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2017 Midlands Regional Championships
As it happened

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

Midlands

Sunday 12, 18:58:42

Results

Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Pageantry' — Herbert Howells

Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and Philip Harper

1. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)*
2. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)*
3. Desford Colliery LCIWTF (Thomas Wyss)
4. Ratby Co-operative (Mareika Gray)
5. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)
6. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
7. Spal Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)
8. Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)
9. Staffordshire (Steven Walsh)
10. Newstead Brass (Philip Goodwin)
11. Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)
12. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) Simon Platford)
13. Bedworth Brass (David Maplestone)

*Top Two bands Qualify for National Final at Royal Albert Hall


Midlands

Sunday 12, 18:25:43

Chris Thomas's Championship Section Prediction from Bedworth

It's been a bright and brisk Championships Section contest in Bedworth with a very clear winner in our opinion.

Below that it could get a little more intersting however as no band emerge unscathed by the challenges thrown down by Herbert Howells' beautifully crafted classic.

Chris Thomas goes for a top six of:

4BR Prediction:

1. Virtuosi GUS
2. Desford
3. Jaguar Land Rover
4. Thoresby Colliery
5. Staffordshire
6. Bilton Silver (Rugby)

Dark Horses Sovereign and Ratby


Midlands

Sunday 12, 18:18:55

Championship Section

13. Bilton Silver (Rugby) (Dave Stowell)

King's Herald: A nasty opening flourish but it recovers and moves forward with a sense of purpose. The detail isn't always precise and there are errors noted but there is also verve and spirit about this that engages us.

Cortege: There are some distinctly uncomfortable moments as the music unfolds but there's also a poise and emotional warmth that manages to shine through. Tuning is problematic approaching the closing bars however.

Jousts: Opening cornet solo isn't entirely precise and there are some scrappy moments in the cornet section as concentration wavers but the tempo again has an urgency about it that propels the music on in exciting fashion. The close is big and bold and caps a very creditable effort from the band.

Overall: Moments of musical quality from Bilton that although sometimes undermined by slips conveyed a strong musical picture.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 18:03:44

Results

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: 'St Andrews Variations' — Alan Fernie

Adjudicators: Dr Chris Davis and Kevin Wadsworth

embedded picture
1st Place: Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)

1. Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)*
2. Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)*
3. Cleobury Mortimer Concert (Saphran Ali)*
4. Ratby Co-operative Mid (TBC)
5. City of Wolverhampton (George Draycott)
6. Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs)
7. Sherwood Forest Brass (Christine Lippeatt)
8. Whitwell Brass (Ryan Stacey)
9. Skegness Silver (Steve Walker)
10. Malvern Hills District (Chris License)
11. WEM Jubilee (Roger Thorne)
12. Newark Town (Rupert Trippett)
13. Bilton Silver (Evolution) (Jack Fisher)
14. Syston (Chris Banks)
15. Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
16. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
17. Moulton '77 (Nicholas Garman)
18. Ilkeston Brass (Geoff Hawley)
19. Coventry Festival (Alan Gifford)
=20. Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (Tony Wilson)
= 20. Porthywaen Silver (Dougie Graham)

withdrawn: Porthywaen Silver (Dougie Graham)


*Top Three bands Qualify for National Final at Cheltenham


Midlands

Sunday 12, 18:02:56

Championship Section

12. Staffordshire (Steven Walsh)

King's Herald: There's an urgency about the opening movement that drives the music on and although it's not always entirely refined it's certainly exciting stuff. We don't always hear the detail projected with absolute clarity however.

Cortege: As with many performances today the vulnerability of exposed parts is all too evident here despite clear musical intent. Instrumental voices not speaking and isuses of tuning marr the flow of the music..... a shame as we sense the MD shaping the music well.

Jousts: The cornet solo gets the final moment off to something of a rocky start as it stutters into life and again we hear the intent although it's not always backed up in the execution. The ending has a fine sense of spirit about it though.

Overall: There was often a good sense of spirit about this but scrappy ensemble and a hesitant Cortege caused problems.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 17:34:27

Sophie Hart's Fourth Section round up and prediction:

There have been some really lovely moments today, with some bands clearly excelling in the slow passages. The real telling moments were the semi quaver entries, there was the occasional struggle in these across the day.

All the bands made a great effort and it has been a great one to listen to!

4BR Prediction:
1. University of Warwick
2. Shipston
3. Portywaen
4. Corby
5. Bestwood
6. Cleobury Mortimer


Midlands

Sunday 12, 17:32:34

Fourth Section:

21. Sherwood Forest (Christine Lippeatt)

A lyrical opening, and some entries were a little scrappy, but Sherwood Forest kept calm. Slow start on their march section, but the notes were together.

Punchy accents featured in 6/8 meaning that it kept a good pace. The finale went a little slow but it meant that they gave it adequate room to speed up in the very final stages, if only for a moment before the rall. Nice way to finish the day.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 17:30:18

Championship Section:

10. Newstead (Phil Goodwin)

King's Herald: Opening is solid and the tempo is effective. There are some nasty clips along the way though which undermine what is a spirited effort from both players and MD. There's a sense of urgency that drives the music on to the last bar but those slips continue to be very noticeable.

Cortege: Well done baritones in opening bars. As the music unfolds there are moments of hesitation that interrupt the flow but again the MD has selected a good tempo and he allows the music to move onwards. It doesn't settle though and although the ending is good the atmosphere was never quite intact.

Jousts: Cornet solo doesn't quite sit rigidly to open and again there are so many slips that interfere with the musical picture. The ensemble gets scrappier towards the close as embouchures and concentration levels seem to dip although the excitement levels build well and it's a spirited final flourish.

Overall: A performance of clear musical intent that was marred by too many slips on the day.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 17:14:15

Fourth Section:

20. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)

This was a well-shaped and lyrical performance and this band have waltzed in with some well delivered confidence! There was a nice attention to detail and the semi quaver passages were not a problem, they carried a nice bounce to them.

They took the accel in their stridewith little trouble. Could be a winner!


Midlands

Sunday 12, 17:12:09

Championship Section:

9. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)

King's Herald: A fine opening that immediately sets the tone. The tempo is spot on and although there are one or two minor clips, the music has character and majestic splendour. Ensemble is generally taut and it's a blazing final bar......the lid just needs to be kept on those dynamics at times though.

Cortege: Baritones do well in the opening bars and the MD opts for a tempo that doesn't hang around allowing the music to flow freely. Crucially though it still retains that sonorous sound and sense of thoughtful contemplation that is at the heart of this movement. Soprano just about gets by at the close and the final bar is touching in its atmosphere.

Jousts: Good opening cornet and soprano and we sense that the band is growing in confidence. This is again a great tempo and the dynamics are well observed giving the music a sense of growing excitement and adventure. And what a great ending; brio and spirit in abundance.

Overall: Such a well constructed account from JLR. There were odd moments of tuning and minor clips but this had so much heraldic spirit and bravura about it.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 17:12:06

Fourth Section:

19. Porthywaen (Dougie Graham)

This started very comfortably and continued on into an equally comfortable horn solo. There were a few inconsistent moments, but the 6/8 was navigated so well.

Principal cornet had a consistently fantastic personal performance throughout — so well done! This band wasn’t scared to go for it in the finale and had a cracking ending because of it!


Midlands

Sunday 12, 17:09:53

Fourth Section:

18. Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (David Clark)

Bestwood clearly enjoyedthe first few variations, because they played with such a light-hearted character. Rich sounds fill the room and they allow the swells in variation 5 to take over.

They were very comfortable in the 6/8 and even took it up a notch too. There was the odd moment of instability, but this did not hinder the band for too long. A nice and tidy ending finished a very consistent performance.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 16:55:42

Championship Section

8. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)

King's Herald: Opening not quite clean but it sets off at quite a pace.....certainly quicker than many today.....and it's certainly exciting but perhaps not to everyone's personal taste. The detail is not always totally clear and the tempo is such that it really does sound rushed rather than regal.

Cortege: The opening doesn't quite come off with baritones not voicing together and it just needs a touch more poise and warmth through the sustained notes. The choice of tempo is good here though and the MD allows the music to flow.......the close is again fragile though with voices not speaking and tuning also imprecise.

Jousts: Opens well but somehow this isn't getting to the heart of the music. Like the first movement, the tempo is swift and we are losing the sense of heraldry that should inform every bar and note. Ensemble is also approximate in places and that essential character simply eludes us.

Overall: A strangely uninvolving account from Derwent Brass that failed to get inside the meaning of the music for us.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 16:35:56

Chris Thomas's Half Time Analysis

One performance of Pageantry stands head and shoulders above the field so far and that came from Virtuosi GUS with a reading of majestic control and intelligence.

