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2017 North of England Regional Championships
As it happened

All the action from the 2017 North of England Regional Championships — as it happened.

North of England

Sunday 12, 21:26:49

Third Section: Awards

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Barton Community conquers Darkwood to book their winning Cheltenham place

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2nd Place Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes (Brian Harper)

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3rd Ferryhill Town (Andrew Hall)


North of England

Sunday 12, 21:18:19

First Section: Awards

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Shepherd Group delivers the winning Long of the White Cloud for the judges in Durham.

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1st. Place: Shepherd Group Band (Richard Wilton)

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2nd Place: Westoe Brass (Lee Morris)

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3rd Place: GT Group Peterlee (Trevor Langthorne)


North of England

Sunday 12, 21:08:16

Championship Section: Awards

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1st. NASUWT Riverside (Dave Roberts)

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1st. NASUWT Riverside (Dave Roberts)

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1st. Tony-Thompson of NASUWT Riverside (Dave Roberts)

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2nd. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)

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3rd. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)


North of England

Sunday 12, 18:30:06

Results:

Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Pageantry' (Herbert Howells)

Adjudicators: Dr Roger Webster and Richard Marshall

1. NASUWT Riverside (Dave Roberts)*
2. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)*
3. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)
4. Fishburn (Joseph Cook)
5. Easington Colliery (Ian Robin
6. Kirkbymoorside Town (John Woodward)
7. Lockwood Brass (John Roberts)
8. York Railway Institute (Dr David Lancaster)

Best Soprano Cornet — NASUWT Riverside
Best Principal Cornet — Reg Vardy
Best Euphonium — NASUWT Riverside
Best Trombone — Fishburn
Best Bass Section — East Yorkshire Motor Services
Best Percussion Section — Reg Vardy

* Top two bands qualify for National Final at the Royal Albert Hall


North of England

Sunday 12, 18:05:23

Championship Section: Dan Brooks' Analysis & Prediction

This is much closer than you might think.

There were 4 good solid performances of Herbert Howells' music that could come up in any order. There was also the vastly different performance from EYMS that was in many ways the best playing but totally different.

Being a traditionalist I have gone for the below. But don't be surprised if there is a shock on the cards here.

4BR Prediction:

1. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)
2. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)
3. NASUWT Riverside (Dave Roberts)
4. Fishburn (Joseph Cook)


North of England

Sunday 12, 17:57:40

Championship Section

8. Lockwood Brass (John Roberts)

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On Stage: Lockwood Brass (John Roberts)

Tidy start and there is a sense of majestic stability to the music all be it slightly stifled in note lengths being short. The music flows well and there is a real sense of majestic character brought by the MD's approach. There is a huge hole left for an absent clash cymbal and the trombones really go for their fanfare which is OTT. Its a shame as the rest of the sounds and detail are good in their approach. The melodies that move between instruments become fragmented and fragile in style as the tempo quickens but its a concise and sensible approach to the 1st movement with ends well despite a wayward timp.

Straight into the Cortege and it's a very safe dynamic from the baritones and horn(s), which also suffers from intonation. There are some moments of real accomplished good playing that are marred by some worsening intonation issues that are appearing in cornets and euphonium. There is sense of mourning portrayed through this movement that creates the right style, its just not always delivered cleanly. Nice close from horns and lower band.

Jousts starts with a good call from the cornet and the ensemble is tight and secure if a little bit fragmented at times through the scoring not being defined in clearly played lines. Good sounds in cornets and trombones before 11 and the horns accompany well at 11. 16 becomes a little bit of a scramble and the detail is buried in the ensemble before 17. Great sop in the meno mosso and a neat and well managed close.

Overall.

Not a bad show from John Roberts and his team. Plenty of detail evident and a really good effort. Just marred by individual errors and some poor execution in the ensemble playing.


North of England

Sunday 12, 17:40:38

Championship Section:

7. Kirkbymoorside Town (John Woodward)

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On Stage: Kirkbymoorside Town (John Woodward)

Its a bright opening tempo that is in tune but is really forced in sound. The sound becomes brash like its really on the edge of what the band is capable of. There is a sense of majesty all be it like its a forced one. "You will be majestic or face a trip to boot camp." Trombones are certainly OTT in their fanfare and the band just lack the breadth of sound to make this movement feel proud and brilliant as it is marked. Really tight playing all round but the faster tempo really tested the band.

Cortege, or March, has a nice feel but no space. No tissues are needed here as there is no time to mourn. Get them on the ship quick and lets bury them at sea. So fast in approach it feels as though there is no time at all. The cornet tries to show some emotion accompanied by the baritone, but its too late we need to get back to the wake quickly or all the food will have gone. The laying to rest is a simple affair. Its beautifully played and the solo lines are good. He was just in the water and all the shots fired before all the mourners arrived to say goodbye.

Again we have a brisk and brash approach to the 3rd movement. Good cornet solo and percussion and the ensemble is tight and secure, but the louder dynamics become hard and overblown. The tempo is more like a bobsled ride than a joust, it keeps getting faster no matter how hard the conductor pulls on the brakes, but its played with good effect and detail nevertheless. The tempo takes its toll in the final section and we lose lots of detail.

Overall.

This was a secure performance that had good soloists. It just had no time or space especially in the 2nd movement to mount a challenge for the podium today.


North of England

Sunday 12, 17:24:37

Championship Section

6.NASUWT Riverside (Dave Roberts)

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On Stage: NASUWT Riverside (Dave Roberts)

Best start of the day so far, there is a real sense of majesty about this as well as clear defined lines of detail. The dynamics are also well measured, it just becomes a touch brash and OTT especially from the trombones. Lovely euph and sop contributions between 7-10. This flows nicely and has poise and direction. The upper dynamics just lack the breadth of sound and become a little edgy but the movement certainly has style. Such a good ending too.

