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2017 London & Southern Counties Regional Championships
As it happened

All the action from the 2017 London & Southern Counties Regional Championships — as it happened.

London and SC

Sunday 19, 21:28:29

It's all over now...

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It's all over now...with the final place going to Friary Guildford

And that's it for the 2017 Regional Championships — from Blackpool via Huddersfield, Bedworth, Perth, Durham, Torquay, Swansea and finally Stevenage.

There will be tales of triumph and despair, hard luck stories and inspiring ones too. It has been a long, demanding and highly rewarding musical experience for all the bands taking part — and for those, including the team from 4BR, that have listened.

Hope you have enjoyed our coverage. Now for a rest and then to finish off all those news reports to bring everything up to date...


London and SC

Sunday 19, 21:21:02

Results:

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1st place Friary Guildford (Chris King)

Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Pageantry' (Herbert Howells)
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Steve Sykes

1. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
2. Redbridge Brass (Jeremy Wise)
3. Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)
4. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)
5. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)
6. Aveley & Newham (Robert Nunnery)
7. Thundersley Brass (Nigel Taken)
8. Medway (Melvin White)
9. Wantage Silver (Craig Patterson)
10. Northfleet Brass (Melvin White)
11. Staines Brass (Dan Floyd)
12. East of England Co-operative (Nigel Cooper)

Best Trombones: Friary Guildford
Best Tenor Horn: Medway
Best Euphonium: Wantage Silver
Bes Cornet: Friary Guildford


London and SC

Sunday 19, 20:31:40

Championship Section:

Malcolm Wood's final round up and prediction:

London bands can hold their heads high after this contest. It seems 'the do's' and 'do nots' on 'Pageantry' have been taken on board over the past month.

The top four as they announce here, could be very interesting indeed. Friary Guildford, may just get pipped at the post for the title, but the order could be down to pure taste in the box

David Hirst and Steve Sykes will know what they want and don't want

4BR Prediction:

1. Friary Guildford
2. Redbridge
3. Haverhill
4. East London Brass
5. Zone One
6. Aveley & Newham

Dark Horse: Medway


London and SC

Sunday 19, 20:09:07

Championship Section:

12. Redbridge Brass (Jeremy Wise)

Jeremy Wise leads Redbridge as the last band, and it really goes for the jugular with a 'nothing to lose and everything to gain' mentality. 'King's Herald' doesn't disappoint. This is purposeful stuff, full of vigour and intent but all done so tastefully with style and musical purpose. Great start.

The 'Cortege' is full of graciousness — so dignified and respectful. It's regal with heartfelt emotion. The laying to rest is done with real dignity.

The call to joust is an effective clarion. This is so well judged — and there are just some unforced errors creeping in which take the sheen off things. It's a terrific, powerful close though.

Could be close as to whether the title is theirs or not, but a serious contender for Kensington.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 19:48:53

Championship Section:

11. Northfleet Brass (Melvin White)

Melvin White returns for his second 'Pageantry' of the day, and the reading is exactly the same as earlier. It's 'do what's on the score' — and there is nothing overdone. It's not without flaws though. The 'Kings Herald' opening section is well judged, but just has some brittle edges to take the sheen off things.

The Cortege is cautious. In a purely musical sense, it just needs more belief that it can be played and it drags more than is preferred. The errors creep in.

'Jousts' is steady. There is nothing elaborate here, no tempo's pushed. There is tiredness within the ensemble, but it is one of those brave efforts today — and there have many. Lovely reading, but execution just fell short.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 19:30:58

Championship Section:

10. East of England Co-operative (Nigel Cooper)

One of the few renditions today where a band really found out how tough 'Pageantry' can be. The musical intent was there from the beginning, but it just didn't link together with the solidity needed. The 'King's Herald' is uneven in delivery and has caution to it, with steady tempos.

The 'Cortege' is well shaped, but again there is an uneven feel and it needs more flow to really bring out the music.

The call to joust is tricky, but cornet gets there in the end. This is a brave old effort, but tiredness is creeping in. The desire is there to deliver, but it just doesn't come off.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 19:29:35

Championship Section:

9. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)

Jayne Murrill leads East London Brass through a rendition full of musical intent. The opening is nicely styled, if a bit up on the tempo, but its within the ensemble's grasp.

The Cortege is nicely coloured although slow in motion. It's so dignified. Impressive stuff this and it works. The music is getting time to breathe. Great climax. Well done.

The joust opening is bravura, although not flawless, but it certainly has intensity and drama. There is a real appeal about the way this has been handled. Tasteful sounds and so measured, but what will the judges make of it?


London and SC

Sunday 19, 18:52:30

Championship Section:

8. Staines Brass (Dan Floyd)

It's a composed start from the Middlesex-based outfit before the verve and excitement comes to the fore. It's nicely styled with restraint. Little bits of scrappiness creep in though.

The slow procession to the graveside, whilst dignified, has a few uncertain moments. It's a shame in many ways as there is a good projection of the music. Everyone is giving it all they have.

The clarion call misfires and is hit and miss. There is a common sense approach from the MD who is not pushing things too much. There is gritted determination very much at the fore as tiredness creeps in at the close.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 18:36:20

Championship Section:

7. Aveley & Newham (Robert Nunnery)

It's a slightly untidy dismount to the opening, leaving the 'Herald' some work to do to impress. He does that though as it recovers the composure and settles down. This is steady without being pushed.

The central 'Cortege' is nice and lyrical without being over sentimental. A time to reflect for people to have their own thoughts. As the body is laid to rest — it is done so with dignity.

The clarion call is a touch nervy to open the jousting, but its bold stuff. The sense of drive is palpable and well paced. The regal climax is tasteful, before compact sounds at the close.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 18:16:03

Championship Section:

Malcolm Wood's halfway thoughts and prediction:

The final contest of the weekend has seen the bands relish the challenge of 'Pageantry'.

Yes, some have faired better than others, but the MDs have clearly learnt from what has gone on around the UK and based their renditions on what is on the score.

Six to go, but...

4BR Prediction:

1. Friary Guildford
2. Haverhill
3. Zone One


London and SC

Sunday 19, 17:56:15

Championship Section:

6. Friary Guildford (Chris King)

Now then: The defending champion takes to the stage and delivers a 'Kings Herald' that is full of authority and a sense of musical purpose. The detail is so vivid: We are hearing things we have not heard so far today. Good stuff this.

We move to the 'Cortege' which has that spine-tingling feel. Nobody wants to make a sound; a cough would disrespectful, it's all about maintaining a dignified silence. The quality of the playing as the coffin is laid is very tasteful.

The call to arms is purposeful and has a regal sense of style. Chris King is just letting the music flow with so much detail. The quality of the playing is polished and it's a rousing close.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 17:42:24

Championship Section:

5. Thundersley Brass (Nigel Taken)

The statement of heraldic intent doesn't quite come off as there is a bit of scrappiness in the ensemble. We can appreciate the rawness of delivery though, although the tempos are uneven.