They are followed by Desford in second and Thorseby Colliery in third.

The judges are back in the box and it's Derwent Brass that will kick off the second half of the draw.

4BR Prediction:
1. Virtuosi GUS
2. Desford Colliery
3. Thoresby Colliery


Midlands

Sunday 12, 16:20:01

Championship Section:

7. Ratby Co-Operative (Mareika Gray)

King's Herald: The opening flourish isn't totally clean but the movement progresses well with good spirit. The depth of the band sound is possibly affected to a degree by the presence of only one Eb bass but the MD brings understated authority to the reading.

Cortege: The opening is uncomfortable and tuning causes problems as the central movement progresses with individual slips in exposed passages adding to the feeling of nervy fragility. It's a feeling that pervades to the concluding bars as it doesn't quite settle into that essential feeling repose at the close.

Jousts: Opening cornet solo is adequate and the final movement progresses without major incident whilst not quite igniting as it needs to. It all feels a little safe rather than exhilarating with tired lips evident to close,

Overall: Some quality moments from Ratby but also aperformance that never really caught light for us.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 16:18:44

Fourth Section:

17. Malvern Hills District (Chris License)

Sweet, soft sounds started Malvern Hills off on a lovely performance, although the horn soloist was playing well but unfrotunately got a little lost under the band. Beginning of variation 7 was a little scrappy but it soon picked up again to display a nice feel for the music.

Towards the end of the piece the band got a little tired, but became more spritely at the accel, to produce a fine ending.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 16:16:33

Fourth Section:

16. Ratby Co-operative Mid (TBC)

The confident start maintained a fine pace throughout the first few variations — and what a great horn solo.

The band played the punchy march with style, but dwelled on variations 5 and 6 — although you can’t complain about the sound though! Some very clean quaver movements, and although this didn’t always carry into the finale, the spirits stayed up during the remainder of the performance.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 16:13:42

Fourth Section:

15. Ilkeston Brass (Geoff Hawley)

Nice full sounds were made despite being a couple of people short and there as such a characterful interpretation of variation 4, which led nicely to a good euphonium solo.

Entry into the finale was a little hesitant, but the band played with so much conviction. The cornet solo was stylish, and another MD who enjoyed this interjection of Fernie’s. Ending was well thought out to round off a stylish account.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 16:11:04

Fourth Section:

14. Coventry Festival (Alan Gifford)

A slow start meant that it took a little while to settle down, but this band was comfortable in the march section.

Tempo dragged occasionally and there were inconsistencies, but the dynamic contrasts were strong, giving such a good musical good feel. Finale started with a good bounce and kept up a good momentum throughout.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 15:59:23

Championship Section

6. Bedworth Brass (Chris Houlding)

King's Herald: A solid opening although as the first movement progresses there are moments that just rock the boat a little. As a consequence the music loses some of its momentum and energy although this is a very creditable effort from the local team.

Cortege: A shaky opening as baritone voices don't speak as one and it's also a little heavy dynamically. Those fragilities continue and although the music is well shaped by the MD it never quite flows as freely as it should leading to an unsettled close.

Jousts: Opening cornet solo doesn't sit well and this is now getting scrappier as it progresses. The momentum is lost as we approach the final paragraphs and it's a somewhat laboured conclusion and final flourish.

Overall: A performance that started reasonably well but became progressively more untidy as lips tired.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 15:41:57

Championship Section:

5. Desford Colliery (Thomas Wyss)

King's Herald: Another quality opening and the tempo is bang on the money. There's a brio and verve about this that is infectious although it's not quite as razor sharp as the performance from GUS immediately prior we feel.

Cortege: The opening is sonorous but not quite 100% comfortable with just a whiff of fragility about some of the exposed lines. The MD allows the music to flow so well but as we approach the closing bars there are again the tiniest of fissures in the textures. Beaitiful closing chord and lovely feeling of repose.

Jousts: Fine opening and again we like the sense of spirit and adventure that leaps off the stage. It's not always pristinely precise but it brims with atmosphere and the majesty of the approach to the final flourish is uplifting.

Overall: A perforamance of abundant spirit and brio from Desford but for us it couldn't quite match the pristine precision of GUS.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 15:23:41

Fourth Section:

13. Croft Silver (Ian Needham)

A confident start, but a couple of wrong entries made an appearance early on. The band sound is wholesome though and lower band delivered some very clean passages.

The finale was a little untidy in places but it had a lot of spirit, whilst second man down was featured in excllent fashion. Tended to luxuriate in the ralls at the end, but what a fine close with a lovely full chord.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 15:23:25

Championship Section:

4. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

King's Herald: A fabulous opening flourish that just oozes class and condfidence. Everything simply locks together so well and the detail in the cornets is both refined and sharp. There's a feeling of dashing chivalry about this that simply makes you sit up and listen with nothing overstated or forced. And what a fine close.

Cortege: Baritones secure if a touch above pp to open but there is a delicious air of thoughtful contemplation that emanates from the music.......and the balance and solidity of the band sound is glorious even at the lowest dynamics. What a beautiful close.......so atmospheric it sends shivers down the spine.

Jousts: Terrific solo cornet to open and this has such spirit and energy about it........the momentum is palpable and we can sense and smell the atmosphere of the jousting field. Fantastic sounds from soprano and the presence and majesty is so evident as we head to the final exhilarating flourish which is despatched with brilliance.

Overall: A performance that simply oozed quality from start to finish. Playing of control and character in equal measure. That's going to take some beating.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 15:21:22

Fourth Section:

12. Skegness (Steve Walker)

Generally a comfortable performance from Skegness, but there were a few inconsistencies in entries. There was a great trombone entry in variation 6 and the playing was very clean indeed.

A mighty sound created in the finale for this well-rounded performance, but it could have been tightened up in places in some of the ensemble areas.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 15:08:00

Championship Section:

3. Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)

Kimg's Herald: The opening movement doesn't always feel as if it's quite clicking together as it should but the playing has both spirit and energy and this is a very creditable effort from a newly promoted band.

Cortege: The devilishly tricky opening causes problems and the musical picture is initially not quite complete. The MD allows the tempo to flow however, admirably so, and the atmosphere builds well leading to a haunting conclusion.

Jousts: Opening cornet solo is adequate if a little unrefined and the MD drives the music on as he draws nervy and momentum from his players. The ensemble isn't entirely precise at times and it tends to feel a touch unhinged but the ending is good and caps a solid account.

Overall: A performance from which Blidworth can take considerable pride. A little rough and ready in places but bags of guts and spirit.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 14:55:45

2016-2017 Grading Table

embedded picture
Table showing the grading positions in advance of the contest and will be used in combination with the 2017 results to determine gradings for 2018

Draw: Championship Section:

Sunday 12th March
Civic Hall
Draw 1.00pm
Commence: After Second Section results
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and Philip Harper

1. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
2. Spal Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)
3. Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)
4. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)
5. Desford Colliery LCIWTF (Thomas Wyss)
6. Bedworth Brass (Chris Houlding)
7. Ratby Co-operative (Mareika Gray)
8. Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)
9. Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
10. Newstead Brass (Philip Goodwin)
11. Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) Simon Platford)
12. Staffordshire (Steven Walsh)
13. Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)


Midlands

Sunday 12, 14:50:37

Championship Section:

2. Spal Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)

King's Herald: A decent opening and it sets off at a good tempo. There are one or two clips and slips buried within the textures that don't go unnoticed but there is a confidence about the playing that propels the music on with brio leading to a effective closing flourish.

Cortege: The tempo is slow and it doesn't make it easy for the players as a few cracks appear in the treacherously exposed lines. Horn isn't entirely comfortable and again the slow tempo inhibits the flow of the music to some degree. Soprano tuning not comfortable to finish and it's all a touch hesitant in the final bars.

Jousts: Solo cornet not clean in execution to open and suddenly it begins to feel a little vulnerable as the band appears to be unsettled. It garners momentum as it progresses however and it's a spirited ending.

Overall: An inconsistent account that although impressive in parts, faltered at key moments.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 14:32:08

Championship Section:

1. Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)

King's Herald: The opening tempo is bang on the money and right away there is an authoritative air to this. Bracing and atmospheric in equal measure. Cornets just show a hint of labour in the exposed Fanfare references but it's fleeting and the ending is effective.

Cortège: A hesitant opening as voices don't speak clearly and tuning also falters momentarily. This has a feeling of fragility about it. It takes a little time to settle but the climax is finely done and there's a glowing sense of majesty as we head into the tranquillo. Again there's a touch of fragility about this, in the horns particularly, although it settles to a close of repose.

