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2017 Yorkshire Regional Championships
As it happened

All the action from the 2017 Yorkshire Regional Championships — as it happened.

Monday 6, 01:45:34

Championship Section prize winners:

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Black Dyke retain their hold on the Yorkshire Regional title

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Prof Childs celebrates his success with wife Alison and daughter Rebecca

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Black Dyke solo award winners Siobhan Bates and Daniel Thomas

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Varley winners: Best Principal Cornet Phillip of Hammonds and Helen of Black Dyke

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Albert Hall bound for runner-up Hammonds Saltaire under Morgan Griffiths

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Albert Hall debutants for third placed City of Bradford

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Youngest Player in the contest was Lewis Barton of Elland Silver aged 11


Sunday 5, 20:42:02

Goodnight from Huddersfield

Well, we are at the end of not just an epic Championship Section, but a truly fabulous weekend in one of the finest contest halls in the world.

We hope you have enjoyed our coverage this weekend. Congratulations to all the winners and qualififiers and our thanks go to Peggy Tomlinson and the Yorkshire Regional Committee for their hospitality this weekend.

News reports will follow, but next stop on the Regional tour is Bedworth, Durham, Perth and Torquay.

Good night from Huddersfield.


Sunday 5, 20:13:25

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Black Dyke retain their hold on the Yorkshire Regional title

Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Pageantry' (Herbert Howells)
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and Sandy Smith

1. Black Dyke (Prof. Nicholas J Childs)*
2. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)**
3. City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)**
4. Brighouse & Rastrick (Dr David Thornton)*
5. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)
6. Grimethorpe Colliery (Phillip McCann)
7. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Erik Janssen)
8. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)
9. Elland Silver (Daniel Brooks)
10. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Russell Gray)
11. Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt)
12. Chapeltown (Andrew Dennis)
13. Strata (Alan Hobbins)

Best Principal Cornet: Philip Varley (Hammondsa Saltaire)
Best Soloist: Siobhan Bates (tenor horn) — Black Dyke
Best Instrumentalist: Daniel Thomas (euphonium) — Black Dyke
Youngest Player: Lewis Barton (aged11) — Elland Silver

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


Sunday 5, 19:37:03

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The top section trophies await their new owners

4BR Editor's final round up and prediction:

Until Black Dyke took to the stage and delivered a simply superb performance that brokered no argument this was going to be one of the hardest contests to call in a very long time.

Dyke was a class part — for us at least — but behind them it was a different matter — especially in terms of style. Rothwell delivered such an impressive account and must surely be in the mix, whilst in almost in any order could be Hepworth, Brighouse, Carlton Main and Grimethorpe. Our dark horse of Hammonds could well be in with a big shout too.

Prediction:

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

Dark Horse: Hammonds Saltaire


Sunday 5, 19:14:10

Championship Section:

13. Black Dyke (Prof Nicholas Childs)

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Well that was like hearing a heraldic voice laying down a challenge and finding it came from Muhammed Ali — armed with claymoor for good measure. The precision allied to the poise and power was superb and the detail that was heard was forensic. MD had this paced so well and the music flowed with such purpose.

The 'Cortege' was sumptuous: Just think of what it would be like when old Lizzy pops her clogs. All that was missing was the Royal Artillery 21 gun salute. The tonality was so rich and dark, the passion controlled but palpable. The final moments of reflection were chillingly touching (led by superb horn and cornet), before the immense climax and the final repose to the eternal 'choir invisible' on high.

A razor sharp clarion call and then it simply evolves into playing of such character and style. MD has this by the scruff of the neck and then just lets loose the Beserkers. What a great close — thumping in its brilliance and sheer majesty — topped by a sprint finish and conker chord to finish off the opposition — the MD even holding the baton in both hands like a plunging sword into the heart of rivals.


Sunday 5, 18:54:12

Championship Section:

12. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)

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An opening that came with such a defined sense of purpose and execution. That was like 'The Hound' in 'Game of Thrones' — no messing about, not second thoughts and no taking prisoners. Great detail on show too — the sop shining like a little gem even through some heavy ensemble cover. That was impressive stuff.

It's followed by a 'Cortege' of sombre inflections and pulse. Not everything runs smoothly with a few scratches on the lead limos but you can almost feel the communal sense of grief. By no means sentimentalised this — more like Viking long boat burning — All hail the Chief and then chuck a flaming torch on as it drifts out to sea — although it does just snag a rock or two before sinking beneath the calm waves.

A purposeful call to arms leads to a regal sense of style. Again, the MD allows space for detail to emerge even through heavy foliage, and it pays dividends. When the band opens the dynamic furnaces they really do sound impressive — intense and fearless. A great build to the final climax and the speedy coda rounds of an impressive show.


Sunday 5, 18:41:14

Championship Section:

11. Chapeltown (Andrew Dennis)

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Hard work and an admirable no nonsense Yorkshire sensibility gives the opening presence and substance. It didn't sparkle with misplaced 'bling' effect like some 'southern' heraldic caller, but had that gruff duraglit spit and polish. That was played for what it was worth.

The 'Cortege' also has that unsentimental approach that reminds you of Thora Hird in that funeral sit-com she used to be in. Fine solo lines, solid address from the ensemble, tea and sandwiches after the cream at mother's house. Nothing wrong with this at all — well directed and sweetly closed off.

Just the odd clip and blip on the jousts robs the picture, but it recovers well. MD keeps the music flowing and the ensemble has a depth of sound allied to stamina like an old GWR steam engine. The dynamic range narrows as tiredness just creeps in, but they get up one final head of steam for a rousing climax and 'all hands on the battlements' scrabble to the end.


Sunday 5, 18:19:41

Championship Section:

10. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Russell Gray)

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Boldness personified from the opening heraldic statements — and although our man catches a spur or two on his way to the castle gates, it's playing of detail and balance that finally rings the bell. There is such a clear pacing of the music here — building into intensity (despite the clips) and pulse to the close.

A soloistic 'Cortege' — encompassing anguish to tenderness in each lead mourner's voice. Again, the pace of the music is so persuasive — certainly not lingering around for last farewells. The lack of sugar coated lachrymosity is welcome and ensures the climax has relevance. The velvet curtain needs a tug or two though before the ossuary door closes though.

More solid presence to the jousting — and again that pace is so persuasive. This is their best playing — and by a margin; rich, textured, noble even. Nothing overdone too in the final straight — the power is controlled and the accelerando reached its optimum at the right spot to close.


Sunday 5, 18:01:45

Championship Section:

9. Grimethorpe Colliery (Phillip McCann)

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A real statement of intent this for an opening: the type of heraldic trumpets that brought down the walls of Jericho. Not everything is so clear to follow, but the sense of presence about the music is palpable. This is powerful stuff — but the detail is to be heard. The MD emphasises his mark with a drawback to the final bars that adds a little something to the effect. Interesting.

Again — not everything is perfect here in the 'Cortege', which is a real old Soviet Union state processional — ever moving slowly from front door to crypt. That regality about the music once again shines through to a climax that really is a spasm of emotional release. The graveside repose is an individual service — with another pull back on the sop that delays the final drop of the box.

A superb opening statement call is followed by some wonderful playing — rich, textured, flowing and detailed. MD once again pulls and draws like Lee Trevino on a Par 4 over a water hazard, but it has such majesty. What a climax — and then a real turbo thrust of power to a breathless close.


Sunday 5, 17:43:15

Championship Section:

8. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)

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An untidy dismount to open leaves the herald with a bit of work to do to impress — but he is soon into his stride with a sense of gruff purpose and precision. There is a great deal to admire about this — nothing overdone — it's a very traditional approach that relies on balance and warm sounds to make the music come alive.

A lyrically inspired 'Cortege' is so well handled. Again — nothing over sentimentalised or artificially lachrymose like a Princess Di outpouring of bonkersness, but plain and simple reflection. Even the build to the climax is done with understated purpose. After that the laying to rest is done by the lads from the Co-op — no fuss no bother.

A fine clarion call opens the jousting — and it is bold stuff — even a bit machismo raw in places. The sense of energy and drive is palpable, but the detail isn't lost. MD has paced this so well — with a huge, regal climax followed by a real whizz to a compact and cohesive close.


Sunday 5, 17:40:42

4BR Editor's halfway opinion and prediction:

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It's been a contest of contrasts so far — from the meaty, precise delivery of the likes of Brighouse & Rastrick to the more tempered approach and lyricism of bands such as Hepworth and Carlton Main.

