St GeorgesResults: 2011 Yorkshire Regional Championship

5-Mar-2011
Titles for Brighouse & Rastrick, Hammonds Saltaire, South Yorkshire Police, Horbury Victoria and Dinnington at Bradford.

Brighouse & Rastrick conducted by Professor David King left a stunned audience in a haze of deep purple brilliance on Sunday evening at St George’s Hall, as they delivered a superb performance of ‘Paganini Variations’ to retain their Yorkshire Regional title.

Simply had everything

Adjudicator’s Stan Lippeatt and David Read MBE told 4BR that the winning performance - ‘...simply had everything’.

Joining

Joining them and the already pre qualified Rothwell Temperance in London following an evening of unfolding drama, will be Hepworth and Carlton Main Frickley, after they claimed the two qualification places, denying Black Dyke and Grimethorpe in the process.

As the Brighouse players celebrated on stage, a modest MD, who was to fly back to Australia on Monday, before returning in time for the English Nationals, paid tribute to a band that he believed still has yet to fulfil its potential.

More to come

"We’re building very nicely," he said. "It was a great performance today from everyone. There is plenty more to come though."

He also paid tribute to the work of Resident Conductor Sandy Smith, as well the new influx of players—including the first women to play for the West Riding band.

"Sandy is doing a wonderful job," he added. "It's great to work with him. The band is so well focussed because of what he does. It was a team effort today, but I must mention the girls. They have brought an extra dimension to this brilliant band."

Reception

That was certainly seen by the reception given to flugel player Lucy Murphy. She was brought to the front of the stage by the MD to receive the thunderous applause which rang around the hall for a good 5 minutes before Brighouse left the stage.

However, it was the band’s solo trombone player Chris Gommersall who took the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ prize, appropriately awarded in memory of the late Brighouse Treasurer Eddie Noble, whilst the ‘Best Soloist’ prize went to Grimethorpe’s euphonium player Michael Dodd.

Fervent celebration

There were equally fervent celebrations to be found in local bars from the supporters of Hepworth and Carlton Main, after they claimed their Albert Hall berths

However, they were audible gasps in the packed hall as first, Black Dyke, and then Grimethorpe, were revealed to have missed out due to their fifth and fourth places respectively.

Disbelief

Hepworth’s Matthew Tinker almost wore an expression of disbelief as he clutched the second place Lou Renshaw Trophy after Russell Gray had directed a high class performance of excitement and pace to close the contest.

Meanwhile, Carlton Main’s persuasively controlled rendition under Philip McCann saw band rep Ray Syke’s reading his programme a second and third time to make sure his band was making the trip back to London for a second year in a row.

Delighted

Philip was delighted that Carlton Main would return to Kensington. "I really pleased. I thought the band did exactly what I wanted from them."

If there were celebrations in some pubs, there was deep depression to be found in others, as both Grimethorpe and Black Dyke failed to impress the men in the box to get to London.

Didn't do enough

The Queensbury band ‘didn’t do enough’ off the number 1 draw under Dr Nicholas Childs according to the judges, to miss out on a podium place for the third consecutive year and fail to claim a London finals place for the first time in over a decade.

Grimethorpe meanwhile will have to make other October plans for a third consecutive year, after their performance under Allan Withington’s baton also failed to leave a lasting impression off the number 6 draw.

'Adjudicator’s Stan Lippeatt and David Read MBE told 4BR that the winning performance, '...simply had everything''

~ 4BR

Disappointment

There was a touch of disappointment for supporter’s of Rothwell Temperance, offset by the knowledge that the band had already pre-qualified for the finals under David Roberts, as their spacious account ended in sixth place.

Really superb

Before the announcement of the results, both Stan Lippeatt and David Read gave detailed remarks to an increasingly expectant hall, stating that they had heard, ‘five top drawer performances’, with top two in particular, ‘really superb’.

David’s remark that they, ‘listened entirely with our ears’, ‘with no visual distraction’ may have been a hostage to fortune for some die in the wool fans of Dyke and Grimethorpe.

Stunning

However, for supporters of the qualifiers, and of Brighouse & Rastrick in particular, there was no doubt those ears had listened to something quite stunningly brilliant from the West Riding band under their inspirational Australian conductor.

First Section

There was long overdue celebrations—12 months in fact - for a band David King also holds close to his heart, as Hammonds Saltaire claimed the First Section title with a performance under Morgan Griffiths he himself would have been proud of directing.

Something to spare

After the travails last year where they failed to impress the judges, Hammonds delivered a scorching performance of ‘Le Carnival Romain’ off the number 1 draw at 9.15am, to seal their place at Cheltenham with something to spare.

Euphonium player Matthew Allsop won the ‘Best Soloist’ prize for his outstanding lyrical contribution in the opening aria section.

Future

The MD celebrated with his band on stage, and told 4BR that he was delighted that Bradford now holds new memories.