Cortege starts with beautiful baritones and horns but again the dynamics are safe. There is a wayward 1st horn entry in the mix though. Lovely solo cornet and trombone, as the procession gathers speed towards its destination. There is no time for relatives to mourn here we are motoring towards the emotional climax where we can all have a good cry. The emotion is evident though as the cornets and euphonium deliver a heart wrenching melody. Again what a lovely baritone in its duet with the cornet, lovely playing. Nice flugel link before the sop played well in it's final statement. The laying to rest is subtle and there is a real sense of loss. Well played horns, its just untidy to finish.

Its a real call to arms from the solo cornet but the percussion miss the call and arrive at the arena a whole beat late on snare drum. There is a real sense of drive to this and its jaunty in style like a dance. Good trombone fanfare and what a good band sound before piu mosso. Its tidy and all in place with bags of detail on show. Good rousing reprise. GO SOP! Superb top C really sings across and a good ending. A strong performance, crowd goes wild.

Overall.

Another strong contender in this performance that was just marred by some untidy moments.


North of England

Sunday 12, 17:05:11

Championship Section

5. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)

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On Stage: East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)

The first fanfare is really out of tune and there are some massive liberties taken with the style and interpretation that make this very different from any we have heard so far today. Its a huge sound that the band has and the playing is of a high standard. Its just a roller coaster of tempos and pull backs that take away from the majesty. The King and his royals seem to be bouncing around rather than a dignified walk of grace and purpose. You have to admire the MD's approach this is a really different feel to anything I have heard over the last two weeks. The band has a really mature full sound and it's well played. Who knows'.

The Cortege opens safely with a dynamic that wouldn't be misjudged at mf but it is all there and beautifully played by baritones and horn. The basses make a huge noise and the band sound is glorious and mournful. It is a grief-stricken climax that doesn't want to let go, so stylish in its approach. Tearing at the heartstrings with its grief. The majesty in the cornet fanfare is apparent before the picture of desolation is brought back by sop and horn. Laid to rest in simply breathtaking form. So well done but lacking that pp that would have made it sublime. Only downside was the safe dynamics.

Jousts opens with a well judged but not flawless cornet solo and once again the band showcases its power. It does sometimes feel a little brash. There are again some different interpretive styles from the MD. Its certainly not a traditional approach. There are some bold sounds to round off what was a very good, but very different performance.

Overall

This was a superb show with a very modern twist on interpretation. It won't find favour with traditionalists. But will it find favour in the box? Only time will tell'


North of England

Sunday 12, 16:47:41

Championship Section:

4.Fishburn (Joseph Cook)

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On Stage: Fishburn (Joseph Cook)

Its a steady approach to the opening fanfare which just lacks the regal majesty required. The steady approach does allow the band to dig out some of the immense detail in the score. This is turning out to be a detailed and good performance. It is finding the accents and uniformity of note lengths but it does just lack that touch of richness to the sound. It's certainly a well played opening movement with clarity and precision. More majesty and breadth of sound was needed. There were some inconsistencies in tempo also.

The Cortege starts with a mournful pleading horn solo that is the quietest of the day so far. Lovely trombone sounds too and the euph and cornet have time to shape their solos nicely. Some intonation problems in cornets and middle band between 2-3. The emotional climatic farewell is controlled to a f dynamic but it is balanced and mournful. We have the brief glimpse of majesty before crashing back down to earth with a lovely sop and horn to finish a well played 2nd movement. Some intonation issues did detract.

Its a good solo to start the 3rd movement which again finds the band playing with style and panache. We are cantering along nicely with some excellent sounds, especially from the euph soloist who has been excellent throughout. This is a performance that is really growing in stature and we finish with some of the best playing we have heard so far today.

Overall.

This really grew in confidence as we got towards the end. It was full of detail and will surely be at the right end of the table come results time.


North of England

Sunday 12, 16:31:31

Championship Section

3.York Railway Institute (Dr David Lancaster)

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On Stage: York Railway Institute (Dr David Lancaster)

Intonation suffers to open and the music never really settles into a majestic style. It seems to have the power required to make a mark but it's sometimes on the brash side and the MD gives his players no time or space to play. Everything feels rushed in style and tempo. There are so many points that the music could do with the shape of a pull back but it seems to be a single metronomic tempo throughout. Even in the accel the tempo barely changes. It could have been so much more, but what it was is safe and tidy all round.

The Cortege is again faster than it's traditionally played tempo and the style and space is negated in place of safety and clarity. The emotion of the Cortege is lacking as this is more like a Viking burial than emotional farewell. Push off, set it on fire and say goodbye once at most. We have a major error at the end with Flugel a beat late and it takes the band 7-8 bars to all be playing the same piece again. It's a safe close which, given the circumstances, is incredible.

This is a turbo charged modern Jousts. Never mind horses we appear to have mounted rockets in order to do battle here and the ensemble is suffering badly. It gets back on track as we approach the reprise and there are some majestic if a touch rushed sounds to finish.

Overall.

The band had power and style to make a real mark here but execution and mistakes coupled with rushing could leave them looking over their shoulder rather than in front.


