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2016 Yorkshire Regional Championships
As it happened

All the action from the 2016 Yorkshire Regional Championships — as it happened.

Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 20:44:59

That's the end of our coverage from Yorkshire. Congtatulations to Black Dyke and all the qualifiers and prize winners this weekend.

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1st. Black Dyke (Prof. Nicholas J Childs)

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Winning MD - Prof. Nicholas J Childs (Black Dyke)

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2nd. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Russell Gray)

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3rd. Hepworth (Mark Peacock

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Best Principal Cornet: Kirsty Abbotts (Carlton Main Frickley Colliery)

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Best Soloist: Zoe Hancock (flugel) - Black Dyke

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Youngest Player: Keir Luc Evans-Brown (aged 14) - Strata Brass

We hope you've enjoyed our coverage. Good night from a very lively St George's Hall.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 20:23:32

Result

Championship Section:
Test Piece: Cambridge Variations (Philip Sparke)

Adjudicators: Michael Ball and Philip Sparke

1. Black Dyke (Prof. Nicholas J Childs)**
2. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Russell Gray)**
3. Hepworth (Mark Peacock)
4. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)
5. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
6. Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr. Robert Childs)
7. City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)
8. Brighouse & Rastrick (Leigh Baker)*
9. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Stig Maersk)
10. Strata Brass (Dr Owen Wedgwood)
11. Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) (David Hirst)
12. Marsden Silver (John Hinckley)

Best Principal Cornet: Kirsty Abbotts (Carlton Main Frickley Colliery)
Best Soloist: Zoe Hancock (flugel) - Black Dyke
Best Instrumentalist: Carol Stephens (Timpanist) - Hepworth
Youngest Player: Keir Luc Evans-Brown (aged 14) - Strata Brass


*Pre-qualified for the National Final at the Royal Albert Hall
** Qualify for the National Final at the Royal Albert Hall


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 20:22:00

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Peggy Tomlinson - 20 years Regional Secretary

Before the results, a massive thank you to Peggy Tomlinson and her army of volunteers for their hospitality this weekend in Bradford.

It has been a very enjoyable weekend and we congratulate Peggy for her twenty years loyal service as Regional Secretary


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 20:11:26

Final Round-up and prediction:

What an engrossing and thrilling contest this was. The quality varied from the fantastic to the average but no band was overcome by such a severe test.

Don't think Black Dyke will be denied on this occasion - as long as all their cards are in order! They take the glory for us ahead of Grimethorpe, Carlton Main, Brighouse & Rastrick, Rothwell Temperance and Hepworth. Our dark horse is Hammonds.

1. Black Dyke
2. Grimethorpe Colliery
3. Carlton Main Frickley
4. Brighouse & Rastrick
5. Rothwell Temperance
6. Hepworth

Dark Horse: Hammonds Saltaire


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 19:48:05

12. Black Dyke (Prof Nicholas Childs)

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My word what a stunning performance. It's been a long weekend but it's been capped off by something special.

What attention to detail - especially in the smallest of motifs and in the muted fanfares and mazy chromatic runs. The balance and sinuous playing was a class apart today - and that is saying something. The lyrical interlude just had the occasional moment of fleeting unease - but fleeting only.

The dynamic contrasts were both subtle and extreme - and the close sublime, before tuba hounds freed of the lease imposed their will. This was thrilling playing - so precise and clear - and at a frightening pace. A splendid ground base foundation was supplemented by a muted miasma of sound and a build that left you clutching your heart.

What a honking close - overdriven, turbo charged jet propulsion - scorching the stage below their feet to a stunning apotheosis. Phew!

Overall:

So much quality from start to finish - so much detail, so much passion, drive and sheer class. Just the odd moment or two - my word that was fabulous stuff.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 19:27:16

11. Hepworth (Mark Peacock)

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What a well structured account. Not everything came off - but it was damn close.

Lots of credit goes to the MD who never overplayed his hand - keeping flexible control of both dynamics and tempo and allowing just enough leeway with both for individuals and ensemble to shine.

The players responded in kind - with solidly delivered solo lines and robust ensemble work - especially from sterling tubas. Even those mazy runs and fanfares had control and the muted effects in particular had a clarity of purpose and delivery.

Just got a little strident and harsh in the final ride for home - but by then plenty of good work had been delivered in spades - right through to an Ace flush ending.

Overall:

Lots to enjoy with a performance that all th elements in place thanks to the approach of the MDs and the full understanding of his players.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 19:05:01

10. Strata Brass (Dr Owen Wedgewood)

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A performance that certainly stretched the band to its limit - but not beyond.

It was close at times in the slow lyrical sections, but the intelligent approach of the MD to keep the music flowing and the gutsy determination of the players got them through. It was nip and tuck on occasions though.

The quicker variations saw them much more in a well honed comfort zone - led by a sterling tuba team and topped by sweet sop. It did get tired and all a little one dimensional dynamically, but the MD again managed to bring balance and texture out and slip in a gear change or two as they drove on reserves to close - aided by an almost manic perc team!

Overall:

Not a comfortable performance a great deal of the time, but it never subsided or failed to meet the challenges posed.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 18:42:15

9. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)

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A performance that didn't quite draw all its musical intentions together - despite the MDs clearly defined direction.

The soloists gave of their all - including an exceptional solo trombone - but just when you thought it was going to take off it rocked back on its foundations. Those chromatic runs and fanfare motifs in different guises never sounded at ease.

The lyrical interlude also caused a little bit of concern in places, but it recovered thanks to lovely flugel and and robust tubas. When they hit their straps in the final section though it was thrilling stuff - all played with a textured balanced sounded even at full bore.

That finale was driven right to the denouement - led by splendid troms and crisp perc.

Overall

A nearly one - but still with plenty of high quality playing from around the stands in a very engaging interpretation from the MD.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 18:20:00

8. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)

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A missed opportunity you feel for Rothwell in a performance that at times was thrilling to the core but was then blighted by too many nasty unforced errors and ensemble unevenness.

At its best the MD drew superbly polished playing from his troops - but the mazy spaghetti runs were loose and innocuous sounding motifs tripped up at times. The lyrical interlude was a little non-descript. How it just yearned for a little more risk taking - the band had the players to do it.

When it upped pace the band showed its full mettle - tam tam included. It really did have that hold on tight, wowee factor and then a touch more with a scorching close.

Overall:

Dont think this had just enough about it to force itself into the qualification places today - just a few too many little errors and a yearning for a bit more musical ebb and flow in the lyrical sections may have cost them.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 18:02:45

7. City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)

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What an exciting, colourful account - full of energy and heart on sleeve passion.

There were fragile moments and untidiness in the ensemble from start to finish, but the excellent solo lines and the sense of momentum even in the slower variations was marked and so enjoyable. Some lovely touches from the MD - especially the phrase endings which were amongst the best heard today.

The mazy runs and fanfares were scrappy and inconsistent and the textures and balances didn't always marry together in the quicker sections, but it was adventurous playing that did hide away from the challenges.

The final sections were tired though although they found an extra yard or two of pace to close with a resounding thump of determination.

Overall:

The MD made the most of his resources here - and it paid off. Not without significant moments of unease, but a performance that wrestled successfully overall with the challenges of such a stern score.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 18:01:57

Halfway opinion and prediction:

It's been an engrossing competition so far - with some superb playing on show from the very best.

Behind them it's has been more variable - but none has come a real cropper (yet)

Grimethorpe's overall excellence holds sway for us ahead of a lyrically inspired Carlton Main and Brighosue close behind. There is the promise of much more to come though - so who knows if these bands will still be at the top come the results.

1. Grimethorpe
2. Carlton Main Frickley
3. Brighouse & Rastrick


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 17:26:28

6. Marsden Silver (John Hinckley)

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Not Marsden at their best today - despite a flowing interpretation from the MD that was so well paced in each of the variations.

