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2016 London & Southern Counties Regional Championships
As it happened

All the action from the 2016 London & Southern Counties Regional Championships — as it happened.

London and SC • Sunday 20, 20:41:09

So that's the end of a mammoth month of contesting. Congratulations to not just all the qualifiers for the Finals in the autumn but to every single band who has taken to the stage.

We hope you have enjoyed our coverage not just from Stevenage & Swansea this weekend but from around the UK.

News reports from Stevenage and Swansea soon. Good night - we are off for a lie down in a darkened room with a beer.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 19:43:28

Result:

Championship Section:
Test Piece: Cambridge Variations (Philip Sparke)
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and Ewan Easton

1. Friary Guildford (Chris King)*
2. Wantage Silver (Craig Patterson)*
3. Redbridge Brass (Alan Duguid)
4. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)
5. Thundersley Brass (Nigel Taken)
6. Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)
7. Regent Brass (Paul Archibald)
8. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)
9. Medway (Melvin White)
10. Staines Brass (Jonathan Pippen)
11. Ipswich & Norwich Co-op (Nigel Cooper)
12. Sandhurst Silver (Andrew Porter)

*Top two bands qualify bands for National Final

Best Cornet: Zone One Brass
Best Tenor Horn: East London Brass
Best Trombone Section: Redbridge
Best Euphonium: Redbridge


London and SC • Sunday 20, 19:40:48

Championship Section: Final round up and prediction:

A contest that has seen Philip Sparke's 'Cambridge Variations' tame a number of bands today with the overall standard being variable. The issue of Championship Section banding is always a hot topic, but if you ask us have we heard 12 really convincing renditions of the piece to true Championship Section standard, the answer has to be no.

We have to take our hats off to the bands though for putting themselves on the line and giving it a go. Some left everything on stage and it still won't be enough today.

The longer the day has gone, the more we wonder if we are in for a surprise or two this evening?

Frairy Guildford made the marker for others to beat - and we don't think anyone did.

We don't think East London has edged rhem, but, they did deliver a rendition that had character about it and the type of account that could tickle Mr Roberts' fancy along with Ewan Easton.

It just may get them to Kensington, but if not, a curious account from Zone One may well be making the shortish journey in the autumn. Staines could edge out a slightly misfiring Redbridge.

4BR Prediction:

1. Friary Guildford
2. East London Brass
3. Zone One
4. Staines
5. Redbridge
6. Medway

Dark Horse: Thundersley


London and SC • Sunday 20, 19:39:44

Results:

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

Adjudicators: Paul Norley and Philip Littlemore

1. Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)*
2. Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)*
3. Witney Town (Rhys Owens)*
4. Brighton and Hove City Brass (Matthew Hackett)
5. City of Norwich Brass (Andrew Craze)
6. Snowdown Colliery (Keith Twyman)
7. Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)
8. Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
9. Betteshanger Colliery Welfare (John Goold)
10. Royston Town (Steve Earley)
11. Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)
12. Pangbourne and District Silver (John Watts)
13. North London Brass (Patrick Dodds)
14. Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)
15. Hadstock Silver (Di Pannell)
16. Watford (Ian Graves)
17. Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)
18. Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)


*Top three bands qualify bands for National Final in Cheltenham


London and SC • Sunday 20, 19:38:24

Championship Section:

12. Thundersley Brass (Nigel Taken)

The final CV of the day and of this Regional series was an uncomfortable one that was pushed to the brink at times.

The MD and players worked like Trojans to give it their best, but it just never materialised. The detail lacked clarity at times and the tempo's were pushed. Despite commendable efforts in the ensemble and solo lines it just wasn't meant to be today.

Overall:

Sparke's work was a tough ask - just as many around the UK have found in the past month.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 19:15:57

Championship Section:

11. Wantage Silver (Craig Patterson)

A rendition of Sparke's work that certainly offered musical potential but never really felt that convincing.

Despite some fine solo and ensemble work, this never really sparked into life. It stretched them, but with some thoughtful stick work, they got there by the narrowest of margins although the tempos needed pulling back.. It didn't break them, but it sure tested them.

Overall:

Another contender to find Sparke's work a real test today.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 18:52:48

Championship Section:

10. Sandhurst Silver (Andrew Porter)

Sandhurst didn't quite master CV today despite their best efforts and astute leadership of military man, Andrew Porter. It was a fully committed reading from the word go that just needed more impetus to really stand up and be counted.

The opening did hold promise but the main solo lines, let alone some of the ensemble ones never really felt at ease. There were challenges in the inner part of the ensemble that remained un-cracked. The good stuff was excellent but the piece stretched them somewhat. Fair play to for keeping focussed right to the end.

Overall:

A very commendable account but one that stretched the Berkshire outfit today almost to their limit.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 18:29:08

Championship Section:

9. Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)

One of those renditions that was intriguing, exciting, energetic, engaging and frustrating all in equal measure - and that was enjoyable to listen too. That said it had unforced errors,but had the potential to really upset the apple cart.

You did wonder if it could maintain the dizzy heights thanks to the best efforts of the MD. There was some fine individual contributions (cornet the pick of the bunch) but some of the technical hurdles were never completely nullified. At times it was some of the best controlled playing of the day, at others it wasn't. Hats off to the shed builders who did a sterling job with a man down.

That said, there was enough here today to give it every chance - but we don't think it's a bullseye account.

Overall:

Intriguing, engaging, at times frustrating, but pushing for the top and Kensington - who knows?


London and SC • Sunday 20, 18:07:57

Championship Section:

8. Ipswich & Norwich Co-op (Nigel Cooper)

This was a CV that proved to be a stern test today, but one they overcome - just. It was flying by the seat of its pants at times and as a result it was yearning for greater clarity to really make you sit up and listen. Too many of the inner and outer lines were not clear or clean enough and were rushed.

Credit has to go to Nigel Cooper who knew he had his hands full today and was so composed with his delivery from the middle.

Overall:

Sparke's test got the better of the band today, but they deserve credit for hanging on by their coat tails to the end. Gutsy.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 17:43:50

Championship Section:

7. Staines Brass (Jonathan Pippen)

Staines and Jonathan Pippen recommence the contest with a carefully constructed rendition full of character and purpose.

It was laid out with intelligence from the middle - with a simple purpose of not pushing the band beyond its limits. The ensemble responded to the former Brighouse trombone player's wishes.

There was edginess at times with some insecurities, but the tempo's were well paced and matched by competent ensemble and solo lines in equal measure. It's one that will make the judges think. Not a winner, but just where in the pecking order will it end?

Overall:

An engaging one that kept you interested and could be one to create a surprise today.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 17:33:31

We are back under way now in Stevenage with the final six bands of this year's regional competitions.

Don't go away, the next two hours or so will be very interesting indeed.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 17:07:18

Championship Section: Halfway Thoughts:

It has been an interesting first half of the contest where Cambridge Variations has really shown its teeth and left a few bite marks.