Jousts: Cornet solo is clean and again the tempo is well chosen. Just the tiniest of clips here and there but there is a good momentum about this and we sense both the danger and the excitement inherent in the music. The drive to the final bars is so effective and it's a vivid and exciting final flourish.

Overall: A fine opening movement from Thoresby and a very well conceived account. Not without fragility in the central Cortège though.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 14:18:11

Sophie Hart's Fourth Section mid point opinions and predictions.

Bands have generally been more comfortable in the march and slow variations this morning. Some more clarity is needed in the faster passages but there have been some gutsy finales! Soloists across the morning have been very good, particularly Euphonium players, this piece seems to bring out them out of their shells. Tempo, like yesterday, has been a point of contention but interpretations have generally been very nice

4BR Prediction:

1. Shipston Town
2. Cleobury Mortimer
3. Corby Silver
4. Syston
5. WEM Jubilee


Midlands

Sunday 12, 14:15:48

Fourth Section:

11. Syston (Chris Banks)

Overall this was a very consistent and well rounded performance. Variation 2 was quite pacey but this didn’t bother the band in the slightest. One small trip at Variation 7 knocked Syston a little but not for too long.

Principal cornet played some smashing solos throughout and the finale was so confident and well-paced. Great effort!


Midlands

Sunday 12, 14:13:59

Fourth Section:

10: Moulton 77 (Nicholas Garman)

Someone was just a little keen on the opening and speedy in variation 2. However, the band settled into the slow section so nicely. Cornet and Euphonium sound compliment each other well in some lovely music making.

They were a little hesitant going into variation 8, but the swells were nicely done. Finale was powerful, and conductor threw himself into every beat!


Midlands

Sunday 12, 14:12:09

Fourth Section:

9. WEM Jubilee (Roger Thorne)

A little heavy on the entry from basses at the start, but confidence is not always a bad thing. The band provided us with a lovely, lilting melody at the start of variation 2. Very nice to hear the trombone section at the end of variation seven too!

Some very tidy sections in the finale and bass trombone keeps up with a cracking sound! Solid ending — and the band seemed to be fairly pleased with their performance. They should too.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 13:48:13

Results

Second Section:

Test Piece: 'Rhapsody in Brass' — Sir Dean Goffin

Adjudicators: David Hirst and Derek Renshaw

1. Glossop Old (Duncan Beckley*
2. Foss Dyke (Colum O'Shea)*
3. Burbage Buxton (Steve Critchlow)
4. Avonbank (Evesham) (Ceri Thomas)
5. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
6. Hucknall and Linby MC (Paul Whyley)
7. Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)
8. Daventry (Bob Stradling)
9. Bakewell Silver (Jim Henson)
10. Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geoff Benson)
11. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)


*Top Two bands Qualify for National Final at Cheltenham


Midlands

Sunday 12, 13:44:49

Third Section:

4. Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes (Brian Harper)

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On Stage: Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes (Brian Harper)

Its a steadier approach to the tempo, but its right on the money. The dark foreboding sounds paint a picture of the natural woodland of Boggart Hole Clough. We just lack the mischievous nature of the Imp. Again band basics are in place but character and style remain unexplored.

The simpleness of The House on the Hill is evident in the beautiful playing. The 6/8 section has some lilt. I find myself again hoping for some real emotion driven playing. Its all safe and sonorous but without feeling.

Blackley Village is depicted in a vibrant style and finally we have some heart on sleeve moments of real music making. This is the first band to really make the most of the compound time feel that provides a vibrant, exciting picture.

Overall

Another performance that grew in stature as it went along. Fine Euph playing and the basics were well handled.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 13:28:37

Chris Thomas's Second Section Prediction from Bedworth

It's been an interesting contest on Dean Goffin's Rhapsody in Brass with two performances well ahead of the rest of the field for us.

The standard has been better than we expected given the difficulties posed by the music and that could mean some serious thought about the minor placings for David Hirst and Derek Renshaw with issues of execution sometimes vying with interpretative matters in a good number of performances.

We go for a top six of

4BR Prediction:

1. Glossop Old
2. Foss Dyke
3. Avonbank Evesham
4. Burbage Buxton
5. City of Coventry
6. Hucknall and Linby

Dark horse Daventry Brass


Midlands

Sunday 12, 13:25:01

Fourth Section:

8: Whitwell Brass (Ryan Stacey)

Whitwell really took into account the song-like markings on their parts for their opening, but there was more tentative playing in quieter dynamics. There were nice sounds across the band, but the soloists needed to be allowed to come through a little more.

They rocketed into variation 7 though with great contrasts in tempo which are nicely executed, particularly in final bars. Perhaps a little more could have been made of the dynamics, but this had a great deal of musical presence.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 13:22:33

Fourth Section:

7: Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs)

What a lush opening which led to a very bouncy and light march section. Euphonium bathes in his sound at variation five and the rest of the band followed suit! A few untidy semiquaver passages but this did not hold them back.

Shipston do well in the slow sections and their lovely sound is enchanting. They made the most of the rall at the end and ended so cleanly too.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 13:17:49

Second Section:

11. Foss Dyke (Colum O' Shea)

This makes a real impression in the opening bars; rhythmically taut and with a solid but controlled band sound. The MD finds the style of the music well and there is a confidence and authority about the playing that impresses.

Crucially, the MD allows the music freedom in the slow movement and the flow is so much the better for it. Tuning is occasionally an issue and perhaps the lower level dynamics could be pushed down slightly further but it's all so well shaped and it sounds comfortable and natural as a result.

There is again an immediate authority about the final movement and it bounces along with a joyous gait.
Well done soprano and individual contributions from the soloists are consistent throughout. The chorale is beautifully sonorous and although there are one or two wild entries to follow the build to the conclusion is paved with skill and excitement.

Overall: A fine concluding performance from Foss Dyke. Intelligently directed from the middle and so stylish in its execution and shape.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 13:03:21

Second Section:

10. Avonbank (Evesham) (Ceri Thomas)

The opening has a bold confidence about it and there is an authority about the band sound that gives the playing presence. It's not overly subtle at times but it's finding the style of the music so well.

The central movement is one of several we have heard today that feel too slow.......the music really does need to flow freely to allow it to work and breathe. The 'con moto' marking of the score is crucial to attaining this. It makes it harder for the players but the quality is still impressive despite fleeting lapses. Tuning proves problematic to close.

The style of the final movement is again impressive and there's a renewed surge of confidence although the chorale needs to be a touch more pliable. The ending build well and it's a good final few bars.

Overall: An excellent opening movement was offset by an eneven slow movement. A good effort though with moments of real quality.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 12:57:14

2016-2017 Grading Table

embedded picture
Table showing the grading positions in advance of the contest and will be used in combination with the 2017 results to determine gradings for 2018

Full Draw: Fourth Section:

Test Piece: 'St Andrews Variations' (Alan Fernie)
Sunday 12th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: Dr Chris Davis and Kevin Wadsworth

1. Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)
2. Newark Town (Rupert Trippett)
3. Cleobury Mortimer Concert (Saphran Ali)
4. Bilton Silver (Evolution) (Jack Fisher)
5. Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)
6. City of Wolverhampton (George Draycott)
7. Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs)
8. Whitwell Brass (Ryan Stacey)
9. WEM Jubilee (Roger Thorne)
10. Moulton '77 (Nicholas Garman)
11. Syston (Chris Banks)
12. Skegness Silver (Steve Walker)
13. Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
14. Coventry Festival (Alan Gifford)
15. Ilkeston Brass (Geoff Hawley)
16. Ratby Co-operative Mid (TBC)
17. Malvern Hills District (Chris License)
18. Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (Tony Wilson)
19. Porthywaen Silver (Dougie Graham)
20. University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
21. Sherwood Forest Brass (Christine Lippeatt)

Withdrawn: Kirkby Colliery Welfare (Neville Buxton)


Midlands

Sunday 12, 12:55:31

Fourth Section:

6. City of Wolverhampton (George Draycott)

It took a little while to settle down, but by the second variation the band were well on their way, with a lovely horn solo! Some very rich sounds came from the euphoniums throughout and the cornet solo in variation 6 was confident and well shaped.

This led to some full bass sounds to take into the lento. Finale took a few moments to get comfortable but finished with a well paced accel.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 12:53:30

Fourth Section:

5. Fairfield Buxton (Charles Kitchen)

embedded picture
Fairfield Buxton post a photograph of their new uniforms for this contest

Nice meaty bass sounds opened the theme and it stayed confident after this. Lovely sounds in variation five which carried through to a nice transition into variation 7.