The MD delivers a lovely shaped 'Cortege', but some of the mourners don't always see the holes in the road. The processional pulse is well delivered, with heartfelt emotion at the climax. There is a touch of regality about the music. The laying to rest is tasteful and dignified.

The call to joust is a very quick dance-style clarion. This is light, even dainty at times. This needs a little bit more full-bloodedness perhaps but the MD knows the limitations of the ensemble in front of him.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 17:29:29

Results:

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1st Place. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: St Andrews Variations' (Alan Fernie)
Adjudicators: Alan Duguid and Steve Pritchard-Jones

1. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)*
2. City of Norwich Brass (Andrew Craze)*
3. Watford (Ian Graves)*
4. Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)
5. Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
6. Royston Town (Steve Earley)
7. Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)
8. Hadstock Silver (Di Pannell)
9. Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)
10. Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)
11. Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)
12. Witney Town (Rhys Owens)
13. Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)
14. Great Yarmouth (Colin Swaep)
15. Pangbourne & District Silver (Stewart Lewins)
16. Snowdown Colliery (Andy Collins)
17. Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)
18. North London Brass (Martyn Stogden)

*Top three qualify bands for National Final at Cheltenham


London and SC

Sunday 19, 17:17:56

Championship Section:

4. Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)

There is a great sense of palpable music making here. This is full on, but the detail does come through. The close is persuasive.

The cortege is slow, sombre and processional in its manner. There is a real regality about the music that comes through. It's like the burial of a Royal with the streets closed. What a climax — full of heartfelt emotion.

There is a fine clarion call to open the jousting and a pace about the music that is persuasive. Some fine playing going on here; rich textures with nothing being overdone and the close is purposeful and controlled.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 16:59:41

Fourth Section:

What an enjoyable day it's been — with plenty of great music making from all the competing bands. The best were very good and it could be very close for the qualification places.

4BR Prediction:

1. City of Norwich
2. Bradwell
3. Great Yarmouth
4. Crystal Palace
5. Snowdown
6. Letchworth


London and SC

Sunday 19, 16:58:02

Championship Section:

3. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)

It's a very thoughtful and considered opening to 'Kings Herald'. We hear detail because the dynamic is down and it's not overwhelming, but there are hints of untidiness.

The opening to the 'Cortege' is a little bumpy as if the mourners are a little tipsy. There's a call for decorum and dignity which comes through, helped by some lovely tenderness at the climax. The outpouring of grief is rather reserved though.

The 'Jousting' is playful stuff and has a light-hearted approach. Nice. The contrasts in the dynamics sometimes get a bit lost, but there is a rousing recovering to the end, although tiredness is in evidence. Lots to appreciate in this.

Steady at times but very deliberate. Who knows what the judges will think?


London and SC

Sunday 19, 16:55:14

Fourth Section:

18. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)

The lovely opening bars from Great Yarmouth paved the way for a punchy march in variation 1 to set them off on such a well-rounded performance.

Fantastic sop playing, can really hear you over the band!

17. North London Brass (Martyn Stogden)

The slower tempo meant that the band luxuriated in their sound during variation 3 but it was nice and full nevertheless. The principal confidently leads and has a great dynamic!

Some of the semi quaver passages get a little lost in the lower band, particularly in the start of the finale but it soon picks up and pushes forwards. The rall towards the end provides the perfect tempo to fully use the accel and finish with a lovely full chord.

16. Pangbourne & District Silver (Stewart Lewins)

A valiant effort from Pangbourne. There were some great sounds coming from the lower band. The quaver movement in variation 7 was tidy across entire sections. There were some nice crescendos in the finale, showing off a lovely contrast in dynamics. A great hip wiggle from the conductor finished of the performance nicely.

15. Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)

This was a very consistent performance — tempos were kept at a good pace and generally the band was very together. Another nice euph and bari section, who made a great sound on the slow sections.

Finale tripped a little and took a while to get back together, but it was a powerful ending with a full bass sound: Well done — as a whole it was a good effort.

14. City of Norwich (Andrew Craze)

Super quiet sounds and equally the lovely swells. Opening was very together and front row are a great team!

Conductor gave a well-deserved smile to principal euph — what a lovely sound! Variations 5 through to 7 were very well executed — another great trombonist. 6/8 was tidy and spritely. A very good performance indeed, with great dynamic contrasts and real spirit!


London and SC

Sunday 19, 16:40:29

Championship Section:

2. Wantage Silver (Craig Patterson)

A rather cautious opening means it takes a while for the music to find its feet — and the style come through. The blemishes are heard, but it retains a heraldic poise.

The 'Cortege' is more convincing, despite the odd wobble. More forced tears of sadness than raw emotion, it must be said. The cornet is so tender. It's a nice close as well, with the sun shining through the window just as the curtains open into eternity.

As we head for home the jousting doesn't always feel at ease, and the contrasts in dynamics not always audible. It needs more solidity in places, but when it does come there is a firm pulse, drive and majestic excitement.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 16:39:28

Championship Section:

1. Medway (Melvin White)

The heraldic opening never sounded as one — but there is pomp and poise . Not everything came off here, but we get there — just.

An indifferent 'Cortege' as well. The music didn't flow with any processional intent and the nervousness robbed any sense of emotion. It was nervous at times as it went along. The climax was heartfelt, but some tricky moments to close.

The joust got off to a bit of a lumpy start, and although it recovers its poise there was no real sense of majesty or nobility about the playing. A tired, brave band gave it their all to close.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 16:11:55

Draw: Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Pageantry' (Herbert Howells)
Sunday 19th March
Gordon Craig Theatre

Draw 1.00pm
Commence: 3.30pm
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Steve Sykes

1. Medway (Melvin White)
2. Wantage Silver (Craig Patterson)
3. Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)
4. Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)
5. Thundersley Brass (Nigel Taken)
6. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
7. Aveley & Newham (Robert Nunnery)
8. Staines Brass (Dan Floyd)
9. East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)
10. East of England Co-operative (Nigel Cooper)
11. Northfleet Brass (Melvin White)
12. Redbridge Brass (Jeremy Wise)


London and SC

Sunday 19, 16:10:45

First Section:

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1st Place. Kidlington Concert Brass (Duncan Wilson)

Test Piece: 'The Land of the Long white Cloud' (Philip Sparke)
Adjudicators: Dr Roger Webster and Chris Wormald

1. Kidlington Concert Brass (Duncan Wilson)
2. Regent Brass (Nick Thomson)
3. Hitchin (Graham Chambers)
4. Alder Valley (Lee Woodward)
5. Fulham (John Ward)
6. Chiltern Hills Brass (Gordon Davies)
7. Egham (Gareth Green)
8. City of Cambridge (Peter Bassano)
9. Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)
10. Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)
11. Sandhurst Silver (Andrew Porter)
12. Horsham Borough (Mark McLaughlin)
13. Becontree Brass (Nigel Taken)
14. Ware Brass (Phillip Littlemore)
15. Epsom & Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
16. Cawston (Leigh Sharpe)
17. Colchester (David Maddocks)

*Top two bands qualify bands for National Final at Cheltenham

Best Cornet: Kidlington
Best Basses: Regent Brass


London and SC

Sunday 19, 15:40:07

Fourth Section:

13. Snowdown Colliery (Andy Collins)

This had a very clean opening and lovely horn sounds early on. Also, it's good to hear the soprano in the slow sections, and the cornet and euphonium duet went very well indeed!

