benson)

The contest is rounded off with a solid showing from Pleasley that had plenty of spirit, although it could just have done with a little bit more verve and flair.

MD took a sensible approach to the tempis which helped, but tuning issues just robbed things a bit here and there and the last movement could have just done with a bit more devilish salacious intent. A well put together set of portrait prints though.


General • Saturday 17, 13:15:09

Section 3:
8. Dunstan Silver (Steven Archer)

A performance in need of more subtle contrast for us. the loud playing was confident, bold and balanced - if a little brash at times, but the quiet stuff lacked quality - and suffered with poor intonation.

The middle section highlighted the problems - all in place but lacking warmth. The finale was big, and at times brilliant. An interesting interpretation and take on this by the MD. He set his stall out and his band gave him what he wanted - but has it just missed the mark today?


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 13:10:49

Section 1:
9. Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Mark Wilcockson)

Shirebrook starts well, although it’s a touch edgy in places, but there’s no holding back at all. Soprano stands at side of band to shine in middle movement—effective and he is joined by an ensemble that copes well with the trickier parts of the section.

Bold, colourful playing to close that certainly has the drive but pushes the dynamic, but it closes well. No shortage of confidence on display.


General • Saturday 17, 12:53:31

Section 4:
11. Skelmersdale Prize Band (David Chapman)

An enjoybale reading full of fun and character this - espeically with the best last movement of the day. You could have been sat with Toulouse Lautrec on a high seat in the bar with a snifter of absinthe and a good time girl on your arm. Great stuff.

Not quite as colourful and precise in the other portraits but each was well defined and set out by the MD. If all had been of the quality of the last they would be in line for a possible winner's cheque tonight. They may still get something though.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 12:49:12

Section 1:
8. Enderby (Simon Jones)

Enderby’s MD, Simon Jones opts for a sensible musical approach that doesn’t overstretch the ensemble. The middle folk song isn’t without its challenges but the band digs in and gets on with it.

The closing homage to Scarborough Fair would make anybody from the White Rose county stand tall—full of passion and pride, with neat, driving percussion throughout.


General • Saturday 17, 12:41:08

Section 3:
7. Hucknall & Linby Brass (Paul Whyley)

Another performance of purpose, drive and excitment - with clean ensemble and precise rhythms to add to the mix.

A big sounding band makes the most of the opportunity to shine - led by the bold bass trombone. Middle section could have been a bit more elegant perhaps, but it was neatly delivered and the rousing finale was a super bit of work in anyone's book.


General • Saturday 17, 12:39:34

Section 4:
10. Ynyshir (Gary Davies)

Just took a little time to get going, but thereafter it was bold and boisterous stuff - perhaps just in need of a little sangfroid reserve in places.

No doubting the confidence and the rich character of the music - but it's on edge at times. The finale was a stomper - but the cathedral and lake portraits closed for a touch more control. The colour and textures were very boldly drawn here.


General • Saturday 17, 12:37:30

Section 3:

It's been a contest that started with a bang, and despite taking a little while to get going is now in full flow.

Foss Dyke, Goldborne and Boarshurst lead the way for us - three very classy performances.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 12:31:58

Section 1:
7. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (Simon Platford)

Purposeful and forthright from Jackfield but blemishes creep in towards end of first section. Opening to second section is nicely constructed—soprano makes impression.

The final section is really up and them—a little OTT in places perhaps but good driving percussion rhythms catch the ear throughout.


General • Saturday 17, 12:24:54

Section 2:

Apologies for lack of live coverage except for Twitter from the Second Section as wifi problems are stopping us from uploading our comments from Lakeside. We are trying to get it sorted - but keep following on Twitter.


General • Saturday 17, 12:22:13

Section 3:
6. Golborne Band (Matthew Whitfield)

Top quality band basics pay off here - and in such fine style. There was excellent band ensemble and solo playing on show here - even with reduced player resources by the looks of it. Bravo MD - clever and intelligent direction this. Sop is so sweet and tasteful.

A few slips but colour and texture on show in the middle section and the finale had that sense of free flowing energy others have missed today. A real classy one his.


General • Saturday 17, 12:17:29

Section 4:
9. Banovallum Brass (Steve Ingham)

A bit of a hit and miss one this - but the hits were good ones it must be said. A decent opening just fell away when it was full of well paced promise and the same could be aid of the other movements too.

Some neat touches and sense of flow in the middle sections, but it just sounds a tiny bit undercooked. It's the same with the last movement too - not quite the full blown fun and games but enough to give you a thrill and a giggle with the good time girls. A nearly one this.