Sometimes a little tentative but the finale was played comfortably and they finished with a nice round sound and a real sense of spirit.

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Fairfield Buxton post a photograph of themselves setting off to the contest


Midlands

Sunday 12, 12:47:03

Second Section:

9. Daventry Brass (Bob Stradling)

A good strong band sound is evident in the opening movement. Not all goes according to plan and there are a few slips and moments of insecurity in the ensemble but this is workmanlike playing with a sense of purpose.

The tempo is well set and the flow and pacing of the slow movement is effectively handled. Such a shame that moments of discomfort unsettle the musical picture at times but as with the opening movement, the style and approach are good.

The opening of the third movement doesn't quite sit tightly but there's a light dance like style to the playing. Soprano struggles and again those shaky moments still appear. Tuning poor in trombones in the chorale but the pacing of the final bars is fine and it's a dynamic, exciting ending.

Overall: An excellent approach but one that was not always matched by the quality of execution.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 12:31:40

Second Section:

8. Bakewell Silver (Jim Henson)

The opening is muscular but the tempo is inconsistent through the opening movement and although there are moments of quality, there is a feeling of unevenness that pervades.

Good opening but then tuning intervenes and the initial atmosphere falters. The tempo is also slow and this really needs to flow more freely to be effective and make musical sense.

Again the initial tempo rocks and although the chorale is sonorous in its sound, there remains a vital spark missing as the performance accelerates to its conclusion.

Overall: A cautious performance that failed to find the vitality of the outer movements and the languid lyricism of the central movement.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 12:17:56

Second Section:

7. Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geof Benson)

A slightly uncomfortable opening and the tempo is very cautious robbing the music of its energy and rhythmic momentum.

Nerves are evident at the opening as instrumental voices don't always speak and moments of uncomfortable tuning impact on the musical picture. This really needs to flow more freely.

Again the tempo is steady and there is so much more spirit and vigour that could be brought to the music by simply injecting some vitality of rhythm into the performance. The chorale needs more emotional warmth and the drive to the conclusion doesn't garner the excitement that it really needs.

Overall: Rhapsody in Brass posed serious challenges to Pleasely. We could sense the effort from the players but this was a performance that really needed more potency of direction.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 12:16:26

Fourth Section:

4. Bilton Silver (Evolution) (Jack Fisher)

Some very young members of band here making a tremendous effort — so great to see them at a contest!

What a fantastic 4 person percussion section! Horn team worked well together in variation 2 — such a lovely soft sound produced by them. At times a little more confidence was needed in entries, but there was a nicely executed cornet solo in the finale from a cracking young principal. Fab.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 12:14:40

Fourth Section:

3. Cleobury Mortimer (Saphran Ali)

Warm sounds filled the room here from the very first note, and brought us to a very sensitively played second variation. There were a couple of inconsistencies at the start but these were soon recovered.

Cleobury added a neat touch of pizzazz to their finale, and can leave the stage feeling very pleased with themselves for such an engaging account.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 11:42:28

Full Draw: Second Section:

Test Piece: 'Rhapsody in Brass' ( Dean Goffin)
Sunday 12th March
Civic Hall
Split Draw: 9.00am & 10.30am
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Derek Renshaw

1. Burbage Buxton (Steve Critchlow)
2. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
3. Glossop Old (Duncan Beckley)
4. Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)
5. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
6. Hucknall and Linby MC (Paul Whyley)
7. Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geoff Benson)
8. Bakewell Silver (Jim Henson)
9. Daventry (Bob Stradling)
10. Avonbank (Evesham) (Ceri Thomas)
11. Foss Dyke (Colum O'Shea)


Midlands

Sunday 12, 11:38:05

Fourth Section:

2: Newark Town (Rupert Trippett)

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Newark Town share a photograph of their warm up in the Midlands

It took a little time to settle but variation 1 came along and carried some real class — the band have certainly entered the room! This set them up for a lovely contrast in variation 2 and great soprano sounds to finish variation 3. Great stuff!

Variation 5 was lyrical and showed moments of a great full sounds. There were some big pauses between variations but this could be for added atmosphere. Another very classy cornet solo at the end which rounded off good effort from Newark.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 11:36:59

Second Section: Chris Thomas's Half Way Analysis and Prediction

It's half time in the Second Section and the standard of playing on Dean Goffin's Rhapsody in Brass has been of an impressive standard. One performance stands head and shoulders above everything else at the moment though and that is Glossop Old under Duncan Beckley.

We have them followed at a distance by Burbage Buxton in second and City of Coventry in third place.

4BR Prediction:
1. Glossop Old
2. Burbage Buxton
3. City of Coventry


Midlands

Sunday 12, 11:36:20

Fourth Section:

1. Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)

A nice and classy start from Corby, the theme came in strong and purposeful and their performance kept that style throughout. There were particularly lovely soloists, especially the euphonium with his singing sound in variation 5, and an impressive cornet solo in the finale.

Showed some very stylish playing, notably the march style in variation 4. Ending packed a punch and started the day off well.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 11:31:54

Second Section:

6. Hucknall and Linby MC (Paul Whyley)

A good band sound to open and there's a sense of purpose about the playing that impresses. There are also some uncomfortable moments though and those occasional insecurities of ensemble do start to mount up.

Good style in the central movement and we can sense what the MD is trying to do with the music. It flows well and the tempo is good. Again there are a few lumps and bumps along the way but musically and interpretatively this is well conceived music making.

The tempo is possibly a touch under in the final movement but that might be a sensible decision on the part of the MD. As a result though it lacks energy. The chorale is well handled and the build up the final statement is exciting if a little loose at times.

Overall: Some playing of quality and a well thought out approach but a little more tautness at times.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 11:15:48

Second Section:

5. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)

The opening movement doesn't quite settle into a feeling of security and it's all a little anxious sounding as ensemble and rhythmic precision are not always as they should be.

The central movement is possibly a touch slow for our taste and needs to flow a little more. The players do their best to inject emotion into the music but there are too many slips that intervene and again it all feels a touch fragile.

The final movement is pedestrian and we don't feel the rhythmic shape of the music with some nasty moments adding to the feeling discomfort. The chorale is better but the the accelerando to the final statement fails to gather the excitement levels that it really needs.

Overall: Rhapsody in Brass proved to be a highly challenging test for Newhall with the performance never feeling entirely secure.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 11:00:48

Second Section:

4. Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)

A good opening movement played with brio and spirit. Not without the odd intonation problem and moments of untidy ensemble but they are fleeting and the style is good.

There are moments of hesitation in the central movement and the music sometimes loses its flow and elegance as a result. Tuning is problematic at times and and those insecurities become increasingly obvious in the closing bars.

The final movement doesn't always maintain its momentum and motion. At times it is very good but inconsistencies in ensemble and individual voices do occasionally cause problems. A spirited ending though.

Overall: Moments of quality from Raunds but those inconsistencies could well prove crucial.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 10:43:15

Second Section:

3. Glossop Old (Duncan Beckley)

What a fine opening. Taut, and with an immediate feeling of rhythmic assurance. A fine big band sound too that remains balanced and warm throughout. This has a real presence about it as well as oodles of confidence.

A flowing, languid opening to the slow movement that finds the 'con moto' indicated in the score. Tuning is impressive too and there's both pathos and elegance in this. Fine playing from solo euphonium and the music is shaped so well by the MD.

Good dynamics to open the final movement and neat and tidy work from the cornets in the opening bars. The MD uses the dynamics to effect and the tempo is spot on allowing spirit and life into the music. The chorale is effective and the pacing of the accelerando to the conclusion so exciting.

Overall: What a fine performance from Glossop Old. So well put together and stylistically aware and played with confidence and verve. That could take some beating.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 10:29:00

Second Section:

2. City of Coventry (Rob Westacott)

A workmanlike opening movement, generally neat and tidy although intonation suffers ocassionally.

The middle movement opens slightly uncomfortably but it recovers and again this is workmanlike playing whilst perhaps lacking a touch of emotional warmth and pathos.

The final movement isn't without slips but it's well controlled dynamically and there are notable individual contributions from solo euphonium and soprano. The ending just needs to garner a little more excitement.