Euphoniums and baritones are a very tidy section overall. Lovely warm sound in variation 8, but a little more could have been given in terms of dynamics — just so it could be shown off! Finale was a little tentative to start but cornet soloist was cool and collected.

12. Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)

A very full sound came from Bradwell, and some cracking tidy playing in all parts of the band as a whole. Lovely bell-tones to start off 6/8, however it was a little slow in tempo.

This tempo stayed a little under for the remainder of the piece it seemed, but it was a very tidy finale.

11. Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)

A tentative opening from Crystal Palace meant that it started off a little unsettled, but cornets were very together and had a lovely sweet sound.

March got off to a slow start, but picked up into some very lyrical playing. Fantastic trombone sound in variation 6 — one of the first times that has been nailed today! Tempo stayed slow in 6/8, but the band handled it well. The finale was luxurious and played very cleanly.

10. Witney (Rhys Owens)

Witney made a great, strong start to the afternoon. Lovely marches had a great lower band sound in the slow variations! Variation 8 had a particularly song-like sound — so well done!

This performance grew right at the end and made some cracking dynamic contrasts all the way to a lovely ending!


London and SC

Sunday 19, 15:37:34

First Section:

Malcolm Wood's final thoughts and round up

That was one heck of hard slog today in Stevenage. Philip Sparke's piece really has sorted the bands out both technically and musically.

The bands who finished in the top six probably won't have caused the judges, Roger Webster and Chris Wormald too much of a problem, but it's the ones in the middle and towards the bottom that could take some straightening out.

As for picking a top three, there may not be too much in it, and whoever comes third can perhaps consider themselves a tad unlucky to have missed out on Cheltenham.

Fulham and Jersey may just edge it today, with Hitchin and Kidlington not far behind.

4BR Prediction:

1. Fulham
2. Jersey Premier
3. Hitchin
4. Kidlington
5. Regent Brass
6. Horsham Borough

Dark Horse: Sandhurst


London and SC

Sunday 19, 15:37:17

Fourth Section:

9. Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)

Plenty of young players in this band — always good to see! The theme was warm and well balanced, and like many other bands, the marches were confident.

Principal cornet and euphonium sounds were well matched and led nicely to a springy 6/8 section. Cheeky playing started off the finale for a great end to the morning!


London and SC

Sunday 19, 15:34:21

Fourth Section:

8: Watford (Ian Graves)

The march sections were strong from Watford, but the ensemble sound could be a bit more full, especially in slow variations.

The finale skipped along nicely, with a very good cornet solo — incredibly tidy! Some entries in the end were a little tentative, but what a neat close.

7. Royston (Steve Earley)

Royston featured some nice, comfortable playing, especially in variation 5. A few younger players here and it's lovely to see them! Some lovely sounds came from the principal cornet.

There was slight slip going into the 6/8, but this was very well recovered and moved into the final variation very smoothly. Finale started a little tentatively but zipped along nicely at the final accel and a very grand rall indeed to close!


London and SC

Sunday 19, 15:17:14

First Section:

17. City of Cambridge (Peter Bassano)

Another hard working, gritty and determined accounts from City of Cambridge to round the contest off. It had purpose and intent but just suffered with fragilities that were unforced at times.

The intent remained but so did the errors and it just ran out of steam at the end.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 15:09:10

First Section:

16. Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)

Bedford goes for the jugular right from the off . Nicely styled and directed from the middle, there was a real purpose about this. It was a touch full on at times, whilst at others, very reserved and restrained.

The tempo markings proved effective and there was just enough petrol in the tank as it reached its conclusion. Hardworking account that certainly knew it had nothing to lose.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 15:07:21

Draw: Fourth Section:

Test Piece: St Andrews Variations' — Alan Fernie
Sunday 19th March
Main Hall

Draws: 10.30am & 12.30pm
Start: 11.30am

Adjudicators: Alan Duguid and Steve Pritchard-Jones

1. Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)
2. Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)
3. Hadstock Silver (Di Pannell)
4. Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)
5. Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)
6. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
7. Royston Town (Steve Earley)
8. Watford (Ian Graves)
9. Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)
10. Witney Town (Rhys Owens)
11. Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)
12. Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
13. Snowdown Colliery (Andy Collins)
14. City of Norwich (Andrew Craze)
15. Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)
16. Pangbourne & District Silver (Stewart Lewins)
17. North London Brass (Martyn Stogden)
18. Great Yarmouth (Colin Swaep)


London and SC

Sunday 19, 14:41:02

First Section:

15. Sandhurst Silver (Andrew Porter)

A flamboyant reading that had a lovely style and approach, but one that also found challenges within the score.

The opening was bright and purposeful and the piece lost its way a little through clarity and detail, but it recovered and the quality shone through. It did revert to a roller coaster ride though, with unevenness and tiredness very much being in evidence.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 14:24:23

First Section:

14. Epsom & Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)

The latest rendition of the Sparke work that certainly had the musical intent but just didn't quite come off in the execution.

The opening wasn't bad at all, but then things started to go wrong from scrappiness to misplaced entries and it just became uneven.

In fairness to the MD (who has a distinct likeness to Peter Graham, and perhaps they are related?) he certainly steadied things bringing them back onto an even keel, but there was tiredness in the ranks as they headed for home.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 14:05:54

First Section:

13. Kidlington Concert Brass (Duncan Wilson)

Kidlington becomes the latest band today to find Sparke's work tough to master. For us, it was a little claustrophobic at times and needed more time to breathe with space between the music.

The quality within the ensemble was there along with the intent, but it needed more energy and fluidity to really make an impact with ourselves.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 13:45:45

First Section:

12. Fulham (John Ward)

A bold opening and there's a presence about this that catches the ear. Just two wayward entries detract but there is strong, balanced sounds and the overall musical picture works.

The Larghetto has some tricky moments and needs consistency, but the musical intent remains.

There's a real sense of purpose about the final section and Fugue even though it's a tad uneven at times. A rendition that could make its mark today.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 13:31:22

First Section:

11. Ware Brass (Phillip Littlemore)

A performance that held rich promise with a nice opening, but never quite built on that from then on.