General • Saturday 17, 12:14:47

Section 4:
8. Brighton & Hove City (Matthew Hackett)

This was an inconsistent one - the French equivalent of a curate's egg whatever that would be. Nearly all the movements got going, but never quite had enough consistency to capture the style and character of the music.

Lots of neat individual playing on show and a spirited old trip down to see the girls with frilly bloomers to close, but it just need a little more poise and authority. A brave effort this but one that didn't quite gell.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 12:12:05

Section 1:
6. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)

Haverhill are not the first band today to take their time getting into their straps—first movement takes far too long to settle to make real impact. The second folk song has a nice flow to it with impressive solo contributions on display.

Scarborough Fair is bold, but perhaps not as smooth as required, but closes confidently. Yet another rendition that got better as it progressed.


General • Saturday 17, 12:00:11

Section 3:
5. Foss Dyke (Simon Oates)

Not without little errors, but this has been such confident playing from start to finish.

A finely structured first movement is helped by a classy sounding cornet section, and the middle movement has a touch of gracefulness and some lovely warm sounds - led by top notch euph.

Just the occasional twist in intonation, but what a cracking close - so bold and bravura. Just a few little slips, but what enjoybale playing.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 11:48:46

Section 1:
5. Leicester Co-operative SMW (Graham Jacklin)

After a uneasy start, the band finally finds its musical feet and closes the opening folk song effectively. All the Pretty Little Horses has a nice warmth about it—it’s just a shame that are some uncertainties at times that take the sheen of things.

The closing Scarborough Fair just needs a little more solidity in the ensemble at times, but it rounds off a reading that never really catches fire for us.


General • Saturday 17, 11:43:51

Section 4:
7. Whitwell Brass (Bob Woffinden)

A confident start and it carries on. This is good stuff - an opening that had a elegant bounce, a darkly sonorous lake and imposing gothic feel to the cathedral. Umbrellas pop up like poppies in the rain too.

It's all rounded off with a cracking trip to the Moulin Rouge and knees up with great perc accompnaiment. A real touch of French fancy this.


General • Saturday 17, 11:42:48

Section 3:
4. Coppull & Standish (Matt Stringer)

Just an uneven start ribs the music of character - and again it takes time to settle and feel totally at ease.

When it does this sounds a finely balanced band - led by super flugel in a central section that had lyrical beauty and a fine euph too. Oh for just a touch more energy and verve in the finale though - it was on the cusp, but just sounded a little held back to really pulsate to life.


General • Saturday 17, 11:28:26

Section 4:
6. East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)

A spirited one from East Coast this - and another that found its French feet the further it went along.

Lots of style, but nerves once again robbed the character - what a pity as the last moment was the best today - real knees up and frilly knickers show complete with Swanee whistle, duck calls and popping champagne corks.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 11:26:36

Section 1:
4. Becontree Brass (Nigel Taken)

Purposeful opening sets the scene for an engaging opening folk song that has some well balanced sounds. There is some effective playing on display in All the Pretty Little Horses, although there is the odd blemish in some of the exposed parts.

Scarborough Fair is musically bold and colourful and closes very confidently.


General • Saturday 17, 11:20:47

Section 3:
3. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)

A difficult start - something not right - and it took time to find its feet this. Part covering not wholly succesful and the Middle movement fails to have the flow and momentum to make the music come to life. Bravo tubas though - what a rich sound.

It's finally came to life in the finale - but why so long before we hear the band on good form. What a pity this one took so long to get going - as the finish was so spirited.


General • Saturday 17, 11:09:27

Section 3:
2. Dodworth Colliery MW (Eliot J Darwin)

Just took its time to settle this - the cornets found it difficult to gell with tricky opening, but it soon improved.

Middle section was lyrically played though - and so nicely shaped. Just little clips detracted, but what a bold finale - seriously confident and full of life led by the excellent solo euph in a performance that nearly caught all the elements required.


General • Saturday 17, 11:08:13

Section 4:
5. Thurcroft Welfare (Matthew Wright):

A solid start holds much promise, but that bouncy, self confidence disappears in the second section which sounds very nervous.

What a pity, as the MD tries to maintain flow and character with the music - something which is recaptured in the final two sections. A bit too French in all its characteristics this - with that shrug of the shoulders in the second movement that could prove costly.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 11:03:34

Section 1:
3. Oakland University Brass (Kenneth Kroesche)

It’s a bold colourful opening—there’s no shortage of confidence here—MD has clearly given plenty of thought as to how he wants the piece portrayed. The confident playing continues with some excellent ensemble & solo contributions.

The closing movement once more is full of confident playing which rounds off an impressive show from the Overseas visitors.


General • Saturday 17, 10:55:37

Section 3:
1. Boarshurst Silver (James Garlick)

What a good start and the quality continues - neat dynamics and warm sounds. Impressive stuff and what a lovely solo cornet player.