The opening held promise, but the main solo lines that followed never sounded comfortable and the fanfares and mazy chromatic runs in particular were fractured and inconsistent. When it did gel the music came to life - topped by sweet sounding sop. There just wasn't enough of it though - and it got all a little dynamically one dimensional in the latter sections.

The final ride for home picked up pace and then turbo boosted, but it was sounding strident and lacked control and balance through to a very untidy close.

Overall:

A performance that didn't really capture the MDs well laid out musical intentions. Too many unforced errors and both ensemble and solo fragility littered things and will surely cost dear.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 17:04:59

5. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Stig Maersk)

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A solid no nonsense approach by the MD and the players worked well here - even if it didn't quite have that extra level of polished ensemble execution of the very best bands.

The opening was secure and the solo work - from the refined flugel and super (or should that be shuuper) Dutch solo cornet in particular was cultured and tastefully inflected. However, it was surrounded at times by some sloppy, imprecise ensemble playing.

The fanfares and mazy runs were inconsistent each time they came, but the MD was spot on with his neat changes of gears the band built up the forward momentum. That final ride for home was certainly exciting and throbbing with energy, but it was also scruffy and a bit dynamically one dimensional.

Overall:

The inconsistencies in the ensemble work was the Achilles heel of this well thought out rendition - helped by quality main soloists. In the end it just lacked the more subtle elements to bring the music thrilling to life.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 16:40:34

4. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Russell Gray)

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There were moments sprinkled throughout this performance that sent the hairs on the back of your neck on end - but there were also some that sent a little shiver of apprehension down your spine too.

When it was good it bordered on the sublime - the cornet solo the most obvious example - but also some deliciously subtle leanings and draw backs in ensemble phrasing that had you holding your breath. This has been the hallmark stamp of the MD over the years - and was on display here alright. It was such an engrossing interpretation of the score.

What wasn't in the same league though was the inconsistency in delivery of some other lead lines and unevenness especially in the mazy chromatic runs. At times it was messy.

The final ride for home was packed with energy and pulsating drive, but just little moments and unforced errors scratched the deep glossy veneer. It certainly upped in pace and excitement though to a thumping close.

Overall:

A very high class rendition that at times touched fantastic levels. Not quite enough of them though - although the ones that did register were oh so memorable.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 16:21:23

3. Unite the Union (David Hirst)

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A performance built on some very solid ensemble foundations, it was just the topping that saw things falter, despite a fine start which glowed with warmth and texture.

MD picked neatly struck tempos and brought out the inner ensemble detail to such fine effect, but the main solo lines were not quite in the same league and sounded strained. The fanfares and the mazy spaghetti runs also failed to sound coherent, but the tuba section was splendidly dark and agile.

The change in gears was marked and they strained at the leash to reach optimum output at 184 range.

As a result it just got a little overwrought - but that energy gave it a commanding pulse right to its close.

Overall:

Lots to enjoy in a performance of merit and a fine reading of the score by the MD - even if it lacked that extra sheen of individual quality.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 15:59:38

2. Brighouse & Rastrick (Leigh Baker)

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A performance of great transparency and artistry this - cut from a very different Cambridge cloth than that of Grimethorpe. Very deliberate detail is enhanced to fine effect, but it isn't done without losing the musical focus or the flow.

Two superb lead lines in flugel and then principal cornet really place with delicious refinement and the MD shapes one or two wonderful phrase endings in the lyrical sections. Fanfares are rapid tracer bullets and mazy runs squiggle - if a little unevenly, but there is such momentum to the playing.

The final ride for home is played with a light footed turbo boost - enhancing the excitement although we don't quite get that thumping denouement.

Overall:

What a fine, well structured reading by the MD, excellently delivered upon by a very confident band full of contrasts and subtleties. High quality stuff again.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 15:37:17

Championship Section:

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1. Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr Robert Childs)

What a compelling performance of quality unfolded here - right from the opening that had such clarity and detail even at pianissimo. The level of artistic lyrical playing was sublime - especially the cornet solo and flugel - played with such poise and elegance.

The rapid fire fanfares and the swarming runs were so precise and articulate. So much to admire about the approach and the delivery - the MD allows such a malleable feel of flexibility without ever losing the pulse in the slower sections and the drive in the closing ride for home.

We hear such a breathtaking range of dynamic and textured contrasts - and that final surge is glorious: My word it is. The finale is charging at breakneck speed - but what a finish.

Overall:

Well - you can't say they didn't give it their all. This was inspired stuff - billowing with passion and commitment but armed with razor teeth precision. It will take some spiking that.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 15:13:01

Draw:

Championship Section:
Test Piece: Cambridge Variations (Philip Sparke)

Sunday 6th March
Draw: 1.30pm
Commence: 3.30pm

Adjudicators: Michael Ball and Philip Sparke

1. Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr. Robert Childs)
2. Brighouse & Rastrick (Leigh Baker)
3. Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) (David Hirst)
4. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Russell Gray)
5. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Stig Maersk)
6. Marsden Silver (John Hinckley)
7. City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)
8. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)
9. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
10. Strata Brass (Dr Owen Wedgwood)
11. Hepworth (Mark Peacock)
12. Black Dyke (Prof. Nicholas J Childs)


Comments by Iwan Fox


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 14:29:15

There is now a break before the Championship Section which will start at 3.30pm.

The hall is cleared as its a separate ticketing event. We will post the draw after 3.15pm when the judges Michael Ball & Philip Sparke go in the box.

Join us in an hour for the contest.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 14:04:49

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Winners First Section - Chapeltown Silver (Andrew Dennis)

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2nd. Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt)

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3rd. Lindley (Ian Knapton)

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Award for the Best Soloist: Jef Vermieren (cornet) - Drighlington

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Youngest Player: Haydn Osborne (aged 11) - Lindley

Results

First Section:
Test Piece: (Essay) - Edward Gregson

Adjudicators: John Doyle and Howard J Evans

1. Chapeltown Silver (Andrew Dennis)*
2. Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt)*
3. Lindley (Ian Knapton)
4. Elland Silver (Daniel Brooks)
5. Drighlington (John Roberts)
6. Knottingley Silver (Kevin Belcher)
7. Skelmanthorpe (Jim Davies)
8. Cornerstone Brass (Damian Wileman)
9. Hebden Bridge (Alan Hobbins)
10. South Yorkshire Police (Grenville Moore)
11. Hade Edge (Jonathan Beatty)
12. Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)
13. Meltham & Meltham Mills (Norman Law)

Best Soloist: Jef Vermieren (cornet) - Drighlington
Youngest Player: Haydn Osborne (aged 11) - Lindley

*Top two bands qualify bands for National Final


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 13:55:09

Section 1: Round up and prediction

An intersting one today - variable in quality it must be said from the very good at the top end for us down to those who found 'Essay' a real struggle.

It's Hatfield for us though followed South Yorkshire a police, who may just edge out Drighlington. Top six places for Hebden Bridge, Elland and Lindley with a pair of dark horses in Knottingley and Chapeltown.

1. Hatfield
2. South Yorkshire Police
3. Drighlington
4. Hebden Bridge
5. Elland Silver
6. Lindley

Dark Horses: Knottingley and Chapeltown.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 13:30:51

Section 1:

12. Hade Edge (Jonathan Beatty)

A very deliberately set out series of 'Essay' answers these - from a bold, coherent 'Dialogue' to a passionate, 'Soliloquy' that bordered on the indulgent in places, but was so tastefully delivered.

That opening has spirit and verve - if the occasional scruffiness whilst the central section featured a slightly unlucky solo cornet, a great full throated euph and liquid trom. Maybe in need of a touch more flow, but it held form to its close. More deliberation to close with plenty in the tank in the 'Epigram' rounded off a spirited effort.

Overall:

An intersting and engaging one this - maybe a bit on the safe side dynamically and with tempos, but it was executed with a high level of solidity.