There were moments that followed that captured the verve and free flowing spirit of the vivace sections, but the errors were as irritating as the toothache that just won't go away. Insecurities also come to the fore in the lyrical interlude, but full mall marks to the MD for his execution here.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 13:30:47

Fourth Section:

6. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)

This had a very tidy start and continued through at a lovely pace to variation 5. They were little tentative in the slower sections but the finale kicked off to a clean and comfortable start for Regent.

Powerful crescendos featured throughout and nothing was lost at the very end. It was so well done!


London and SC

Sunday 19, 13:14:18

Fourth Section:

5. Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)

The opening was very promising, with some tuneful playing lower down the band. Interesting interpretation of variation 3, but it was cleanly played.

Slow but warm middle variations, and much like last week in the Midlands, we've had some great euphonium soloists — and there was another one here! Great, meaty finale to finish and Woodbridge certainly delivered a very comfortable version of the piece!

4. Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)

It was a comfortable beginning from Cottenham, but it tripped ever so slightly at the march. Fab horn solo and the section sound great together too!

This performance got more comfortable as it went on. The 6/8 section again was overall quite tidily played, but a little less confident in variation 8. The finale kicked off with a good pace and showed some strong playing towards the end.

3. Hadstock Silver (Di Pannell)

Lovely, round, full sounds started this performance, and in the lyrical variations this continued.

Another lovely euphonium solo from Hadstock — very smooth indeed! The 6/8 section moved along quite nicely and the band weren't scared off by it at all. They made the most of the accel and the following rall in the finale, a few inconsistencies throughout, but nice job!

2. Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)

Bletchington gave a nice and confident start to 'St Andrew's Variations', but didn't quite pick up speed at the march.

However, it was some comfortable playing and they showed great contrasts in the middle sections — and very well done to principal euph in variation 5! There was a nice strong ending that matched the start.

1. Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)

It was slightly tentative opening from Abbey Brass, but they showcased some very comfortable march playing in variations 1 and 4.

They started their finale with a lovely bounce and played with purpose throughout. It was a good, solid ending and made for a lovely start to the day!


London and SC

Sunday 19, 13:12:31

First Section:

10. Cawston (Leigh Sharpe)

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Cawston share with the world their relaxed morning rehearsal image

A Land of the Long White Cloud that offered potential, but didn't quite come off today.

The musical intent was there, with a nice style and good purposeful sounds, but the execution just never came to life.

There was a lot of safe playing, with that fear that things could really start to be a challenge if some risks are taken. Fair play to the MD for keeping a tight reign on things during the transitional elements of the score.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 13:05:41

First Section:

Malcolm Wood’s Half way Thoughts

It’s fair to say that Land of the Long White Cloud has tested bands here today so far, with many challenged with the technical aspects of the score and the need for dynamic contrasts. The standard hasn’t been great but should the piece be beyond good First Section bands?

Two qualification spots very much up for grabs, it’s down to who wants to really impress Dr Webster and Chris Wormald in the box.

4BR Prediction:

1. Jersey Premier
2. Hitchin
3. Regent Brass


London and SC

Sunday 19, 12:30:07

First Section:

9. Egham (Gareth Green)

A idiosyncratic interpretation just about came off thanks to the spirited playing of both soloists and ensemble here. There was plenty to admire despite not everything going to plan, although the effort never wavered.

The band certainly bought into the approach though, and the sensible tempos and compact dynamics ensured stability without them going AWOL.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 12:19:03

First Section:

8. Horsham Borough (Mark McLaughlin)


Another performance that unfortunately didn't quite meet the challenges of Philip Sparke's work. There was plenty of effort, grit and determination.

There were some nice touches on the solo lines from sop and solo cornet, but elsewhere the fragilities were far too transparent. MD kept a tight rein on tempos and the ensemble retained its cohesive qualities as a result, but tiredness came into play. The reading was a good one though from the middle.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 11:54:02

First Section:

7. Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)


A performance that did maintain a promising start and could tickle the taste buds of the judges.

There was some nice solo work, but the cautiousness in the cohesive qualities of the ensemble, which took the sheen off. A lovely soprano stood out and the euph and cornet showed the lyrical qualities required to make the music tasteful.

The vivace reprise had an uneven pulse but plenty of spirit and energy, although by the time we came to the close the stamina tanks were still going. Could make impression today.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 11:43:01

Draw First Section:

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

Sunday 19th March
Gordon Craig Theatre

Draws: 9.00am and 11.00am
Commence: 10.00am

Adjudicators: Dr Roger Webster and Chris Wormald

1. Chiltern Hills Brass (Gordon Davies)
2. Regent Brass (Paul Archibald)
3. Hitchin (Graham Chambers)
4. Alder Valley (Lee Woodward)
5. Becontree Brass (Nigel Taken)
6. Colchester (David Maddocks)
7. Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)
8. Horsham Borough (Mark McLaughlin)
9. Egham (Gareth Green)
10. Cawston (Leigh Sharpe)
11. Ware Brass (Phillip Littlemore)
12. Fulham (John Ward)
13. Kidlington Concert Brass (Duncan Wilson)
14. Epsom & Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
15. Sandhurst Silver (Andrew Porter)
16. Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)
17. City of Cambridge (Peter Bassano)


London and SC

Sunday 19, 11:36:13

First Section:

6. Colchester (David Maddocks)

A Land of the White Cloud that offered potential but perhaps never came off with its intent.

There were some good sounds and dynamic contrasts but it didn't always gel together as solidly as we would like.

Nerves cause real problems, especially in the central Larghetto with voices not speaking and solo voices tending to be flat. The impact is such that the performance never really settles which is a pity as they could play it for sure.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 11:18:58

First Section:

5. Becontree Brass (Nigel Taken)

The opening is a little more reserved than some an it immediately intrigues with its sound and detail although more dynamic contrasts needed.

Good fine tempos in the faster passages and we hear detail within the band. There is just the odd moment of untidy ensemble but there is so much character about this. We like the style in a thoughtfully directed interpretation from the MD, but again dynamics are needed.

As we progress through the slow section the playing is admirable, but dynamic contrasts are lacking.

The Fugue starts well and is well judged, with just hints of tiredness creeping in. The lack of contrasts in the sound could cost today though.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 11:17:52

Draw: Fourth Section:

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Test Piece: St Andrews Variations' — Alan Fernie

Sunday 19th March
Main Hall

Draws: 10.30am & 12.30pm
Start: 11.30am

Adjudicators: Alan Duguid and Steve Pritchard-Jones

1. Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)
2. Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)
3. Hadstock Silver (Di Pannell)
4. Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)
5. Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)
6. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
7. Royston Town (Steve Earley)
8. Watford (Ian Graves)
9. Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)

Other Competing Bands

Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
City of Norwich Brass (Andrew Craze)
Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)
Great Yarmouth (Colin Swaep)
Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)
North London Brass (Martyn Stogden)
Pangbourne & District Silver (Stewart Lewins)
Snowdown Colliery (Andy Collins)
Witney Town (Rhys Owens)


London and SC

Sunday 19, 10:59:50

First Section:

4. Alder Valley (Lee Woodward)

Alder Valley delivers a 'White Cloud' that is a little uneven in its execution.