We have had a variety in the standard; which started with a very solid reading from Friary Guildford. Thereafter its come down to performances of the mixed bag variety.

4BR Prediction:

1. Friary Guildford
2. East London Brass
3. Redbridge Brass


London and SC • Sunday 20, 17:05:49

Championship Section:

6. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)

An interesting one that engaged you but was never at ease with itself. Much of the good stuff was down to Mark Ager using his common sense - supported by magnificent blood and guts determination around the stand.

There were noticeable difficulties, but as we said, it was fight to the death at times and no surrendering. The lyrical sections were carefully shaped to give the players the chance to deliver artistically.

Overall:

A Cambridge that took its toll but one for which the band deserves huge credit.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 17:00:43

Section 4:

17. Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)

A good start but then a few more tuning issues. The bullfight was excellent - their strongest part so far., Tim Welch the conductor looks to be enjoying this and you can hear why. Big and bold at the end to round off a fine performance.

18. Brighton & Hove City Brass (Matthew Hackett)

Brighton deliver a performance of such confidence here that hasn't any sign of struggling through the various sections. A very good principal cornet maybe the best today and the music flows from each stop over right back to London. What a great effort as the last band to play. The wait was worth it.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 16:42:01

Championship Section:

5. Medway (Melvin White)

Medway and Melvin White built Sparke's piece on the back of some well constructed musical foundations. Make no mistake, it wasn't flawless - but it was a reading of basic common sense from the MD who knew how to draw the best out of his resources.

He also deserves a nice drink from his band for his approach too. The tempo's and pacing was well thought out and constructed. The inner and outer detail was a mixed bag but the solo and ensemble lines were very commendable.

The change in gears stretched them at times, but they will all live to tell the tale.

Overall:

A Cambridge Variations of thoughtful leadership from the middle that paid dividends. It was a stern test though at times.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 16:18:50

Championship Section:

4. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)

There were some inconsistencies and unforced errors that put a blemish or two on the musical picture that was intuitively thought out by Jayne Murrill. It was a CV full of effective dynamic contrasts, good pace and maximising the resources around the stand.

The ensemble and solo lines weren't bad at all, despite some wobbles. They survived by sheer guts from all those involved.

Fair to say the quality stuff came to the fore, but so too the fragilities, but this was one the MD and band deserved credit for.

Overall:

One that was flying by the seat of its pants at times, but it did its job today due to sheer guts and a MD who knew what she was faced with. One that could make its mark.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 16:06:40

Section 4:

15. Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)

A controlled opening with the basses doing so well and there is equally good transition into Can Can and the Spanish bullfight. The cornets start to sound just a bit tired because of their sterling efforts, but they have enough in the tank to support those great lower brass for a very controlled ending.

16. City of Norwich Brass (Andrew Craze)

Last year's winners are now the 16th out of 18 bands on. With great dynamics in the Paris section And the quality of the ensemble is so good. There is such confidence about this - perhaps winners again? With smooth transitions between sections, great solo lines and plenty of stamina to bring things to a majestic close - you won't bet against them doing it.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 15:57:02

Championship Section:

3. Redbridge Brass (Alan Duguid)

We up the stakes a bit from band number 2 with a rendition that grew in confidence as it went along. It wasn't without its fragilities at times, but there was a good underpinning of the technical aspects of the work.

The MD keeps the music flowing, but tuning issues really came to the fore and took the sheen off things somewhat, and at times the ensemble did well to hold its nerve as it battled against the challenges within the score.

The ride for home wasn't always free flowing and there was tiredness in evidence at the end.

Overall:

One that got better as it went along, but a rendition that was a stern test today. Intonation issues could be costly but some fine ensemble work was within it.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 15:33:09

Championship Section:

2. Regent Brass (Paul Archibald)

The ensemble is fairly tight to open, but it does seem a touch laboured at times. We would like to hear a bit more free flowing lines throughout.

This tested the ensemble and soloists at times. Full marks to the cornet lead for a fine effort and also to the MD for an astute bit of leadership from the middle. Paul Archibald knew this was a piece that could stretch his ensemble and it deserves credit today. He never once asked his team to deliver anything they couldn't do.

MD made sure the hard yards his band has put in counted with a well rounded sound.

Overall:

A very hard working CV that stretched the band at times throughout. Full marks for hanging on in there though to the end. Top draw commitment.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 15:09:45

Section 4:

13. Royston Town (Steve Earley)

Royston up next and they make a really good fist of things to open - with a nicely paced journey from London to Paris. Some great trills from the cornet. Just begins to lose focus in places and we hear some niggling little errors just taking the gloss off things. What a pity that. Great close our de things off well. A performance of a great start and end.

14. Watford (Ian Graves)

Watford take to the stage wanting to go a few places better after last year's fourth place finish.

They make a good job of it too - with the first half of this piece really full of life. it just loses a bit of focus and tempo in the final third, but what a nice band sound - and the dynamic balances are kept in check all the way through. A performance with touches of real refinement.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 15:09:36

Championship Section:

1. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

The defending champion takes to the stage to deliver a bold and colourful reading off the dreaded number 1 draw.

This was a rendition that engaged right from the off. It was one of those hard working accounts where the MD asked his band to do everything they could - and they responded superbly.

It wasn't flawless, but the quality of the ensemble and solos was of the highest quality. Everybody contributed here. There was some quality solo work from the top man.

We had some inconsistencies and this was a rendition that wasn't flawless - but by heck it didn't half leave an impression on you.

Overall:

Bold, but very impressive. Really went for it off number 1 to leave a big impression in the box. Only time will tell, but could take some top draw renditions to push it out of qualification.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 14:46:37

Section 4:

11. Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)

A slightly younger band compared to most in this afternoon's contest - but they seem so comfortable with the piece.

The young percussionist on kit keeps the band moving brilliantly in the Can Can - and the sombre mood of the Russian steppes comes with strong trills from the cornets, I'm not sure if they quite keep up with the waltz feel of Vienna. The middle of the band seems to be sounding good with a tight ending rounding off a fine show.

12. Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)

Last years 2nd placed band gets on stage and the beginning is clear and concise. The horns do a harmonious job of Moscow which is excellent, but they find the transition into the later stages of the tour a little more difficult - especially moving from Spain to the journey home. A nice big ending though brings a bold effort to a fine close.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 14:45:14

We are about to get going in the Championship Section shortly with the pre contest favourites, Friary drawn first.

Cambridge Variations has got the better of top section contenders so far on the regional merry go round apart from the very best outfits who have the date in Kensington in their diaries.