They seem the three to be ahead of the rest so far, with a well managed account from City of Bradford not far behind.

It's a contest that is still very much up for grabs though — and there is very little to choose between these three at the moment.

Prediction:

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

Dark Horse: City of Bradford


Sunday 5, 17:11:16

Championship Section:

7. Strata (Alan Hobbins)

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The rather stuttering start doesn't bode well, but it recovers with verve and excitement. The 'Herald' in question is missing a few lines here — like Norman Collier on a microphone — but the music flows. The scrappiness just tarnishes the musical picture once or twice too often.

The same with the 'Cortege' to follow. The slow processional trek to the graveside has a few mourners tripping over a wreath or two. What a pity as the broad sweep of the music is so well projected. Everyone is giving their all — but it's a bit of a 'make do and mend' approach. It holds together before the final repose, but only just.

An unlucky start to the jousts, but it recovers with the common sense approach of the MD paying dividends. The lack of detailed subtleties is marked, but the general picture is solid enough. Stamina wanes as we close — the final climax sounding tired and strained. There is just enough in the tank for a spirited close to a hard working effort.


Sunday 5, 16:49:48

Championship Section:

6. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Erik Janssen)

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Thankfully the herald recovers after stubbing his toe on his first step off his horse That just raised a bead of sweat under the visor you suspect. A bit like Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka though that first stuttering step soon turns into a gynamistic forward roll — and the playing has such lean vigour and steely precision right to the letterbox-snap end.

The 'Cortege' is a languid procession, graceful and tender (despite the odd little trip here and there) and it builds in emotional intensity to a glorious climax — a real controlled outpouring of musical grief. MD is leaving things dangling in the ether here by pulling the lines — it is so well done — even if we get a little misplaced fragility in the ensemble before the close.

A neat clarion call to arms leads to playing of cultured spaciousness. There is lovely touch of minor royalty to this — not pressing into the limelight until asked. When the call comes it is delivered with a fine sense of style — the detail is heard throughout and the build to last climax is superb. The final drive to home through the Palace Gates is done with the state coach on turbo charge.


Sunday 5, 16:30:39

Championship Section:

5. Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt)

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A 'Herald' in a bit of a rush to open — losing the sense of proud, macho pomp that should perhaps be the calling card on any bloke in armour who comes knocking on your door. The speed kills off the clarity needed for the filigree work to come through. A pity as its bold and exciting — but it's like the herald shouting the message on the velum scroll through a medieval megaphone.

The 'Cortege' is much more convincing — a real passion-pot of emotion. The tender moments are a lovely contest — led by delightful cornet — to a climax the type you used to get with a fire and brimstone preacher extolling the virtues of the deceased. A nice close too — as the shadows lengthen and the body heads behind the velvet curtain to eternity.

An untidy jousting match never quite feels at ease — and the contrast in dynamic are lost. It's a bit of a free for all in places — like a medieval Staurday night tavern fight down the Old Bull and Bush. It recovers well and all of a sudden we get that essential pulse, drive and majestic excitement. A little too late perhaps but better than never.


Sunday 5, 16:11:15

Championship Section:

4. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)

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The considered approach to the 'King's Herald' has the air of Kofe Annan on a diplomacy mission for the UN at the castle gates — but it works and works well. We hear detail because the dynamic level of the ensemble isn't overwhelming. That touch of reserve may be welcome as the evening progresses.

Not quite as secure to open the 'Cortege' — like the black limo bumping into a bollard on its way into the crematorium.

It retains its dignity — again helped by the dynamic reserve that builds incrementally and with tenderness to the climax. The outpouring of grief is not over-sentimental either, and the sweet sop and malleable horn lead the coffin to its final resting place with tasteful candour.

More solid explorations in the jousts — delivered without the 'eyeballs on stalks' machismo that kills the subtle style of the music. It holds its form throughout — bowling along and then upping the ante for a final show of strength and run for home.


Sunday 5, 15:53:48

Championship Section:

3. Elland Silver (Daniel Brookes)

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The statement of heraldic intent doesn't quite fully materialise, as ensemble scrappiness just takes the shine off the armour plate, but the raw confidence of delivery is admirable. It's a little bit of a roller-coaster in terms of tempo — dipping and accelerating off the corners, but the style has bite and purpose.

MD shapes a lovely 'Cortege' — it's just a pity a few of the mourners twist an ankle or two in their high heels. The processional pulse is maintained so well though — leading to a warm, pleading climax of emotion. There is a touch of regality about the music. The laying to rest is a humanist ceremony of no nonsense 'drop and fill' in the final resting place — but it is well done.

The call to joust is a dance-like clarion — playful even, and the mood is maintained. It's light and almost dainty — with a cultured sene of style. Perhaps in need of a bit more red-blooded heavyweight depth, but the MD has managed his resources well. The final climax is telling — although the close is a touch scrambled.


Sunday 5, 15:35:01

Championship Section:

2. Brighouse & Rastrick (Dr David Thornton)

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There is no shortage of Yorkshire pride on show here — right from the start, which was a 'King's Herald' that had the venom of a Fred Trueman bouncer and the solidity of a Geoffrey Boycott forward defensive stroke.

It was also up on the tempo and dynamic markings — but if your are to make an entrance then you better not be shy about things — and this was 'av it sunshine' stuff.

It's followed by a languid, lusciously coloured 'Cortege' — again not hanging around, but paced with purpose all the way to the crypt. The passion is worn on the sleeve especially with a climax that shudders the old spinal column — but the sense of melancholic loss (led by lovely horn) to close is equally chilling.

The joust opens with a bravura call to arms from the cornet, before building in intensity and drama line by line. MD has given this a clear mark of individual identity without losing grip on its traditional roots — and it has paid off. Super ensemble sounds, and that robust climax leads to a sprinter's dip to close on the line.


Sunday 5, 15:16:47

Championship Section:

1. City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)

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Well now — what an exciting start to proceedings — right from the off with a 'King's Herald' that sparkled as if his bling suit of armour was tailored by Georgio Armani.

A fizzing testosterone one — with sharp detail, neat corners and uber-confident solo lines. Dynamically it was a little off the scale in places — but it certainly hit you between the eyes.

The 'Cortege' to follow was also a modern approach too — no sombre muffled footsteps here — just a strong pulse and confidence. MD shapes the music so well — and the climax is a heartfelt spasm of emotion. It then falls away in dark grief to a tender close.

No maudling and straight into a bravura cornet joust and a free flowing ride to glory. It's 'up and at 'em' in places but the cold steel has a warmth of tonality. Lots of detail, drive and energy — and building to another passionate climax, drawn back on the reins, and then that race to a cracking close.

An impressive one that — even if it was a little red in tooth and claw in places.


Sunday 5, 15:15:46

Full House

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It's nearly packed to the fathers already — as the introductions are being made and the first band gets ready to perform.


Sunday 5, 15:11:54

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The top section trophies await their new owners

Draw:

Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Pageantry' (Herbert Howells)
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and Sandy Smith

1. City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)
2. Brighouse & Rastrick (Dr David Thornton)
3. Elland Silver (Daniel Brooks)
4. Hepworth (Leigh Baker)
5. Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt)
6. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Erik Janssen)
7. Strata (Alan Hobbins)
8. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
9. Grimethorpe Colliery (Phillip McCann)
10. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Russell Gray)
11. Chapeltown (Andrew Dennis)
12. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)
13. Black Dyke (Prof. Nicholas J Childs)


Sunday 5, 14:35:37

Third Section prize winners:

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West Yorkshire Police Band become 2017 Yorkshire Champion

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The winning conductor Kevin Wadsworth and the Yorkshire Trophy

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Cheltenham bound for BD1 under Lee Skipsey

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A fine third place for Wetherby Silver

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Best Soloist Bob Blackburn

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Youngest Player — Robert Thorpe aged 10 from Rockingham


Sunday 5, 14:29:00

Championship Section starts at 3.15pm...

Championship Section

There is now a break whilst the hall is emptied before the Championship Section starts at 3.15pm.

We are off for some Yorkshire hospitality but join us shortly for the battle of the elite in Huddersfield Town Hall.