North of England

Sunday 12, 16:21:02

Championship Section:

2. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)

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On Stage: Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)

There is just a hint of intonation on the first note but the clarity and band sound are a real step up in class. Hello Bass trombone, he seems to be leading the sound of the basses with intent, massive noise. The work between 8-10 is clear and clean and sop plays well. There is a real sense of majesty to this. It's not always 100% in accuracy but it has bags of style and swagger. The final statement is a fanfare masterpiece with the last two notes delayed into what was the wrong rhythm but well played and together.

This is a better attempt at a pp to start the 2nd movement but it still feels very safe in it's approach. Lovely horn, cornet and euph soloists really showing class. The intonation is just spot on in the cornets as we build towards an emotional climax. There is definitely a sense of emotional loss about this procession. Now we have the majesty remembered in droves and its thrilling in its delivery as we approach the end. Just to add to the already classy playing that has been on show the sop nails it. Lovely mournful close, if again a little safe for pp.

What a superb cornet solo bar the last 3 notes, and this is a rousing Jousts that is tight, concise and bold in equal measures. There are mistakes creeping into the solo lines that were not evident before. Again, the bass trombone takes up his lance and puts the bass section to the sword, such a huge noise. This is really zipping along at a full on gallop now. The ending has power and vigour and the audience goes bonkers before they finish.

Overall.

A performance of clear intent from a band that no doubt want to be booking a hotel in Kensington this time tomorrow.


North of England

Sunday 12, 15:52:11

Championship Section

1.Easington Colliery (Ian Robinson)

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On Stage: Easington Colliery (Ian Robinson)

It's an opening statement of intent from Easington, although it is not without blemish. the technical details are handled well. It's all a bit top heavy in sound though, basses need some fuel to round off the sound. The majesty of the Kings Herald does get a little lost in the tempo which is starting to push. The sop and cornets just make it through at 8 and 9 with the tempo still racing. There is some looseness to the ensemble as we approach the second Fieramente. Not a bad first movement that just lacked that majesty and precision and had too much rushing in the ensemble.

The baritones are safe to open movement 2 but the dynamic is nowhere near pp more like mf+ and the solo lines are opening up some real fragile solo playing. The procession seems to be rushing quickly to the graveside leaving no time for the mourners to provide any remorse with their solo contributions. Its a fast Cortege for sure even though the tempo is crotchet = 80 and its slower than that, there is no space for the music to be played. There are some lovely solo contributions especially from Sop and Horn. The dynamic is again a very safe one to close.

Its a lively and superbly played cornet solo to open up Jousts which is a very lively tempo. Ensemble is tight and detailed with some fine solo contributions. This is almost dance like and ticks along nicely, with some rushing tendencies. The return to the proudly section is well handled and its a rousing finish aided by a really good sop and trombones.

Overall.

A good marker from Easington that was just marred by rushing and lack of poise. Some super solo playing by sop and horn will certainly add points.


North of England

Sunday 12, 15:37:27

Results:

Third Section:

Test Piece: 'Darkwood' (Dan Price)

Adjudicators: John Doyle and Andrew Warriner

1. Barton Community (Gary Oglesby)*
2. Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes (Brian Harper)*
3. Ferryhill Town (Andrew Hall)
4. Murton Colliery (Richie Wallace)
5. North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson)
6. Swinton & District Excelsior (Robin Rutter)
7. Backworth Colliery (Colin Harris)
8. Billingham Silver (Vaughn Evans)
9. Marske Band (Alun Prest)

*Top two bands qualify bands for National Final at Cheltenham

Percussion Trophy : Barton Community
Cornet Trophy : Murton Colliery
Winning Conductor : Gary Oglesby


North of England

Sunday 12, 15:27:03

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: Championship Section: Draw

Test Piece: 'Pageantry' (Herbert Howells)

1. Easington Colliery (Ian Robinson)
2. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)
3. York Railway Institute (Dr David Lancaster)
4. Fishburn (Joseph Cook)
5. East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)
6. NASUWT Riverside (Dave Roberts)
7. Kirkbymoorside Town (John Woodward)
8. Lockwood Brass (John Roberts)


North of England

Sunday 12, 15:08:28

Third Section:

Dan Brooks' Analysis and Prediction

Crystal ball time. It's been a very close fight with all of the bands giving good performances. The better bands were able to nail the basics of rhythm and intonation whilst providing a good stylistic account.

The detail is as clear as a bell in this fantastic venue. I'm glad I don't have Mr Doyle or Warriner's job here. All the bands were so close, it's been very hard to separate.

We go for:

1. North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson)
2. Barton Community (Gary Oglesby)
3. Ferryhill Town (Andrew Hall)
4. Murton Colliery (Richie Wallace)


North of England

Sunday 12, 15:06:39

Third Section:

9. Ferryhill Town (Andrew Hall)

Good opening from Ferryhill, the band make a very mature sound. There is some fragility on the quiet sounds and solos. The style and poise are excellent in approach and delivery. Its mischievous and foreboding in the right places and majestic in others.

The 2nd movement again opens up with some uneven delivery of solo lines but the band recovers to make a full sound if not sometime OTT. The 6/8 has lilt and style. All flows well with some good stylistic features. The band has a lovely sound, sometimes it just pushes into the harsh category rather than broad.

The 3rd movement is lively and boisterous. Its more of an industrial arms race than a revolution but the band is tight and concise in equal measure. The drive to the end is exciting and bold.

Overall

This was a very good show. Stylish and strident but some of the brash playing takes the shine off what was a real contender.


North of England

Sunday 12, 14:47:38

Third Section

8. North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson)

It’s an opening that promises so much, full of detail and mischievousness. The band make a lovely warm sound and are playing with style. Percussion and cornet effects are just loose in places. There is more sense of style to this than others.