What can London deliver? Stephen Roberts and Ewan Easton will decide this one


London and SC • Sunday 20, 14:41:36

Draw:

Championship Section:
Test Piece: Cambridge Variations (Philip Sparke)
Gordon Craig Theatre
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and Ewan Easton

1. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
2. Regent Brass (Paul Archibald)
3. Redbridge Brass (Alan Duguid)
4. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)
5. Medway (Melvin White)
6. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)
7. Staines Brass (Jonathan Pippen)
8. Ipswich and Norwich Co-op (Nigel Cooper)
9. Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)
10. Sandhurst Silver (Andrew Porter)
11. Wantage Silver (Craig Patterson)
12. Thundersley Brass (Nigel Taken)


London and SC • Sunday 20, 14:29:31

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

Adjudicators: Mark Wilkinson and David Lancaster

1. Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)*
2. Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)*
3. Waterbeach Brass (Andrew Kershaw)
4. Hangleton (Richard Baker)
5. East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)
6. Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)
7. Olney Brass (Guy Bennett)
8. Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)
9. Cold Ash Brass (Jemma Evans)
10. Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)
11. Jubilee Brass (Oxford) (Clifford Sadler)
12. Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)
13. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
14. Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)
15. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
16. City of Oxford Silver (Nigel Hall)

*Top two bands qualify bands for National Final in Cheltenham


London and SC • Sunday 20, 14:15:18

Section 4:

9. Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)

Dynamically the best band so far - with nice flowing transitions. You can hear conductor the confidence in the band here - although perhaps they could have done a little more stylistically with the waltz. What good playing though - so clear and effective.

The journey home was light and airy, noble and clear to a very tightly controlled ending. Bravo!

10. Pangbourne & District Silver (John Watts)

A good transition between cornets during the opening sections is so good. A slightly different setup with the trombones on the front row and baritones and euphs behind - and this actually works.

Sadly, there are small tuning issues but it recovers well to a really solid ending. Different and enjoybale.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 14:08:26

Section Three round up and prediction:

What a difficult contest this has been to predict. All of the bands have given it their all, but it has been a contest of a variable standard. The challenge for the bands has been to play the three movements consistently whilst doing the banding basics.

Some have been more successful than others and it could be just down to pure taste in the box.

We don't think there will be much between the top two or three though, Whoever misses out can consider themselves to be a tad unlucky not to be in Cheltenham.

4BR Prediction:

1 Chinnor
2. Tendring
3. Hangleton
4. Waterbeach
5. Hemel Hempstead
6. Fairlop


London and SC • Sunday 20, 14:00:57


Section Three:

15. Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)

There's more than a hint of caution to open. The notes are there but there are some tricky moments that are taking the edge of things here.

The slow section was very cautious but full marks to soloists, ensemble and MD, you kept going with sheer grit.

The ensemble finds its feet as they relax and put a testing time behind them.

Overall:

A tough ask today but fully committed. Great effort well done.

16. Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)

It's a little inconsistent to start from the Hertfordshire outfit and debuting MD. Fair play to the conductor though, he is letting the music breath and giving his ensemble a chance.

Not everything works, but the style is good and the ensemble sound isn't bad at all, just needs touch more clarity in places, but full marks for really giving this a go.

Overall:

The style was good, but execution didn't always happen today.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 13:35:36

Section 4:

7. Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)

A clear and articulate start and the tempo Is very good moving into the Russian section with all the transitions and dynamics played so well.

The band should feel proud of how they've managed this today. Cornets seem also to be handling everything with so much ease along with the horns. Carefully conducted and delivered - this was impressive.

8. Snowdown Colliery (Keith Twyman)

With no obvious mistakes or errors throughout here with the cornetson fine form. Great solo work too - the best if the day in the Spanish section so far. Just a few slight mistakes here and there but nothing serious. The journey home and ending sounded so sonorous. A job well done that.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 13:32:56

Section Three:

13. City of Oxford Silver (Nigel Hall)

It's a tricky opening but one from which they recover with real merit and determination. Not everything is going to plan, too many unforced errors are meaning there is not enough clarity around the stand, but full marks for the approach.

There is tiredness in evidence here, but huge credit for not letting go and surviving.

Overall:

A reading that just never materialised but full marks for commitment.

14. Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)

Very steady to open. There are no real fireworks here, just steady lyrical playing and full marks to the MD for giving his ensemble chance to play the notes.

There are some tricky moments to overcome but the perseverance is superb. It doesn't matter what goes right or wrong, they just dig in.

Overall:

One like so many today, needed more consistency and clarity but they never let it out them off their stride.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 13:09:05

Section 4
5. Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)

A good start from Wantage with a young percussionist on kit producing some excellent playing - with a cracking effort.

A few small errors and tuning issues in the Russian section from the cornets, but the band's dynamics and spark are great - and bring the piece to life. What a good job of the waltz and the great end!

6. Hadstock Silver (Di Pannell)

A slightly messy start but the great trombone section really made up for this by digging deep in the Paris section. The band is sounding tighter and stronger as they progress - and we don't hear any mistakes tuning issues. What a a cracking end. Bravo.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 13:06:15

Section Three:

11. Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)

There's more than a hint of caution within the ranks so it takes time to settle before they relax. The detail needs a little bit more clarity but this is nicely styled.

Not everything links together though which is a real pity

Overall:

An account that was more than a touch tentative today.

12. Olney Brass (Guy Bennett)

Olney takes time to settle as not everything clicks into place from the opening bars. There's a nice style and warmth to the sound, but it just suffers from too many little musical niggles.

The slow section proves to be rather tricky though but full marks for getting through it. The band has relaxed a lot more as they head for home and they close confidently.

Overall:

A good reading but it was nervous at times today.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 13:04:10

Section 4:

3. Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)

A few youngsters and young adults in the ranks at Bletchington. They make a good entrance of the Paris section and transition into Russia is nicely done too. Sadly the Spanish section just needed some more impact and flamboyance. The conductors does well at keeping the band moving forward through the sections.

4. North London Brass (Patrick Dodds)

Everything has started neatly and clearly - especially in the muted cornets and all the dynamics and impact are there when needed.

The percussion bring an excellent sparkle to the Vienna section of the piece. I'm not sure if all the bands are doing the best job of the Spanish section so will be eager to see what other bands bring to the table on this. Nicely done all the way to the end though it has to be said.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 12:36:53

Section Three:

9. Jubilee Brass (Oxford) (Clifford Sadler)

Opening not totally secure, takes time to recover but when it settles there is some nice stuff.

There are some tricky moments and it's a little strident at times, but this is a commendable account that is never short of confidence and whilst there is tiredness they close ok.

Overall:

A reading that never really came to life today, very steady with fragilities

Section Three:

10. Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)

.

This was another like those that have gone before it today. Chinnor was safe and steady but they brought out the clarity of the music to the fore. They didn't let it bother them that were not at full strength. Full marks to the bass team for their efforts here.

It certainly has lots to admire and closes well.

Overall:

Safe, Steady but disciplined and interesting.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 12:12:46

Section 4:

1. Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)

Cottenham seemed very unflustered and confident making their way to the stage.

A confident start with the London &Paris sections sounding good but maybe a few slight tuning issues at the beginning of Russia maybe they could work on slightly tighter dynamics overall. At the end in the London sections some mistakes tend to appear mostly in the the tuning which is a shame
Good ending!