The opening is just a shade cautious in tempo for us with tuning evident.

The playing itself is reasonably solid but it does need more oomph.
It starts to get very scrappy and now the cracks appear with tuning. The central Larghetto is very hesitant at times with tuning like irritating tooth ache. It continues to have a presence and annoy.

The approach to the close become increasingly untidy and a touch heavy on the lips.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 10:39:16

First Section:

3. Hitchin (Graham Chambers)

A broad, majestic vista opened a performance that set its stall out and maintained its form and with occasional moments of unease and fragilities.

Excellent middle band sounds and robust lower brass led by tasty euph were the foundation here.

MD shaped the slow movement well despite the moments of unease and the vivace reprise was full of spirit with fine romp of a close.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 10:19:39

First Section:

2. Regent Brass (N. Thomson)

A spirited opening that has intent, but tuning becomes noticeable . There is also some very scrappy ensemble brought about by nervous tension.

We hear impressive band sounds in the forte passages but individual voices are exposed and things go a touch AWOL.

Again there's a brio about the spirit of the playing as the tempo increases but there is some inconsistencies in the ensemble.
Tired close though.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 10:18:55

First Section:

1. Chiltern Hills Brass (Gordon Davies)

Chiltern Hills starts the contest with a performance that found Philip Sparke's demanding work to be a stern test.

There were glimpses of the potential from both the band and their MD in the free flowing musicality of the lyrical interludes and the enthusiasm of the vivace sections, but some of the errors were too obvious to ignore. Stamina waned and took the energy away in the closing moment.

Great to see Regional Secretary, Kevin Williams on stage today with the band. Full marks to all concerned for stepping up from Section Two and giving that a real go. A real team effort. Well done.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 10:02:26

Draw: First Section:

embedded picture
Test Piece: 'Land of the Long White Cloud' — Philip Sparke

Sunday 19th March
Gordon Craig Theatre

Draws: 9.00am and 11.00am
Commence: 10.00am

Adjudicators: Dr Roger Webster and Chris Wormald

1. Chiltern Hills Brass (Gordon Davies)
2. Regent Brass (Paul Archibald)
3. Hitchin (Graham Chambers)
4. Alder Valley (Lee Woodward)
5. Becontree Brass (Nigel Taken)
6. Colchester (David Maddocks)
7. Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)
8. Horsham Borough (Mark McLaughlin)
9. Egham (Gareth Green)

Other competing bands

Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)
Cawston (Leigh Sharpe)
City of Cambridge (Peter Bassano)
Epsom & Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
Fulham (John Ward)
Kidlington Concert Brass (Duncan Wilson)
Sandhurst Silver (Andrew Porter)
Ware Brass (Phillip Littlemore)


London and SC

Sunday 19, 09:52:31

Remember to Swab for Sykes

Before the action starts, there was another great response to people registering to help Stephen Sykes yesterday.

Visit the registeration areas at your contest if you can.


London and SC

Sunday 19, 09:43:48

Second Section

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Enjoying the moment last night, Grimsdyke share on social media a joyful MD Sharon Broughall — Conductor of the winning band


London and SC

Sunday 19, 08:56:55

The final day has dawned

Amazing to think that four Sundays ago, the Regional series started in Blackpool and now we are at the last day.

A very enjoyable day was had by all in Swansea and Stevenage yesterday and we are looking forward to hearing the action today.

We start in London & Wales at 10.00am with the draws posted when the judges go in the box.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 20:05:07

embedded picture

embedded picture
Winners: Grimsdyke (Sharon Broughall)

Results:

Second Section:

Test Piece: 'Rhapsody in Brass' (Dean Goffin)
Adjudicators: Steve Sykes and Dr Roger Webster

embedded picture
Amersham truly in Rhapsody after 40 years

1. Grimsdyke (Sharon Broughall)*
2. Amersham (Paul Fisher)*
3. Milton Keynes Brass (Paul Fensom)
4. Soham Comrades (Jayne Murrill)
5. Yiewsley & West Drayton (Chris Cole)
6. LGB Brass (Ian Stewart)
7. Wantage Silver 'B' (Danny Dullforce)
8. Waterbeach (Andrew Kershaw)
9. BAE Systems (Melvin White)
10. Tilbury (Ben Jones)
11. Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)
12. Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)
13. St. Sebastian Wokingham (Nigel Howard)
14. Littleport Brass (Nicholas Garman)
15. Welwyn Garden City (Graham Chambers)
16. Epping Forest (Keith Schroeter)

Best Bass Section: Soham Comrades
Best Trombones: Amersham

*Top two bands qualify bands for National Final at Cheltenham


London and SC

Saturday 18, 19:26:24

Second Section:

Malcolm Wood's Final thoughts and Prediction:

The only thing that matters is what Steve Sykes and Dr Roger Webster thinks today. The contest started off with potential but the standard has varied, in the presence of a healthy crowd.

We have to congratulate the bands for getting on stage and playing what could easily be the Second Section Finals piece (or Section One Regional) with such commitment.

We could be no where near today. The podium places could finish in any order, its just how Steve Sykes & Dr Roger Webster call it in the box.

4BR Prediction:

1. Waterbeach Brass
2. Soham Comrades
3. Chinnor Silver
4. Grimsdyke
5.. Milton Keynes
6. Amersham

DH. BAE Systems


London and SC

Saturday 18, 19:14:00

Second Section:

16. Amersham (Paul Fisher)

The approach was positive from Amersham but it just didn't cement together as a whole but the contesting basics were put in place.

The opening was full of positive intent, with a no holds-barred middle section that didn't go into too much sentimentality.

The finale is paced neatly although it did get a little scrappy at times but still spoke of joyfulness. One that could sneak in today in the mix,


London and SC

Saturday 18, 18:52:30

Second Section:

15. Waterbeach (Andrew Kershaw)

It's a good solid from WaterbeachBrass take after a few tricky moments in the opening section. There was a nice flow in the solo and ensemble lines but there were some sticky obstacles that just took the edge off. Lots to commend though.

The middle section has a nice feel to it, broadly phrased with good euphonium contribution, but again some nervousness in the ensemble is noticeable.

The finale has a joyful feel to it with a lovely little sop player, but some fragilities are evident as well. It's a contender, but where?