13. Skelmanthorpe (Jim Davies)

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Skelmanthorpe deliver the last Essay of the day

Certainly a bold one set out to make a mark to close. An 'Essay' written with a Sharpie rather than a Mount Blanc fountain pen, but clearly defined and underlining the band's core strengths.

That was shown in the 'Dialogue' that bristled with energy - although the central 'Soliloquy' perhaps needed a more tranquil feel at times. It sounded a little forced, and became error prone. The 'Epigram' got things back on track despite the odd moment, with a super sense of drive and momentum all the way to the final full stop.

Overall:

The intent was there from the word go here - but somehow it never quite gelled into the coherent whole the MD had laid out.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 13:00:57

Section 1:

10. Elland Silver (Daniel Brookes)

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Promoted Elland Silver lay out their essay exam paper for the judges led by Daniel Brookes

Another well set out series of answers to the difficult Gregson 'Essay' question - ones that just fell short not through intent but in execution.

The opening 'Dialogue' was compact in tempo and dynamic, whilst the central 'Soliloquy' flowed with subtle phrasing. Both sections though had a high unforced error count - which started to impinge on their qualification hopes. A lovely close and a spirited start to the 'Epigram' got things back on track, but it just lost impetus in those final paragraphs.

Overall:

A confident band, well led - but on this occasion just finding a few of their answers smudged the overall musical picture.


11. Hebden Bridge (Alan Hobbins)

A robust opening 'Dialogue' set the tone here - just a little raw in places tonally but confidently laid out and executed.

More delicacy and a brave approach to the pace in the 'Soliloquy' - with marked malleability in tempos and clearly defined dynamic levels. Soloist do well - from delicate cornet to more full throated euph, neat trom to sweet sop. MD bravely extended his band here.

The final section was was light and breezy - an 'Epigram' of crisp intent that held its focus right to the close despite some tiredness creeping to the final few paragraphs of work.

Overall:

Much to applaud in the approach and delivery throughout. Not everything came off but it was an Essay full of intersting answers.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 12:39:48

Section 1:

8. Drighlington (John Roberts)

There was warmth and a cultured approach to this 'Essay' that despite it's obvious errors and some ensemble fragility was so well laid out and delivered.

The opening 'Dialogue' had the occasional Arkwright stammer but was detailed, balanced and shaped with a subtle sense of flexibility, whilst the 'Soliloquy' featured a super Belgian solo cornet import who was such an eloquent lead.

Other lines followed suit from fine euph and trom, although the occasional ensemble error was also heard. The 'Epigram' just lost a little pulse and focus though - with an ending that didn't quite sign itself off with a flourish.

Overall:

Certainly up there with the best today - although a different approach from the MD. Will those little moments of unease just cost them a Cheltenham berth though?


9. Chapeltown Silver (Andrew Dennis)

Another well laid account that fully understood the questions asked, but just couldn't muster enough consistency to answer them all coherently.

The opening 'Dialogue' just faltered in cohesion as it progressed, but held its form, whilst a fine solo cornet was the pick of some tasty leads in the flowing 'Soliloquy' - although the ensemble at times was wayward - with some odd perc entries.

A slightly tired sounding 'Epigram' rounded off a performance that had its moments and highlights, but not quite enough.

Overall:

The old 4BR curate's egg - which came out of the pulse side thanks to intelligent direction from the middle and some fine individual efforts.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 12:16:58

Section 1: Halfway opinion and prediction:

As perhaps expected - 'Essay' is proving very stern test of musical and technical character today. The transparency of the writing leaves no chance to hide or obfuscate.

Two bands have given coherent answers to the questions Gregson poses though - a thoroughly impressive Hatfield and a composed South Yorkshire Police. The rest are a little way behind at present.

More to come though...

1. Hatfield
2. South Yorkshire Police
3. Lindley


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 12:02:16

Section 1:

7. Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt)

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Stan Lippeatt leading Hatfield

A considerable upping of the ante here - right from the opening played with the dialogue confidence of Nye Bevan at the dispatch box. There was so much detail heard as MD kept a tight rein on tempos but still allowed flexibility.

The melancholic feel to the 'Soliloquy' was deliberately paced, but it still had flow - aided by fine cornet, excellent euph and passionate trom. Just a few minor niggles, but what a lovely close - with a brave lengthened last note.

A super 'Epigram' - full of wit, lightness and detailed balance was classy - as was the final few sentences of an essay answer that will be hard to beat you feel.

Overall:

A performance rich in merit this - from the MDs intelligent approach to the execution of the players. Fine stuff. A clear leader by a margin for us.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 11:42:25

Section 1:

5. Knottingley Silver (Kevin Belcher)

The confident approach couldn't quite hold its initial head of steam here despite the MD firing the ensemble boilers with plenty of energetic direction.

The opening 'Dialogue' promised much and settled into a free flowing discourse between the sections, whilst the 'Soliloquy' had it moments of melancholy. The triptych approach to the cornet solo didn't quite work, but lyrical euph and trom did. The final section lost impetus and cohesion though - and it felt a tired band that put its signature to the closing sentence or two.

Overall:

Perhaps one of many today? Initial confidence and boldness just lost focus and security as the stern transparent demands took their toll.


6. Lindley (Ian Knapton)

Another performance that held promise with its confident, bold opening statements, but just failed to deliver all the right answers. Close though.

That first 'Dialogue' was good - thorough, detailed and flowing, and the central 'Soliloquy' had its moments too. A pity the sweet sounding cornet was forced too hard to project over the band. The euph was so classy - using years of experience to be the focal point.

The 'Epigram' was pacy and light - if a little untidy in places. It did have that sense of dry wit though as it rounded on itself to close.

Overall:

A nearly one this - very well led by the MD. Despite the noticeable clips the right answers were displayed throughout.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 11:08:59

Section 1:

3. Meltham & Meltham Mills (Norman Law)

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Meltham and Meltham tackle 'Essay'

For the first time today 'Essay' poses questions that cannot quite be answered by the band.

The opening 'Dialogue' lacked cohesion despite the MDs efforts to keep a strict leash on tempos, whilst the central 'Soliloquy' never sounded at ease. Bravo to the solo cornet who spliced neatly with her bumper-up, a bold euph and textured trom, but the ensemble didn't quite offer the same level of support.

The 'Epigram' was also fractured and inconsistent but it had a sense of verve even to a tired close.

Overall:

MD used all his experience to keep this on track - as did brave and committed performers, but this was as essay that couldn't be mastered.

4. Cornerstone (Damian Wileman)

A lovely, free flowing reading of the score by the MD was just let down by too many solo and ensemble inconsistencies throughout. That must have been frustrating as when things gelled there was a warm compactness to the playing.

Just a lack of cohesion and balance in the first movement, some nervousness and fragility in the second cost, and untidiness in the third took the gloss off.

Overall:

Inconsistencies in execution both in the solo and ensemble lines took its toll in the end. The Essay question was fully understood by the MD, but the answers were riddled with too many unforced errors.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 10:34:27

Section 1:

1. Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)

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The evidence m'lud - the John 'Lucky' Clay!!!
(There was a rumour John Clay, had in his top pocket, a pair of lucky knickers that were white with red polka dots by all accounts...)

A performance that grew in intensity and security as it went along - especially after a hesitant start. The first movement locked together in its dialogue, whilst the 'Soliloquy' featured a warm toned lead cornet with sympathetic contrasts from lovely trom, lucid euph and bold horns.

An 'Epigram' that perhaps just needed a little more lightness of touch rounded a well thought out marker.

Overall:

A solid marker - not without its moments of unease, but the musical flow throughout was so well portrayed.


2. South Yorkshire Police (Grenville Moore)

There was a coherent musical thought process running right through this performance from start to finish - from a carefully constructed 'Dialogue', a subdued, melancholic 'Soliloquy' and a neat, dynamic 'Epigram'.

Fine, well balanced ensemble work was topped by excellent lead lines - especially a tasteful solo cornet. Maybe a bit more sharp witted oomph to close, but all so well done this.