2. Witney Town (Rhys Owens)

The tubas make an excellent impactful start and the band don't seem to be tiring. Cornet playing in the Spanish section of journal of is excellent and again the tubas make an impactful response.

The transition into the homecoming is awesome.

Could Witney be placed higher than they were last year? We shall see what the other bands bring to the stage today. That was so enjoybale though.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 12:07:13

Section Three: Halfway Thoughts:

It's been an intriguing contest thus far with a number of bands finding the music an enjoyable, if not difficult at times, challenge.

No band has come away unscathed though so far and its close at the top, but plenty of time for ensembles to book finals places

4BR Prediction:

1. Tendring
2. Waterbeach Brass
3. Hangleton


London and SC • Sunday 20, 11:48:10

Section Three:

7. East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)

It's not a bad little opening, very steady, a touch cautious in some of the lines, but it is proving to be effective.

There are some troubles in the slow section, but they soldier on, very little phases them despite being the latest outfit to have just three basses.

There is some tiredness in the ranks but band does really well as they head for the close.

Overall:

One of those nearly ones with so much to admire even better as they were not at full strength.

8, Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)

Tendring the latest outfit to go for a steady opening that works for them. Not everything gels together but it's not short on confidence.

There is a nice feel to it, despite some insecurities, but hats off to them for giving this a go.

Once more the style is there, but there are just a few gremlins in the musical picture that get in the way of what they are looking to deliver.

Overall:

One not lacking in confidence, but had fragilities at times.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 11:22:08

Draw: Fourth Section:
Test Piece: The Journal of Phileas Fogg (Peter Graham)
Main Hall
Split Draws: 10:30am and 12:30pm
Adjudicators: Paul Norley and Philip Littlemore

1. Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)
2. Witney Town (Rhys Owens)
3. Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)
4. North London Brass (Patrick Dodds)
5. Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)
6. Hadstock Silver (Di Pannell)
7. Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)
8. Snowdown Colliery (Keith Twyman)
9. Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)
10. Pangbourne & District Silver (John Watts)
11. Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
12. Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)
13. Royston Town (Steve Earley)
14. Watford (Ian Graves)
15. Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)
16. City of Norwich Brass (Andrew Craze)
17. Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)
18. Brighton & Hove City Brass (Matthew Hackett)
Betteshanger Colliery Welfare (John Goold)


London and SC • Sunday 20, 11:20:26


Section Three:

5. Cold Ash Brass (Jemma Evans)

It's not a bad opening and whilst they are light on numbers the MD does a great job in keeping things tight. It moves with freedom and is very relaxed, any stresses and strains are put to one side though.

There remains lots to admire here, its not flawless, but lots of good control

Overall:

6, Waterbeach (Andrew Kershaw)

Waterbeach start strongly with the MD taking his third band of the contesting weekend here. There is a really nice feel to the music. It flows and we hear detail we have not heard too much so far this morning.

The euphonium is a nice voice and there's a real confident feeling on show here. There remains good composure all around the stand. Not everything clicks but its impressive stuff.

Overall:

A very impressive reading this and a confident outfit who certainly got inside the music.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 11:07:29

Section Three:

3. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)

The opening is nicely shaped, very light and effective. We move into central section that again is well shaped, but there are some fragilities in the ensemble. It's not a bad sounding ensemble at all, that closes well despite odd blemish.

Overall:

a neat reading, that lost impetus towards the end, despite some tricky moments.

4. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)

It's not a bad opening, steady if a little un-effective, but they're giving this a good go. Once more an ensemble with trio of basses, well done all – great sterling work.

It's very safe but the band sound is strong and confident. It's really nicely shaped this, just a few issues along the way, but its certainly got a lot to admire

Overall:

Not bad at all, a bit nervous at times though, but fine effort.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 10:27:31

Section Three:

1. Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)

Steady opening, tight and bold. There is more than the odd moment where it becomes unbalanced but they soldier on. All soloists do ok, euphonium the pick of them. Sound is touch raw when in full flight

Final section, quick, loud but not all in sync

Overall:

One that offered plenty to admire but needed more clarity.

2. Hangleton (Richard Baker)

Nice start, lively but its tidy and efficient. The three basses are doing a great job here.

We are catching some intonation issues what a pity, but this is so well thought out and laid out.

There are some tricky moments in the intricate playing but they don't detract too much from the overall picture.

Overall:

Not a bad one at all, the benchmark to base the others against.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 09:54:46

Draw

Third Section:
Test Piece: A Cambrian Suite (Michael Ball)
Sunday 20th March
Gordon Craig Theatre
Adjudicators: Mark Wilkinson and David Lancaster

1. Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)
2. Hangleton (Richard Baker)
3. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
4. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
5. Cold Ash Brass (Jemma Evans)
6. Waterbeach (Andrew Kershaw)
7. East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)
8. Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)
9. Jubilee Brass (Oxford) (Clifford Sadler)
10. Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)
11. Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)
12. Olney Brass (Guy Bennett)
13. City of Oxford Silver (Nigel Hall)
14. Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)
15. Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)
16. Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)


London and SC • Sunday 20, 09:54:14

Good morning from Stevenage where we will be getting under way at 10.00am with Section Three.

Judges David Lancaster & Mark Wilkinson are in the box awaiting sixteen performances of 'A Cambrian Suite'.


London and SC • Sunday 20, 07:48:09

Its another full day at Stevenage with the Fourth, Third and Championship contests taking place in the Main Hall and Gordon Craig Theatre.

Championship Section:
Test Piece: Cambridge Variations (Philip Sparke)
Sunday 20th March
Gordon Craig Theatre
Draw 1.00pm
Commence: After Third Section results
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and Ewan Easton

East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)
Friary Guildford (Chris King)
Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)
Ipswich and Norwich Co-op (Nigel Cooper)
Medway (Melvin White)
Redbridge Brass (Alan Duguid)
Regent Brass (Paul Archibald)
Sandhurst Silver (Andrew Porter)
Staines Brass (Jonathan Pippen)
Thundersley Brass (Nigel Taken)
Wantage Silver (Craig Patterson)
Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)


Third Section:
Test Piece: A Cambrian Suite (Michael Ball)
Sunday 20th March
Gordon Craig Theatre
Draw: 9.000am
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: Mark Wilkinson and David Lancaster

Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)
City of Oxford Silver (Nigel Hall)
Cold Ash Brass (Jemma Evans)
East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)
Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)
Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
Hangleton (Richard Baker)
Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)
Jubilee Brass (Oxford) (Clifford Sadler)
Olney Brass (Guy Bennett)
Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)
Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)
Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)
Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)
Waterbeach (Andrew Kershaw)


Fourth Section:
Test Piece: The Journal of Phileas Fogg (Peter Graham)
Sunday 20 March
Main Hall
Split Draws: 10:30am and 12:30pm
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: Paul Norley and Philip Littlemore

Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)
Betteshanger Colliery Welfare (John Goold)
Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)
Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
Brighton and Hove City Brass (Matthew Hackett)
Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)
City of Norwich Brass (Andrew Craze)
Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)
Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)
Hadstock Silver (Di Pannell)
Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)
North London Brass (Patrick Dodds)
Pangbourne and District Silver (John Watts)
Royston Town (Steve Earley)
Snowdown Colliery (Keith Twyman)
Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)
Watford (Ian Graves)
Witney Town (Rhys Owens)
Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)


London and SC • Saturday 19, 21:40:22

That's it for today from Stevenage. It's Sections 3, 4 and Championship starting 10.00am tomorrow morning.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 21:39:44

embedded picture

1st. Place Aveley & Newham (Robert Nunnery)

Results:

First Section:
Test Piece: 'Essay' - Professor Edward Gregson

Adjudicators: Mark Wilkinson and Paul Norley

1. Aveley & Newham (Robert Nunnery)*
2. Northfleet Brass (Melvin White)*
3. Hitchin (Graham Chambers)
4. Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)
5. Ware Brass (Philip Littlemore)
6. Colchester (David Maddocks)
7. Kidlington Concert Brass (Paul Cosh)
8. Becontree Brass (Nigel Taken)
9. Horsham Borough (Andrew Kershaw)
10. City of Cambridge (Andrew Kershaw)
11. Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)
12. Egham (Gareth Green)
13. Fulham (John Ward)
14. Milton Keynes Brass (Craig Patterson)
15. Epsom & Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
16. Wantage Silver 'B' (Danny Dullforce)

Best Cornet: Hitchin
Best Basses: Aveley & Newham

*Top two bands qualify bands for National Final


London and SC • Saturday 19, 20:56:36

Section One round up and prediction:

Gregson's 'Essay' has again proved to be a fine choice (congratulations to the Music Panel for picking it) but also a very stern one as reinforced by today's contest.

With its transparency of writing offering no place to hide, a number of bands have come unstuck with a very variable standard on show.

Whether this is due in part to the thinking of 'it's easier than it says on the tin', only they know, but a constant frustration today has been bands being unable play in time - something that bands at this level should be able to do more consistently than we have heard. We are not totally convinced we have heard true Section One bands today: This piece shouldn't be as problematic as its been.

As for the top 6 - the top two will be pushed hard by a quintet that could easily finish in any order.

We are sticking our necks on the line with band number 1, Kidlington to win here with Aveley & Newham joining them for qualification.

After that, it's a real scrap for places with Colchester, Northfleet, Becontree and Jersey in contention.

Who knows, but it could be very close.


4BR Prediction:

1. Kidlington Concert
2. Aveley & Newham
3. Colchester
4. Northfleet
5. Becontree
6. Jersey Premier

DH: Wantage


London and SC • Saturday 19, 20:54:53

Section One:

15. Becontree Brass (Nigel Taken)

This was a lovely free-flowing reading of the score that had lots to be admired with some good solo and ensemble lines.

There may be the odd bit of frustration too as errors may have meant they miss out on a Finals berth as the good stuff really did gel together well.

There was good cohesion and balance in the opening 'Dialogue' whilst the central 'Soliloquy' had moments of unease. Towards the end it lost too much control

Overall:

One that promised to be a cracker but unravelled but top 6?

16. Horsham Borough (Andrew Kershaw)

Another one of those performances that grew as it went along, but wasn't totally convincing from the outset.

The 'Dialogue' took too long to settle, the 'Soliloquy' wasn't without its unease although the cornet line was the pick of the solo lines, with the euph giving a commendable effort.

The closing 'Epigram' was unfortunately untidy and tired.

Overall:

Not the first today to get better as it went along, but also suffer from too much untidiness.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 20:18:51

Section One:

13.Northfleet Brass (Melvin White)

A persuasive musical argument and one of the few ensembles today to be able to play in time, something which you'd have thought would count in their favour.

The 'Dialogue' was carefully constructed whilst the ''Soliloquy' was a touch subdued and melancholic – well done solo cornet. Did it need a touch more sharp wit to close, but this was overall very well done.

Overall:

An astute Essay from Mr White it must be said. It may not be an A* and qualification to Cheltenham, but it may not be too far off either for the examiners.

14.Ware Brass (Philip Littlemore)

Ware's 'Essay' grew in intensity and security as it went along and one of those performances that has that 'If Only' feel about it. The first movement linked together although there were some uncomfortable moments.

The 'Soliloquy' featured a warm tone, but the wheels started to come off in the 'Epigram' with tiredness certainly in evidence and more clarity needed. It was too fast at the end.

Overall:

One that did get better as it went along but one that had lots of fragilities within it as well.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 19:42:42

Section One:

11. Aveley and Newham (Robert Nunnery)

There was a persuasive written dialogue about this performance although like many others today and around the UK during the contests, not everything knitted together to fully give you the real message.

The detail came through with tight tempo's that stilled allowed for flexibility. There was a lovely feel to 'Soliloquy' melancholic at times.

The 'Epigram' was full of wit and humour, good balance and tidy playing.

Overall:

Very impressive indeed and one that could make its mark today.

12. Egham (Gareth Green)

A reading that held promise but wasn't able to maintain its stamina and deliver the answers required.

The opening 'Dialogue' promised much and was free-flowing and the central ''Soliloquy' certainly had its moments, a sweet sounding cornet the highlight.

The 'Epigram' was light and pacey, but it was a shame tiredness crept in towards the end.

Overall:

Not the first today to hold promise but the potential not be materialised.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 19:08:55

Section One:

9. Milton Keynes Brass (Craig Patterson)

There was a warmth and cultured approach to this 'Essay' that whilst wasn't without errors was carefully laid out in its delivery.

The 'Dialogue' was nicely detailed, balanced and well shaped. The 'Soliloquy' was tastefully done with fine cornet lead.

The traps of the 'Epigram' were evident though and the close slightly off key.

Overall:

Not a bad one but did fall into the musical obstacles that were within the piece.

10. Wantage Silver 'B' (Danny Dullforce)

An 'Essay' that fully understood the questions asked but we wonder if they answered all of them consistently enough?

The 'Dialogue' was nicely judged but faltered at times, but the cornet was the pick of the tasty lead lines in the 'Soliloquy'.

The 'Epigram' sounded a touch tired at times. It wasn't bad, but you just felt concentration and the hard graft of the pen had taken its toll.

Overall:

One that had much to appreciate with good soloists, but the balance wasn't always bang on. Could be a case of maybe, maybe not today?


London and SC • Saturday 19, 18:23:32

Section One Halfway Thoughts:

As has been the case around the country, 'Essay' has proved to be a very difficult musical and technical exercise to master. Have we really heard bands of real First Section capabilities so far today? In all honesty, probably not.

One of the biggest frustrations so far is the lack of ability for ensembles to play in time. Some tutors may give their pupils a detention for that alone.

