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Take 5: Bands to watch out for in 2017

4BR picks five UK bands, each from a different section, to keep an eye out for in 2017

Take Five
  We pick five bands to watch out for in 2017 — and not just to stop the 4BR 'Kiss of Death'.

4BR picks five bands, each from a different section, to keep an eye out for in 2017 — and not just to overcome the curse of our traditional 'Kiss of Death' predictions to hear their names mentioned in the results come contest time.

Admirable

All five go about their business in an admirable way — focusing on collective long term aims and objectives and not just on how to survive to the next contest stage appearance.


1. Championship Section: Fairey Band

There has been a quiet musical revolution going on in Stockport over the last few years — led by the 'Marple Maestro' Garry Cutt, ably assisted by Tom Davoren and a backroom team that have sought to make an increasingly successful mark on everything they undertake.

They are now a very serious contender at every major championship (and have already qualified for the 2018 Europeans) but they also actively seek out innovative, interesting projects to be part of as well. 2017 could be a very significant year indeed.


2. First Section: Eccles Borough Band

A famous old banding name (they won the British Open back in 1930), but one that has made long term incremental progress under the baton of Musical Director Mareika Gray since her appointment in 2010.

Then they were in the Third Section, but in 2017 they will compete in the First Section boosted by a remarkable 'double' at the Wychavon Contest in November that saw them become the first band to win both the First and Championship Sections on the same day. A band and MD that know exactly which musical direction they are heading.


3. Second Section: J36 Brass

Named rather unromantically by a group of friends after a spur on the M6 motorway in Cumbria near Kendal and Kirkby Lonsdale, J36 Brass was formed in January 2016 but has already made a huge impact on the banding scene in the north of England and beyond, with exciting plans for long term development already in the pipeline.

They have already won three of the four contests they have entered (and came second at the other at the National Finals) and employ a welcome form of democracy to their banding endeavors — with the players and conductor all paying subs each rehearsal and each having an equal vote on banding matters.


4. Third Section: Whitburn Heartlands Band

A fantastic blueprint (make that tartan) of how to set up a band within a larger musical organisation to ensure everyone benefits.

This is all about developing players and imbuing them with a sense of musical self achievement — the second step on a ladder of progression (the first is a super Beginner Group) that hopefully sees them become fully fledged members of the current Champion Band of Scotland (and a few have already done it) or go on and enjoy their playing at different levels with local bands in the Whitburn area and beyond. A band with its heart in the right place in more ways than one.


5. Fourth Section: Wantage Academy Brass

The Academy is part of an incredibly well run organisation (based near Newbury in Berkshire) that boats a high quality Championship Section outfit, B Band, Concert Brass Band, Trainer Band, Beginners Group and Big Band under the one musical umbrella.

It is also one that has admirably clear aims and objectives, is led by a great MD and simply enjoys making music together. The contest results are of secondary importance to getting youngsters involved and inspired — with a masterclass with Roger Webster already booked in for the New Year.



Yamaha Neo

Interview with Yamaha on the new Neo euphonium launch

January 16 • 4BR Editor Iwan Fox talks to Jeremy Smith of Yamaha to find out more about the launch of the brand new Neo and Custom euphonium.


Flowers Cheer

Report & Results: 2018 Butlins Mineworkers Championships: Championship Section

January 14 • Flowers regain contest prestige and ambition with Butlins victory under David Childs.


Butlins

Results: 2018 Butlins Mineworkers Youth Section & Junior Ensemble

January 14 • It's Butlins joy for 3BA Brass and Shirland as they take the Youth and Junior titles in Skegness


Eccles Borough — Butlins 2108

Results: 2018 Butlins Mineworkers Championships: Sections 1-4

January 13 • Butlins titles and big money payouts for Eccles Borough, Haydock, Hoover Bolton and Stamford Brass as the 2018 contesting year gets underway in Skegness.


Regent Hall Concerts - RAF Wind Soloists

Friday 19 January • Charlton House. Charlton Road. London. SE7 8RE SE7 8RE


Black Dyke Band - Morley Town Hall

Saturday 20 January • Morley Town Hall, Morley, Leeds LS27 8DX


Wantage Silver - Gary Curtin

Saturday 20 January • Reading Central Salvation Army RG1 7JR


The Brighouse & Rastrick Band - EYMS Brass Band at Hull City Hall

Saturday 20 January • Hull City Hall. 67 Carr Lane,. Kingston upon Hull HU1 3RQ


The Hepworth Band - Soprano Sarah Ogden

Sunday 21 January • Christ Church, Sude Hill, New Mill, Holmfirth HD9 7BL


Derwent Brass

January 17 • Derwent Brass | Championship | Midlands invites applications for PERCUSSION. At Derwent Brass percussion is an important and integral part of the band. We are looking for a talented percussionist, ideally with good tuned ability, to complete the section.


Milnrow Band

January 17 • *PRINCIPAL TROMBONE*. The Milnrow Band has a vacancy for Principal trombone.. Our own Bandroom is easily accessible by car (J21 M62) or by the Manchester Metrolink.


Milnrow Band

January 17 • *Cornet Vacancies* Due to maternity leave and work commitments, The Milnrow Band has immediate vacancies for 2 FIRST CLASS CORNET PLAYERS (positions negotiable). Our own Bandroom is easily accessible by car (J21 M62) or by the Manchester Metrolink.


Alan Fernie

DRSAM, Dip.NCOS
Arranger, composer, adjudicator, conductor