London and SC

Saturday 18, 18:38:05

Second Section:

14. Wantage Silver 'B' (Danny Dullforce)

Wantage takes time to settle in the opening and the ensemble isn't as tight and precise at times during the first movement.

Nice horn solo opens the middle section but tuning is noticeable and becomes an issue. Not a bad ending though, and the final movement is well measured to open and the band copes far better with the technicalities than it did earlier.

As we head to the end, some is good playing and the energy is there, but it doesn't link together.. A curious one for us


London and SC

Saturday 18, 18:21:08

Second Section:

13. Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)

Hungerford becomes the latest band today to deliver a performance that had lots to appreciate but it didn't quite gel at times as much as we would like.

There were some good tempo choices which gave the opportunity to allow detail and clarity, although not always executed as intended.

The central section had a nice sombre flow about it whilst the concluding section was full of joyful brio.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 18:04:03

Second Section:

12. Tilbury (Ben Jones)

One of those thoughtful engaging ones from the Essex based outfit well planned but perhaps not always executed in the way required.

Not everything came off, but there was a real desire to show clarity, balance and detail (as has been the case with so many today).

The optimistic movement wasn't without blemishes whilst there were lots to appreciate in the reflective central section.

The concluding section was carefree and joyful with that real element of freedom coming through which made it exciting, but it was quick at times.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 17:44:30

Second Section:

11. Epping Forest (Keith Schroeter)

It's a bold opening movement from Epping Forest that isn't without hesitancy but is nicely styled. There is plenty to appreciate here, but it is rushed at times.

The central section is broad in the way it is delivered with a lovely euphonium and horn.

The Finale Section really does take no prisoners. The tempos are not hanging around but who knows what they will make of it in the box? A little bit too rushed for us.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 17:27:27

Second Section:

10. BAE Systems (Melvin White)

Melvin White takes to the stage having led Otterbourne to qualification in Torquay a week ago.

Once more, It's an impressive take after a few tricky moments in the opening section. There was a nice flow in the solo and ensemble lines but there was some sticky obstacles that just took the edge off.

The middle section has a nice feel to it, broadly phrased with good euphonium contribution, but again some nervousness in the ensemble is noticeable.

The finale has a joyful feel to it with a lovely little sop player, but some fragilities are evident as well which is a real shame.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 17:14:02

Second Section:

9. LGB Brass (Ian Stewart)

The contest resumes with a measured account from LGB Brass (an ensemble that includes the new Chief Exec of Brass Bands England).

The musical vigour and energy came through especially in the opening segment whilst the middle section with a tasteful horn and euphonium.

The closing section was tastefully done with tempos pushed but building the majestic feel into a really purposeful climax. One that could appeal in the box?


London and SC

Saturday 18, 16:56:03

Second Section:

Malcolm Wood's Half way thoughts

It’s fair to say Second Section bands have really given it their all so far on Rhapsody in Brass. This will be a tough one to judge with not many nailing this right the way through so far.

The standard started off leaving us to think this could be a cracker, but its tailed off somewhat as we’ve headed past the first quarter and it is very much a case of if you want qualification, grab it by the throat.

All to play for though…

4BR Prediction:

1. Soham Comrades
2. Chinnor Silver
3. Milton Keynes


London and SC

Saturday 18, 16:44:02

Second Section:

8. Grimsdyke (Sharon Broughall)

A rendition that was well directed and put together, but also lost a bit of focus at times.

That was a shame as the opening danced along freely whilst the dark, sombreness of the central section really tickled our taste buds due to its warmth.

The finale was a bit quick in places but it never lacked excitement with an impressive coda.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 16:25:21

Second Section:

7. Yiewsley & West Drayton (Chris Cole)

The Middlesex outfit delivers an account not short on confidence. Boldy coloured, the MD drew out a great deal of passion and drama from within the score.

It came across as a bit heavy at times but there was a lovely darkened melancholy to the middle section.

The joyfulness of the finale is captured to aplomb and whilst not everything came off here in this performance due to scrappiness in places, the approach was admirable and has to be applauded.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 16:12:13

Second Section:

6. Littleport Brass (Nicholas Garman)

One of those readings that had potential, but not totally convinced it came off today.

Nicely styled, the opening had intent, but had some fragilities that took the edge of the musical picture.

The style and character was evident in the second segment, but again unease in the ensemble took the sheen off things although there are some good solo leads.

More purposeful playing as we head for the close with loads of spirit coming through. Once more just some blemishes detract, but styled with good intent this was.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 15:52:20

Second Section:

5. Welwyn Garden City (Graham Chambers)

Welwyn opens with purpose and has real intent. The dance style is very evident and lots to appreciate here.

The central section is relaxed and musical and it works for them. There are some uncertain moments but there are some good lead lines, most notably, euphonium.

The final section is a bit of a mixed bag. The styling is good, but the execution doesn't quite come off. Tiredness creeps in though at the end.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 15:38:31

Second Section:

4. Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)

Opening dances along with clarity and detail coming through but there is a bit of scrappiness floating around.

It's not a bad second movement. The horn and euphonium do well and its nicely styled, but once more there are some treacherous waters to overcome.

To conclude, a well measured final section. It's not beyond them tempo wise and dances along with freedom and not strained. Once more there are some tricky bits to they close well.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 15:23:36

Second Section:

3. St. Sebastian Wokingham (Nigel Howard)

The opening section could dance a little bit more but it has a nice feel to it, but there are some tricky corners to overcome.

The second has an air of fragility about it and whilst it never settled, the style was good from the middle.

Finale is handled full of spirit with tempo markings that are handled well. There is the odd blemish as it heads for the close, but not a bad effort. Nice reading.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 15:03:48

Second Section:

2. Milton Keynes Brass (Bob Stradling)

A hard working account that never lacked effort, sweat or tears.

Each of the three movements never really gelled together but you have to give it to the MD and principal players for holding everything together and keeping the players focussed.

It was a tough contesting day at the office, with tiredness really evident at the end.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 14:59:40

Second Section:

1. Soham Comrades (Jayne Murrill)

A well measured opening account with Jayne Murrill giving the music lots of time and space. There was good detail coming through.

Effective middle section, with a few tricky moments, but perseverance is the name of the game but style is good.