This piece shouldn't be too difficult at this level, but after Kidlington off the number one draw, it's a real scrap for podium places

4BR Prediction:

1. Kidlington Concert Brass
2. Colchester
3. Jersey Premier


London and SC • Saturday 19, 18:10:17

Section One:

7. Colchester (David Maddocks)

It's a bold and purposeful argument to open that never really loses its focus. In many respects, its clearly defined and plays to the bands strengths.

The 'Dialogue' bristled with energy although the central 'Soliloquy' could arguably have benefited from a bit more tranquillity at times but had a great cornet. It sounded forced. The 'Epigram' got things back on track, but it wasn't without the odd question mark at the end.

Overall:

One which had plenty to admire and one to think about for the judges.

8. City of Cambridge (Andrew Kershaw)

It's a really solid opening that isn't pushed beyond its limits but is very secure and forthright in its opinion.

The 'Soliloquy' wasn't bad at all, nicely shaped with a tasteful cornet, although he wasn't flawless but lovely sound. Other good lines followed from euph and trombone.

The 'Epigram' just lost a bit of pulse and focus at times, but there was a nice flourish.

Overall:

A nearly one, but nevertheless a pretty solid one as well that just lost focus at times.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 17:40:17

Section One:

5. Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)

The confident approach from the middle was certainly responded to by the players from across in the Channel Islands. There was a sense of musical purpose about the 'Dialogue' that was free flowing and engaging.

In the ''Soliloquy' the band and soloists had its moments too. A sweet sounding cornet and a tasty euphonium the highlights.

The 'Epigram' is very light and pacey. It could be a touch quick for some but it seems to work here today.

Overall:

Not a bad reading and perhaps the nearest to get closest to band one so far.

6. Hitchin (Graham Chambers)

The opening is a touch robust and arguably set the tone here. And it wasn't the intent more the execution where you could argue they came a little unstuck.

The opening 'Dialogue' was compact in tempo's and dynamics with the ''Soliloquy' flowing nicely. Unfortunately there were errors in both which took the sheen off things somewhat.

A good close and a confident opening to 'Epigram' got things back on track but it needed a touch more impetus in the closing sentences.

Overall:

The reading was well shaped but errors could be costly today.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 17:05:49

Section One:

3. Fulham (John Ward)

It's not the tidiest of openings from last years National Finalist, Fulham, although John Ward is trying to put together a very cohesive musical argument here but its suffering from too many errors. With this in mind, John knows the strengths and limitations of his band and is not pushing them outside their comfort zone.

Not everything works in the central section and it loses focus and impetus although the cornet is tasty and the opening bars of the final section don't sit well. The band recovers well to close, but again not all gels together.

Overall:

An intriguing one that never perhaps maintained its potential.

4. Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)

Bedford open up in a confident manner but the argument is in need of greater clarity. That clarity never really shines through as much as they would like.

The middle segment isn't too bad and full praise to the cornet player. It wasn't his day, but he dug in to the bottom of the well to keep it going. They close well though.

The 'Epigram' is pacey and light, just a little scrappy and untidy in places

Overall:

An Essay that never really came to life today and the argument was a struggle at times.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 16:22:40

Section One:

1. Kidlington Concert Brass (Paul Cosh)

It's a very well constructed musical argument this to start. This argument continues with real forcefulness and effect ensemble work.

MD, Paul Cosh is not pushing things too much outside of their comfort zone here and this is working for them and they've delivered a very competent reading.

Overall:

A really competent solid marker that would have made an impression in other regions, interesting to see how it goes here.

2. Epsom and Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)

There's a rather tentative opening and the musical direction of the argument gets lost somewhat, but it does recover and the first segment closes well.

Essay continues to pose questions as the central movement just never sounds at ease and proves to be a challenge.

The concluding 'Epigram' sounds fractured and insecure although there was verve and tiredness in equal measure at the close.

Overall:

An Essay that posed more questions today than it gave answers


London and SC • Saturday 19, 15:37:24

Draw

First Section:
Test Piece: 'Essay' - Professor Edward Gregson

Saturday 19th March
Gordon Craig Theatre

Draw: 2pm
Commence: at conclusion of Second Section results

Adjudicators: Mark Wilkinson and Paul Norley

1. Kidlington Concert Brass (Paul Cosh)
2. Epsom and Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
3. Fulham (John Ward)
4. Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)
5. Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)
6. Hitchin (Graham Chambers)
7. Colchester (David Maddocks)
8. City of Cambridge (Peter Bassano)
9. Milton Keynes Brass (Craig Patterson)
10. Wantage silver 'B' (Danny Dullforce)
11. Aveley and Newham (Robert Nunnery)
12. Egham (Gareth Green)
13. Northfleet Brass (Melvin White)
14. Ware Brass (Philip Littlemore)
15. Becontree Brass (Nigel Taken)
16. Horsham Borough (Andrew Kershaw)


London and SC • Saturday 19, 15:32:21

Results:

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

Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and David Lancaster

1. Cawston (David Stowell)*
2. St. Sebastian Wokingham (Lee Woodward)*
3. Soham Comrades (Jayne Murrill)
4. Grimsdyke (Sharon Broughall)
5. Littleport Brass (Nigel Bramley)
6. Chiltern Hills Brass (Gordon Davies)
7. Amersham (Paul Fisher)
8. Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)
9. Yiewsley & West Drayton (Chris Cole)
10. Welwyn Garden City (Graham Chambers)
11. LGB Brass (Ian Stewart)
12. Tilbury (Andrew Austin)
13. Epping Forest (Keith Schroeter)
14. BAE Systems (Jonathan Crowhurst)
15. Chichester City (Tim Cooper)
16. Norfolk Wherry Brass (Kevin Mann)

Bass Section: St. Sebastian Wokingham
Trombones: Cawston

*Top two bands qualify bands for National Final in Cheltenham


London and SC • Saturday 19, 15:10:56

Final round up and Prediction:

Well its been an intriguing and frustrating contest of almost five hours duration. For us a lot of bands could play this piece today but didn't. A fair number of performances just never sparkled and delivered consistent musical accounts.

They can take comfort from the rest of the UK that it was a toughy to conquer. As for a top six and winners, this could be a very interesting one.

We're going for Soham Comrades from Cawston then needle in haystack with Amersham, LGB Brass, Chiltern Hills, Grimsdyke, Littleport Brass.

4BR Prediction:

1. Soham Comrades
2. Cawston
3. Amersham
4. LGB Brass
5. Chiltern Hills
6. Grimsdyke

DH Littleport


London and SC • Saturday 19, 14:57:22

Section Two:

15. LGB Brass (Ian Stewart)

The opening is nicely controlled and focussed. This is a good sounding ensemble who is playing with consummate belief and enthusiasm.

The central slow section sits well, although not everything is totally together and united.

As we close, more confident playing, full of drive and belief and effective tempos and dynamics. This all works well together.

