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2017 Wales and London & Southern Counties Regional Championships
Second Section previews

4BR looks forward to a friendly renewal of banding hostilities of Dean Goffin's timeless 'Rhapsody in Brass'.

Middle East campaign
Dean Goffin's music was written at the height of the Middle East Campaign

Over the last few weeks ‘Rhapsody in Brass’ has been a wonderful, but ever so slightly over- ambitious choice for the Second Section: Enjoyable and educational as it has been for all concerned, its age has not wearied its challenges for players and conductors alike.

Much like ‘Pageantry’ in the top section, its timeless qualities remain a mystery to just about anyone under the age of 35 brought up on a diet of PLC blockbuster smart bombs and Thomas Doss ‘fly by wire’ musical drone technology.  This is music of an age when you almost had to see the whites of your opponent’s eyes.

Refined and elegant

The transparent immediacy of the writing - simple, refined and elegant, holds so many pitfalls and man-traps; from the anxious optimism of the opening and reflective melancholy of the central interlude, to the free spirited joyfulness of the finale.  It is music that explores emotion without recourse to misplaced sentimentality.

It was written by a man who had seen his fair share of loss and who knew just how precious life was. Not someone with a penchant for an X-Box ‘Medal of Honour’ approach.


Mid Rhondda
2016 Champion: Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda

Wales:

Just the seven bands compete in the Second Section on Saturday lunchtime, with Mike Kilroy and Derek Broadbent hoping that the quality will more than make up for the lack of quantity.

Given the record at the National Finals in the last decade, hopes should be high, as since 2007 the nation’s representatives have notched up no less than six victories and at least half a dozen top-six finishes. However last year’s qualifiers found themselves in the midfield also-rans, so perhaps a little bit of work to do this time around.    

Abergavenny Borough has been making solid progress and could be looking at a finals place for the first time since 2003, whilst Seindorf Arian Crwbin and Royal Buckley Town could also pose qualification threats. 

The vastly experienced Tony Small leads a Penclawdd Band on the up again with the emerging Melingriffith 2 and Ammanford worth an each-way bet alongside our dark horse of 4BR hometown favorites Blaenavon.

4BR Prediction:

1. Abergavenny Borough
2. Royal Buckley Town
3. Seindorf Arian Crwbin
4. Penclawdd
5. Melingriffith 2
6. Ammanford

Dark Horse: Blaenavon Town


Cawston
2016 Champion: Cawston went on to claim a top-six place at Cheltenham

London & Southern Counties:

It’s a field double the size of that found in Wales for Steve Sykes and Roger Webster to compare and contrast on Saturday afternoon - with 16 well matched outfits taking to the Gordon Craig Theatre stage.

It could be a hard one to call - with a number of bands showing decent, if not spectacular, form of late.

Five contenders were at Butlins where Waterbeach claimed a top-ten finish as the best of them, whilst last year’s runner-up St Sebastian Wokingham returns after posting a solid ninth place finish at Cheltenham.

Milton Keynes Brass didn’t really shine in Skegness but will be hoping that was down to early season rustiness, whilst Grimsdyke and Littleport Brass could be two to watch out for come the results alongside our dark horse of newly promoted Chinnor Silver.

4BR Prediction:

1. Waterbeach Brass
2. St Sebastian Wokingham
3. Grimsdyke
4. Milton Keynes Brass
5. Littleport Brass
6. BAE Systems 

Dark Horse: Chinnor Silver



Walsall Brass Band - Walsall Brass Band.

Saturday 22 July • Walsall Cricket Club WS1 3BE


Cory Band - St David's Hall, Cardiff

Wednesday 26 July • The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1AH


Gresley Colliery Band - Byrkley Park Garden Centre

Saturday 29 July • Byrkley Park Garden Centre. Byrkley Drive, . Burton Upon Trent . DE13 9RN


Gresley Colliery Band - Byrkley Park Garden Centre

Sunday 30 July • Byrkley Drive, . Burton Upon Trent DE13 9RN


Black Dyke Band - Glastonbury Abbey

Saturday 5 August • Glastonbury Abbey, Abbey Gatehouse Magdalene Street Glastonbury Somerset BA6 9EL


Blidworth Welfare Band

July 22 • Championship Section (Midlands) Blidworth Welfare Band are inviting applications for the position of Musical Director for our friendly, ambitious, hard working and forward looking band.


Walsall Brass Band

July 22 • Walsall Brass Band are seeking Solo Cornets, 1-3rd Cornet, Solo or 1st Horn,2nd Baritone,Euphonium, 2nd Trombone, Eb or Bb Bass and Drummer.


Stamford Brass

July 21 • Stamford Brass are looking for a committed new Musical Director to lead them back into the 3rd section and beyond.. We are a friendly, sociable, contesting band with a sensible calendar of varied concerts and engagements.


Christopher Houlding

MMus, GGSM, LRAM
Conductor, Performer, Educator