The lovely warm sound continues into movement 2, here it is just disturbed by intonation in basses and horns. Timp provides drive to an exciting climax. The solo lines are delivered with a confidence but are not always flawless. 6/8 has lilt and style and the movement closes well.

The industrial revolution of Blackley is depicted here in exciting detail. The band sounds are sometimes thrilling but sometimes contain lapses in intonation. The drive to the close is well maintained and exciting.

Overall

It wasn't a flawless performance by any means, but the detail, style and execution on show puts it right up there in the mix. Bravo MD!


North of England

Sunday 12, 14:44:51

Third Section:

7. Backworth Colliery (Colin Harris)

An uncertain start leads to some spots of poor intonation and this takes some time to settle. There is a constant looseness to the ensemble, which is a pity as the style and sounds are excellent. A nice close to the movement, lovely Horn and Sop.

The 2nd movement has a nice simple feel, just like it should and the band makes a nice rich sound despite being down on numbers. Lovely 6/8 feel too it just lacks flow and security in the ensemble accompaniment.

The final movement is played with a sense of safety. The tempo started fast but the MD quickly gets control and slows down proceedings. The ensemble is secure in detail and delivery it just lacks the style required. The rush to the end became a race and the basses won.

Overall

Another one that is hard to place. It certainly had its moments but lacked consistency to make a real mark.


North of England

Sunday 12, 14:18:05

Third Section

6. Barton Community (Gary Oglesby)

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On Stage: Barton Community (Gary Oglesby)

Some very stylish playing at last but it comes at the expense of a consistent tempo. The style of the playing is emphasised by the bass players flat cap. A real attempt at the Lancashire style of Blackley Village.

The tempo again fluctuates in movement 2 but this time with a nice rubato feel. The soloists are all delivering too, well played. It just has the occasional lapse in delivery and some intonation in trombones.

A lively start to movement 3 brings a nice feel to the industrial side of the village. You can almost sense the machinery clanging to life with the percussive detail. Good 3rd movement.

Overall.

Another nearly performance that had some really good stylish moments but just a touch of looseness and intonation problems.


North of England

Sunday 12, 14:00:16

Third Section

5. Swinton & District Excelsior (Robin Rutter)

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Swinton & District Excelsior (Robin Rutter)

Its an uncertain start that lacks clarity in the ensemble. Sop shines like a beacon to lead the way through the woodland but not many seem to follow, they all want to take their own path. The MD leads well and gets it all back on track.

The Euph plays with sonority and this sees the band raise their game considerably in the 2nd movement. Some lovely playing before the 6/8 which needs more lilt and compound feel.

Its a nice steady approach to the 3rd movement. Clarity and poise are evident and the band plays well. It just lacks that vibrancy that the music asks for.

Overall.

A well prepared performance that finished stronger than it started.
Well played Sop and Euph.


North of England

Sunday 12, 13:48:20

Third Section:

Daniel Brooks' Midway opinion

Many of the bands appear to be able to capture the basics of ensemble and rhythm.

The music of Dan Price is about much more than that and we are still waiting for someone to explore the real character of the music.

Its been a hard job to separate them so far and the door is still wide open.


North of England

Sunday 12, 13:32:58

Third Section:

3. Murton Colliery (Richie Wallace)

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On Stage: Murton Colliery (Richie Wallace)

Nice tidy playing from Murton, all the basics are in place. It's just lacking some musical flow and passion. The soloists all play clean and the ensemble dynamics are well managed.

The tempo choices are all right on the money. When the band opens up into a full blooded dynamic the intonation really suffers. Again I find myself wanting more lilt in the 6/8 feel.

Good tempo and detail to start the 3rd movement. I just imagined Blackley Village to have more character as it headed into the Industrial Revolution. Its tight, concise and good but lacking in style.

Overall

It's a rock solid show that improved as it went along but it lacked character and expression.


North of England

Sunday 12, 13:22:12

Third Section

2. Marske Band (Alun Prest)

Really good measured start from the band. The tempo is a little steady but the detail and effects are all in place. The band are low on numbers but from the sound they make you really cant tell. The euphonium plays well and really leads the direction.

The house on the hill is well played again led by good soloists. The 6/8 section could have more lilt and flow but the cornet soloist is subtle and lyrical. Nice warm sounds.

A steady approach to the tempo that allows the band to play with detail and poise. Some intonation problems in trombones and horns start to take away some of the shine. Its a spirited but loose rush to the end.

Overall.

Some very nice musical moments and detail, just the odd moment of intonation to take away from a good performance.


North of England

Sunday 12, 12:58:56

Third Section:

1. Billingham Silver (Vaughn Evans)

It's a start full of menace and foreboding. The shock notes are tight and ensemble detail is clear and evident. There are some slight scratches to the surface with intonation but the overall shape and effect is good.

The slow music has flow and drive with nice rich warm sounds Very good percussion detail on show. Soprano cornet also shines, this has a really nice lilt and the music flows well.

The basics are all in place and it has poise and pulse even in the accel, just some looseness in the final phrases that may prove costly.

Overall.

A very good marker from Billingham, one that they will surely be pleased with.