Sunday 5, 14:18:32

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West Yorkshire Police celebrate their victory

Results

Third Section:

Test Piece: 'Darkwood' — Dan Price
Adjudicators: Jim Davies and Glyn Williams

1. West Yorkshire Police (Kevin Wadsworth)*
2. BD1 Brass (Lee Skipsey)*
3. Wetherby Silver (Derek Warley)
4. Barnsley Brass (William Rushworth)
5. Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whittaker)
6. Rockingham (Adam Whittle)
7. Dodworth Colliery M.W. (Eliot J Darwin)
8. Maltby Miners (Terry Clifford)
9. Dinnington (Lindon Bolt)
10. Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)
11. Dronfield Genquip (Robert Straw)
12. Barnsley Metropolitan (Alex Francis)
13. Armthorpe Elmfield (Haydn Griffiths MBE)

*Top two bands qualify bands for National Final in Cheltenham

Best Soloist: Bob Blackburn (euphonium) — Lofthouse 2000
Youngest Player:Robert Thorpe (aged 10 ) — Rockingham


Sunday 5, 13:49:36

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Third Section:

Malcolm Wood's final thoughts and prediction

What an enjoyable contest this has been. The bands relished playing a piece that was within their musical grasp although the challenge of putting all the basics in and capturing the moods was tricky though.

It will be interesting to see what the judges say, but it could be tight at the top end. We think BD1 Brass should get one of the qualification spots, but who joins them?

4BR Prediction:

1. BD1 Brass
2. Wetherby Silver
3. Lofthouse 2000
4. Dodworth Colliery
5. Rockingham
6. Barnsley Brass

Dark Horse: West Yorkshire Police


Sunday 5, 13:24:35

Third Section:

13. BD1 Brass (Lee Skipsey)

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The final band of the contest is BD1 Brass under Lee Skipsey.

With great attention to detail, the MD brings the music to thrillingly to life. The opening section was dark, deep and haunting with hints of impish mischief along the way.

What a lovely middle section we heard, with a classy cornet lead full of confidence and belief. The band sound was so warm and balanced.

We hear some more fine playing in the closing section. What a fine band sound and they really have optimism and belief in the music. Could they have sneaked in at the death to claim the title?


Sunday 5, 13:21:13

Lazy, hazy days...

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Everytime you hear the pick up motif to the second movement of 'Darkwood' you are reminded of that classic 1963 hit for Nat King Close — 'Those Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer'.

Now that's not a bad way to be reminded of a test piece (and it's followed by a bit of Aled Jones warbling 'The Snowman') — especially as all the bands here today have been bright and cheerful in their approach to Dan Price's cleverly structured score.

It may not be the most technically demanding work bands at this level will ever play, but you suspect just about all of them enjoyed rehearsing it (and picking out those other well known sleight of hand musical inspirations dotted around the score)


Sunday 5, 13:07:35

Third Section:

12. Wetherby Silver (Derek Warley)

Wetherby's take on 'Darkwood' was a hardworking committed affair that did plenty of the basics well and may cause a surprise today.

It wasn't the easiest of pieces for them to master and they never really quite seemed at ease. The opening was uneven although there were some nice musical moments of the dark Boggart life.

In the middle section there were some impressive solo sounds, but the balance of the ensemble didn't always sit right.

Tiredness crept in as the piece came to a close, but the optimism and fleet footed joyfulness within the music was captured.


Sunday 5, 12:52:28

Third Section:

11. Dinnington (Lindon Bolt)

Dinnington may have come off stage today a touch frustrated that not everything went according to plan.

The opening took time to settle but after that the good playing came through. It was dark, mysterious and a little bit naughty, even though there was some fragilities in the ensemble.

Full marks for the balance and lyrical sounds in the central section, aided by tasteful solo contributions. There was a lot to appreciate here.

The approach in the final section isn't bad either, with the optimism within the music coming through. Who knows though how much those little moments and intonation could cost today?


Sunday 5, 12:37:02

Third Section:

10. Dronfield Genquip (Robert Straw)

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Yorkshire banding first? The iPad generation of conductors starts here

Dronfield delivers a 'nearly' rendition of 'Darkwood'. There was so much to appreciate throughout, but some blemishes along the way leave you wondering if they will fall away.

The first section was dark and engaging on the ear, with cheeky bits of mischief, but there were little bits of unevenness in the central section despite good solo lines and warm balanced sounds.

The final section has that upbeat sense of optimism, verve and brio and there has been some fine playing (bravo the single perc player) towards the close in a performance that nearly came to the sum of its individual parts.


Sunday 5, 12:24:58

Third Section:

9. Barnsley Brass (William Rushworth)

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One of the musical muses looks down on the action at Huddersfield

Barnsley under the experienced Billy Rushworth certainly gave it their all today.

The opening section was dark, had real hints of mischief and was nicely paced. Nothing was overdone here with lots to appreciate.

There is more to enjoy in the central hymnal section. The warmly balanced sounds work so well and the solo leads are impressive.

As the piece heads to the close, the ensemble sounds are bold and the mood of optimism that the future is bright (but perhaps not as bright as the orange blouses worn by the female players on stage) is certainly prevalent and persuasive.


Sunday 5, 12:08:34

Third Section:

8. Armthorpe Elmfield (Haydn Griffiths MBE)

Armthorpe restarts the contest with a hardworking account that never quite came to life as effectively as it could have done.

The opening took time to settle with only glimpses of the dark and mischievous moods required.

In the central segment there were some effective solo lines but the oddly balanced sound of the ensemble doesn't sit quite right for us.

As the piece reaches the close, there is optimism in the sound of the music but tiredness in the ensemble just robs that added ingredient of vitality. Full marks for the hard graft put in though.


Sunday 5, 11:54:26

Third Section:

Malcolm Wood's Half way thoughts:

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Not so much a 'Darkwood' but certainly a 'Busyroad' leading down to Huddersfield Town Hall

Dan Price's work has certainly been a good test for the ensembles. The bands have to put all the basics in place and capture the moods of the musical portraits. Some have found it a bit easier than others.

Glyn Williams (who was in the box for 19 performances in Blackpool and played on the CD recording) will know what he wants along with Jim Davies. Halfway — and it's still a contest up for grabs.

There is not much in at the top though for us, with Dodworth just ahead of Rockingham and West Yorkshire Police

4BR Prediction

1. Dodworth
2. Rockingham
3. West Yorkshire Police


Sunday 5, 11:39:03

Third Section:

7. Barnsley Metropolitan (Alex Francis)

Barnsley takes the judges and audience to the break with a measured reading of 'Darkwood'.

The very opening witnessed some nerves and caution, but it did settle with the dark and mischievous characteristics coming through.

There are some nice effective solo lines in the central section complimented by warm balanced sounds. The confidence grows within the ensemble the quality of the band sound is prominent.

As the piece concludes, the final segment has a cautious optimism about its style to start. However, by the end, the belief that things are positive and upbeat comes through in the joyful climax.


Sunday 5, 11:22:21

Third Section:

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

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Dodworth Colliery delivers a solid workmanlike rendition. The dark atmosphere was prominent in the opening section whilst a little bit more mischief could have been in evidence (but that is personal taste) for it have that impish quality.

In the middle hymnal element, what nice balanced sounds are heard along with excllent contributing solo lines. Plush and lush.

The final section is very optimistic in outlook and is well controlled. The enthusiasm doesn't run away with them as they close either. Good stuff.


Sunday 5, 11:06:55

Third Section:

5.Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whittaker)

Lofthouse 2000 delivers a 'Darkwood' that offered so much musical potential, but did it come off today?

The opening section takes time to settle. Dark and mysterious, nicely styled and that impish smirk on the face, as though you could get up to any sort of mischief.

The middle hymnal section features tasteful solo and lyrical contributions, and the warmness of sound is certainly there.

Confidence is high in the final section within the ensemble and they capture the modern fleet footed style of the music effectively with a positive upbeat feel right to the close.


Sunday 5, 11:05:11

Planetary hints

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Just the odd interplanetary hint of other musical world's with the test pice today

It's well known that ther result isn't anything brand 'Harry-Spankers' under the sun when it comes to music — but it's also an enjoyable task to try and pick up a few pointers of where possible inspiration for a piece may or may not have come from.

In the case of 'Darkwood' what about the rich scoring of Vaughn-Williams 'Variations for Brass Band' or a little bit of Holst's 'Mars' as it sweeps along all the way to the the Ravel 'Daphnis & Chloe' ending?

It's great stuff from Dan Price who is such an inventive composer for bands at this level — colourful, well structured and vibrant. His challenges for players and conductors alike are always written with a smile on the face.


Sunday 5, 10:48:25

Third Section:

4. Rockingham (Adam Whittle)

Rockingham certainly brought out the different moods and character of 'Darkwood' in a fine reading.