"Last year in now history,” he said. “This is a win for the future. Even with the number 1 draw I knew just how well we were playing—and I can’t have asked for anything more today. I’m so pleased for everyone. They deserved it.”

Great playing

It was perhaps the clearest victory in any of the competitions on the weekend, with adjudicators David Horsfield and Barry Thompson describing it as, ‘simply outstanding—great playing’.

Joining them at Cheltenham will be another famous ex top section name—Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel after their powerful performance under the direction of David Nesbitt proved enough to pip rivals City of Sheffield conducted by Miles Davison.

Second Section

The Brighouse success connection was maintained in the Second Section on Saturday afternoon as Leigh Baker—for many years the outstanding baritone player at the West Riding band, led South Yorkshire Police to a well deserved victory on ‘Resurgam’.

Ball control

The MD revealed a rather intriguing explanation for the success—‘Ball control’—although he was not referring to any new football skills, but a deeper understanding from his players of just how to approach and perform the iconic work.

“I tried to get the players to appreciate just how beautiful this piece is—and how difficult it is to deliver a performance that showed all its subtleties. We worked on hymn tunes such as ‘Crimond’ time and time again to ensure we got what I called that ‘(Eric) Ball control’ just right.”

Handsome

Leigh’s work paid off handsomely as his band took the honours on a day when ‘Resurgam’ once again bared its musical teeth, with principal cornet player Leisa Mallalieu taking the ‘Best Soloist’ prize for her fine contribution.

Very clear

Adjudicator’s John Roberts and Philip Harper took ample opportunity to tell the audience just how they came about their decision—taking close to 15 minutes in their detailed summing up.

“The top two bands were very clear,” Phil said, whilst John added, “The top two were absolutely very clear, with a good third and decent fourth and fifth.”

Joining South Yorkshire Police at the finals will be Barnsley Chronicle, led by Rob Straw, who pipped defending champion Knottingley Silver conducted by Dr Owen Wedgwood into third.

Third Section

There was a highly enjoyable Third Section contest to sit back and savour on Sunday afternoon, as composer Professor Philip Wilby certainly did, as he listened to all 12 performances of his ‘A Little Light Music’.

Triangle revenge

And despite modestly describing the work as ‘the triangle player’s revenge’—after he revealed that he once was a fledgling contest percussionist, it was obvious that the piece was much, much more than that as it took some considerable playing on the day.

The two best bands in the opinion of the judges found favour in the hall too, with Horbury Victory’s well paced detailed approach conducted by the experienced Duncan Beckley claiming victory off the number 1 draw.

Pushed all the way

They were pushed all the way by City of Bradford, directed by the flamboyant Lee Skipsey, who very nearly claimed their first Area victory under their new name, with the MD even turning to the audience before the last note to accept the anticipated applause for his band’s efforts.

Adjudicator’s Phil Harper and Paul Norley were impressed by what they had heard, although Paul did state that as always, ‘it was a question of consistency’, and that some bands, ‘had fared better than others’.

Both noted that an aggressive approach undermined many efforts from some contenders.

Quintet celebration

The only downside for the new champion was that just five of the band made it to the stage with representative John Craven to join in the celebrations.

“They’re already in the pub,” he said. “After we didn’t compete last year, most of the band thought it best if we went straight there to find out what happened first!”

Painful

Meanwhile, ‘Best Soloist’ winner Tim Pool of City of Bradford also revealed that his personal success had come at a painful price too:

“I had a canoeing accident last week that left me with a split lip and cut nose, so to win the prize is amazing,” he said as he showed 4BR the evidence of his injuries, before shooting off to join his band in their Cheltenham celebrations.

Fourth Section

Yorkshire will send two highly competitive bands to Cheltenham in the Fourth Section according to adjudicator’s Stuart Fawcett and Stan Lippeatt, after they enjoyed 12 varied performances on Saturday.

Finals berth

In the end it was Dinnington Colliery, conducted by Jonathan Beatty who went one better than 2010 to claim their first Area title since 2003.

They will be joined there by Dronfield CMW, as the Butlins champion made a successful cross border move from the Midlands to Yorkshire to claim their finals berth.

“I’m a happy man,” Jonathan said breathlessly as he clutched the Area trophy and enjoyed the celebrations on stage. “We had to work really hard for this as we only had two top row cornet payers and one percussionist on the day. The band responded brilliantly though and fully deserve the win.”

Taste of victory

Certainly enjoying the taste of victory were the famous Dinnington ladies, with the wonderful sisters Joan and Kay joined by daughters Sally, Penny and Joanne in the celebrations and congratulations.

It was much the same feeling for Dronfield too as principal cornet player Adrian Wood, who won the ‘Best Soloist’ award revealed. “We were apprehensive before we played, as coming to Yorkshire was a big step. But I think we showed just how good a band we are, and we can now start fund raising for Cheltenham.”