Final section was classy playing - top notch ensemble and solo leads throughout. A fine marker this for the rest to try and overcome.


General • Saturday 17, 10:54:11

Section 4:
4. Woodbridge Excelsior (C L Lewis-Garnham)

What a pity the start was so nervous, as when it recovers there was so much style to the MDs take on each of the movements.

When it was good it really had that touch of noble French bluff and debonair style - especially in the Red Windmill peaking at the knickers of the dancers. One that got better this as it went along.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 10:48:18

Section 1:

Two bands gone and this piece appears that it could be more of a musical than technical test today. Perhaps it's not going to be as easy as the bands first thought. We will see.....


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 10:44:02

Section 1:
2. Diggle (Alan Wycherley)

The opening ‘Poor Wayfaring Stranger’ takes time to settle, and when it does, it’s a nice little folk song. Soprano is a delicate Pretty Horse that shines through and whilst there is some edgy playing around the stand, confidence grows as the section goes on.

The band’s tails are up as they deliver some fine sounds in Scarborough Fair and ended a performance that grew in confidence as it went along.


General • Saturday 17, 10:31:10

Section 4:
3. Sherwood Firest Brass (Christine Lippeatt)

A really well structured account this - neatly done, with a bouncy walking tempo to start, dark colours of the lake, noble sounds of the cathedral and that drip, drip of little April showers.

Great perc team lead the way in the Moulin Rouge (although they are not old enough to have a sneaky vimto) and there is brio and bustle all the way to the close. That one had a touch Gallic flair alright.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 10:30:49

Section One:

Terrific to see Diggle's Brian Taylor on soprano today, in Section One, just 75 years young. Is he the oldest player to take to the contesting stage this weekend we wonder?


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 10:22:55

Section 1:
1. Whitworth Vale & Healey (John Binns)

It’s a nice confident opening although there are a few tricky moments, but it’s musical. All the Pretty Little Horses is nicely styled with good dynamics and positive individual contributions.

Scarborough Fair moves freely and with confidence, bold dynamics at times that have impact, but closes well.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 10:10:55

And we're under way with 19 bands today in Section One


General • Saturday 17, 10:04:52

Section 4:
2. Sale Brass (Joshua Hughes)

A performance rich in style and character this. Scrappy and a little nervous in places, but bravo MD for letting the music find a natural pace in each of the sections.

Not everything came off but by the time we got to the Moulin Rouge night out it was a performance that had you reaching for the gauloise fags and absinthe.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 09:55:32

We are just a few minutes away from getting underway in Section One in a rather cool Reds. The judges, Chad Shoopman & David Thornton have just gone into the box. Just a reminder that David has replaced Steve Sykes in the box who is unwell.


General • Saturday 17, 09:45:14

And we are off in the Fourth Section.

Section 4:
1. Syston Band (Dennis Powell):

Just a little bit cold and nervous to open (it is early and it is snowing outside), but it soon gets into the Gallic swing of things.

Some neat touches in each of the impressionist movements - particularly the finale which is played with pulse and real joie de vivre.

One that came to life the longer it went along.


General • Saturday 17, 09:17:17

We have managed to get ourselves in the main Centre Stage venue as the Butlins staff make their last minute checks.

As soon as John Doyle and David Ashworth are in the box we can get the draw up and can wait for the first band to take to the stage.


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 08:49:59

Draw: First Section

Venue: Reds
Draw: 9.00am
Commence: 10.00am


Test Piece: 'Three Folk Songs Settings for Brass Band' - Andrew Boysen Jnr. arr Mike Kilmartin
Adjudicators: David Thornton and Chad Shoopman

1. Whitworth Vale & Healey (John Binns)
2. Diggle (Alan Wycherley)
3. Oakland University Brass (Kenneth Kroesche)
4. Becontree Brass (Nigel Taken)
5. Leicester Co-operative SMW (Graham Jacklin)
6. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)
7. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) (Simon Platford)
8. Enderby (Simon Jones)
9. Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Mark Wilcockson)
10. Gresley Colliery (Simon Jones)
11. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
12. Ipswich & Norwich Co-op (Ian Johnson)
13. Mossley (Duncan Byers)
14. Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) (David Hirst)
15. Fulham Brass (John Ward)
16. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
17. Harborough (Chris Groom))
18. Hebden Bridge (Trevor Halliwell)
19. Langley (Cliff Parker)


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 08:49:03


Second Section

Venue: Lakeside
Draw: 8.50am
Commence: 11.00am

Test Piece: 'Phoenix' - David Holling
Adjudicators: Alwyn Green and David Horsfield