The opening was dark and bleak, whilst there was a 'naughty but nice' mischievous feel that then came through.

MD Adam Whittle allows the lyrical sounds to shine in the second section whilst there is a nice balanced sound to the ensemble.

So as head for the close, what great sense of optimism to the music going forward. The band sounds are good and confidence never wavers, even when they had some blips. An impressive and enjoyable performance that.


Sunday 5, 10:32:12

Third Section:

3. Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)

The opening is not as darkly hued as the first couple of bands today, but the mischief is certainly present. Hints of cheekiness with a twinkle in the eye. It works.

There are impressive warm lyrical voices as the music progresses in the central section. None of them are forceful, but things sit well here and confidence is very much on the up with the solo and ensemble work.

As the piece heads for home, there is a good feeling of optimism in the music — neat and tidy as they finish with a real flourish.


Sunday 5, 10:19:01

Third Section:

2. Maltby Miners (Terry Clifford)

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Maltby enjoys its musical take on the historical life of the village of Blackley. The dark opening has lots to admire and the mischief in the playing brings a smile to the face.

Confidence grows in the ensemble as things progress. There is a nice warmth to the playing with some effective lyrical lines in the hymnal church on the hill music.

The ensemble copes with the challenges of the modern pulse of the final section and there is a real optimistic feel to the music as it closes.

Once more lots to admire, but knitting everything together is not easily done.


Sunday 5, 10:04:08

Third Section:

1. West Yorkshire Police (Kevin Wadsworth)

What an intriguing opening performance from West Yorkshire. The band captured the dark opening mood and the hint of mischief is done with playful intent. Not everything quite works, but the character appeals.

There is a lovely hymnal type feel in the second movement with lyrical solo lines and warm ensemble contributions, whilst there is a lightness of touch to the playing and that optimistic feeling for the future in the final section building to a fine close.


Sunday 5, 09:53:12

Grading

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Sunday 5, 09:39:49

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The Third Section trophies await their new owners

Draw:

Third Section:

Test Piece: 'Darkwood' (Dan Price)
Adjudicators: Jim Davies and Glyn Williams

1. West Yorkshire Police (Kevin Wadsworth)
2. Maltby Miners (Terry Clifford)
3. Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)
4. Rockingham (Adam Whittle)
5. Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whittaker)
6. Dodworth Colliery M.W. (Eliot J Darwin)
7. Barnsley Metropolitan (Alex Francis)
8. Armthorpe Elmfield (Haydn Griffiths MBE)
9. Barnsley Brass (William Rushworth)
10. Dronfield Genquip (Robert Straw)
11. Dinnington (Lindon Bolt)
12. Wetherby Silver (Derek Warley)
13. BD1 Brass (Lee Skipsey)


Sunday 5, 09:29:29

The action starts at 10.00am

The Third Section will kick off at 10.00am — although at the moment we are waiting for the doors to open and the audience to come in.

There is plenty to look forward to with Dan Price's 'Darkwood' — a lovely little triptych of historical character and banding basics that should sort the best from the rest.

When the judges are in the box we will publish the draw


Sunday 5, 08:36:51

Early morning brew

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The wonderful catering facilities are provided by Dave and Marie

There are plenty of great volunteers on hand here at Huddersfield this weekend — and the two most popular are these pair — Dave and Marie, who have been in charge of the fantastic catering for all the back room staff, press and anyone who can blag their way in for brew and sandwich.

Without doubt though their crispy bacon rolls are worthy of a National Championship title let along a Yorkshire accolades or two....


Sunday 5, 07:14:04

Today's action...

With three sections taking place yesterday we have just the two today — but what a day we have in prospect.

The undercard battle is provided by the thirteen bands in the a Third Section, where Dan Price's 'Darkwood' triptych will be a stern but enjoyable test of historical musical town planning.

That kicks off at the later time of 10.00am (the draw is at 8.00am) and should be a fine battle.

The main attraction (and it's sold out so please don't make a wasted trip) comes with the Championship Section starting at around 3.15pm. Another 13 bands will lock horns on 'Pageantry' in the hope of gaining one of the two qualification places up for grabs to join Black Dyke and Brighouse & Rastrick in London.

Seconds out, Round 1 starts in just a few hours time...


Sunday 5, 07:04:59

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Huddersfield Town Hall has been a huge hit with everyone this weekend

Good morning from Huddersfield

It's the morning after the night before as we prepare for a battle that could be even more exciting than the Haye/Bellew boxing match — although hopefully no one will throw the towel in before the end of the contest.

That said, the bands on the Fourth, Second and First Sections gave us great scraps to enjoy with Yorkshire sending some very strong qualifiers down to Cheltenham.

Huddersfield & Ripponden and Clifton & Lightcliffe in the Fourth; Wakefied Metropolitan and Worsbrough in the Second and Marsden Silver and Unkte the Union in the First all look more than capable of retuning with National title 'Lonsdale Belt' or two.

On a different note though — Huddersfield Town Hall has also gained rave reviews from the players, listeners and organisers alike for its facilities and acoustic. It may be smaller than Bradford, but size isn't everything — just ask Tony Bellew. It's also been a worthy Championship winner too.


Saturday 4, 21:45:52

End of enjoyable day

That brings us to the end of a very enjoyable 12 hour contesting day in Huddersfield where the acoustic and facilities for the bands has been met with wide approval.

We are back for the Third Section at 9.00am followed by the battle for top honours with the Championship Section with two bands vying for London in addition to the pre-qualified Black Dyke and Brighouse & Rastrick.

And just a reminder, tomorrow afternoon is sold out.

Goodnight from Huddersfield. See you tomorrow.


Saturday 4, 21:30:48

First Section prize winners

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Marsden celebrate their First Section victory

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Alan Widdop with The Graham O'Connor Memorial Trophy as winning MD

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Heading to Cheltenham for Unite the Union

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A fine third place for Skelmanthorpe

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Best Soloist Chris Wood of Marsden Silver

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Youngest Player: Elizabeth Chung of Hade Edge Band aged 11


Saturday 4, 20:52:43

Result

First Section:

Test Piece: 'Land of the Long White Cloud' — Philip Sparke
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Ewan Easton

1. Marsden Silver (Alan Widdop)*
2. Unite the Union (John Roberts)*
3. Skelmanthorpe (Jim Davies)
4. Old Silkstone (Sam Fisher)
5. Drighlington (Duncan Beckley)
6. Lindley (Neil Jowett)
7. Hebden Bridge (Robert Savage)
8. Knottingley Silver (Kevin Belcher)
9. Hade Edge (Jonathan Beatty)
10. South Yorkshire Police (Jack Capstaff)
11. Stannington (Derek Renshaw)
12. Cornerstone (Damian Wileman)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final in Cheltenham

Best Soloist: Christopher Wood (soprano) — Marsden Silver
Youngest Player: Elizabeth Chung (aged 11) Hade Edge


Saturday 4, 20:41:55

First Section:

Malcolm Wood's final thoughts and round up

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This has been an intriguing contest and has certainly been a test of real First Section musical credentials.

The ability to link all of the sections together and build a coherent musical performance has challenged many today. It will be interesting to see if the judges comment on the quieter sections and the challenges they brought.

The best have risen to the challenge today and we anticipate it to be very tight at the top end. Marsden, Stannington, Unite the Union and Skelmanthorpe are the four slogging it out for the top two spots with Old Silkstone and Drighlington making up the top-six for us.

Remember its only Messrs Hirst and Easton whose opinions count though...

4BR Prediction:

1. Marsden Silver
2. Stannington
3. Unite the Union
4. Skelmanthorpe
5. Old Silkstone
6. Drighlington

Dark Horse: Hade Edge


Saturday 4, 20:36:37

First Section:

12. Lindley (Neil Jowett)

The final band of an eleven hour contesting day is Lindley under Neil Jowett.

It was a performance that promised so much potential but it never really came to life in the way it could have done. The musical picture was darker in colour than some of the others today but unforced errors crept in and it started to rock confidence.

The musical picture took time to regain its composure after that but it never really gelled together iand tiredness was in evidence at the end. One that didn't really come off.


Saturday 4, 20:04:15

First Section:

11. Marsden Silver (Alan Widdop)

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Marsden certainly made sure they didn't leave anything on stage after that rendition. The opening was bold and colourful and it built the foundations for a performance rich in character, confidence (especially soloists) and good conducting sense.

It was so nicely styled by Alan Widdop, who brought great atmosphere as well as tension to the piece. The dance element was one of the best for us and quality shone through.