North of England

Sunday 12, 12:39:08

Result:

First Section:

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Shepherds Group share their joy with everyone after their win

1. Shepherds Group (Richard Wilton)*
2. Westoe (Lee Morris)*
3. GT Group Peterlee (Trevor Langhorne)
4. Dunston Silver (Aiden Hodgson)
5. Harrogate (Dean Jones)
6. Ripon City (Martin Hall)
7. Cockerton Band (Michael Hardman)

*Top 2 bands qualify for National Final in Cheltenham


North of England

Sunday 12, 12:36:59

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: Third Section:

Test Piece: 'Darkwood' (Dan Price)
Adjudicators: John Doyle and Andrew Warriner

1. Billingham Silver (Vaughn Evans)
2. Marske Band (Alun Prest)
3. Murton Colliery (Richie Wallace)
4. Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes (Brian Harper)
5. Swinton & District Excelsior (Robin Rutter)
6. Barton Community (Gary Oglesby)
7. Backworth Colliery (Colin Harris)
8. North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson)
9. Ferryhill Town (Andrew Hall)


North of England

Sunday 12, 12:20:59

First Section:

Danny Brooks' final analysis & prediction:

It' s been a hard fought contest here today, with the piece taking no prisoners here up North. The better bands did cope well and not one band should be unhappy with their efforts.

Detail and intonation were key to doing well and you can hear everything in this auditorium. With that in mind we go for:

4BR Prediction:
1. Shepherd Group Band (Richard Wilton)
2. Harrogate (Dean Jones).
3. Ripon City (Martin Hall)
4. Westoe Brass (Lee Morris)


North of England

Sunday 12, 12:07:19

First Section:

7. Harrogate (Dean Jones)

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Harrogate Band post an image, in relaxed mood before playing, for us all to enjoy.

Slightly uncertain start but it recovers quickly and the music has a nice flow. The band sound is full and rich and the rhythmic detail is consistent. There is a sense of subtlety that we haven't heard yet today and the rich warm sounds leave a lasting impression.

It's a suitable tempo and the band respond well to the MD's direction. The music does seem to rush through the time changes but there is so much detail on show that we haven't heard in many other performances. Intonation problems and rushing do take off some shine as we approach the slow section.

Superbly subtle sop playing — so sweet. All the soloists give a good account, not flawless but its quality music with such a nice shape. Hairs on the back of the neck climax and such a good musical account. Bravo MD!

Lovely link back to the fast section and the detail is all evident again. Bass led sounds are full and warm. Good rousing finale and a superb performance from Harrogate.

Overall.

A performance of ensemble control and detail with good solo contributions. Well led Mr MD.


North of England

Sunday 12, 11:50:43

First Section:

6. Cockerton Band (Michael Hardman)

The playing has precision and detail to start but there are some really bad spots of intonation in all sections that really detracts from the overall picture. We miss the tubular bell solo too. The style is certainly direct and detached but the intonation is yet to settle as we head into the fast section.

Sensible tempo choice but the ensemble is loose. The bass off beat section loses its direction and we nearly end up in a different land. Thankfully normality is restored by a roaring cornet section. Its a real roller-coaster ride of emotion and tempo changes.

The slow section is really well shaped if a little slow. Soloists all play well and the band seems to be settling down now. The return to the fast section sees the band to start and deliver some of its best playing. Again the bass off beats seem to lose their way and the ensemble is once again fragile and loose.

The drive to the close is big, bold and exciting.

Overall.

A performance that really went for it in approach, but fell short on too many basics to compete at this level.


North of England

Sunday 12, 11:30:53

First Section

5. Ripon City (Martin Hall)

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On Stage: Ripon City (Martin Hall)
Its a nice balanced opening, not as full blooded as some but its nice on the ears. The band is balanced and tight but lacking some rhythmic consistency between the triplet and quadruplet groups.

Suitable tempo choice for the fast section and its delivered with style and poise. Again the balance and detail are favoured over a full blooded approach that might just find favour.

The slow section finds the soloists right on the edge of their nerves. However, they all play so well in their moments to shine. The staccato approach to the climax seems to make the music vastly accelerate in speed at the stringendo. The climatic sounds are bold and full of colour.

The fast section again has detail and poise, The intonation seems to suffer as the band gets tired towards the end. Good rousing finish to a fine performance.

Overall.

A well constructed performance that was controlled in approach and attack, one that could find favour today in the box.


North of England

Sunday 12, 11:14:29

First Section:

4. Dunston Silver (Aiden Hodgson)

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On Stage: Dunston Silver (Aiden Hodgson)

Confident start from Dunston. There is a sense of majesty about the opening but we don't hear all the inner detail. The trombone section seem to be drowned out of the mix. Some real intonation problems open up in the louder dynamics.

It's a real roller coaster ride in terms of tempo in the fast section, sometimes controlled, other times flying around loops and corners. The detail suffers due to the rushing that is evident.

Lovely singing sop and another contender for star of the day in the Flugel player who was superb. The band is finding its feet here in the slower section. Some lovely sounds. The conductor even has time to stop conducting and stand with his arms aloft!

Such a shame that the return to the fast section is marred by a bad link, the confidence seems to have left again. Snare drum rushing the semis doesn't help the ensemble and they seem to struggle to recover. The return to the opening statement again suffers with intonation and a rushed close.

Overall.

One that had moments of real character but lacked the precision and delivery to make a mark here today.


North of England

Sunday 12, 10:58:32

First Section:

3. Shepherd Group Band (Richard Wilton)

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On Stage: Shepherd Group Band

Its a superb opening from Shepherd Group. Style, shape and poise in an abundance. Real intent on show here for an immediate return to the top section. The opening section has power and poise. Real good playing.

The fast section is slower than previous bands but right on the money in terms of detail and approach to the style. The quaver speed is well maintained (mostly) through the time changes and this builds well.


Lovely sop, and WOW what a star on flugel, there is real sense of quality about this slow movement. Showing depth of colour and knowledge. Percussion adds just the right amount of sparkle.