Overall:

An intelligent, subtle approach that worked so well this. Controlled yet dynamic - cleverly led and delivered.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 10:12:22

Section 1:

'Essay' remains a very stern test of bands at First Section level - it's transparency of writing allowing little or no place to hide.

The opening 'Dialogue' tests the ensemble, whilst the beautifully realised 'Soliloquy' with its melancholic echoes of Gilbert Vinter's 'Entertainments' asks a great deal of the main solo lines as well as sections.

'Epigram' is short, dry and astute - a superbly structured minature that comes full circle on itself and the piece to close.

Wonderful writing - as all good essays should be.


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 09:54:04

The second day of action kicks off here in about 10 minutes.

There is a sprinkling of banding die-hards in their seats at the moment, but the plush seats should be filled up more before the first band takes to the stage.

It was a pretty good day yesterday - so will today live up to expectations?


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 09:49:14

Draw:
First Section:

Test Piece: Essay (Edward Gregson)

Sunday 6th March
Draw: 8.30am
Commence: 10.00am

Adjudicators: John Doyle and Howard J Evans


1. Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)
2. South Yorkshire Police (Grenville Moore)
3. Meltham & Meltham Mills (Norman Law)
4. Cornerstone Brass (Damian Wileman)
5. Knottingley Silver (Kevin Belcher)
6. Lindley (Ian Knapton)
7. Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt)
8. Drighlington (John Roberts)
9. Chapeltown Silver (Andrew Dennis)
10. Elland Silver (Daniel Brooks)
11. Hebden Bridge (Alan Hobbins)
12. Hade Edge (Jonathan Beatty)
13. Skelmanthorpe (Jim Davies)

Top two bands qualify for National Final

Comments by Iwan Fox


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 08:02:09

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As always there were the usual talking points around the hall as the day progressed - although on this occasion it was more to do with the news that the contest will be moving temporarily to Huddersfield Town Hall on the same weekend next year.

It is hoped that refurbishment at St George's Hall will be completed in time for the contest to return in 2018 - although the old place is getting a new roof, so it's a major overhaul.

Meanwhile, thoughts also turned to the return to good health of the popular conductor Duncan Beckley, who is recuperating on hospital after being taken ill on Friday. His place at the helm of Horbury Victoria was taken by Phil Godwin of Black Dyke, who did a superb job is steering a very emotional band into a fine third place finish.

It was also hoped that the equally popular player and adjudicator David Horsfield would be back to enjoy the banding action after his recent period of recuperation.

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Memories from Huddersfield Town Hall - Black Dyke Mills Band

Black Dyke Mills Band
"World Champion Brass" Geoffrey Brand
L.P. - Golden Guinea [1971] GSGL 10477

Prelude For An Occasion
Allegro From Bassoon Concerto
Pageantry: 1. King's Herald, 2. Cortege, 3. Jousts
Ballet Suite No. 2 From Pineapple Poll
Coronet Roundabout
Recitative And Romance
Overture: Benvenuto Cellini


Yorkshire • Sunday 6, 07:53:54

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Good morning from Bradford, where the action starts at 10.00am with the 13 First Section bands tackling Edward Gregson's 'Essay'. It's followed by the Championship Section which is due to start at 3.30pm - so it's is anticipated there may well be a break of about an hour between things.

It's was a very enjoyable contesting day on Saturday - with the best bands in each section providing impressive qualification and prize winning performances that bode well for Cheltenham.

Third Section

In the Third Section Bob Childs and Michael Dodd felt the top bands 'brought the piece ('A Cambrian Suite') to life' - and that the winners (Crofton Silver) 'had been very clear.' It was in their opinion 'a great piece with lots of pitfalls' they added.

Crofton will be joined in Cheltenham by Dronfield Genquip.

Fourth Section

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Meanwhile, in the Fourth Section, Mike Kilroy said that the bands at the top end of the results had enderstood 'the fundermental principles of the stylistic and technical playing' of the test piece ('The Journal of Phileas Fogg'). He added that the top two (Lofthouse 2000 and Rockingham) had 'really stood out'.

John Winterflood added that they had been 'staggered by some of the playing' - although he did whimsically add, 'both good and not so good' as he noted the key troubles encountered in the Viennese waltz section.

Second Section

The day was rounded off with John Doyle telling a delighted hall packed with proud Yorkshire banding old that the bands had 'smashed' their Lancashire rivals in terms of quality, and that the standard had been 'fantastic'.

Philip Sparke was more forensic in his appreciation, pointing out some of the key markers in a 'wonderful test piece full of character' that posed the problems for the bands - especially the layered writing of parts - with rehearsal letter U and example.

Both felt the top three bands - Stannington, Old Silkstone and Horbury Victoria (who just missed out on qualification) had really given 'outstanding performances'.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 20:24:33

That's it from a fine day of competition in Bradford.

Hope you enjoyed the coverage. It all starts again tomorrow with the First and Championship Sections.

We're off to find something to eat in Bradford - I wonder what we will find.....

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Winning Trophy Presentation - Stannington (Derek Renshaw)

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Winning MD Derek Renshaw (Stannington)

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1st. Stannington (Derek Renshaw)

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2nd. Old Silkstone (Sam Fisher)

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3rd. Horbury Victoria (Philip Goodwin)

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Best Soloist: Toni Durrant (baritone) - Old Silkstone

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Youngest Player: Keira Littewood (aged 10) - Dinnington Colliery


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 20:05:04


Second Section:
Test Piece: 'The Mermaid of Zennor' - Philip Harper

Adjudicators: John Doyle and Philip Sparke

1. Stannington (Derek Renshaw)*
2. Old Silkstone (Sam Fisher)*
3. Horbury Victoria (Philip Goodwin)
4. Skelmanthorpe Prospect (Philip Garlick)
5. Wakefield Metropolitan (Stig Maersk)
6. Kippax (Jack Smith)
7. Slaithwaite (Robert Westacott)
8. Emley (Garry Hallas)
9. Frickley/South Elmsall (Kyle Blake)
10. Barnsley Brass (William Rushworth)
11. Dinnington Colliery (Lindon Bolt)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final

Best Soloist: Toni Durrant (baritone) - Old Silkstone
Youngest Player: Keira Littlewood (aged 10) - Dinnington Colliery


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 19:30:24

Final round up and prediction:

What an enjoyable contest this has been - full of vibrant ensemble playing, classy soloists and some neatly thought out interpretations from the MDs. They must have been fed on a diet of sardines in brine for the last few weeks in these parts.

The best bands for us married the passion, drive and energy of the outer movements with a lovely melancholy in the central section that had warm lyricism at its heart.

Our pick was Stannington who really sounded at ease with the technical and musical intentions of their MD, closely followed by such a spirited performance from Horbury Victoria. It's nip and tuck for us between them and a passionate Old Silkstone for the second qualification place.

Behind them it could be Wakefield Metropolitan, Frickley/South Elmsall and Barnsley Brass with our dark horse of Slaithwaite.

Prediction:

1. Stannington
2. Horbury Victoria
3. Old Silkstone
4. Wakefield Metropolitan
5. Frickley/South Elmsall
6. Barnsley Brass

Dark Horse: Slaithwaite


11. Barnsley Brass (William Rushworth)

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Great orange tops on the girls of Barnsley - the colour of 1970s Findus fish

And to round off the whole contest we get a bomper from Barnsley - full of drive and energy in the opening and closing movements and some tastefully warm hearted passion in the central interlude.

Not everything came off in an intelligently laid out account by the MD - but his band wasn't far off. Super cornet and darky hued euph was the main artistic lines, but flugel and tubas were not far behind.

The final plunge into the waves was taken a fair old lick - but it seems to suit the approach.

Overall:

May just sneak in for a mention this. Not everything came off but there was morning about it from start to finish.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 18:55:48

Section 2:

9. Old Silkstone (Sam Fisher)

MD set out his intentions from the start and his players worked their fisherman socks off to capture the most passionate elements of the story by the gills.