A performance of real musical merit, although it will be interesting to see whether the judges put it right at the top. A serious contender for Cheltenham that.


Saturday 4, 19:45:53

First Section:

10. Hade Edge (Jonathan Beatty)

Well now, Hade Edge will have left the stage knowing they have risen to the challenge here in spades — and what character they showed.

It was not as vibrant as others today, but the sensible approach from the middle allowed the detail to be brought out and add to the fine style. Whilst not everything cemented together as it could have done, it was a rendition that put a smile on the face (and the one from the young rep player hearing Nigel Fielding on sop showing such a touch of Nordic class was priceless — and then she helped out too!)

Lots of character in the music and from the players on stage there.


Saturday 4, 19:26:54

First Section:

9. South Yorkshire Police (Jack Capstaff)

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The ladies and gents of Her Majesty's constabulary produce a rather reserved Antipodean musical journey.

Despite its best endeavours, the band was tested at times on stage today. Full credit goes to the young (and very dapper) MD, who knew the limitations along with the experienced players around the stand (ex Grimethorpe man Mark Walters amongst them) and kept things in check both tempo and dynamic wise.

As the result ut just didn't sparkle at times and with the clarity and precision needed. In the context of the competition today that was a tough musical trip, but it never lacked for determination.


Saturday 4, 19:13:07

First Section:

8. Drighlington (Duncan Beckley)

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Duncan Beckley returns for his second conducting stint of the day at the helm of Drighlington.

This remains a steady musical portrait throughout. The opening section does take time to settle with the good playing coming to the fore. The tempos are not pushed (MD is sub-dividing like Carol Voderman) although the ensemble wants to put their foot down at times.

Caution comes in during the quieter sections as there are touches of uncertainty around the stand. Those tricky areas mean that is doesn't quite flow.

There is some good playing, but with not everything wentto plan, and it takes the sheen off the performance somewhat .


Saturday 4, 19:00:41

First Section:

7. Old Silkstone (Sam Fisher)

The contest recommences with Old Silkstone, and there is plenty of confidence on show in the opening segment. There is colour and excitement, but it is a slightly intriguing take on the work. The tempos mean that not everything is delivered with razor sharp clarity and precision.

Hints of caution creep in though in the quieter sections and at times the ensemble is unsettled — although they regain their composure.

There is tiredness in the ranks though as the performance comes to a close. Those variable tempos may just cost. An interesting individual take on the Sparke piece.


Saturday 4, 18:48:08

First Section:

Malcolm Wood's half way thoughts

As with Blackpool last week, Sparke's musical portrait of New Zealand has certainly proved to be a difficult one to pull off so far.

It is the quiet sections and ensemble tuning that have caught a number out and therefore hampering the ability to deliver what the transparent score demands.

Stannington and Unite the Union lead the way for us with Skelmanthorpe not far behind for the two qualification spots that are up for grabs.

4BR Prediction:

1. Stannington
2. Unite the Union
3. Skelmanthorpe


Saturday 4, 18:22:49

First Section:

6. Unite the Union (John Roberts)

Unite the Union take the judges and audience to the comfort break with a colourful and musically invigorating rendition. Full of flair, clarity and detail, there was no shortage of belief on show here.

The New Zealand vistas were alive with energy and colour. John Roberts gave his players the freedom to bring the music to life and they certainly did that. The clarity was obvious and the tempos, whilst pushed at times, were not beyond their capabilities.

Not everything came off but it was a very musical account. What the judges make of it remains to be seen.


Saturday 4, 18:06:15

First Section:

5. Knottingley Silver (Kevin Belcher)

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Knottingley Silver is the latest ensemble to discover that Sparke's work isn't the easiest to master. The colour and enthusiasm doesn't cover or camouflage the high error count.

The potential was there but it never quite gelled. There were some fine musical elements in the braided lyrical sections, but the obvious fragilities saw confidence waver. Tiredness just tarnished an uneven musical picture.


Saturday 4, 17:48:06

First Section:

4. Hebden Bridge (Robert Savage)

Hebden Bridge delivers a rendition of Sparke's test-piece that was very safe and solid in its execution.

Robert Savage kept everything simple and didn't ask anything of his players that they could not do. The opening started with colourful promise, but the challenges within the score started to materialise and it needed more clarity to come through.

Nervous tension crept in, which was a shame because the piece was within their musical grasp. The ensemble will know coming off stage that they were certainly not on top form today.


Saturday 4, 17:30:42

Fourth Section prize winners:

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Huddersfield & Ripponden get ready to celebrate with their Fourth Section silverware

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MD Adam Bell with the Steve Platten Trophy as winning conductor

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Cheltenham bound for Clifton & Lightcliffe 'B'

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A fine third placed finish for Loxley Silver

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Deepcar's 'Best Percussion' team

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Sheridan Fryer of Clifton & Lightcliffe wins the 'Best Soloist' award

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10 year old Andrew Naylor claims his 'Youngest Player' award


Saturday 4, 17:28:08

First Section:

3. Skelmanthorpe (Jim Davies)

Next up is the turn of the current Butlins First Champion who leave no musical stone unturned in pursuit of their second title of the year.

Jim Davies has an intuitive understanding of the work and how he wishes to portray it. The flair and vibrant musical colours are in evidence right from the opening. The clarity of the playing isn't bad but it does sound a little harsh at times..

We just sit back and listen. The quality is there but at times the sounds were a touch fruity. How costly that could be today remains to be seen, but the band could certainly play the piece with confidence.


Saturday 4, 17:09:33

First Section:

2. Stannington (Derek Renshaw)

The reigning Second Section National Champion relishes its Antipodean journey. The musical colours are vivid right from the opening bars. The Ocean is full of activity and there is no lull in the atmosphere at all.

There is real confidence within the ranks as the piece progresses. Derek Renshaw is letting his players bring the piece to life. The dance elements flow with real freedom and there is a lot to appreciate here. That was such a vibrant, colourful portrait — not without its faults, but so vivid.


Saturday 4, 17:08:30

First Section:

1. Cornerstone (Damian Wileman)

The First Section commences with a measured and well judged reading from Cornerstone Brass under the direction of Black Dyke bass player, Damian Wileman.

The tempo markings and dynamics were firmly controlled with just the odd moment from the ensemble to want to push them beyond the MDs wishes at times.

There was the hint of tiredness within the ranks as the piece came to a close.


Saturday 4, 16:56:12

Grading

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Saturday 4, 16:53:44

Draw:

First Section:

Test Piece: 'Land of the Long White Cloud' (Philip Sparke)
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Ewan Easton

1. Cornerstone (Damian Wileman)
2. Stannington (Derek Renshaw)
3. Skelmanthorpe (Jim Davies)
4. Hebden Bridge (Robert Savage)
5. Knottingley Silver (Kevin Belcher)
6. Unite the Union (John Roberts)
7. Old Silkstone (Sam Fisher)
8. Drighlington (Duncan Beckley)
9. South Yorkshire Police (Jack Capstaff)
10. Hade Edge (Jonathan Beatty)
11. Marsden Silver (Alan Widdop)
12. Lindley (Neil Jowett)


Saturday 4, 16:50:55

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Huddersfield & Ripponden triumph in thier home city

Results:

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: 'St Andrews Variations' (Alan Fernie)
Adjudicators: Mareika Gray and Sandy Smith

1. Huddersfield & Ripponden (Adam Bell)*
2. Clifton & Lightcliffe 'B' (John Clay)*
3. Loxley Silver (Lee Dunkley)
4. Deepcar (Cathryn Rogers)
5. Gawthorpe Brass '85' (John Edwards)
6. Thurcroft Welfare (Matthew Wright)
7. Tingley (John Belton)
8. Linthwaite (Paul Kershaw)
9. Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge) (Neil Robinson)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final in Cheltenham

Best Soloist: Sheridan Fryer (euphonium) — Clifton & Lightcliffe 'B'
Best Percussion: Deepcar
Youngest Player: Andrew Naylor (aged 10 ) — Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge)


Saturday 4, 16:07:14

Fourth Section:

Final Thoughts and Prediction

This has been an enjoyable short contest. All of the bands brought something to the contest piece today. Whether players, conductors like the piece or not, Alan Fernie’s work tests the basics at this level.

Those that have done that today should get rewarded. Those that have not will probably find out its not to be for them this year.