Again this is controlled and detailed playing in the closing section

Overall.

That level of class and detail should see them make an immediate return to the Championship Section. It wasn't faultless in execution but certainly a level above so far today.


North of England

Sunday 12, 10:41:44

First Section:

2. Westoe Brass (Lee Morris)

Its a fine start from Lee Morris and his team. Super sounds to open and detail is evident. Some moments of intonation in the high euphonium sounds take the shine off but its a very good opening section.

The fast section has some poise and style and mostly the semiquavers come off without blemish. Early entry noted from bass but its a small mistake in an excellently maintained stylish fast section.

The slow section does continue to be a problem for Flugel soloist, its another brave effort all round, one that wasn't perfect but so much to admire.

The drive to the close is led well by confident bass sounds. The band seems to have found their feet now and is providing some real quality playing. The faster section does feel right on the end of the bands technical limits but its mostly effective.

Overall'

Good detail and tempo choices. Soloists could have been more confident but there is no doubting this was a performance of intent. It mostly paid off.


North of England

Sunday 12, 10:29:50

First Section:

1. GT Group Peterlee (Trevor Langthorne)

The opening statement is bold in approach and the trombones and flugel work well in the opening section. Not all rhythms are secure but its mostly together. The 144 fast section fizzes along and the speed kills the detail. Most of the semiquavers are rushed, 'Speed kills' and it is doing here.

The soprano is a lovely singing voice to bring things back under control in the slow section. Brave effort from Flugel before a real spine tingling climax led by glorious Euph playing.

The fast is back up and running, with the key word being running.
Nice bass sounds though. The return to the opening motif is well managed to a rousing if fast close.

Overall..

Slow stuff of admirable quality but the faster passages were out of control. The soloists played with confidence too. A good marker for others to follow.


North of England

Sunday 12, 10:03:04

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: First Section:

First Section:
Test Piece: 'Land of the Long White Cloud' (Philip Sparke)
Sunday 12th March
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: Dr Roger Webster and Richard Marshall

1. GT Group Peterlee (Trevor Langthorne)
2. Westoe Brass (Lee Morris)
3. Shepherd Group Band (Richard Wilton)
4. Dunston Silver (Aiden Hodgson)
5. Ripon City (Martin Hall)
6. Cockerton Band (Michael Hardman)
7. Harrogate (Dean Jones)


North of England

Sunday 12, 08:22:46

Good Morning from Durham

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The Gala Theatre situated on the banks of the River Wear in the heart of Durham.

A very good morning from Durham, where we are ready for the second day of the North of England area where today we have Daniel Brooks doing the comments with Steve Jack as ever providing the photos.

Since its move from the Dolphin Centre in 2015, the Gala Theatre has become the home for the North of England championships.

Situated in the heart of Durham, it's surrounded by hotels, bars (these days a pre-requisite for bands) and shops, all overlooking the meandering and tranquil River Wear.

Inside the 15-million pound modern complex, there is plenty of room for bands and supporters, including a crucial warm-up room, something that the Dolphin Leisure Centre just couldn't accommodate.

The theatre has a lovely acoustic wherever you sit, be it the front row or right at the back of the balcony with the sound emanating from the stage being exactly the same clean tone. To quote our man in the North "Believe me, you will hear everything that's played so whoa-betide anyone with a missed or early entry!"

Yesterday, the judges also commented on stage about the acoustic and that nothing was missed so today's bands you have been warned!


North of England

Saturday 11, 19:55:56

Section Four — Prize Winners

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1st. Jayess Newbiggin Band (Andrew Griffiths)

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2nd. Trimdon Concert Brass (Tina Mortimer)

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3rd. Lanchester (Gareth Sykes)

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Cheering their 1st place — Jayess Newbiggin Band (Andrew Griffiths)

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Best Principal Cornet: Lynsey Garraghan, Trimdon Concert Brass

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Best Euphonium: Kimberley Dale, Craghead Colliery

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Youngest Player: Georgia Stones (15) Jayess Newbiggin


North of England

Saturday 11, 19:47:15

Second Section — Prize Winners

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1st. Ashington Colliery (David Kendall)

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2nd. Houghton Brass (Tom Gibson)

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3rd. J36 Brass (Andrew Warriner)


North of England

Saturday 11, 19:09:56

Results

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: 'St Andrews Variations' — Alan Fernie

Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and John Doyle

1. Jayess Newbiggin Band (Andrew Griffiths)*
2. Trimdon Concert Brass (Tina Mortimer)*
3. Lanchester (Gareth Sykes)
4. Knaresborough Silver (Steve Morland)
5. Craghead Colliery (Jack Dodds)
6. Burneside (Laurie Johnston)
7. Penrith Town (Mark Wilkinson)
8. Spennymoor Town (Neil Davis)


*Top two bands qualify for National Final at Cheltenham

Best Principal Cornet: Lynsey Garraghan, Trimdon Concert Brass
Best Euphonium: Kimberley Dale, Craghead Colliery
Youngest Player: Georgia Stones (15) Jayess Newbiggin


North of England

Saturday 11, 18:02:52

Fourth Section — Round up

If only conductors took more time on tuning then this could have been a great contest instead of a good one. Tuning was unquestionably the tale of the tape in Durham.

We think Trimdon will have the edge from Lanchester with Jayess Newbiggin in third and Spennymoor fourth


North of England

Saturday 11, 18:00:52

Fourth Section:

6. Burneside (Laurie Johnston)

A mixed bag with some good and some bad moments for Burneside.

A few messy entries and clips spoil what could have been a reading of real substance.