There was some super playing on show - especially a lyrical solo cornet, a chesty euph and the best baritone of the day. The intonation was at times on the wayward side as they tried to give their all, but if this mermaid was going to be won over by red blooded passion then she had it coming in spades.

The ride for home was a little too excitable at times, but the duo plunged into the waves like a pair Acapulco cliff divers.

Overall:

Not a stone, shell, diver's helmet left unturned with that one. In the mix but will it get them to Cheltenham?


10. Kippax (Jack Smith)

A performance that suffered from a hesitant start that tripped over itself in its eagerness.

When it found its sea legs there was much to enjoy in a spirited first movement - although pre-nuptial nerves got the better of some in the church. MD shaped the music with a tender hand whilst euph sang with deep throated artistry, cornet responded and flugel nearly stole the show like a too pretty bridesmaid.

The final flee to the waves built in drama, but the inconsistency in execution saw the lovers rather scramble to their watery destination.

Overall:

A very nice interpretation just tarnished by too many fragilities and inconsistency to make a mark against some classy rivals today.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 18:20:38

Section 2:

7. Emley (Garry Hallas)

Like a fisherman's tale of a great catch lost from the grip, this one was very nearly snaffled in the keep-net before the mermaid flicked her tail and wriggled free.

What a pity - as when it was under control there was much to enjoy: from a pulsating opening to a gently shaped hymnal that featured a bravura euph, fragrant cornet and an artistic flugel - and a close that built up in momentum and drama. MD knew how to lure his catch alright, but it just slipped through his fingers when she was just about ready and willing to submit.

Overall:

A nicely shaped account that didn't quite have the happy ending you felt it deserved.


8. Dinnington Colliery (Lindon Bolt)

A tale that unfolded with plenty of verve and drive, but the lack of precision in the ensemble and some poor muted tuning took the gloss off. The fisherman's boat just shipped a bit too much water in some rocky seas.

MD kept the music flowing - helped by a rich sounding euph lead a very tasteful cornet and good flugel, but the lovers sounded as if they were singing off different hymn sheets at times.

The chase to the sea was their best playing - exciting and pulsating with drama - led by a bomper bass trom. Just got tired to close - as the duo rather belly- flopped under the waves.

Overall:

A nearly one in too many elements this. Plenty of passion and drive, but it fell away.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 17:57:02

Section 2:
Halfway point thoughts:

The Yorkshire bands are enjoying this - and they are bringing the story to life in real technicolor.

Two performances do stand out at the moment though - a very classy Stannington and a fine Horbury Victoria, with Wakefield Metropolitan just behind for us.

It's been good stuff though.

1. Stannington
2. Horbury Victoria
3. Wakefield Metropolitan


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 17:39:39

Section 2:

5. Stannington (Derek Renshaw)

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What a bold and engaging rendition - led by the MD playing the part of Captain Ahab after a big old leviathan of the deep.

So well laid out, detailed and flowing - it moved into a passionate hymnal section that was led with a troubadour sense of style by euph to compliment the tasty solo cornet. It was laid on like Cornish cream with a trowel - and then led into a thrilling ride to the edge of the waves. A quick look back before the lovers plunged into the depths with such elan.

Overall:

A performance that really brought the story to life splendidly. Have to call the MD Ismail after that...


6. Slaithwaite (Rob Westacott)

Bold, robust, colourful and exciting - and that just the first few bars. This is a story told from the heart - pulsing with energy. It gets as raw as a bit of sushi in places, but it's gripping you.

The hymnal is right out of the Methodist back-catalogue - all minor keyed melancholy and dripping in pathos as fine euph almost seduces the principal cornet. Just the odd bit of intonation takes the gloss off.

The final ride for him is full throttle stuff - driven, dramatic and a littl edgy. You can almost sense the lovers having a last glance over their shoulders before they take the plunge to the inky depths.

Overall:

Nothing left in the tank here - in a performance that had a gripping energy about it from start to finish.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 17:19:43

Section 2:

3. Skelmanthorpe Prospect (Phil Garlick)

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Rather dipped its toes into the waters to start, but as soon after the MD and his band plunged in hook, line and sinker. Plenty of vibrant playing on show all round the stands - led by fine solo cornet and followed up by loquacious euph.

Some tuning issues took the warmth off the melancholic Methodist hymnal but it soon had a real skip to its step as the lovers took of their leave and headed with drive into the waters.

Overall:

Just that hesitant start and some tuning issues took the sheen off a well managed account.


4. Wakefield Metropolitan (Stig Maersk)

Another one that saw our fisherman take his time to find his water wings - but when he did the skipper at the helm steered In a fine direction. Lots of warm ensemble sounds and splendidly shaped phrasing on show too.

The hymnal was a tale of two very different voices though - the bold, plumby euph and a rather nervous bride to be. A pity that - as it was shaped with a tender hand. Why the huge gap before the final section though - it's marked 'attaca'.

It was if the lovers had stopped off for a Cornish cream tea before heading back to the beach. As a result it just lost focus and steam to close.

Overall:

A curious old tale this - never quite bringing some very good elements all together.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 16:38:29

Section 2:

1. Horbury Victoria (Phil Godwin)

You would have hardly guessed this combination had less than 24 hours together after regular MD Duncan Beckley was taken ill. This was a very well directed and well delivered account - full of spirit, confidence and Cornish vibrancy. Concentration was furrowed into their collective brows.

Sop led the way leaping with real Salmonesque agility and euph was a sonorous tenor voice in the hymnal section, whilst the fleeing lovers really plunged into the waves like high board divers.

Overall:

So much to commend about the approach and execution. Got a bit hairy in places, but what an effort.


2. Frickley/South Elmsall (Kyle Blake)

Just took a little time to find its webbed feet - but then it flourished with warmth and a sense of stylish fishy intent.

The central section was lovely - led by the euph who sang like a Cornish Bryn Terfel, and the close had just that right sprinkle of Disney twinkle.

It got a little wayward in the final section - as if a few locals were tripping up over the sand dunes to the sea - but it had drive, power and a surge of intent right to the moment the lovers dived into the foamy waves which crashed together brilliantly on the perc.

Overall:

One that grew in stature, drama and confidence the longer it went on into an impressive performance.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 16:29:50

Section 2:

We are off and running - or should that be splashing - with Philip Harper's colourful tale of Piscean Cornish love.

Should be a great test for the band here - with a special mention to Phil Godwin of Black Dyke, who has stepped in today for Duncan Beckley with Horbury Victoria. Duncan was taken ill last night and has been taken to hospital - so we send him our best wishes for a speedy recovery.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 16:00:36

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Who will make a Splash today?

Draw: Second Section:
Test Piece: 'The Mermaid of Zennor' - Philip Harper

Saturday 5th March
Draw: 2.30pm
Commence: 4.15pm approx

Adjudicators: John Doyle & Philip Sparke

1. Horbury Victoria (Phil Godwin)
2. Frickley/South Elmsall (Kyle Blake)
3. Skelmanthorpe Prospect (Philip Garlick)
4. Wakefield Metropolitan (Stig Maersk)
5. Stannington (Derek Renshaw)
6. Slaithwaite (Robert Westacott)
7. Emley (Garry Hallas)
8. Dinnington Colliery (Lindon Bolt)
9. Old Silkstone (Sam Fisher)
10. Kippax (Jack Smith)
11. Barnsley Brass (William Rushworth)

Comments by Iwan Fox


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 15:58:30

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1st. Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whitaker)

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2nd. Rockingham (Adam Whittle)

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3rd. Thurcroft Welfare (Matthew Wright)

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Best Soloist: James Whitaker (cornet) - Lofthouse 2000

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Best Percussion: Rockingham

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Youngest Player: Robert Thorpe (aged 9) - Rockingham

Results:

Fourth Section:
Test Piece: 'The Journal of Phileas Fogg' - Peter Graham

Adjudicators: Mike Kilroy and John Winterflood

1. Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whitaker)*
2. Rockingham (Adam Whittle)*
3. Thurcroft Welfare (Matthew Wright)
4. Huddersfield & Ripponden (Adam Bell)
5. Deepcar (Cathryn Rogers)
6. Tingley (John Belton)
7. Linthwaite (Tommy Tynan)
8. Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge) (Neil Robinson)
9. Gawthorpe Brass '85' (John Edward)
10. Loxley Silver (Lee Dunkley)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final

Best Soloist: James Whitaker (cornet) - Lofthouse 2000
Best Percussion: Rockingham
Youngest Player: Robert Thorpe (aged 9) - Rockingham


*Top two bands qualify bands for National Final in Cheltenham


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 15:57:11

Overall Thoughts:

This has been a very enjoyable contest where the bands have thrived upon playing a piece that has put a smile on their faces. It's proved to be a good test as well. Peter Graham's work tests all the basics at this level and that's before we even talk about style. The art of delivering a waltz, is it a dying breed? It's a section that's tested bands today.