Ditto in the final section, a few cautious moments, but full bloodied close without too much fear.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 14:46:49

Draw

Second Section:

Test Piece: 'Rhapsody in Brass' — Dean Goffin

Adjudicators: Steve Sykes and Dr Roger Webster

1. Soham Comrades (Jayne Murrill)
2. Milton Keynes Brass (Bob Stardling)
3. St. Sebastian Wokingham (Nigel Howard)
4. Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)
5. Welwyn Garden City (Graham Chambers)
6. Littleport Brass (Nicholas Garman)
7. Yiewsley & West Drayton (Chris Cole)
8. Grimsdyke (Sharon Broughall)
9. LGB Brass (Ian Stewart)
10. BAE Systems (Melvin White)
11. Epping Forest (Keith Schroeter)
12. Tilbury (Ben Jones)
13. Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)
14. Wantage Silver 'B' (Danny Dullforce)
15. Waterbeach (Andrew Kershaw)
16. Amersham (Paul Fisher)


London and SC

Saturday 18, 14:41:58

Results

Third Section:

Test Piece: 'Darkwood' (Dan Price)

Adjudicators: David Hirst and Alan Duguid

embedded picture
Christine Wade receives the trophy on behalf of her band Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)

1. Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)*
2. Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)*
3. Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)
4. Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)
5. Olney Brass (Neil Brownless)
6. Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)
7. Cold Ash Brass (Jemma Evans)
8. Hangleton (Richard Baker)
9. Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)
10. Jubilee Brass (Oxford) (Clifford Sadler)
11. Brighton & Hove City Brass (Matthew Hackett)
12. Chichester City (Rom Shanks)
13. East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)
14. Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)

*Top two bands qualify bands for National Final at Cheltenham


London and SC

Saturday 18, 14:05:18

Third Section:

Malcolm Wood's Final Thoughts and prediction

The good news from the other regions who’ve already played the piece in recent weeks is that Darkwood has challenged bands at this level once more; especially when it comes to capturing the various musical styles and putting all of the basics in place.

No one for us really came away unscathed throughout the three movements and it will be tight but

4BR Prediction :

1. Hangleton
2. Tendring Brass
3. Simon Langton Brass
4. Castleton Brass
5. Olney Brass
6. Tadley

DH. Tendring Brass


London and SC

Saturday 18, 13:44:33

Third Section:

14. Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)

It's a bold, colourful opening full of dark and mischief. The cheeky grin says it all, but there has been lots to appreciate here.

The central section is a nice well judged affair with good solo lines and ensemble. It's really having a go here and there is good stuff to close in the concluding section, will lots of optimism.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 13:27:50

Third Section:

13. Chichester City (Rom Shanks)

Chichester delivers an account that improved as it went along. The opening section whilst producing character was a little bit too uneven for our taste.

In the hymnal section, there was some good leading contributions although the ensemble could have been more secure, but it was in the final section where the band really brought out the optimism.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 13:08:23

Third Section:

12. Cold Ash Brass (Jemma Evans)

A Darkwood that certainly had life and spirit, but didn't quite hang together as well as it could have done throughout.

There were dark, mischievous moments early on, but some uncertainties whilst the central section had some warm lyrical sounds.

Tiredness crept in though as the final section came to a close.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 12:52:46

Third Section:

11. Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)

Well the National finalist from Section 4 last September certainly enjoyed their North Manchester historical musical encounter.

Full of dark sounds and mischief, there was plenty of character and good playing amongst the ensemble.

There was character within the central hymnal section. Nice leading sounds and tidy ensemble. We hear optimism within the music come to life and whilst there are some tired lips, plenty to appreciate within this performance.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 12:38:55

Third Section:

10. Olney Brass (Neil Brownless)

A well thought out account that was full of verve & spirit. There was some lovely warm sounds in the central section. Full marks to the MD for keeping the music flowing and bringing out the character of the score too.

There was a couple of times when the dynamic was pushed, but it certainly was exciting.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 12:28:46

Third Section:

9. Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)

Fairlop was the latest to offer potential, but did they quite deliver today?

The opening was dark, broody and a touch naughty whilst there was some lovely lyrical warm sounds in the central section with good lead lines. As they headed for home though, there wasn't always the optimism within the music and there was some tired lips.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 12:12:57

Third Section:

8. Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)

One of those inconsistent readings from Oxford Cherwell. At times there was some really good stuff, but it was blighted by errors.

There was some lovely solo playing on show, and the MD really captured the different musical character of each movement. Just those bits when it sounded a little too fragile for comfort took away the gloss.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 12:05:44

Third Section:

Malcolm Wood's Halfway Thoughts

It's been a contest that in truth has not come to life yet with the bands not always capturing the various styles required.

Picking a leader isn't that easy as no one got away unscathed, but we liked Hangleton, then it's a real scrap.

4BR Prediction:

1. Hangleton
2. Simon Langton Brass
3. Tadley


London and SC

Saturday 18, 11:43:37

Third Section:

7. Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)

What an intriguing one this was. There was a dark, mischievous quality to the opening and the lyrical hymnal sounds in the central interlude.

The final section had drive and pulse, and the compactness of the ensemble was really effective. Just got a little wayward to close, but what a fine effort.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 11:26:08

Third Section:

6. Brighton & Hove City Brass (Matthew Hackett)

Brighton 'nearly nailed it' with a performance that didnt quite live up to all that early promise.

That said, there were some lovely moments and the MD elicited the contrasts in each of the three movements from impish malevolence and biblical reflection to spirited joyfulness. Tiredness crept in though.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 11:22:06

Third Section:

5. Hangleton (Richard Baker)

Well now is this the first band today that has really captured the differing styles to a tee — with a real impish feel to the opening — dark minded and mischievous. It's followed by the warm glow of the chapel on high with the spirited verve of the finale.

Lots to enjoy, led by the MD with some great lead lines. The marker for us.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 11:02:40

Third Section:

4. Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)

Well done to all the sections and the rest of the lead lines for giving that a go.

It was a tough ask at times but the gritted determination shone through so despite the obvious fragilities full marks for the effort ladies and gents.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 10:40:43

Third Section:

3. Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)

A carefully set out and delivered account this. One that had lots to appreciate with MD keeping a tight rein on dynamics and tempos.

It had its fragilities (you suspect many will have today just like the other regions in the more exposed parts), but it benefited from the approach (with great percussion team) with a nice head of steam built up in the final section in particular.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 10:18:58

Third Section:

2. East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)

A nicely worked rendition this. Warm sounds and lyrical intent. There were some tricky elements when the writing was more exposed but great spirit, especially in the final section.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 10:17:54

Third Section:

1. Jubilee Brass (Oxford) (Clifford Sadler)

What a nice confident start this was to the contest. Composed in delivery and nicely styled and shaped.

Light, stylish and delicate, it just had its moments of fragility but wonderful spirit


London and SC

Saturday 18, 10:01:24

Swab for Sykes

Just before we get going in Stevenage, a quick reminder that at both Area events this weekend, you will be able to register to do your bit to see if you can help Stephen Sykes.

If you can, it will be the most important thing you do this weekend.