1. Colchester (David Maddocks)
2. Kippax (Keiron Anderson)
3. Cawston (David Stowell)
4. Haydock (Mark Quinn)
5. Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)
6. Rushden Town (JOhn Hudson)
7. Dronfield Genquip (Simon Kerwin)
8. Amington (Bob Stradling)
9. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)
10. Pemberton Old Wigan DW ‘B’ (Peter Ashley)
11. Tilbury (Andrew Austin)
12. Eccles Borough (Mareika Gray)
13. Emley Brass (Garry Hallas)


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 08:48:02

Draw: Third Section

Venue: Royal Arthur Suite
Draw: 8.40am
Commence: 10.30am

Test Piece: 'Woodland Pictures' - Percy Fletcher arr Nigel Hall
Adjudicators: Kevin Wadsworth and Mark Walters

1. Boarshurst Silver (James Garlick)
2. Dodworth Colliery (M.W.) (Eliot J Darwin)
3. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
4. Coppull & Standish (Matt Stringer)
5. Foss Dyke (Simon Oates)
6. Golborne (Matthew Whitfield)
7. Hucknall & Linby (Paul Whyley)
8. Dunston Silver (Steven Archer)
9. Ifton Colliery (Wayne Ruston)
10. Maltby Miners Welfare (Terry Clifford)
11. BMP Goodshaw (Mike Cotter)
12. Old Hall Brass (John North)
13. Worsbrough Brass (John Roberts)
14. Melton Band (Graham Sutton)
15. Greenfield (Tom Haslam)
16. Crofton Silver (Kevin Belcher)
17. Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes (Steven Askew)
18. Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)


Other Sections • Saturday 17, 08:41:28

Draw: Fourth Section

Venue: Centre Stage
Draw: 8.30am
Commence: 9.30am

Test Piece: 'Five French Masters' - Chris North
Adjudicators: David Ashworth and John Doyle

1. Syston (Dennis Powell)
2. Sale Brass (Joshua Hughes)
3. Sherwood Forest Brass (Christine Lippeatt)
4. Woodbridge Excelsior (C J Lewos-Garnham)
5. Thurcroft Welfare (Matthew Wright)
6. East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)
7. Whitwell Brass (Kevin Holdgate)
8. Brighton & Hove City Brass (Matt Hackett)
9. Banovallum Brass (Steve Ingham)
10. Ynyshir (Gary Davies)
11. Skelmerdale Prize (David Chapman)
12. Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geoff Benson)


General • Saturday 17, 07:29:48

We will be going off to get some breakfast - and then we will wait with all the bandsmen and women for the draws.

The excitement builds - beans or tomatoes....


General • Saturday 17, 07:15:51

We were informed last night by Stan Lippeatt, Butlins Music Advisor, that due to ill health Steve Sykes will not be adjudicating the First Section. His place will be taken by David Thornton.

Hope Steve is feeling better soon.


General • Saturday 17, 07:12:42

Crisp and bright - and that's not the chips with the Burger King breakfast deal either.

Welcome to Skegness and welcome to the 2015 Butlins Mineworkers Championship. It's cold and chilly - but thankfully not a single flake of snow this year.

There is sure to be a warm welcome as we prepare for the kick off to the new season. A nice quiet evening last night too...

The draws for the various sections will be made this morning and we will post them as soon as the judges are in the box.


General • Friday 16, 14:45:08

Championship Section:

Venue: Centre Stage

Saturday Draw: 12 noon
Commence (Saturday): At conclusion of Fourth Section
Test Piece: Facets of the Heart (Tom Davoren)
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts & Michael Fowles

Sunday Draw: Made on Saturday evening
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts & Chad Shoopman

First Section:

Venue: Reds

Draw: 9.00am
Commence: 10.00am
Test Piece: Three Folk Song Settings for Brass Band (Andrew Boysen Jnr. arr Mike Kilmartin)
Adjudicators: David Thornton & Chad Shoopman

Second Section:

Venue: Lakeside

Draw: 8.50am
Commence: 11.00am
Test Piece: Phoenix (David Holling)
Adjudicators: Alwyn Green & David Horsfield

Third Section:

Venue: Royal Arthur Suite

Draw: 8.40am
Commence: 10.30am
Test Piece: Woodland Pictures (Percy Fletcher arr Nigel Hall)
Adjudicators: Kevin Wadsworth & Mark Walters

Fourth Section:

Venue: Centre Stage

Draw: 8.30am
Commence: 9.30am
Test Piece: Five French Masters (Chris North)
Adjudicators: David Ashworth & John Doyle


General • Friday 16, 14:18:50

The 4br team are making their way to Skegness in readiness for the Championships. Live updates will posted from Saturday 17 January




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


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


Chris Wormald

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