Mareika Grey and Sandy Smith will not only know what they are looking for today, but know everything there is to know about what is needed at this level.
It could be close at the top though with Loxley Silver, Tingley and Huddersfield & Ripponden in contention.

4BR Prediction:

1. Loxley Silver
2. Huddersfield & Ripponden
3. Tingley
4. Deepcar
5. Clifton & Lightcliffe
6. Thurcroft

DH Gawthorpe ‘85


Saturday 4, 15:45:59

Fourth Section:

9. Tingley (John Belton)

Now then, what an engaging account this was to close the contest. There was lots of colour and life throughout as the conductor kept the musical pulse flowing. He trusted and believed in his players and they responded.

The playing was bright and tight, the cornet and euphonium were real stars but it was the musicality and security that really shone through here today.

One to give the judges lots to ponder. Could Tingley get through to Cheltenham? It may be a contender.


Saturday 4, 15:40:28

Female emancipation?

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Mirga Grazinyte Tyla is now one of the most sought after conductors in Europe

Is it odd that there is just the one female conductor at the Yorkshire Reginal Championships this weekend — or does that tell us something about the wider brass band movement in the UK.

Cathryn Rogers does a wonderful job with Deepcar Band — but why is she the sole female conductor here today — and how many were there last weekend in Blackpool? Does the brass band movement do enough to encourage female players, conductors, adjudicators, composers?

When was the last time for instance did a woman adjudicate in the top section at an Area contest?

And if there are any dinosaur brass band misogynists out there saying they are not good enough then please consider Mirga Grazinyte Tyla — who once came third in the European Brass Band Conductor's competition directing 'Salute to Youth'.

She is now one of the most sought after orchestral conductors in Europe — and wowing audiences with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Couldn't we ask her if she would like to be in the box at the National Finals or British Open. Wonder what she would say?


Saturday 4, 15:29:34

Fourth Section:

8. Deepcar (Cathryn Rogers)

Deepcar certainly gives as colourful a reading as their bright crisp blue shirts. There was a nice sense of style about this and fun too. It certainly came across how much enjoyment the ensemble had playing the piece.

There was a neat approach to everything Cathryn Rogers wanted to do based around the basics of the piece. Some sections worked better than others, but the free flowing approach and allowing the players to not feel pressured really paid off.

No star players here, but a real team effort.


Saturday 4, 15:10:07

Fourth Section:

7. Loxley Silver (Lee Dunkley)

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Lee Dunkley moves from conducting Heyrod in this section at Blackpool to Loxley Silver in Huddersfield. It's a little uneven at times which is a real shame, as it certainly had lots of musicality and security within it.

The MD brought out lots of character from within the score which led to a really nice balanced warm sound. There were blips, but will it be enough today? The basics and foundations went in, its just how much the unevenness could count against them.


Saturday 4, 14:55:39

Fourth Section:

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

Friendly becomes the latest band today to deliver a hardworking rendition. The style and control of the music was impressive. Everything had a purposeful. The euphonium was a gem and rose to the challenge today.

It was just a pity that some bits and pieces didn't quite come off early in the performance as confidence grew as they went along. A nod of appreciation though to the MD for the way he laid the piece out today.


Saturday 4, 14:37:53

Fourth Section:

5. Thurcroft Welfare (Matthew Wright)

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Now then, not only was this an engaging performance to listen to, it was one that was full of style and colour.

The MD knew how he wanted the piece to be portrayed and the band responded superbly to his command. Each variation had thought and purpose to it and whilst not everything came off, there was a lot to appreciate here.

The euph was so tasteful throughout but he was one of many that revelled in playing on stage today. Well done everyone


Saturday 4, 14:21:20

Fourth Section:

4. Gawthorpe Brass '85' (John Edwards)

Gawthorpe Brass delivers a performance that suffers from too many inconsistencies as it went along but certainly saw them at their best towards the end.

There was quality within the ranks. It was just a real pity that some sections came off better than others though.

Full marks for effort and commitment. They gave it everything they had.


Saturday 4, 14:07:12

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Spot that tune...

One of the great joys of Alan Fernie's set-work is the way in which it cleverly integrates tiny little snippets of themes and motifs from the 'greats' and well known popualr tunes. Don't know if it's deliberate or not, but it is done with tongue in cheek and makes it sound such fun.

If you keep your ears peeled then you can pick out a hint of Sousa and Mussorgsky, motifs from 'My Fair Lady', 'All thought the Night' and even 'All Creatures Great and Small' — the football chant, 'Over there, Over there', and the classic Victorian ballad 'If it wasn't for the 'ouses in between'.

There are more we are sure — and that's half its fun to go with the great banding basics.

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Saturday 4, 14:03:26

Fourth Section:

3. Huddersfield & Ripponden (Adam Bell)

What a bold and musically purposeful reading that was. The conductor made sure every player gave everything and they certainly did that and more.

There was a lovely flow to the music, each musical line flowing with freedom and enjoyment from behind the stands of the players (and plenty of smiles too from percussion).

A great deal of thought went into this and hopefully all concerned are happy with that today. All down to the judges though — but one that made a mark.


Saturday 4, 13:46:34

Fourth Section:

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

MD John Clay takes to the stage for the second time today with the Clifton organisation to deliver a very enjoyable performance.

Not everything was exactly how they would have wanted but they played throughout with real purpose and credit to the MD for keeping it flowing.

You can see their former player, David Horsfield up in the banding heavens grinning like mad at this. He would have enjoyed listening to it, never mind playing on stage. Well done all.


Saturday 4, 13:43:50

Fourth Section:

1. Linthwaite (Paul Kershaw)

A hardworking and well thought out account from an MD who nurtured his ensemble through every single note of this piece.

The euphonium was an effective lead in the hymn section that was nicely shaped. A rendition that grew with confidence as it went along.


Saturday 4, 13:24:13

Second Section prize winners

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Wakefield Metropolitan — 2017 Yorkshire Second Section Champion

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The winning conductor: Richard Larder of Wakefield Metropolitan

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Cheltenham qualifiers: Worsbrough Brass

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Third place: Crofton Silver

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Best Soloist: Matthew Reasbeck of Crofton Silver

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Youngest Player: 10 year old Harry Moulson of Worsbrough


Saturday 4, 13:21:26

Grading

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Saturday 4, 13:20:46

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The Fourth Section trophies ready to be won

Draw:

Comments on performances by Malcolm Wood

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: 'St Andrews Variations' (Alan Fernie)
Adjudicators: Mareika Gray and Sandy Smith

1. Linthwaite (Paul Kershaw)
2. Clifton & Lightcliffe 'B' (John Clay)
3. Huddersfield & Ripponden (Adam Bell)
4. Gawthorpe Brass '85' (John Edwards)
5. Thurcroft Welfare (Matthew Wright)
6. Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge) (Neil Robinson)
7. Loxley Silver (Lee Dunkley)
8. Deepcar (Cathryn Rogers)
9. Tingley (John Belton)


Saturday 4, 12:52:28

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Wakefield Metropolitan — 2017 Yorkshire Second Section Champion

Results:

Second Section:

Test Piece: 'Rhapsody in Brass' (Dean Goffin)
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and David Roberts

1. Wakefield Metropolitan (Richard Larder)*
2. Worsbrough Brass (John Hopkinson)*
3. Crofton Silver (Dean Jones)
4. Skelmanthorpe Prospect (Philip Garlick)
5. Meltham & Meltham Mills (Tim Sidwell)
6. Horbury Victoria (Duncan Beckley)
7. Slaithwaite (Rob Westacott)
8. Kippax (Ian Knapton)
9. Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)
10. Emley (Garry Hallas)
11. Frickley/South Elmsall (James Hobbins)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final in Cheltenham

Best Soloist: Matthew Reasbeck (euphonium) — Crofton Silver
Youngest Player: Harry Moulson (aged 10 ) — Worsbrough Brass


Saturday 4, 12:27:58

Second Section: Round up and prediction:

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It was a highly enjoyable and engaging contest this — and it may give Leigh Baker and David Roberts plenty to think about in the box.

Lots of different approaches — so the title could go in just about any direction.

The ones that stood out for us though were Horbury Victoria and Slaithwaite for security with Worsbrough and Wakefield close behind. Our top six may be filled by Crofton and Kippax with a dark horse that could well come in and beat the lot in Skelmanthorpe who delivere such a stylish account.