Just missing out on the trip was third placed Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge) conducted by Barry Thompson, whilst Stan Lippeatt revealed that the top two bands certainly stood out for Stuart and himself.

Mixed playing

“There was some mixed playing today,” he said. “The top two though stood out from the rest, although there was little to choose between the pair themselves. It was a question of consistency, but these two bands were excellent and will represent Yorkshire very well.”

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Results:

Championship Section:
Sunday 6th March

Test Piece: Paganini Variations (Philip Wilby)
Adjudicator: Stan Lippeatt & David Read MBE

1. Brighouse & Rastrick (Prof. David King)**
2. Hepworth (Russell Gray)*
3. Carlton Main Frickley (Phillip McCann)*
4. Grimethorpe Colliery (Allan Withington)
5. Black Dyke (Dr Nicholas Childs)
6. Rothwell Temperance (David Roberts)**
7. Skelmanthorpe (John Roberts)
8. Marsden Silver Prize (Glyn Williams)
9. Wakefield Metropolitan (Norman Law)
10. Drighlington (Jim Davies)
11. Hebden Bridge (Kevin Wadsworth)
12. Hade Edge (Simon Wood)

* Two bands qualified for National Finals
** pre-qualified for National Finals

Best Soloist: Chris Gomerall (trombone) - Brighouse & Rastrick
Best Instrumentalist: Michael Dodd (euphonium) - Grimethorpe


First Section:
Sunday 6th March

Test Piece: Le Carnival Romain (Hector Berlioz arr Frank Wright)
Adjudicator: David Horsfield & Barry Thompson

1. Hammonds Saltaire (Morgan Griffiths)*
2. Yorkshire Imperial Urquhart Travel (David Nesbitt)*
3. City of Sheffield (Miles Davison)
4. Frickley/South Elmsall (David Nichols)
5. Stannington (Derek Renshaw)
6. Powerfuel Hatfield (Graham O'Connor)
7. Kippax (David Lancaster)
8. Meltham & Meltham Mills (Robin Morgan)
9. Grange Moor (Nicholas Payne)

Best Instrumentalist: Matthew Allsop (euphonium) - Hammonds Saltaire

*Two bands qualify for the finals

Second Section:
Saturday 5th March

Test Piece: Resurgam (Eric Ball)
Adjudicator: Philip Harper & John Roberts

1. South Yorkshire Police (Leigh Baker)*
2. Barnsley Chronicle (Rob Straw)*
3. Knottingley Silver (Dr Owen Wedgewood)
4. Strata Brass (David Hirst)
5. Lindley (Neil Jowett)
6. Clifton & Lightcliffe (John Clay)
7. Dodworth M.W. (Eliot Darwin)
8. Slaithwaite (Tabby Clegg)
9. Rockingham (Roland Spencer)
10. Wetherby & District (Alan Seymour)
11. Garforth Brass (Steven Bailey)
12. Emley (Garry Hallas)

Best Instrumentalist: Leisa Mallalieu (cornet) - South Yorkshire Police

*Two bands qualify for the finals


Third Section:
Sunday 6th March

Test Piece: A Little Light Music (Philip Wilby)
Adjudicator: Philip Harper & Major Paul Norley

1. Horbury Victoria (Duncan Beckley)*
2. City of Bradford (Lee Skipsey)*
3. Chapeltown Silver (Andrew Dennis)
4. Elland Silver (James Shepherd)
5. Lofthouse 2000 (Andrew Whitaker)
6. Crofton Silver (Tim Sidwell)
7. Skelmanthorpe 'B' (Philip Garlick)
8. Worsbrough Brass (John K Hopkinson)
9. Huddersfield & Ripponden (Andrew Coe)
10. Thurcroft Welfare (Ken Vernon)
11. Gawthorpe Brass '85' (John Edward)
12. Maltby Miner's Welfare (Terry Clifford)

Best Instrumentalist: Tim Pool (cornet) - City of Bradford

*Two bands qualify for the finals


Fourth Section:
Saturday 5th March

Test Piece: Prelude, Song & Dance (John Golland)
Adjudicator: J. Stuart Fawcett & Stan Lippeatt

1. Dinnington Colliery (Jonathan Beatty)*
2. Dronfield CMW (John Davis)*
3. Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge) (Barry Thompson)
4. Golcar (Michael J Cox)
5. Barnsley Metropolitan (Alex Francis)
6. Armthorpe Elmfield (Haydn Griffiths MBE)
7. Oughtibridge (Gavin Somerset)
8. Linthwaite (G. Pulleyn)
9. Clifton & Lightcliffe 'B' (John Clay)
10. Wilsden (Ken Lee)
11. Deepcar (Lindon Bolt)
12. Yorkshire Traction Honley (Wayne Bostock)

Best Instrumentalist: Adrian Wood (Solo cornet) - Dronfield CMW
Youngest Player: Matthew Lawrence - Friendly Band (Sowerby Bridge)

*Two bands qualify for the finals


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