One thing for sure, this piece has sorted them out. Yes, the standard has varied but congratulations to all of the bands and soloists (especially cornet players and those who stood and played from memory).

We anticipate this to be close

4BR Prediction:

1. Rockingham
2. Lofthouse
3. Deepcar
4. Linthwaite
5. Tingley
6. Gawthorpe 85

DH: Loxley Silver


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 15:56:23

Section 4:

9. Rockingham (Adam Whittle)

It's bright colourful and very tight from the off. MD Adam Whittle has really set his stall out with a focus on disciplined playing. The fun element is there but there is a real musical sheen on display here.

The tempo markings are good and the dynamics work but nothing is pushed beyond where it needs or should be. There is some impressive contributions within the ensemble with percussion, cornet, euphonium all excelling in their roles.

Overall:

10. Deepcar (Cathryn Rogers)

There's energy and a real vibe right from the off. This like others today is a musical journey that will be fun and not a dull moment.

It's a touch edge-of-the-seat at times, but its to the fun and enjoyment the players are having. The percussion section is having a blast. The Can-Can is a cheeky offering whilst there is warmth, love and romance in the waltz.

The adrenaline at the beginning remains but there is tiredness at the end.

Overall:

Fine effort today, not a winner perhaps but lots of fun.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 14:56:49

7. Loxley Silver (Lee Dunkley)

A nicely judged opening sets the musical scenery: a fun filled musical journey as we see lots of smiling faces through the mouthpieces.

This account may be steadier than some tempo wise, but its being taken at a speed that the ensemble is comfortable with. The ensemble work is enhanced by free flowing percussion.

The Can-Can is a lively little number whilst the top man stands to deliver his solo from memory and straight at the box.

The fun journey continues and its nicely styled by the MD from the middle. There is no shortage of confidence around the stand though as they bring the performance to a close.

Overall:

Impressive performance from the first note until its last with competent solo work and good direction from the middle.


8. Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge) (Neil Robinson)

It's a persuasive opening that sets the scene. This is steady but the musical lines shine through as the ensemble enjoys its Peter Graham musical offering.

There is a touch of caution, but the fun element remains. The percussion work is first rate and is supported by an impressive ensemble cast and a solo cornet and euphonium who have the hearts of lions.

There's a tasty Can-Can and a delicate little waltz, all tests of style but ones that the ensemble overcomes extremely well. The confidence remains and there remains lots to commend right to the end.

Overall:

Another enjoyable offering. Lots of confidence around the stands and well judged offering.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 14:23:27

Section 4:

5. Tingley (John Belton)

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Tingley and John Belton head on tour

The opening is as bright as the MD's red shirt. Right from the outset the basics are good. The attention to detail sits well on the ear. The tempo's are well judged and not being pushed beyond the bands limitations.

There is some fine ensemble and solo work being delivered. It's an intriguing trip played with a sense of fun and a smile on the face. Not everything works as they head for home, but plenty to enjoy.

Overall:

Intriguing musical trip with lots to admire. Ensemble loved every second.

6. Gawthorpe Brass '85' (John Edward)

Bold and purposeful start with lots of energy and colourful dynamics. Lots to admire here, this is a well thought out reading from the middle.

The ensemble and solo work is good. Cornet soloist stands to play to the box – different, but very deliberate.

There's more fun to be had around the stand. Not everything is cemented as solidly as it could be, but it's the type of musical offering that leaves a smile on the face.

Overall:

A rendition that had lots to appreciate, some great sounds and solo work from cornet and percussion.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 13:55:04

Section 4:

3. Linthwaite (Tommy Tynan)

It's a tasty little opening, deliberately paced with effective dynamics from the debuting MD, Grimethorpe's Tommy Tynan.

The tasty playing continues, this is a full of musical life, good ensemble work and solo contributions (well done cornet, super stuff)

More fun and fine playing, great percussion work and some impressive leadership from the middle. The MD has had a smile on his face right from the off. He is loving every second of this and his instructions are precise and clear.

The confidence remains, a hint of tiredness but they close confidently.

Overall:

A very well delivered rendition with great solo and percussion work enhanced by an astute bit of conducting work from the middle


4. Thurcroft Welfare (Matthew Wright))

Impressive opening lines that capture the spirit of the piece right from the off. The energy is there and the can-can is a right little cracker, brisk and quick.

There's more impressive sounds and purposeful leadership from the MD. He is keeping everything flowing. The tempo's are within the band's capabilities and they are enjoying it. The Percussion section is thriving upon its contribution. It's not OTT percussion work either, all in its place, but broad smiles everywhere.

Cornet and euphonium players do well whilst there is good contrasts in the dynamics. This is an enjoyable journey, but by no means flawless

Overall:

An enjoyable reading that was well delivered by all involved.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 13:50:12

Section 4:

Even though the musical journey is full of somewhat stereotyped musical vignettes, Phileas Fogg's journal of his 80 day trip around the globe is fun packed but also testing.

The trip to the Moulin Rouge is all frilly knickers and absinthe soaked left bank libertines, the Cossacks have that dark sense of danger that would tickle Mr Putin's fancy and the waltz has all the refinement of a tea party dance in Vienna. It does ask searching quests of style though - especially the waltz - which has become a forgotten art in brass banding. One in a bar or a quick three?

The Spanish bullfight call reminds you of that trumpet motif that leads people to cheer at sports games and then it's all El Cordobes and Duel in the Sun stuff.

A final fling around the outer edges of the world and then it's back to London. Great stuff.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 13:23:59

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Bob Blackburn still heading in the right direction

Section 4:

1. Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whitaker)

Bright opening, lots of life and energy, band enjoying this from the off. Impressive cornet lines being delivered.

The can-can is a lively little offering whilst the fun being had on stage continues as they continue their musical journey. Everyone is enjoying this.

There is some fine playing here and remains confident.

Overall:

An excellent colourful marker with great sounds and soloists. Ensemble loved every second

2. Huddersfield & Ripponden (Adam Bell)

Right from the off, it's bright, breezy, well paced and full of energy. The band sound is one to enjoy and the ensemble is relishing their musical journey.

They ensemble continues to have a blast and they really go for it, including the principal cornet, full of Spanish flair.

The energy and musical pulse remains. Not everything goes to plan, but this has been a fun filled musical offering right to the confident end.