1. Horbury Victoria
2. Slaithwaite
3. Worsbrough
4. Wakefield Metropolitan
5. Crofton
6. Kippax

Dark Horse: Skelmanthorpe Prospect


Saturday 4, 12:12:33

Second Section:

11. Wakefield Metropolitan

A performance that grew in stature as it went along this after a hiccup of a start. MD really kept the music flowing without sacrificing the time and space he created in each movement — especially a touchingly phrased central section — led by super euph.

The final section was so neatly done too — drawing out the joyful character of the music and then building in intensity and excitement. There were the odd blips and blobs of contest day ordinance along the way but hats off to MD and players for this one.


Saturday 4, 12:11:40

In need of updating?

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Do you think anyone has brought one of these hidden in their back pocket nowadays?


Saturday 4, 11:56:19

Second Section:

10. Crofton Silver

An engaging take this — carefully planned and executed — just like Monty getting one over the Desert Fox.

Not everything came off, but the desire to show clarity, detail and balance was admirable — from a optimistic opening movement, through a reflective central section and a carefree third. It was music making with its focus on contest style and substance — just lacking a little in the risk taking stakes but still making its mark. A band on the up this with their talented MD and you can hear why.


Saturday 4, 11:44:09

Second Section:

9. Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)

Not surprisingly John Clay used all his experience to draw out a great deal of musicality from the score. He must have played this piece under some great conductors at Black Dyke all those years ago.

The sensible approach is most marked with tempo choices — all taken to allow detail and clarity (great troms) to come through — especially in the first movement. The central section flowed with sombre reflection and the third had a tempered skip in its step. The final rip could have just done with a bit more joyful brio — but it worked and worked well.


Saturday 4, 11:29:52

Second Section:

8. Slaithwaite (Robert Westacott)

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A comprehensive, commanding rendition this — just losing a little focus and control in the final section, but overall so well put together and delivered.

The opening was dance-like but not too dainty (aided by some neatly projected detail), whilst the central section was played with a dark, sombre timbre without losing the warmth. Just got ahead of itself in places in the finale, but the majestic sounds and the thrilling coda rounded off a performance of rich musicality and merit.


Saturday 4, 11:14:59

Second Section:

7. Emley (Garry Hallas)

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The latest in a line of confident, boldly coloured accounts — with the MD drawing a great deal of passion and no little drama from the score. It did get a little overwrought in places, but you sensed the briosic character in the opening, the dark melancholy in the second and the joyfulness in the finale.

Not everything came off and it was scrappy in places, but the approach was admirable. Also loved the blue hair on the solo trom next to the bald pate of the 2nd trom and blonde locks on the bass trom — looked like little pots of Dulux paint from up above them in the stalls.


Saturday 4, 11:12:05

Half way opinion

Well it's been an intersting first half of a contest with some engaging takes on Dean Goffin's work — some more engaging in a different dimension it must be said as well.

Of those Horbury Victoria and Worsbrough were the most confident with Kippax just behind. All three were cut from the same musical cloth, whilst Skelmanthorpe's more lyrical account was perphaps the most persuasive of the day, but the error count may just see it edged out.

1. Horbury Victoria
2. Worsbrough
3. Kippax

Dark Horse: Skelmanthorpe


Saturday 4, 10:43:21

Second Section:

6. Horbury Victoria (Duncan Beckley)

Another confident, solidly executed approach. The odd question mark about the dynamic levels, but as we have come to expect from Dunacn Beckly over the years, it's put together with a solid appreciation of contesting basics.

A touch fearsome in the opening, followed by a no nonsense central section that didn't linger too longer on misplaced sentimentality. The finale was paced neatly — and despite the odd moments of scrappiness it spoke of optimism and joyful release.


Saturday 4, 10:26:57

Second Section:

5. Kippax (Ian Knapton)

What a confident performance. A bold start after an initial hiccup, it bowled along with energy. It was a touch heavy stylistically in places, but the solidity of the execution and the warmth of the balanced ensemble sound was very good.

The central section was malleable — pulled about nicely. Again, just a touch heavy dynamically, but the close was sombre and well managed. The finale was pulsating — untidy in places but full of vitality to close a passionate 'Rhapsodic' interpretation.


Saturday 4, 10:15:37

Second Section:

4. Frickley/South Elmsall (James Hobbis)

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Well that was a performance full of youthful vitality, energy and sheer hutzpah.

It was also a bit of a modern reappraisal of Dean Goffin's musical intentions as well you feel — with some idiosyncratic interpretations of style in each of the movements. It was a bit like reliving the Battle of El Alamain on an X Box game. Bravo to the MD for taking so many risks and to the players for trying to give him what he wanted (super multi tasking solo perc) but this never really worked.


Saturday 4, 09:53:30

Second Section:

3. Skelmanthorpe Prospect (Philip Garlick)

What a pity this was uneven in execution as the MD had the style of the music — compact, concise and clear, spot on.

When it did knit together it was so convincing — especially the middle movement that was melancholic but still warmly spirited — led by great euph and with delicate bass trom. The mix of celebratory freedom and majesty to close was also clearly defined. Will those noticeable errors count against them though?


Saturday 4, 09:36:43

Second Section:

2. Meltham & Meltham Mills (Tim Sidwell)

The band takes to the stage with what looks like the original parts of the piece from 1942 — all that is missing is bits of Rommel's shrapnel.

It's a good solid take though after an edgy start — flowing along with a neat delicacy of touch in solo and ensemble. The middle movement is broadly phrased — with euph a fine solo lead. Just odd moments detract. The finale section has a joyful feel topped by sprightly sop sat in top man seat and the majestic climax leads to the excitable close.


Saturday 4, 09:19:14

Second Section:

1. Worsbrough Brass (John Hopkinson)

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After a nice rousing National Anthem we get down to business with a bold opening movement of slightly brittle timbres. Some lovely solo work is featured in a vibrant take. The central section is broad and sweeping, if a little uneven — led by warmly toned horn.

The finale moves along with robust purpose before the fulsome reprise and energetic, brioso close. They should be happy with that — a marker of intent.


Saturday 4, 09:15:48

Title winner...

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Here is a man who knew how to win a title in Huddersfield in years gone by.

This is the great Herbert Chapman — who won two First Division championship titles and the FA Cup with 'The Terriers' in the 1920s.

Will his spirit be reincarnated here this morning we wonder?


Saturday 4, 08:59:08

Second Section: Draw

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The white rose symbol of Yorkshire proudly dislpalyed on the stand banners at the Yorkshire Regional Brass Band Championships

Comments on performances by Iwan Fox

Test Piece: Rhapsody in Brass (Dean Goffin)
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and David Roberts

1. Worsbrough Brass (John Hopkinson)
2. Meltham & Meltham Mills (Tim Sidwell)
3. Skelmanthorpe Prospect (Philip Garlick)
4. Frickley/South Elmsall (James Hobbins)
5. Kippax (Ian Knapton)
6. Horbury Victoria (Duncan Beckley)
7. Emley (Garry Hallas)
8. Slaithwaite (Rob Westacott)
9. Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)
10. Crofton Silver (Dean Jones)
11. Wakefield Metropolitan (Richard Larder)


Saturday 4, 08:40:36

The action starts this morning

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The action starts with the Second Section at 9.15am and with the lovely musical delights of Dean Goffin's 'Rhapsody in Brass' — a wonderful work of clarity of thought and style. It's music that remains as relevant and refreshing today as it was when it was written in 1942.

The prize for the winners isn't to stop Rommel's march on Egypt on his occasion, but to claim one of the two qualifications on offer for Cheltenham.


Saturday 4, 08:16:30

At the hall

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The Yorkshire Regional Championships are being held in the very impressive surroundings of Huddersfield Town Hall.

We have made an early start to the day and made it to the wonderful hall. It really is a lovely place — painted out in egg blue and off white with golden embellishments.

The adjudicator's box is situated on the ground floor and slightly off to the left to allow access for the public. It shouldn't cause any problems for the bands.

The excellent team of volunteers means that the stage is already set up, the trophies are in place and everything is ready for the off. The draw for the Second Section has been made and wel will publish it when Leigh Baker and David Roberts are in the box.

Until then it's a little bit of prep work our end and the chance for a quick cup of tea.

Huddersfield Town Hall was designed by John H Abbey and was built in two stages between 1875 and 1881.

At the opening ceremony and procession in a cavity under the corner stone of the building a tin box was placed which contained:-
- A small portrait of Jos. Woodhead Esq, Mayor of Huddersfield
- A copy of the Huddersfield Examiner, Chronicle & Weekly News dated 22nd June1878
- A Shilling, a Sixpence and a Penny. (equivalent to 8 new pence)

The Town Hall Organ was the work of Messrs Henry Willis and Sons of London and was originally made for the Albert Hall Company in Newport, Wales.