Overall: A generally solid and competent account from City of Coventry but one that just needed to find a little more elegance and depth of feeling


Midlands

Sunday 12, 10:28:22

Draw: Fourth Section:

Test Piece: 'St Andrews Variations' (Alan Fernie)
Sunday 12th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: Dr Chris Davis and Kevin Wadsworth

1. Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)
2. Newark Town (Rupert Trippett)
3. Cleobury Mortimer Concert (Saphran Ali)
4. Bilton Silver (Evolution) (Jack Fisher)
5. Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)
6. City of Wolverhampton (George Draycott)
7. Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs)
8. Whitwell Brass (Ryan Stacey)
9. WEM Jubilee (Roger Thorne)
10. Moulton '77 (Nicholas Garman)
11. Syston (Chris Banks)

Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (Tony Wilson)
Coventry Festival (Alan Gifford)
Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
Ilkeston Brass (Geoff Hawley)
Kirkby Colliery Welfare (Neville Buxton)
Malvern Hills District (Chris License)
Porthywaen Silver (Dougie Graham)
Ratby Co-operative Mid (TBC)
Sherwood Forest Brass (Christine Lippeatt)
Skegness Silver (Steve Walker)
University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)


Midlands

Sunday 12, 10:14:38

Second Section:

1. Burbage Buxton (Steve Critchlow)

A well shaped opening and the style of the music is captured immediately even though there are one or two individual slips. This is showing real promise.

What an elegantly shaped slow movement. Restrained and musical. Just little moments of intonation and minor clips but the musicality is impressive and there's such a lovely flow to the music.

The final movement again starts well and the tempo is perfect. There's a real energy about the performance as it teaches the conclusion yet it is always well controlled dynamically.

Overall: A very well put together musical account from Burbage Buxton......a few individual slips here and there but great style and spirit.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 10:13:11

Welcome to Bedworth

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Inside the 745 seat main auditorium in Bedworth

It's an early start in the Civic Hall today as eleven Second Section bands start the day's proceedings with Sir Dean Goffin's Rhapsody in Brass........Derek Renshaw and David Hirst are the men in the box and band number one Burbage Buxton is on stage.


Midlands

Sunday 12, 10:04:23

2016-2017 Grading Table

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Table showing the grading positions in advance of the contest and will be used in combination with the 2017 results to determine gradings for 2018

Draw: Second Section:

Test Piece: 'Rhapsody in Brass' ( Dean Goffin)
Sunday 12th March
Civic Hall
Split Draw: 9.00am & 10.30am
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Derek Renshaw

1. Burbage Buxton (Steve Critchlow)
2. City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
3. Glossop Old (Duncan Beckley)
4. Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)
5. Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
6. Hucknall and Linby MC (Paul Whyley)

Avonbank (Evesham) (Ceri Thomas)
Bakewell Silver (Jim Henson)
Daventry (Bob Stradling)
Foss Dyke (Colum O'Shea)
Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geoff Benson)


Midlands

Saturday 11, 17:28:56

Result:

Third Section:

Test Piece:'Darkwood' (Dan Price)
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Derek Renshaw

1. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)*
2. Ifton Colliery (Scott Robert Lloyd)*
3. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)*
4. Wellington (Telford) (Mark Parry)
5. Cubbington Silver (Mark Philips)
6. Stourport-on-Severn (Oliver Wilson)
7. Matlock (Geoff Hawley)
8. Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)
9. Trentham Brass (Mike Caveney)
10. Arrow Valley Brass (Andy Culshaw)
11. (Resdev) Market Rasen (David Dernley
12. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
13. Brackley & District (Mark Probert)
14. Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield)
15. Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
16. Amington (Malcolm Read)
17. Melton (Graham Sutton)
18. City of Birmingham (Ben Hewlett-Davies)

*Top Three bands Qualify for National Final at Cheltenham


Midlands

Saturday 11, 16:31:32

Sophie Hart's final prediction:

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What a great contest — and one which had so much variety in the interpretations. It could be. A hard one to call for the judges, but we are going for a top six of the following!

1. Shirland Welfare
2. Stourport on Severn
3. Towcester Studio
4. Matlock
5. Arrow Valley
6. Market Rasen

Dark Horse: Ifton Colliery


Midlands

Saturday 11, 16:28:04

Third Section:

18. Matlock (Geoff Hawley)

There was a very nice contrast in dynamics at the start of the final band’s performance — a little scrappy perhaps, but well played. Interestingly, they pushed the first movement faster than the others which allowed for a lovely lyrical second movement with flugel and horn sounding sublime. There really were some lovely sounds.

The thurd movement was strong, and again pushed forward, but the band handled the speed well, seemingly to not even break a sweat. The shock notes were well executed, and led to one of the most impressive Prestos of the day. What a great way to finish off!


Midlands

Saturday 11, 16:27:46

Results:

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First Section:

Test Piece: 'Land of the Long White Cloud' (Philip Sparke)

Adjudicators: Dr Chris Davis and Kevin Wadsworth

1. Foresters Brass 2000 (John Davis)*
2. Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)*
3. Hathern (David Newman)
4. Enderby (Simon Greswell)
5. Langley (Cliff Parker)
6. Shirley (David Bishop-Rowe)
7. Carlton Brass (Gary Wyatt)
8. Kibworth (David Holling)
9. Harborough (Brad Turnbull)
10. Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Geoff Benson)
11. Leicestershire Co-operative (Graham Jacklin)
12. Wigston (Chris Small)
13. Oddfellows Brass (Rob Boulter)
14. Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)
15. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Richard Windle)
16. Gresley Colliery (Dave Purkiss

*Top Two bands Qualify for National Final at Cheltenham


Midlands

Saturday 11, 16:06:51

Third Section:

17. Market Rasen (David Dernley)

There was a nice, sensitive start from the basses — one of the few we've heard today, that was very impressive.

Links between the movements were silky smooth, and although the second movement took a little while to settle down it soon picked up as the band created warm sounds from top to bottom. Third movement was pacey and light-hearted throughout, and this was a very comfortable, proving the band was more than capable of this playing the piece well, despite the obvious inconsistencies.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 16:03:14

Third Section:

16. Brackley & District (Mark Probert)

Brackley showed off with a lovely opening, and although it was a little scrappy at times, the first movement was confident with solid entries across the band.

The top two cornets work so well together in the second movement and provide a lilting melody, which the band then copied to finish the movement with some great sounds. This led to a very characterful opening to the third movement, which pushed forward with strength, particularly in the trombones, who carried right over the band. This was a performance that grew in confidence from start to finish.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 15:57:54

First Section

Final Analysis and Prediction

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It's all over bar the counting in the Civic Hall and it's been a day of wildly contrasting performances of Philip Sparke's Land of the Long White Cloud in the First Section.

No band has emerged unscathed and Chris Davis and Kevin Wadsworth are going to have quite a task in sifting through a large number of performances that were marred by an abundance of slips and errors.

There were only a handful of performances that really captured the spirit and atmosphere of New Zealand in the way that the composer portrays it and even those were occasionally prone to slips.

Chris Thomas goes for a top six of;

1. Enderby
2. Foresters Brass 2000
3. Rushden Town
4. Kibworth
5. Langley
6. Leicestershire Co-op

Dark horses Carlton Brass and Shirley


Midlands

Saturday 11, 15:48:51

First Section:

16. Leicestershire Co-op (Graham Jacklin)

A fine opening that really captures the swell of the ocean and the movement of the waves. The momentum captured drives the music on with energy and the detail is heard with clarity despite the occasional shaky individual entry.

Tuning causes problems in the slow movement and sadly there are moments of insecurity that counter-act some of the good work of the opening section. Solos not all consistent and although there approach is excellent, those slips could prove crucial.

The final section feels a touch headlong; exciting certainly but a touch unhinged at the same time. Tuning isn't good into the reprise of the opening theme and it's a little rough and ready now as it heads towards a final chord that isn't entirely in tune.

Overall: So much to enjoy here, particularly in the opening section but it also unravelled towards the end.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 15:33:02

First Section

15. Foresters Brass 2000

A well shaped opening and the atmosphere builds well through the opening bars. There are some nice touches of colour that haven't always come through in other performances today and technically the band is taking the challenges of the music in its stride.

Lovely soprano to open the Larghetto and the atmosphere is again so carefully created and laid down with a distant mystery and tolling of drums prevelant. There are one or two moments when voices don't quite speak but the musical pcture remains intact and this is emerging as having a real sense of engagement with the music.

The final section motors along with purpose and momentum and there a vigour and bracing open air spirit that is just right whilst the final majestic statement of the opening theme is well controlled ahead of the final exhilarating bars.

Overall: Such an engaging account from Foresters. Exciting and invigorating in the outer movements and warmly emotional in the central Larghetto.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 15:30:59

Third Section:

15. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)

Nice opening is well managed but it is a shame that some of the effects got lost. The tuning was questionable at times with some obvious inconsistencies. The movement slows down a little but swells nicely featuring nice glowing horns and baris.