Overall:

One that had lots to appreciate, great fun with good solo and ensemble work


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 12:48:35

Draw: Fourth Section:
Test Piece: 'The Journal of Phileas Fogg' - Peter Graham

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Its a short trip around the world with David Niven's steering balloon

Saturday 5th March
Draw: 11.15am
Commence: 12.45pm approx

Adjudicators: Mike Kilroy and John Winterflood

1. Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whitaker)
2. Huddersfield & Ripponden (Adam Bell)
3. Linthwaite (Tommy Tynan)
4. Thurcroft Welfare (Matthew Wright)
5. Tingley (John Belton)
6. Gawthorpe Brass '85' (John Edward)
7. Loxley Silver (Lee Dunkley)
8. Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge) (Neil Robinson)
9. Rockingham (Adam Whittle)
10. Deepcar (Cathryn Rogers)

Comments by Malcolm Wood


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 12:38:29

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1st Place Trophy Presentation: Crofton Silver (Dean Jones)

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1st Place: MD Dean Jones (Crofton Silver)

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1st Place: Crofton Silver (Dean Jones)

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2nd Place: Dronfield Genquip (Simon Kerwin)

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3rd Place: Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)

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Youngest player 8 year old Genevieve Hieland of Oughtibridge

Results: Third Section:
Test Piece:'A Cambrian Suite' - Michael Ball

Adjudicators: Dr Robert Childs and Michael Dodd

1. Crofton Silver (Dean Jones)*
2. Dronfield Genquip (Simon Kerwin)*
3. Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)
4. Worsbrough Brass (John Hopkinson)
5. West Yorkshire Police (Kevin Wadsworth)
6. BD1 Brass (Chris Lewis)
7. Maltby Miners (Terry Clifford)
8. Barnsley Metropolitan (Alex Francis)
9. Armthorpe Elmfield (Hayden Griffiths MBE)
10. Dodworth Colliery M.W. (Eliot J. Darwin)
11. Clifton & Lightcliffe 'B' (John Clay)
12. Wetherby Silver (Michael Crowther)

*Top two bands qualify bands for National Final

Best Soloist: Andrew Clutton (cornet) - Crofton Silver
Youngest Player: Genevieve Heiland (aged 8) - Oughtibridge


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 12:21:50

Overall Thoughts:

A contest that certainly improved as it went along but still saw a number of bands find plenty of challenges within 'A Cambrian Suite'.

There may not be much in it at the top though and we anticipate things to be very tight.


4BR Prediction:

1. West Yorkshire Police
2. Worsbrough Brass
3. Dronfield
4. Crofton Silver
5. BD1 Brass
6. Maltby Main

DH: Barnsley Metropolitan


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 12:13:08

11. Barnsley Metropolitan (Alex Francis)

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Barnsley Metropolitan under the direction of Alex Francis

The South Yorkshire contender settles well into the musical challenge as their MD lays out a measured approach to the piece.

We hear effective lyrical playing balanced with good tempo's and dynamics. It's steady and purposeful and whilst it doesn't quite have the clarity at times as some others heard so far today, its not bad at all.

Overall:

A fine approach that certainly paid off with a confident show. Could be an outsider today

12.Dronfield Genquip (Simon Kerwin)

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Keeping the percussion quiet

Not everything links together from the off, but the potential is there for the music to come to the fore.

It's steady and just in need of a touch more clarity and confidence as the exposed middle section proves a touch problematic.

Life is easier on the ear as they head for home, but it just needs to be a touch more assertive to really make an impact.

Overall:

A reading that improved as it went along from Dronfield


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 11:44:55

9. BD1 Brass (Chris Lewis)

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Chris Lewis takes BD1 Brass in a bold and purposeful opening

A bold and purposeful opening from last year's Section 4 finalist. There's no shortage of confidence or belief on display here. The MD has set his stall out and he knows what he wants and the band are responding to his wishes.

The confident playing continues with effective ensemble and solo work and this is maintained right to the end.

Overall:

A very confident, composed reading. By no means error free but led by a fine cornet player and one that certainly has itself in contention.

10. Armthorpe Elmfield (Haydn Griffiths MBE)

It takes a little time to get into gear. There is some nice sounds but there is caution around the stand.

The caution remains, the notes are there, but the nervous contesting tension is there especially in the slow, exposed segments of the score.

As they head for home, the ensemble is more at ease but there are still challenges within the score though.

Overall:

The commitment and desire were palpable but it just didn't come off for Armthorpe Elmfield today.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 11:14:18

Section 3:

7. West Yorkshire Police (Kevin Wadsworth)

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Evening all! Ray Payne of Dock Green on stage with West Yorkshire Police

It's a steady opening from West Yorkshire Police but the musical lines come through. The MD is encouraging the musical lines to flow freely and the band are certainly responding. This is good stuff

If things don't go right, it doesn't dampen spirits at all as the drive and commitment remains in place as there is certainly some good playing on show. A confident close

Overall:

A very confident reading from the middle that certainly was well executed and one to ponder for the judges.

8. Crofton Silver (Dean Jones)

Crofton settles well, but there is caution and a touch of uncertainty at times which takes the sheen of the musical lines.

It just needs a touch more flow (for us) to have real impact and as they progress further, the more relaxed they become and confidence goes through the veins as they head for home.

Overall:

One that grew in confidence as it went along, but put themselves into consideration.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 10:50:20

Halfway Thoughts

It's been a Third Section contest that has been a bit of a slower burner. As with last week in Blackpool, it's the slow exposed parts of the piece that are sorting them out.

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Plenty of fighting Welsh spirit on show here so far

This is wide open at the break with any two of the last six bands taking to the stage being in with a chance of getting to Cheltenham.

1. Worsbrough Brass
2. Maltby Miners
3. Dodworth Colliery M.W.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 10:37:37

Section 3:

Michael Ball's cleverly conceived work has all its instructions and directions clearly marked on the score - the horizontal as well as the vertical as Michael Fowles so expertly pointed out last week in Blackpool.

The MDs are giving it a good go here - with some notably sweet soprano playing on show. One bit that is causing problems though is in the triplet inflection in the lead voice in 'Suo Gan' - starting on the euphonium. It's a lazy sounding lean in the original. Some have got it bob on but then others do not mimic it. It's a deceptively difficult little linguistic motif.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 10:37:33

Section 3:

5. Wetherby Silver (Michael Crowther)

There's caution in the opening bars that takes time to find its feet and settle down. The caution within the ranks means it's a touch more stifled than preferred. There are challenges and uncertainties at times but the MD is keeping everybody's eyes fully focussed.

There are still uncertainties but the ensemble has relaxed more and more as they've gone along although fatigue is evident at the end ensuring it doesn't finish as confidently as all would like.

Overall:

A rather inconsistent reading from Wetherby that had confidence but just didn't spark into life.

6. Clifton & Lightcliffe 'B' (John Clay)

The musical picture takes time to evolve. It's cautious but they know they can deliver the goods. It just needs more confidence to bring everything out.

There's no doubting the notes can go in, it's not coming together as efficiently and effectively as everyone would prefer, which is a real pity.

Overall:

The approach was good, but it was cautious and lacked consistency throughout.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 10:12:37

Section 3:

3. Worsbrough Brass (John Roberts)

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Worsbrough Brass and John Roberts in action

Bags of confidence and energy to open and it proves effective. John Roberts is asking for a free flowing reading and his ensemble is rising to the challenge here. Robust at times perhaps but real confident feel about Ball's work on display.

We hear more confident playing, stylish with energy and drive remaining. The musical pulse never dips here and it closes positively much to the delight of the band and MD.

Overall:

A very confident, well judged reading. Not blemish free but certainly the most confident account so far.

4. Dodworth Colliery M.W. (Eliot J Darwin)

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Dodworth in action with MD Eliot Darwin at the helm

It's certainly not short of confidence as it opens with a nice lyrical feel about it. There's the odd tricky moment though in some of the solo lines, but full marks for digging in and going for it.

There is confidence, but caution in the exposed lines also. The ensemble ensures it remains focussed though and recovers well.

Overall:

A passionate reading from the MD. One to enjoy for sure and kept you engaged right from the first note.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 09:46:56

Section 3:

1. Maltby Miners (Terry Clifford)

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We are off in Bradford with Maltby Miners - the first of 58 bands

Steady opening that eases its way into the work. The musical lines are delivered with clarity and whilst there is a touch of unease at times, there is confidence on display throughout the ensemble.

The confident playing continues. The MD has kept a tight reign on dynamics and tempo markings here and it has paid dividends for him today and they close so well.