The work of removing the organ from Newport and rebuilding it in Huddersfield Town Hall, as seen above, was undertaken by Messrs James Conacher and sons, organ builders, of Huddersfield.


Saturday 4, 06:39:43

Good morning from Yorkshire

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A certain pipe-smoking British Prime Minister — Harold Wilson


The Regional Championship bandwagon makes its second stop this year in the town of Huddersfield — home to a famous brace of sporting teams, railway station, a great film star and two former Prime Ministers.

In the 1920s 'The Terriers' won the First Division three years in a row under Herbert Chapman — who went on to manage Arsenal to even greater success, whilst 'The Giants' are a pretty successful rugby league team (a strange game to any Welshman, that is played with 13 men and scrums that resemble a flailing octopus).

The railway station is a magnificent Grade 1 listed building once described by John Betjeman as '...the most splendid station facade in Britain' and the famous film star, no other than the beautifully suave star of Hitchcock's 'North by North West ' and the much more disturbing 'Lolita'- James Mason.

As for the Prime Ministers? Herbert Asquith — the last Liberal PM, and a certain pipe-smoking Harold Wilson — who won no less than four General Elections as leader of the Labour Party.

Once asked by Aneruin Bevan were he was from, he proudly said; 'Forged in Yorkshire' — alluding to a supposed working class steel making family heritage. 'That so,' said Bevan. 'I always thought there was something bloody dodgy about you.'


Saturday 4, 00:08:40

Made it...

Anyone who has to travel on the M6 and M62 each day must have the patience of Job. It is a bloody nightmare. It seems to be a never ending series of diversions, speed limits, obstacles, warnings and contra-flows. How players get to band rehearsals on time in these parts is beyond me.

Still — after four and half hours on the road the 4BR Editor has finally made it to the hotel — only to find that the lock on the hotel room door was broken and I couldn't get in. 15 minutes of trying by the night porter and no luck. Moved to a new room... and next door to a person who is snoring like the QE2 backing out of Liverpool Docks.

Oh happy days... Can't wait for the sound of a brass band to calm me down.


Friday 3, 19:44:42

Section 2: Grading


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The first contest of the weekend is the Second Section, where not only are there two qualification places for Cheltenham up for grabs, but the all important gradings that determine promotion and relegation too.

As you can see from above, it is a bit easier to understand than the marking system employed by Butlins to decide the Championship winner in Skegness — but only just...


Friday 3, 19:42:41

Timetable

Second Section: Saturday 4th March 9.15am

Fourth Section: Saturday 4th March 13:30pm approx, after conclusion of the 2nd Section

First Section: Saturday 4th March 16:45pm approx, after conclusion of the 4th Section.

Third Section: Sunday 5th March 10:00am

Championship Section: Sunday 5th March approx 15:15pm


Friday 3, 16:20:28

Boasting rights

4BR will be heading to one of the most eagerly awaited domestic battles of the banding calendar this weekend with the Yorkshire Regional Championships in Huddersfield.

After a 33 year tenure in Bradford, £4 million of renovation work to St George’s Hall has meant a temporary change of venue to the equally ornate splendour of Huddersfield Town Hall.

There are similarities: Huddersfield Town Hall is also a monument to Victorian civic pride — built between 1875 and 1881, although the bragging rights still belong to Bradford in regard to size. St George’s Hall holds 1500 people and Huddersfield 1200, so little wonder the ‘Full House’ signs will be up on Sunday afternoon for the top section battle.

However, Bradford opted for the neo-classical architectural design whilst Huddersfield’s penchant was for Corinthian, just to show who was more ‘refined’.

And whilst St George’s could boast playing host to acts such as Iron Maiden to Charles Dickens over the years, Huddersfield Town Hall does boast one of the truly great organs in the world — the majestic Henry Willis leviathan; a beast that could drown out the sound of all 13 top section bands playing triple forte in a jiffy.


Thursday 2, 12:33:29

Runners & Riders

Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Pageantry' — Herbert Howells
Sunday 5th March
Draw: 1.15pm
Commence: 3.15pm
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts and Sandy Smith

Black Dyke (Prof. Nicholas J Childs)
Brighouse & Rastrick (Dr David Thornton)
Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Erik Janssen)
Chapeltown (Andrew Dennis)
City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)
Elland Silver (Daniel Brooks)
Grimethorpe Colliery (Phillip McCann)
Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)
Hatfield (Stan Lippeatt)
Hepworth (Leigh Baker)
Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)
Strata (Alan Hobbins)
Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (Russell Gray)

First Section:

Test Piece: 'Land of the Long White Cloud' — Philip Sparke
Saturday 4th March
Draw: 2.45pm
Commence: 4.45pm approx
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Ewan Easton

Cornerstone (Damian Wileman)
Drighlington (Duncan Beckley)
Hade Edge (Jonathan Beatty)
Hebden Bridge (Robert Savage)
Knottingley Silver (Kevin Belcher)
Lindley (Neil Jowett)
Marsden Silver (Alan Widdop)
Old Silkstone (Sam Fisher)
Skelmanthorpe (Jim Davies)
South Yorkshire Police (Jack Capstaff)
Stannington (Derek Renshaw)
Unite the Union (John Roberts)

Second Section:

Test Piece: 'Rhapsody in Brass' — Sir Dean Goffin
Saturday 4th March
Draw: 7.45am
Commence: 9.15 am
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and David Roberts

Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)
Crofton Silver (Dean Jones)
Emley (Garry Hallas)
Frickley/South Elmsall (James Hobbins)
Horbury Victoria (Duncan Beckley)
Kippax (Ian Knapton)
Meltham & Meltham Mills (Tim Sidwell)
Skelmanthorpe Prospect (Philip Garlick)
Slaithwaite (Rob Westacott)
Wakefield Metropolitan (Richard Larder)
Worsbrough Brass (John Hopkinson)

Third Section:

Test Piece: 'Darkwood' — Dan Price
Sunday 5th March
Draw: 8.00am
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: Jim Davies and Glyn Williams

Armthorpe Elmfield (Haydn Griffiths MBE)
Barnsley Brass (William Rushworth)
Barnsley Metropolitan (Alex Francis)
BD1 Brass (Lee Skipsey)
Dinnington (Lindon Bolt)
Dodworth Colliery M.W. (Eliot J Darwin)
Dronfield Genquip (Robert Straw)
Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whittaker)
Maltby Miners (Terry Clifford)
Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)
Rockingham (Adam Whittle)
West Yorkshire Police (Kevin Wadsworth)
Wetherby Silver (Derek Warley)

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: 'St Andrews Variations' — Alan Fernie
Saturday 4th March
Draw: 11.30am
Commence: 1.30 pm approx
Adjudicators: Mareika Gray and Sandy Smith

Clifton & Lightcliffe 'B' (John Clay)
Deepcar (Cathryn Rogers)
Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge) (Neil Robinson)
Gawthorpe Brass '85' (John Edwards)
Huddersfield & Ripponden (Adam Bell)
Linthwaite (Paul Kershaw)
Loxley Silver (Lee Dunkley)
Thurcroft Welfare (Matthew Wright)
Tingley (John Belton)



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


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Saturday 25 November • Stravinski Hall, Montreaux. Claude-Nobs 5, 1820 Montreaux, Switzerland 1820


Newstead Brass -

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


Lofthouse Brass Band - Lofthouse Christmas Fair

Saturday 25 November • Lofthouse Methodist Church, Leeds Road, Lofthouse, Wakefield WF3 3NE


Blidworth Welfare Band

November 21 • The Blidworth Welfare band, Midlands Championship section, require a 2nd cornet player to join our friendly but ambitious and hardworking band. A good programme of concerts, recordings and contests will provide an enjoyable challenge.


Blidworth Welfare Band

November 21 • The Blidworth Welfare band, Midlands Championship section, require a principal cornet player to join our friendly but ambitious and hardworking band. . A good programme of concerts, recordings and contests will provide an enjoyable challenge.


The Corsham Band

November 21 • With promotion to the 2nd Section from January 2018 the band are now looking for an experienced Front Row Cornet Player to join our friendly and enthusiastic team.


Darren R. Hawken

PGdip, BMus(hons) PGCE, dipABRSM, LRSM
Conductor, Arranger, Teacher, Adjudicator, Band Trainer