Euphonium and cornet are clearly comfortable partners during their duet, and the band settles more because of this. Third movement bounces very nicely and there is a good pace to start, although occasionally the dynamics stop the performance from pushing all the way through. Well done to the lad on timps though — he looks very proud of himself, and so he should be!


Midlands

Saturday 11, 15:27:10

Third Section:

14. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Grahan Cardwell)

Classy just like the car as Rolls Royce give a great opening even if some entries aren’t as comfortable as they could be. What a strong sound is produced by this band though. Tuning in movement 2 could do with some work and tempo could be pushed a little in 6/8, but the sound is full and the soloists are so well considered.
The third movement starts at a good pace and the swells are musical. the cornets do a good effort to maintain the pace through quaver movement. Like many bands today the Presto gets off to a good start but trips just a little before the strong finish.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 15:14:49

First Section:

14. Langley (Cliff Parker)

Big sounds to open and the technical elements of the score are hit head on as the pace quickens. It just threatens to run on a little too much at times and there's a sense of it rushing but the confidence of the playing is clearly evident.

What a fine atmosphere there is about the Larghetto, warm in sound and with a palpable feeling of emotion and engagement. The build to the climax is well handled and although it's not without one or two moments of shaky intonation, this is impressive indeed.

The Fugue is well handled although again there is a tendency to rush as the pace quickens and although the band manages to hold it together, it does feel a touch out of control as it runs away with itself. It leads to a breathless aconclusion and caps an energy fuelled performance.

Overall: A creditable and exciting performance from Langley. It had a tendency to rush in the outer movements but there was a beautifully controlled Larghetto at its heart.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 15:00:49

First Section:

13. Hathern (David Newman)

A confident opening and we hear well balanced sounds though the band. The tempo of the Molto Vivace is well set and the music moves forward with a sense of purpose and vigour.

Fine solo cornet in the Larghetto although some hesitation in the solo entries that follow. There is a feeling of warmth about this that although not entirely in tune at times, still finds the atmosphere of the music.

The final section and Fugue are effective and as in the first section, find energy and momentum as we motor towards the close. It does tire and fall away in the final moments but there has been much to wnjoy here.

Overall: A solid and well constructed performance from Hathern. Tuning intervened at times and it waned towards the end but this found spirit and atmosphere in the music.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 14:58:54

Third Section:

13. Wellington (Telford) (Mark Parry)

The start was a little messy and tuning at times needed work, but the splendid shock notes really shone through. Second movement showed off a lovely cornet solo, but horns had to be a little careful to be clearly heard in the 6/8 section.

Clean opening to the third movement was well handled but it got out of synch in places before recovering. Slowed down but only in preparation for a good, fast paced Presto, with a strong ending to round things off in such a pleasing manner.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 14:54:58

Third Section:

12. City of Birmingham (Ben Hewlett-Davies)

There was a slow start to the piece, and a seemed little out of sync, although the speed was kept constant throughout the movement. The bell entries struggled at times, but were very clear.

The slower second movement saw the Euphonium make the most of the chance to shine and project a lovely sound out to the room. 6/8 section picked up the pace, which was welcome and allowed the band to push forward. Third movement picked up even more, but there were inconsistencies. The Presto gave the performance character to close.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 14:41:02

First Section:

12. Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Geof Benson)

The opening is certainly solid with good band sounds but we don't sense the motion of the ocean. This is getting bogged down in the silt that lies at the bottom and it has little sense of swell or movement. As the first Section progresses it's often rhythm that is the key...or more to the point lack of it. This needs more rigidity and solidity of direction.

The Larghetto is all about the notes rather than the music and although it's clear that the band is very capable, there is little sense of emotion or engagement with the musical pictures that Philip Sparke paints. We lack that sense of identity with the music that so desperately needs to be conveyed.

Again the final section is beset by rythmic issues and the journey of the music is robbed of its energy and drive as a consequence.

Overall: A disappointing, lack lustre performance from a band that we sense is capable of so much better.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 14:32:09

Third Section:

11. Cubbington (Mark Philips)

The confident bass opening had lovely bell effects in the first movement, although trombones were maybe a little overpowering. Sop carried beautifully.

Second movement kept a slow tempo, particularly in 6/8, but it had a lovely bounce to it. Euphoniums and baritones have been very good. The neat touch to get the cornets to face outwards at the end of the second movement worked as it really added to the contrast. Third movement starts with some promise, making use of what is on the page — and top marks to the bass trombone, who we can hear right from the back! Presto was very strong but needed to stay that way right until the last note.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 14:28:35

Third Section:

10. Stourport on Severn (Oliver Wilson)

The opening was very clean and was fantastically maintained throughout. Nicely done with clean playing in the front row cornets especially.

Second movement featured some very sensitive playing from the cornet and euphonium soloists, both of who seemed very comfortable and stylish. Last movement dragged a very tiny amount, but absolutely nothing to worry about to round off an exceedingly strong performance with clean playing and great contrasts which really swelled and moved with the music.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 14:21:56

First Section:

11. Carlton Brass (Gary Wyatt)

A solid opening and there's a bracing, refreshing confidence about the opening portrayal of oceanic splendour. A big band sound and the MD is always in control. One or two moments of strain and insecurity along the way but musically, this is very impressive.

The Larghetto opens warmly and builds to a big climax although it's strangely cold feeling, perhaps as a result of the tempo just displaying a little too much urgency. Technically, this is a solid showing though and the band is always on top of the challenges.

The final section really sweeps us along. It's exciting, dynamic stuff and there's an anergy that hasn't always been present in performances so far. Again, it's not completely 'clean' but it's certainly vivid in its picture painting.

Overall: An engaging and colourful account. Not flawless but with a bracing energy and drive.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 14:05:23

First Section:

10. Wigston (Chris Small)

The first chord grates on the ear but the band settles and there's a real intent about the performance as it drives onward with motion and energy. The detail and clarity is not always 100% but the commitment is unquestionable. It's exciting, visceral stuff.

In contrast, the Larghetto immediately sounds insecure as individual instrumental voices crack under the strain and the musical picture is lost for a time. Again it settles and the sounds are warm, indicating a band that is giving it's all.

The final section and Fugue are sometimes inconsistent in tempo and it rocks the progress of performance towards its final bars which sound somewhat tired and lame after the excitement of the opening.

Overall: A performance that at its best was as impressive as anything we've heard today, but also veered wildly in its progress and consistency.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 13:57:26

Sophie Hart's Third Section midway prediction:

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Some very consistent playing this morning, with delightful soloists and confident bass sections making many telling appearances.

Deciding on tempos has been an issue for bands — some going much slower than others and nearly grinding to a halt in the middle of the third movement. The Presto has clearly been good fun for all — and each band has produced a solid ending — or wanting to get to the bar!

4BR Prediction:
1. Shirland Welfare
2. Towcester
3. Arrow Valley
4. Ifton
5. Long Eaton
6. Stamford


Midlands

Saturday 11, 13:48:31

Third Section:

9. Melton (Graham Sutton)

A very loud start could have been a little more sensitive, but it is comfortable at least. Nice singing soprano is a great feature. Second movement keeps a nice pace but lyricism is hidden behind loud dynamic, although 6/8 picks up a little and trombone gets to show off strong sound.

Third movement is bouncy, and glock maintains good pace for the band. In fact percussion team remain consistent and is so good. As the movement goes on it slows down a little, but it allows a good speed to develop in Presto for a super close.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 13:47:51

First Section:

9. Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)

What an impressive opening, so taut in ensemble and we can really feel the swell of the ocean and the crashing of the waves. There's a solidly about this that is enveloping and reassuring.

One or two little slips along the way but the approach is again so impressive and the music always comes through. Individual entries are not always totally precise but we find ourselves forgiving that given the colour and shape of the reading. This is simply a very musical and intelligently constructed reading that continues into the Larghetto where warm sounds predominate.

The Fugue and the final section has a real sense of the outdoors about it; brimming with spirit, atmosphere and painting such a strong musical picture. And crucially, that final chord is bang in tune!

Overall: A reading to savour from Rushden Town. Not flawless in excecution but so colourful, vivid and exciting in its approach.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 13:45:34

Third Section:

8. Amington (Malcolm Read)

A bit of a false start from Amington, but it very quickly recovered, although a couple of unfortunate splutters in the rest of the movement just robbed the consistency. A little unsure at the start of movement 2, but principal cornet adds bounce during solo in 6/8 section — so nicely done!