London and SC

Saturday 18, 09:56:01

Draw

Third Section:

Test Piece: 'Darkwood' — Dan Price

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'Darkwood' located at Boggart Hole Clough inspiration for the set work

Saturday 18th March
Gordon Craig Theatre

Draw: 9.00am
Start: 10.00am

Adjudicators: David Hirst and Alan Duguid

1. Jubilee Brass (Oxford) (Clifford Sadler)
2. East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)
3. Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)
4. Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)
5. Hangleton (Richard Baker)
6. Brighton & Hove City Brass (Matthew Hackett)
7. Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)
8. Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)
9. Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)
10. Olney Brass (Neil Brownless)
11. Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)
12. Cold Ash Brass (Jemma Evans)
13. Chichester City (Rom Shanks)
14. Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)


London and SC

Saturday 18, 09:00:13

Morning from Stevenage

embedded picture
The Gordon Craig Theatre being set-up ready for action

Good morning from the Arts and Leisure Centre in Stevenage where the Gordon Craig theatre is being set up.

The action starts at 10.00am with the Third Section followed later today by Section Two.

If you take the short walk from the train station, you walk past a montage of pictures (with no graffiti on them) of the great and the good who were born in the town or made it famous.

There are quite a few sports people from motor racing's Lewis Hamilton through to Jack Wilshere, Ashley Young from the world of football, in addition to the home team of Stevenage Borough who put the town on the map in the late 1990s when they played Newcastle in the FA Cup.

We wonder then if any of the bands will be immortalized on the wall after this weekend? Whilst its doubtful, all of the bands will be intent with making their mark on the stage, in the hope of qualifying.

The draw for the Third Section takes place at 9.00am and we will post once the judges go in the box.

Join us later on, till then its brew time.


London and SC

Thursday 16, 11:37:34

London & Southern Counties line-up

Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Pageantry' — Herbert Howells
Sunday 19th March
Gordon Craig Theatre
Draw 1.00pm
Commence: 3.30pm
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Steve Sykes

Aveley & Newham (Robert Nunnery)
East London Brass (Jayne Murrill)
East of England Co-operative (Nigel Cooper)
Friary Guildford (Chris King)
Haverhill Silver (Mark Ager)
Medway (Melvin White)
Northfleet Brass (Melvin White)
Redbridge Brass (Jeremy Wise)
Staines Brass (TBC)
Thundersley Brass (Nigel Taken)
Wantage Silver (Craig Patterson)
Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)

First Section:

Test Piece: 'Land of the Long White Cloud' — Philip Sparke
Sunday 19th March
Gordon Craig Theatre
Draws: 9.00am and 11.00am
Commence: 10.00am
Adjudicators: Dr Roger Webster and Chris Wormald

Alder Valley (Lee Woodward)
Becontree Brass (Nigel Taken)
Bedford Town (Steve Phillips)
Cawston (Leigh Sharpe)
Chiltern Hills Brass (Gordon Davies)
City of Cambridge (Peter Bassano)
Colchester (David Maddocks)
Egham (Gareth Green)
Epsom & Ewell Silver (Paul Graham)
Fulham (John Ward)
Hitchin (Graham Chambers)
Horsham Borough (Mark McLaughlin)
Jersey Premier Brass (Tim Pritchard)
Kidlington Concert Brass (Duncan Wilson)
Regent Brass (Paul Archibald)
Sandhurst Silver (Andrew Porter)
Ware Brass (Phillip Littlemore)

Second Section:

Test Piece: 'Rhapsody in Brass' — Dean Goffin
Saturday 19th March
Gordon Craig Theatre
Draw: 1.00pm
Start: After the Third Section results, but not before 2.30pm
Adjudicators: Steve Sykes and Dr Roger Webster

Amersham (Paul Fisher)
BAE Systems (Melvin White)
Chinnor Silver (David Pegram)
Epping Forest (Keith Schroeter)
Grimsdyke (Sharon Broughall)
Hungerford Town (Tim Crouter)
LGB Brass (Ian Stewart)
Littleport Brass (Nicholas Garman)
Milton Keynes Brass (Bob Stardling)
Soham Comrades (Jayne Murrill)
St. Sebastian Wokingham (Nigel Howard)
Tilbury (Ben Jones)
Wantage Silver 'B' (Danny Dullforce)
Waterbeach (Andrew Kershaw)
Welwyn Garden City (Graham Chambers)
Yiewsley & West Drayton (Chris Cole)

Third Section:

Test Piece: 'Darkwood' — Dan Price
Saturday 18th March
Gordon Craig Theatre
Draw: 9.00am
Start: 10.00am
Adjudicators: David Hirst and Alan Duguid

Brighton & Hove City Brass (Matthew Hackett)
Castleton Brass (Peter Ryan)
Chichester City (Rom Shanks)
Cold Ash Brass (Jemma Evans)
East Coast Brass (Paul Speed)
Fairlop Brass (Kevin Jordan)
Hangleton (Richard Baker)
Hemel Hempstead (David Edmonds)
Jubilee Brass (Oxford) (Clifford Sadler)
Olney Brass (TBC)
Oxford Cherwell Brass (Terry Brotherhood)
Simon Langton Brass (David Cutting)
Tadley Concert Brass (Paul Chapman)
Tendring Brass (Antony Sanders)

Fourth Section:

Test Piece: St Andrews Variations' — Alan Fernie
Sunday 19th March
Main Hall
Draws: 10.30am & 12.30pm
Start: 11.30am
Adjudicators: Alan Duguid and Steve Pritchard-Jones

Abbey Brass (Rob Tompkins)
Bletchington Silver (Sheldon Barwick)
Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
City of Norwich Brass (Andrew Craze)
Cottenham Brass (Peter Mackley)
Crystal Palace (Michael Gray)
Great Yarmouth (Colin Swaep)
Hadstock Silver (Di Pannell)
Letchworth Garden City (Tim Welch)
North London Brass (Martyn Stogden)
Pangbourne & District Silver (Stewart Lewins)
Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
Royston Town (Steve Earley)
Snowdown Colliery (Andy Collins)
Wantage Academy (Nikki Jones)
Watford (Ian Graves)
Witney Town (Rhys Owens)
Woodbridge Excelsior (Chris Lewis-Garnham)



Gloucestershire Brass Band Association - Own Choice March & Test Piece Contest

Sunday 19 November • All Saints’ Academy. Blaisdon Way. Cheltenham GL51 0WH


Rotherham Schools' Youth Brass Band - Fountain City Brass Band

Monday 20 November • Rotherham Minster - Rotherham s60 1pd


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


The Corsham Band

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


Chinnor Silver

November 20 • Despite winning the 2nd section at the GBBA contest we still need a Bb BASS to complete our line up. Good but realistic book of concerts and concerts planned.. We have well attended rehearsals on a Wednesday in our own bandroom.


Hucknall & Linby Brass

November 20 • Hucknall and Linby Band - 2nd section- Require a front row cornet player. We rehearse Thursdays 7.30 -9.30 in Hucknall, Nottingham. With great transport links to the city centre and the universities.


Alan Duguid

BA (Hons), PGDipMus, PGCE
Conductor, Composer, Adjudicator (ABBA)