Overall:

A really confident show that without question has thrown its hat into the ring.

16. Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)

Hungerford starts off ok but confidence starts to evaporate a little as things go awry more than would be preferred.

It's not too bad in the central section, just a few uncertainties within the ensemble.

Tempos and energy pushed as we head for the climax but we need more clarity at times for it really to make an impression.

Overall:

One that certainly offered to deliver but never really came off.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 14:18:36

Section Two:

13. St. Sebastian Wokingham (Lee Woodward)

A steady opening that takes its time to get into gear. There are some cautious moments and uncertainties around the stand though.

The central slow section isn't the easiest of challenges. The caution is there, but its perhaps the inward belief that stops the notes coming out. A real shame.

As they head for the end, the caution sadly remains. This is a good sounding band that hasn't really found its feet or comfort zone today.

Overall:

One of those performances that offered potential but didn't quite bring it to the fore today.


14. Littleport Brass (Nigel Bramley)

There's a nice feel to it with good sounds and energy. This is celebratory stuff, but arguably a very different take on the Mermaid.

It's the central section that proves troublesome like it has for so many today. There is belief but its matched with uncertainty too.

Not everything works here, but its not bad at all. We hear a good sounding ensemble that knows it can deliver the musical picture confidently.

Overall:

A well judged reading of a slightly different take on the Mermaid that may just tickle their fancies in the box. Who knows?


London and SC • Saturday 19, 13:41:35

Section Two:

11. Chichester City (Tim Cooper)

It's a steady celebratory opening compounded with hints of caution. Those cautious moments remain through to the conclusion of the first section.

There's a lot of unease in the slow movement (comfort comes with the knowledge they are not alone) but the hymn tune is nicely shaped.

The notes are there, but it just never sits comfortably, which is a real pity with tiredness certainly impacting.


Overall:

The notes were there today but so was the caution and uncertainty which unfortunately impacted on the performance.


12. Amersham (Paul Fisher)

There's a nice feel as they open, confident and celebratory. That confidence continues from a good sounding band, but they tread carefully to avoid the musical traps.

There is further good playing on display in the slow section, composed and well judged allowing the players to deliver the goods without the fear factor.

We hear more good stuff from around the stand, well paced with clarity and good dynamic contrasts

Overall:

A really impressive reading and finely delivered account this. Not perfect by any means, but one to think about for sure.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 13:05:40

Section Two:

9. Soham Comrades (Jayne Murrill)

The opening is really celebratory and full of life. There is a fine musical picture being painted here. The good stuff continues with a well judged middle section that is composed and controlled and a delightful hymn.

The band delivers another confident section to close, full of life, energy and music vitality.

Overall:

A quality reading and delivery full of confidence and musical expression. One that certainly is beatable but leads with a degree of comfort for us.

10. Tilbury (Andrew Austin)

With the MD wearing the flashiest shoes of the day so far, the Essex outfit takes a bit of time to find comfort with the music.

It's very cautious at times which is a real pity as they can deliver here. It just has too much caution and nervous tension though.

The closing section is an edgy run for home. The notes are there, they just need more clarity and a little bit more composure.

Overall:

This was one that never really came to life today. The notes were there though, just needed more clarity.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 12:37:08

Ladies and Gents, there has been another request for people NOT to make audio recordings or photography.

If you are asked by the hall management more than once to comply with hall regulations, you will be asked to leave and eradicate from your devices what have you done illegally!

Hall staff are sat listening and watching. This is a public theatre, not a private rehearsal venue.

Official recordings are available.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 12:32:53

Halfway Thoughts:

No punches pulled, no band has really delivered a stand out Mermaid as yet. It's a contest of inconsistent renditions, with the 16-18 section very problematic for a number.

There have been some commendable offerings though,with Cawston & Chiltern Hills leading the pack.

4BR Prediction:

1. Cawston
2. Chiltern Hills
3. Grimsdyke

All to play for though


London and SC • Saturday 19, 12:32:15

Section Two:

7. Chiltern Hills Brass (Gordon Davies)

There's a nice feel to this as it opens, but there are some troubled waters as well, but full marks to the ensemble for their belief.

The slow moment is composed and controlled. There is a hint of caution (but everyone has had that so far today) but the hymn is nicely done.

Things gel and come together well. It's a bit steady at times but the notes are there and they close well.

Overall:

Lots to appreciate about this, it wasn't as polished as it could be, but there was a really nice feel to it and it could be an interesting one for the judges.

Great to see Regional Secretary Kevin Williams on stage today. He's doing a great job here with his team, but it doesn't stop him competing. Bravo!

8. Cawston (David Stowell)

It starts off well with good intentions which are maintained as we progress, but there blips on the musical landscape that are a challenge.

The middle slow section sits well and works for the band. They know they can play it and are doing so with a degree of musical purpose.

The closing section is more of the same and inner belief and fine playing, not flawless, but by heck, its tasty.

Overall:

We've upped the ante here from that has gone before it and this was one that certainly made an impression and it will be interesting to see what judges think.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 11:43:56

Section Two:

5. BAE Systems (Jonathan Crowhurst)

There is a really nice feel to the opening to the band that conquered section three a year ago. Some parts go better than others, but it's a real team effort

It's not too bad in the quiet slow section but the hymnal section has a really warm feel to it.

The closing section brims with confidence but there is hint of tiredness at times

Overall:

Not a bad one, almost a nearly one but they like others had inconsistences today.


6. Epping Forest (Keith Schroeter)

There's not too much celebrating going on here, its all very low key. The ensemble does find its feet but the caution remains/

The slow central movement needs a little more flow. The notations are there, but its perhaps inner belief that they can play it, They can, just relax!

The ensemble relaxes and is more at ease as they head for home. This is their best section, but there is tiredness in evidence that takes the sheen off things.

Overall:

A reading where you knew the band could certainly play it, it just needed a touch more inward belief though.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 11:10:05

Section Two:

3. Grimsdyke (Sharon Broughall)

There is a real vibrant bubbly feel to the opening, with lots to admire here. It could do with a touch more clarity at times though.

The slow moment is cautious but they can play this with more belief and impetus, go for it guys, you can play this.

The confidence is there as we head for the close and there is some good playing, but also some that misfires too at times.

Overall:

A reading that had lots to admire and appreciate, although it was a touch cautious at times it had some good stuff within it.

4. Norfolk Wherry Brass (Kevin Mann)

A really composed and confident opening, with effective tempos and dynamics that pay dividends for them.

All is going well, but there some trepidation as we enter the slow movement. It's cautious but there is a nice feeling to the hymn.

The closing section is positive, well drilled and effective. Ok, not everything links together as it could but there is a really tight bright sound in evidence as we reach the end.

Overall:

One that was played with a degree of confidence but wasn't flawless though, but one that could that had lots to admire.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 10:36:27

Section Two:

1. Welwyn Garden City (Graham Chambers)

There's a real confidence and celebratory feeling about the opening. There is caution though but those are put to one side and they dig in and really go for it.