This is followed by some very nice flugel sounds, and solo horn locks into it as well. Nice and cheeky entry from the horns at the start of the third movement and some great shock notes throughout the band lead to a very tidy ending.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 13:42:53

Third Section:

7. Trentham Brass (Mike Caveney)

A bit of a tentative start, but it quickly settled into the first movement — and although some detail gets a little lost in places but the overall effect is clear.

Very loud second movement, and soloists seem to have to play up in order to get across — but this clearly didn’t worry them as their sounds were very well matched and songlike. Like the meaty bass sound at the end of the second movement — it compliments the dainty cornets at the start of the third movement. Trentham makes the most of dynamics in third movement, creating a splendid rippling effect. Again, once it had settled down it became a very nice interpretation.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 13:32:12

Chris Thomas' First Section Halfway opinion and prediction:

Half time in the First Section in Bedworth Civic Hall and there have been some very scrappy accounts of Land of the Long White Cloud.

Top of the pile for us so far is Enderby, followed by Kibworth in second place and Oddfellows by a whisker in third. The door is still very much open however as we commence the second half of the draw with Rushden Town under Adele Hudson.

4BR prediction:
1. Enderby
2. Kibworth
3. Oddfellows


Midlands

Saturday 11, 13:31:51

Full First Section Draw:

2016-2017 Grading Table

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Table showing the grading positions in advance of the contest and will be used in combination with the 2017 results to determine gradings for 2018

First Section:

Test Piece: 'Land of the Long White Cloud' (Philip Sparke)
Saturday 11th March
Civic Hall
Draw 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: Dr Chris Davis and Kevin Wadsworth

1. Harborough (Brad Turnbull)
2. Kibworth (David Holling)
3. Enderby (Simon Greswell)
4. Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)
5. Gresley Colliery (Dave Purkiss)
6. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Richard Windle)
7. Oddfellows Brass (Rob Boulter)
8. Shirley (David Bishop-Rowe)
9. Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)
10. Wigston (Chris Small)
11. Carlton Brass (Gary Wyatt)
12. Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Geoff Benson)
13. Hathern (David Newman)
14. Langley (Cliff Parker)
15. Foresters Brass 2000 (John Davis)
16. Leicestershire Co-operative (Graham Jacklin)


Midlands

Saturday 11, 13:13:16

First Section:

8. Shirley (David Bishop-Rowe)

A bold opening and there's a presence about this that impresses. What a shame that one or two wayward entries ruffle the picture but there are strong, balanced sounds and the overall musical picture convinces.

The Larghetto is beset with inconsistencies and some very nervy individual entries that threaten to undermine the good work heard in the opening section.

There's a real ensemble of purpose about the final section and Fugue even though it's a tad unhinged at times. It's exciting though and the ending bristles with energy.

Overall: Although not entirely consistent, this was a performance that grabbed our attention in its boldness if not its accuracy.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 13:03:39

First Section

7. Oddfellows Brass (Rob Boulter)

A bold strong opening and although the motion of the waves is a little more rigid than crashing, there's a confidence about the sound that impresses. A few slips start to creep in as we progress through the opening section however.

Warm sounds in the central Larghetto and soloists are generally solid. The dynamics are just a touch heavy at times though and intonation is not always spot on.

Suddenly either tiredness seems to kick in or concentration levels dip as the ensemble becomes increasingly ragged through the Fugue and final section leading to a laboured conclusion.

Overall: A performance that opened with real promise but fell away sharply in the closing stages.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 12:59:07

2016-2017 Grading Table

embedded picture
Table showing the grading positions in advance of the contest and will be used in combination with the 2017 results to determine gradings for 2018

Full Draw: Third Section:

Test Piece:'Darkwood' (Dan Price)
Saturday 11th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 9.000am & 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Derek Renshaw

1. Ifton Colliery (Scott Robert Lloyd)
2. Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield)
3. Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
4. Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)
5. Arrow Valley Brass (Andy Culshaw)
6. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)
7. Trentham Brass (Mike Caveney)
8. Amington (Malcolm Read)
9. Melton (Graham Sutton)
10. Stourport-on-Severn (Oliver Wilson)
11. Cubbington Silver (Mark Philips)
12. City of Birmingham (Ben Hewlett-Davies)
13. Wellington (Telford) (Mark Parry)
14. Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
15. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
16. Brackley & District (Mark Probert)
17. (Resdev) Market Rasen (David Dernley)
18. Matlock (Geoff Hawley)


Midlands

Saturday 11, 12:53:21

Third Section:

6. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)

What a fast paced and powerful first movement, although cornets are a little overpowered. It is their tidy playing that is a feature though.

Second movement is very stylish: euphonium hogs the spotlight with some very melodious playing. Absolutely cracking Presto from Shirland. They say that the first and last notes are the ones that count to make an impress, and certainly seemed to be the case here — with all the ones in between too!


Midlands

Saturday 11, 12:50:20

Third Section:

5. Arrow Valley (Andy Culshaw)

Good, confident opening, but the first movement stuttered a little towards the end. Second movement is very powerful, although not as lyrical as other interpretations, but leads nicely into the big crescendos towards the end of the movement.

This power also allows for a strong third movement, with a nice pace maintained throughout. Bravo to glock for some light and bouncy playing.Tripped a little at the final Presto, but a good performance over all.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 12:41:48

First Section:

6. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Richard Windle)

Good sounds to open initially but there are some pretty wild entries flying around and once again tuning is proving a real issue...with tuning having been the bane of so many performances so far this morning.

Nerves cause real problems in the central Larghetto with voices not speaking and solo voices tending to be flat in both pitch and spirit. The impact is such that the performance never really settles and gets progressively more ragged.

The Fugue is again untidy and it's a tired sounding band that labours to the final bars.

Overall: A real struggle today for Ireland Colliery on a piece that we sense has pushed the band to its limits.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 12:24:01

First Section:

5. Gresley Colliery Band (David Purkiss)

A solid opening but not without slips and the ocassional lapse of concentration. The most Vivace is a touch laboured at times and we can sense and see the MD trying to drive the band on.

The central Larghetto is very nervy and hesitant at times with individual instrumental voices sometimes failing to speak. As a result progress seems to stutter rather than flow.

A muscular opening to the Fugue and now there is a little more forward motion..a little too much so at times as the notes seem to fall over themselves tumultuously. There are tuning issues towards the close and although the ending is spirited, it remains untidy.

Overall: A good attempt to inject excitement into the performance but one that never really hung together in its detail.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 12:12:07

Third Section:

4. Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)

Towcester sounded very confident once they had settled into the first movement, with basses are very consistent and cornets clearly comfortable.

Very sensitive and lyrical playing from principal euphonium in the second movement works particularly nicely with principal cornet, and provided some moments to make your heart melt. Third section is very tidy indeed to round off a classy performance that picked up at the end for a strong finish.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 12:09:15

Third Section:

3. Stamford (Robert Prew)

The slow opening movement worked in their favour for showing off sweet band sounds and these continue into the second movement, notably from the flugel.

We get to the third movement and the tempo still doesn't pick up as much as it could perhaps, but the tidy quaver movement show that detail has been paid attention to in rehearsal. Ending speeds off into the distance, but a very nice finish to a tidy and full sounding performance.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 12:07:49

First Section:

4. Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)

The opening is just a shade cautious in tempo for us and tuning isn't always totally precise. The playing itself is reasonably solid but somehow this isn't quite coming to life as we progress into the Molto Vivace.

It starts to get very scrappy and now the cracks appear as tuning issues and skewed entries start to mount up. The central Larghetto is very hesitant at times and those tuning issues stubbornly refuse to go away.

The Fugue and approach to the close become increasingly untidy and it's a tired, somewhat understead conclusion.

Overall: A committed effort from Ibstock but one that didn't succceeed in holding our attention.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 11:49:24

First Section:

3. Enderby (Simon Gresswell)

The opening immediately impresses both in its authority and in its sound and detail. And most importantly, the atmosphere and musical picture is always at the forefront.

Excellent tempo in the faster passages and we hear detail through the band from top to bottom. Just the odd moment of untidy ensemble but there is so much character about this...and it's a stylish, thoughtfully directed interpretation from the MD.

As we progress through the slow section the playing is admirably controlled and so well paced into the climaxes. This really gets to the heart of what the piece is all about.

The Fugue starts well and again the pacing is very well managed. Just the odd moment of tuning as embouchures tire towards the end but it's an excellent final dash to the final chord.