With the majority of bands having upped their game this year this performance unfortunately may struggle today.

7. Penrith Town (Mark Wilkinson)

With a half young and half older folk around the stands again its the old bugbear of tuning issues which causes the most problems.

It is in the waltz that the band finds itself competing against itself with one trying one tempo and the other a slower one.

Despite some sticky moments Penrith produce one of the best endings of the day.

8. Knaresborough Silver (Steve Morland)

There is a lot to recommend in this performance.

The euphs, horns and troms shine but again there is some messy moments too.
Overall this is a worthy finale to the contest


North of England

Saturday 11, 16:34:57

Fourth Section:

5. Jayess Newbiggin (Andrew Griffiths)

Jayess Newbiggin certainly have a touch of class in the cornermen.

Lyrical in tone the soloists gave the account an added emphasis that raised this to something just a bit special.

The band responded to the lyrical lines presented and duly gave a fine rendition. It was not faultless with some minor issues but nothing to detract from the overall picture


North of England

Saturday 11, 16:19:33

Fourth Section:

3. Lanchester (Gareth Sykes)

Lanchester are not without some tuning issues and whilst this is a good opening the tuning problems are distracting.

As he music unfolds it begins to flow along nicely and the hymn especially has a pleasing approach.

4. Spennymoor Town (Neil Davis)

Spennymoor Town present another good opening but then it juat goes awry with some errors in cornet line.

It's a much bigger band sound today than last year and you can tell with the tone and all round playing that their ability has come up a notch.

We detact just a little problem in delivery at the end where we think tiredness has crept in.


North of England

Saturday 11, 15:32:09

Fourth Section:

2. Trimdon Concert Brass (Tina Mortimer)

If the previous performance from Craghead was good then add 'very' to the vocabulary.

Trimdon displayed fine basses, horns and troms that helped steer a clear passage through these waters.

This was a nicely packaged performance that had quality all across the movements and is clearly out in front for us.


North of England

Saturday 11, 15:12:11

Fourth Section:

1. Craghead Colliery (Jack Dodds)

A good opening that sounds already if the band are enjoying this and there is a nice balance too.

Troms need to be careful of tuning but elsewhere there are some fine sounds from the band.

What a fine opening to this section and band can be proud of their days work


North of England

Saturday 11, 14:53:07

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

Fourth Section: Draw

Test Piece: St Andrews Variations' Alan Fernie

Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and John Doyle

1. Craghead Colliery (Jack Dodds)
2. Trimdon Concert Brass (Tina Mortimer)
3. Lanchester (Gareth Sykes)
4. Spennymoor Town (Neil Davis)
5. Jayess Newbiggin (Andrew Griffiths)
6. Burneside (Laurie Johnston)
7. Penrith Town (Mark Wilkinson)
8. Knaresborough Silver (Steve Morland)


North of England

Saturday 11, 14:47:49

Results:

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Second Section:

Test Piece: 'Rhapsody in Brass' (Dean Goffin)

Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and Richard Marshall

1. Ashington Colliery (David Kendall)*
2. Houghton Brass (Tom Gibson)*
3. J36 Brass (Andrew Warriner)
4. Durham Miners Association (Stuart Gray)
5. NASUWT Concert Brass (John Bell)
6. East Riding of Yorkshire Band (Gary Hallas)
7. Bearpark & Esh Colliery (Peter Elcoat)
8. Ellington Colliery (Jonathon Fenwick)

*Top two bands qualify for National Final at Cheltenham


North of England

Saturday 11, 14:19:44

Second Section

8. East Riding of Yorkshire Band (Gary Hallas)

East Riding certainly put themselves in the mix with this one.

The band are solid with two good outer movements.
Although the middle movement had a presence it was just spoiled by some loose playing in the middle.

Again a Euphonium who is a star player.
Now for the results...


North of England

Saturday 11, 14:15:33

Second Section:

6. NASUWT Concert Brass (John Bell)

NASUWT Concert rattle the tiles on the roof — gracious it's loud!

This performance has set the audience comments flying with some saying it's brash and harsh yet others being persuaded by the forthright approach.
This one is certainly down to the tastes of the two men in the box.

To conclude it flies along with an ending that Black Dyke would find a challenge.

7. Ellington Colliery (Jonathon Fenwick)

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Ellington Colliery final prep ahead of today's Contest

Ellington Colliery show nerves as tuning and timidness seem to be the major factors in that come forward in their account.

This is a shame because the nerves put everyone a little off their stride. The MD works hard and tries to keep them on track.

The more quiet playing tends to suffer and sadly the error count keeps creeping up. This was a pity but one can ony reflect that it was not one of their best days.


North of England

Saturday 11, 13:45:19

Second Section

4. Bearpark & Esh Colliery (Peter Elcoat)

Unfortunately the Band struggled with this performance with perhaps too many slips and clips.

As the music progressed, just a couple of time their entries just felt out of synch' with a lack of unity.

Overall they took very steady tempos but it was the unsettled opening section that cost them in the long run

5. Durham Miners Association (Stuart Gray)

Durham Miners bring to the piece a sense of confidence and the band all play well with a mention, especially, for solo euphonium.

As it continues their is real sense of ease with the piece and despite a few clips near the end it remains and is still a worthy challenger


North of England

Saturday 11, 13:11:40

Second Section:

2. Houghton Brass (Tom Gibson)

Houghton Brass start well and all comes across cleanly.
Precise articulation adds and the band is comfortable with tempos chosen.