Overall:

Confident opening marker from Maltby Miners that wasn't without the odd glitch at times, but went for it off number one.

2. Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)

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Oughtibridge with a perc team member knee high to a bass drum!

Things settle quickly and 'Men of Harlech' is delivered lyrically. There is a nice approach from the middle to encourage the band to play freely and they are responding well. The music continues to flow with confidence with any blemishes on the musical landscape, not holding them back.

The confident composed manner has remained right up until the close.

Overall:

An engaging one from Oughtibridge, it certainly kept you interested from the word go.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 09:32:13

We are off and away here in Bradford with the Third Section and Michael Ball's 'A Cambrian Suite' - a little taste of Wales here in the heart of Yorkshire.

An intersting look at the potential promotion and relegation tables in the programme (which has had a nice facelift) is a certain Black Dyke on 17 points in the top section - and currently last out of the 12 top flight bands. Just a point better off is Hepworth with Marsden and Hammonds on 15.


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 09:06:34

Draw: Third Section:
Test Piece:'A Cambrian Suite' - Michael Ball

Saturday 5th March
Draw: 8.00am
Commence: 9.15am

Adjudicators: Dr Robert Childs and Michael Dodd

1. Maltby Miners (Terry Clifford)
2. Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)
3. Worsbrough Brass (John Hopkinson)
4. Dodworth Colliery M.W. (Eliot J Darwin)
5. Wetherby Silver (Michael Crowther)
6. Clifton & Lightcliffe 'B' (John Clay)
7. West Yorkshire Police (Kevin Wadsworth)
8. Crofton Silver (Dean Jones)
9. BD1 Brass (Chris Lewis)
10. Armthorpe Elmfield (Haydn Griffiths MBE)
11. Barnsley Metropolitan (Alex Francis)
12. Dronfield Genquip (Simon Kerwin)

Comments by Malcolm Wood


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 07:46:37

It's the Third Section that kicks things off this morning - with Dr Robert Childs and Michael Dodd in the velvet tent to consider the merits of the bands on Michael Ball's 'A Cambrian Suite'.

We will put up the draw as soon as the gents are safely ensconced in their plush surroundings....

Until then - time for a cup of tea and a bite to eat (the organiser's put on some great bacon rolls here) and a chance to catch up with the banding gossip in these parts (and there is usually plenty)

We will report back.....


Yorkshire • Saturday 5, 07:41:32

As the old ELO song once said - 'Sun is shining in the sky' - hopefully by the looks of it anyway.

It's a 9.15am start at St George's Hall - and the yellow globe of hopefulness is as weak as a cup of pensioner's tea above the skyline here in Bradford as the first band secretaries start arriving for the draw at around 8.00am.

It heralds the start of what should be a great weekend of banding competition for what will be the last time until 2018 as the famous old venue undergoes a bit of a Jerry Hall facelift.

Next year's event will be at an equally impressive Victorian pile in Huddersfield - so a temporary end of an era, although over the years the Yorkshire Area has been held at various venues across God's green acre of banding glory....


Yorkshire • Friday 4, 22:04:57

Plenty of grubby snow covering the hills on the top of the M62 as we made our way to Bradford this evening. It's March in the north - and it's as cold as Winterfell in Game of Thrones. You could see your breath before your eyes....

It should be much warmer inside St George's Hall tomorrow - despite the last two occupants of Yorkshire's Championship Iron Throne either abdicating or taking their leave in foreign lands.....


Yorkshire • Friday 4, 09:01:39

Competing Bands:

Championship Section:
Test Piece: Cambridge Variations (Philip Sparke)

Sunday 6th March
Draw: 1.30pm
Commence: 3.30pm

Adjudicators: Michael Ball and Philip Sparke

Black Dyke (Prof. Nicholas J Childs)
Brighouse & Rastrick (Leigh Baker)
Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Russell Gray)
City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)
Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr. Robert Childs)
Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
Hepworth (Mark Peacock)
Marsden Silver (John Hinckley)
Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)
Strata Brass (Dr Owen Wedgwood)
Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) (David Hirst)
Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Stig Maersk)


First Section:
Test Piece: Essay (Edward Gregson)

Sunday 6th March
Draw: 8.30am
Commence: 10.00am

Adjudicators: John Doyle and Howard J Evans

Chapeltown Silver (Andrew Dennis)
Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)
Cornerstone Brass (Damian Wileman)
Drighlington (John Roberts)
Elland Silver (Daniel Brooks)
Hade Edge (Jonathan Beatty)
Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt)
Hebden Bridge (Alan Hobbins)
Knottingley Silver (Kevin Belcher)
Lindley (Ian Knapton)
Meltham & Meltham Mills (Norman Law)
Skelmanthorpe (Jim Davies)
South Yorkshire Police (Grenville Moore)


Second Section:
Test Piece: Mermaid of Zennor (Philip Harper)

Saturday 5th March
Draw: 2.30pm
Commence: 4.15pm approx

Adjudicators: John Doyle & Philip Sparke

Barnsley Brass (William Rushworth)
Dinnington Colliery (Lindon Bolt)
Emley (Garry Hallas)
Frickley/South Elmsall (Kyle Blake)
Horbury Victoria (Duncan Beckley)
Kippax (Jack Smith)
Old Silkstone (Sam Fisher)
Skelmanthorpe Prospect (Philip Garlick)
Slaithwaite (Robert Westacott)
Stannington (Derek Renshaw)
Wakefield Metropolitan (Stig Maersk)


Third Section:
Test Piece: A Cambrian Suite (Michael Ball)

Saturday 5th March
Draw: 8.00am
Commence: 9.15am

Adjudicators: Dr Robert Childs and Michael Dodd

Armthorpe Elmfield (Haydn Griffiths MBE)
Barnsley Metropolitan (Alex Francis)
BD1 Brass (Chris Lewis)
Clifton & Lightcliffe 'B' (John Clay)
Crofton Silver (Dean Jones)
Dodworth Colliery M.W. (Eliot J Darwin)
Dronfield Genquip (Simon Kerwin)
Maltby Miners (Terry Clifford)
Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)
West Yorkshire Police (Kevin Wadsworth)
Wetherby Silver (Michael Crowther)
Worsbrough Brass (John Roberts)


Fourth Section:
Test Piece: The Journal of Phileas Fogg (Peter Graham)

Saturday 5th March
Draw: 11.15am
Commence: 12.45pm approx

Adjudicators: Mike Kilroy and John Winterflood

Deepcar (Cathryn Rogers)
Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge) (Neil Robinson)
Gawthorpe Brass '85' (John Edward)
Huddersfield & Ripponden (Adam Bell)
Linthwaite (Tommy Tynan)
Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whitaker)
Loxley Silver (Lee Dunkley)
Rockingham (Adam Whittle)
Thurcroft Welfare (Matthew Wright)
Tingley (John Belton)



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


Enfield Citadel Band -

Saturday 25 November • The Salvation Army. 42 Clarence Road. Southend. SS1 1AN SS1 1AN


Newstead Brass -

Saturday 25 November • John Godber Centre. Ogle Street. Hucknall. Nottingham NG15 7FQ


Thoresby Colliery Band

November 22 • Sadly due to work commitments we are looking for an experienced Percussionist to join our friendly and progressive Band. The Band has experienced a recent run of good form and is currently enjoying a sensible mix of contests, concerts and recordings.


Thoresby Colliery Band

November 22 • Sadly due to work commitments we are looking for an experienced BBb Bass player to join our friendly and progressive Band. The Band has experienced a recent run of good form and is currently enjoying a sensible mix of contests, concerts and recordings.


Hitchin Band

November 21 • Due to a re-shuffle in our cornet section we are now looking for a REPIANO or FRONT ROW cornet player. We are a busy band currently at the top of the 1st section in the London and Southern Counties area. We rehearse Mon + Thurs - 7.45-9.45pm.


David A. Stowell


Conductor and composer