The slow movement is a little bit of a tight rope but they cope, with a thoughtful hymnal section.

The closing isn't too bad, a few tricky corners but get there through to end

Overall:

Not a bad marker, but it was a little nervy and had that number one feeling about it at times.


2. Yiewsley & West Drayton (Chris Cole)

There's a nice warm glow to the opening, it puts a smile on the face. There is a hint of caution at times but it doesn't put them of there stride - its steady stuff.

The slow section isn't bad at all, a few tricky sticky moments but a nice hymn and persuasive closing section.

Overall:

A reading that offered potential but did it quite come off today?


London and SC • Saturday 19, 10:22:53

A reminder from the stage - there is no photography or audio recording allowed. There are official recordings being done available from World of Sound.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 10:04:33

We are about to get underway. David Lancaster & Stephen Roberts are in the box.

Please remember no photos or recording. Theatre staff will ask you to vocate the theatre and eradicate your recording on your device. Recordings done by World of Sound so you have no excuses.

Good luck to all this weekend.


London and SC • Saturday 19, 10:00:46

Draw:

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

Saturday 19th March
Gordon Craig Theatre

Draw: 9.00am
Commence: 10.00am

Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and David Lancaster

1. Welwyn Garden City (Graham Chambers)
2. Yiewsley and West Drayton (Chris Cole)
3. Grimsdyke (Sharon Broughall)
4. Norfolk Wherry Brass (Kevin Mann)
5. BAE Systems (Jonathan Crowhurst)
6. Epping Forest (Keith Schroeter)
7. Chiltern Hills Brass (Gordon Davies)
8. Cawston (David Stowell)
9. Soham Comrades (Jayne Murrill)
10.Tilbury (Andrew Austin)
11. Chichester City (Tim Cooper)
12. Amersham (Paul Fisher)
13. St. Sebastian Wokingham (Lee Woodward)
14. Littleport Brass (Nigel Bramley)
15. LGB Brass (Ian Stewart)
16. Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)


London and SC • Saturday 19, 09:12:12

2016 London & Southern Counties Regional Championships from the Arts & Leisure Centre in Stevenage.

Championship Section:
Test Piece: Cambridge Variations (Philip Sparke)
Sunday 20th March
Gordon Craig Theatre
Draw 1.00pm
Commence: After Third Section results
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and Ewan Easton

East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)
Friary Guildford (Chris King)
Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)
Ipswich and Norwich Co-op (Nigel Cooper)
Medway (Melvin White)
Redbridge Brass (Alan Duguid)
Regent Brass (Paul Archibald)
Sandhurst Silver (Andrew Porter)
Staines Brass (Jonathan Pippen)
Thundersley Brass (Nigel Taken)
Wantage Silver (Craig Patterson)
Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)


First Section:
Test Piece: Essay (Edward Gregson)
Saturday 19th March
Gordon Craig Theatre
Draw: 2pm
Commence: at conclusion of Second Section results
Adjudicators: Mark Wilkinson and Paul Norley

Aveley and Newham (Robert Nunnery)
Becontree Brass (Nigel Taken)
Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)
City of Cambridge (Peter Bassano)
Colchester (David Maddocks)
Egham (Gareth Green)
Epsom and Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
Fulham (John Ward)
Hitchin (Graham Chambers)
Horsham Borough (Andrew Kershaw)
Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)
Kidlington Concert Brass (Paul Cosh)
Milton Keynes Brass (Craig Patterson)
Northfleet Brass (Melvin White)
Wantage silver 'B' (Danny Dullforce)
Ware Brass (Philip Littlemore)


Second Section:
Test Piece: The Mermaid of Zennor (Philip Harper)
Saturday 19th March
Gordon Craig Theatre
Draw: 9.00am
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and David Lancaster

Amersham (Paul Fisher)
BAE Systems (Jonathan Crowhurst)
Cawston (David Stowell)
Chichester City (Tim Cooper)
Chiltern Hills Brass (Gordon Davies)
Epping Forest (Keith Schroeter)
Grimsdyke (Sharon Broughall)
Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)
LGB Brass (Ian Stewart)
Littleport Brass (Nigel Bramley)
Norfolk Wherry Brass (Kevin Mann)
Soham Comrades (Jayne Murrill)
St. Sebastian Wokingham (Lee Woodward)
Tilbury (Andrew Austin)
Welwyn Garden City (Graham Chambers)
Yiewsley and West Drayton (Chris Cole)


Third Section:
Test Piece: A Cambrian Suite (Michael Ball)
Sunday 20th March
Gordon Craig Theatre
Draw: 9.000am
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: Mark Wilkinson and David Lancaster

Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)
City of Oxford Silver (Nigel Hall)
Cold Ash Brass (Jemma Evans)
East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)
Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)
Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
Hangleton (Richard Baker)
Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)
Jubilee Brass (Oxford) (Clifford Sadler)
Olney Brass (Guy Bennett)
Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)
Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)
Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)
Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)
Waterbeach (Andrew Kershaw)


Fourth Section:
Test Piece: The Journal of Phileas Fogg (Peter Graham)
Sunday 20 March
Main Hall
Split Draws: 10:30am and 12:30pm
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: Paul Norley and Philip Littlemore

Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)
Betteshanger Colliery Welfare (John Goold)
Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)
Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
Brighton and Hove City Brass (Matthew Hackett)
Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)
City of Norwich Brass (Andrew Craze)
Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)
Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)
Hadstock Silver (Di Pannell)
Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)
North London Brass (Patrick Dodds)
Pangbourne and District Silver (John Watts)
Royston Town (Steve Earley)
Snowdown Colliery (Keith Twyman)
Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)
Watford (Ian Graves)
Witney Town (Rhys Owens)
Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)


London and SC • Saturday 19, 09:11:26

Good morning from a rather cool, damp Stevenage. There's a great deal of pride in this town at their achievements of heroes. A walk from the train station see's you look at the montage of sporting tributes to the great and the good, from their football team to Lewis Hamilton - and not a single ounce of graffiti to be seen.

That pride will be resembled by the biggest turn out of the regionals this weekend. The Gordon Craig Theatre is full of greenery as they get ready for Alice in Wonderland in the near future.

It's a weekend for dreaming though just like Alice. There are two sections today, the second and first starting with the former at 10.00am.

The draw is happening now and we will post when judges go in the box around 15 minutes before we start.

Join us later, time for a brew.



Walsall Brass Band - Willenhall Singers

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


Rushden Town Band -

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


Contest: Brass in Concert

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


Foden's Band - Morley Town Hall

Saturday 18 November • Queen Street, Morley LS27 9DY


Black Dyke Band - Waterford, Ireland

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


Newstead Brass

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


Wakefield Metropolitan Brass Band

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


Glossop Old Band

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


Craig Roberts

BA (Hons), MA
Conductor / Adjudicator