Ending is super, a real powerhouse, driven on to the end like the four horsemen of the apocalypse riding through

3. J36 (Andy Warriner)

Not the best start of the day with slips and some tuning issues just robbing the overall.

As it makes progress the band just seems a little uncertain and this results in errors creeping in.

The band worked hard but those annoying errors counted up.


North of England

Saturday 11, 12:25:52

Second Section:

1. Ashington Colliery (David Kendall)

A positive start to the days proceedings. If anything it seemed just a little forced in places with horns playing loudly and just lacking a real sense of drive.

Still, overall, this was a decent show and a fair opening to the contest.


North of England

Saturday 11, 12:10:40

Good Day from the Land of the Prince Bishops

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Durham Cathedral

Good Day from the Land of the Prince Bishops, with the splendor of Durham Cathedral looking down upon the town and of course the Gala Theatre.

We've made it to Durham today a lot easier than the trip to Yorkshire last weekend: a failed clutch system five miles from Huddersfield Town Hall with a trip back to South Shields on the back of a recovery truck. (Four hours listening to 'Steve Wright's Love Songs' and Michael Ball is no substitute for Yorkshires finest!)

Six days and a new car later, we find that the North has 16 bands taking part today in sections 2 and 4 with the remaining 24 in sections 1, 3 and the Championship tomorrow.

We have a 'new' innovation as, for the first time, two adjudicators will sit in judgment for all the bands in the North of England. Leigh Baker and Richard Marshall have the honour of being the first 'in tandem' with John Doyle joining Leigh Baker later and Roger Webster adjudicating tomorrow.


North of England

Saturday 11, 12:07:19

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

Second Section: Draw

Test Piece: 'Rhapsody in Brass' (Dean Goffin)
Saturday 11th March
Start: 12 noon
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and Richard Marshall

1. Ashington Colliery (David Kendall)
2. Houghton Brass (Tom Gibson)
3. J36 Brass (Andrew Warriner)
4. Bearpark & Esh Colliery (Peter Elcoat)
5. Durham Miners Association (Stuart Gray)
6. NASUWT Concert Brass (John Bell)
7. Ellington Colliery (Jonathon Fenwick)
8. East Riding of Yorkshire Band (Gary Hallas)


North of England

Wednesday 8, 12:23:20

North of England line-up

Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Pageantry' — Herbert Howells
Sunday 12th March
Draw 1.00pm
Commence: 3.00pm
Adjudicators: Dr Roger Webster and Richard Marshall

Easington Colliery (Ian Robinson)
East Yorkshire Motor Services (Stig Maersk)
Fishburn (Joseph Cook)
Kirkbymoorside Town (John Woodward)
Lockwood Brass (John Roberts)
NASUWT Riverside (Dave Roberts)
Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)
York Railway Institute (Dr David Lancaster)

First Section:

Test Piece: 'Land of the Long White Cloud' — Philip Sparke
Sunday 12th March
Draw: 8.30am
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: Dr Roger Webster and Richard Marshall

Cockerton Band (Michael Hardman)
Dunston Silver (Aiden Hodgson)
GT Group Peterlee (Trevor Langthorne)
Harrogate (Dean Jones)
Ripon City (Martin Hall)
Shepherd Group Band (Richard Wilton)
Westoe Brass (Lee Morris)

Second Section:

Test Piece: 'Rhapsody in Brass' — Sir Dean Goffin
Saturday 11th March
Draw: 10.30am
Start: 12 noon
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and Richard Marshall

Ashington Colliery (David Kendall)
Bearpark & Esh Colliery (Peter Elcoat)
Durham Miners Association (Stuart Gray)
East Riding of Yorkshire Band (Gary Hallas)
Ellington Colliery (Jonathon Fenwick)
Houghton Brass (Tom Gibson)
J36 Brass (Andrew Warriner)
NASUWT Concert Brass (John Bell)

Third Section:

Test Piece: 'Darkwood' — Dan Price
Sunday 12th March
Draw: 10.45.00am
Start: 12.15pm approx
Adjudicators: John Doyle and Andrew Warriner

Backworth Colliery (Colin Harris)
Barton Community (Gary Oglesby)
Billingham Silver (Vaughn Evans)
Ferryhill Town (Andrew Hall)
Kingsway Printers Cleethorpes (Brian Harper)
Marske Band (Alun Prest)
Murton Colliery (Richie Wallace)
North Skelton (Lewis Wilkinson)
Swinton & District Excelsior (Robin Rutter)

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: St Andrews Variations' — Alan Fernie
Saturday 11th March
Draw: 1.00pm
Start: 2.30pm approx
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and John Doyle

Burneside (Laurie Johnston)
Craghead Colliery (Jack Dodds)
Jayess Newbiggin Band (Andrew Griffiths)
Knaresborough Silver (Steve Morland)
Lanchester (Gareth Sykes)
Penrith Town (Mark Wilkinson)
Spennymoor Town (Neil Davis)
Trimdon Concert Brass (Tina Mortimer)



Foden's Band - Matt Ford - Lichfield Cathedral

Friday 24 November • 19A The Close, Lichfield WS13 7LD


Lofthouse Brass Band - Pudsey Churches Together Christmas Concert

Saturday 25 November • Pudsey Parish Church, Church Lane, Pudsey, LS28 7BD LS28 7BD


Lofthouse Brass Band - Lofthouse Christmas Fair

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


Enfield Citadel Band -

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


Newstead Brass -

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


Thoresby Colliery Band

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


Thoresby Colliery Band

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


Hitchin Band

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


Phil Lawrence

ARCM PGRNCM MFTCL ARCM B.Mus.
Composer and conductor