Overall: A very stylish account indeed from Enderby. So well controlled and directed and brimming with atmosphere. An early pace setter indeed.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 11:38:33

Third Section:

2. Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield)

What a nice effort from Long Eaton — full of good contrasts throughout and the third movement picked up with such brio at the end.

Some other places were a little tentative, but overall a very solid performance with the flugel and horn sounding very nice together throughout.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 11:35:27

Third Section:

1. Ifton Colliery (Scott Robert Lloyd)

Nice start to the section here at Bedworth, with beautiful sounds from the Euphonium throughout, and an exciting final movement from Ifton. No signs of tiredness here!

The Trombone section certainly packed a punch — and it worked so well for a pacey ending!


Midlands

Saturday 11, 11:32:11

First Section:

2. Kibworth (David Holling)

What a fine opening, balanced and controlled but full in sound at the same time. And as we hit the Allegro there is both spirit and detail on display.

Tuning is badly astray in the muted chords of the central slow section and one or two little slips start to appear along the way. There's a fine atmosphere about the slow music though........such a shame that tuning issues have caused problems. Warm sounds from lower band and the performance is directed with both authority and musicality. Some nervy sounds to close as we reach the approach to the Fugue.

The build to the close is exciting and so well paced leading to a convincing final flourish and capping a very solid and musical account.

Overall: Some fine playing from Kibworth. Not perfect, but exciting, driven playing but always with a strong element of control.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 11:16:45

First Section:

1. Harborough (Brad Turnbull)


embedded picture
Bedworth Civic Hall venue for the first section contest

A spirited opening but we've not progressed far before tuning issues start to intervene. There is also some very scrappy ensemble with nerves seeming to play a major part. Good band sounds in the forte passages but once individual voices are exposed things begin to unravel.

Again there's a brio about the spirit of the playing as the tempo increases that is once more undermined by inconsistent execution.

The close motors onward but it's a painfully untuneful finely chord.

Overall: A spirited account marred by issues of tuning and ensemble.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 11:02:50

First Section:

Chris Thomas will be bringing you live coverage of the First Section from Bedworth's Civic Hall along with full coverage of tomorrow's Second and Championship Section events. Here we go!!!


Midlands

Saturday 11, 10:58:29

2016-2017 Grading Table

embedded picture
Table showing the grading positions in advance of the contest and will be used in combination with the 2017 results to determine gradings for 2018

First Section:

Test Piece: 'Land of the Long White Cloud' Philip Sparke
Saturday 11th March
Civic Hall
Draw 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: Dr Chris Davis and Kevin Wadsworth

1. Harborough (Brad Turnbull)
2. Kibworth (David Holling)
3. Enderby (Simon Greswell)
4. Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)
5. Gresley Colliery (Dave Purkiss)
6. Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Richard Windle)
7. Oddfellows Brass (Rob Boulter)
8. Shirley (David Bishop-Rowe)

Carlton Brass (Gary Wyatt)
Foresters Brass 2000 (John Davis)
Hathern (David Newman)
Langley (Cliff Parker)
Leicestershire Co-operative (Graham Jacklin)
Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)
Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Geoff Benson)
Wigston (Chris Small)

Just a few minutes to go before the start of the First Section in Bedworth....and it's Harborough that have the honour of gives the first performance of the day.


Midlands

Saturday 11, 10:46:07

2016-2017 Grading Table

embedded picture
Table showing the grading positions in advance of the contest and will be used in combination with the 2017 results to determine gradings for 2018

Draw: Third Section:

Test Piece:'Darkwood' (Dan Price)
Saturday 11th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 9.000am & 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Derek Renshaw

1. Ifton Colliery (Scott Robert Lloyd)
2. Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield)
3. Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
4. Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)
5. Arrow Valley Brass (Andy Culshaw)
6. Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)
7. Trentham Brass (Mike Caveney)
8. Amington (Malcolm Read)
9. Melton (Graham Sutton)


Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
Brackley & District (Mark Probert)
City of Birmingham (Ben Hewlett-Davies)
Cubbington Silver (Mark Philips)
Matlock (Geoff Hawley)
(Resdev) Market Rasen (David Dernley)
Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
Stourport-on-Severn (Oliver Wilson)
Wellington (Telford) (Mark Parry)


Midlands

Wednesday 8, 12:23:15

Midlands line-up

Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Pageantry' — Herbert Howells

Sunday 12th March
Civic Hall
Draw 1.00pm
Commence: After Second Section results
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and Philip Harper

Bedworth Brass (Chris Houlding)
Bilton Silver (Rugby) (David Stowell)
Blidworth Welfare (Martin Heartfield)
Derwent Brass (Keith Leonard)
Desford Colliery LCIWTF (Thomas Wyss)
Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) Simon Platford)
Jaguar Land Rover (Dave Lea)
Newstead Brass (Philip Goodwin)
Ratby Co-operative (Mareika Gray)
Spal Sovereign Brass (Trevor Jones)
Staffordshire (Steven Walsh)
Thoresby Colliery (Ian McElligott)
Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)

First Section:

Test Piece: 'Land of the Long White Cloud' — Philip Sparke
Saturday 11th March
Civic Hall
Draw 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: Dr Chris Davis and Kevin Wadsworth

Carlton Brass (Gary Wyatt)
Enderby (Simon Greswell)
Foresters Brass 2000 (John Davis)
Gresley Colliery (Dave Purkiss)
Harborough (Brad Turnbull)
Hathern (David Newman)
Ibstock Brick Brass (Simon Willis)
Ireland Colliery Chesterfield (Richard Windle)
Kibworth (David Holling)
Langley (Cliff Parker)
Leicestershire Co-operative (Graham Jacklin)
Oddfellows Brass (Rob Boulter)
Rushden Town (Adele Hudson)
Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Geoff Benson)
Shirley (David Bishop-Rowe)
Wigston (Chris Small)

Second Section:

Test Piece: 'Rhapsody in Brass' — Sir Dean Goffin
Sunday 12th March
Civic Hall
Split Draw: 9.00am & 10.30am
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Derek Renshaw

Avonbank (Evesham) (Ceri Thomas)
Bakewell Silver (Jim Henson)
Burbage Buxton (Steve Critchlow)
City of Coventry (Stephen Cooper)
Daventry (Bob Stradling)
Foss Dyke (Colum O'Shea)
Glossop Old (Duncan Beckley)
Hucknall and Linby MC (Paul Whyley)
Newhall (Kevin Holdgate)
Pleasley Colliery Welfare (Geoff Benson)
Raunds Temperance (Robin Norman)

Third Section:

Test Piece:'Darkwood' — Dan Price
Saturday 11th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 9.000am & 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Derek Renshaw

Amington (Malcolm Read)
Arrow Valley Brass (Andy Culshaw)
Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
Brackley & District (Mark Probert)
City of Birmingham (Ben Hewlett-Davies)
Cubbington Silver (Mark Philips)
Ifton Colliery (Scott Robert Lloyd)
Long Eaton Silver Prize (Sharon Stansfield)
Matlock (Geoff Hawley)
Melton (Graham Sutton)
(Resdev) Market Rasen (David Dernley)
Rolls Royce (Derby) (Graham Cardwell)
Shirland Welfare (Lynden Cooper)
Stamford Brass (Robert Prew)
Stourport-on-Severn (Oliver Wilson)
Towcester Studio (Neil Brownless)
Trentham Brass (Mike Caveney)
Wellington (Telford) (Mark Parry)

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: 'St Andrews Variations' — Alan Fernie
Sunday 12th March
Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College
Split Draws: 10.00am and 12 noon
Commence: 11.00am
Adjudicators: Dr Chris Davis and Kevin Wadsworth

Bestwood Welfare Black Diamonds (Tony Wilson)
Bilton Silver (Evolution) (Jack Fisher)
City of Wolverhampton (George Draycott)
Cleobury Mortimer Concert (Saphran Ali)
Corby Silver (Cathy Fountain)
Coventry Festival (Alan Gifford)
Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
Fairfield (Buxton) (Charles Kitchen)
Ilkeston Brass (Geoff Hawley)
Kirkby Colliery Welfare (Neville Buxton)
Malvern Hills District (Chris License)
Moulton '77 (Nicholas Garman)
Newark Town (Rupert Trippett)
Porthywaen Silver (Dougie Graham)
Ratby Co-operative Mid (TBC)
Sherwood Forest Brass (Christine Lippeatt)
Shipston Town (Howard Gibbs)
Skegness Silver (Steve Walker)
Syston (Chris Banks)
University of Warwick (Simon Hogg)
WEM Jubilee (Roger Thorne)
Whitwell Brass (Ryan Stacey)



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Julian Bright


Conductor, Compere/MC, Cornet Soloist