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Reading, Steady, Go.

We give a preview and customary dodgy prediction for this weekends contest in Reading.


Reading, Steady, Go

The 65th Reading Contest takes place this weekend, the 10th November at the Victorian Concert Hall on Blagrave Street in the city. 15 bands have accepted invitations as we go to press, to play Philip Sparke’s, Partita.

The line up is as follows: Aldbourne, B.T.M., Bournemouth Concert, Capitol Concert, City of Coventry, City of Oxford, Clacton on Sea Cooperatives, First City Brass, Hyde, Parc and Dare, Redbridge Brass, Regent Brass, Rolls Royce (Coventry), Swindon Pegasus and Thornbury.

Although not the strongest line up of top section bands, it’s a very interesting set of ensembles and should provide good entertainment.

There’s a fairly full representation from London and the Southern Counties, with some of the bands that didn’t quite make it to the Albert Hall this year in attendance.

One of the favourites to take the title should be First City Brass who had a bit of a nightmare in coming 5th at the Regional qualifiers in March and also came a disappointing 13th at the Grand Shield. Another who played at both contests are Rolls Royce (Coventry) who up to a couple of years ago were competing at the British Open. They too had disappointing Regionals coming home in 7th place and fell away to 16th at the Grand Shield. Parc and Dare and BTM make the trip from Wales with BTM showing real signs of a return to form of late with a couple of good results at Wychavon, Porthcawl and 9th place at Pontins in the last month, whilst Parc and Dare will be hoping to improve on a poor showing at Prestatyn where they came home in 21st place and 20th at the Senior Cup.

Clacton on Sea Cooperative will also be hoping to improve on their form from the Regionals were they came home 9th, whilst City of Oxford who came 3rd at the Regionals in London and just missed out on a trip to the Finals and then came home 12th at the Senior Cup could be up amongst the prizes. Regent Brass could also show well if they approach the form that saw them come 6th at London in March, whilst Redbridge have been a good band for more than a few years and will be putting up a hard challenge if their 4th place at the Areas is anything to go by.

The West of England sends over a fair representation with Aldbourne (7th at the Area), Bournemouth Concert (10th), Hyde (8th), Swindon Pegasus (9th) all hoping to do well. Thornbury travel as winners of the First Section at the West of England Areas, but they limped home in 13th at the Finals in Preston and could be up against it in this company, although they dropped out of Pontins and should be well prepared.

City of Coventry Brass are another 1st Section band who came 5th at the Midlands Regionals in March, whilst we are afraid we know next to nothing about Capitol Concert so we can’t comment on their chances at the moment.

Should be a good day out though, and we’ll try and bring you the results as soon as we get them.

4BR (very, very dodgy!) Prediction:

First City Brass
Redbridge Bras
Bournemouth Concert
Rolls Royce (Coventry)
City of Oxford

Dark Horse: Regent Brass.


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Howard J Evans

MA (Dist), Mus.B (hons), ARCM (hons), LRAM, LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, composer, arranger, tutor and pianist