2004 Spring Festival - Senior Trophy - Band by band analysis


4BR casts its eye over the bands trying to get one of the four promotion places up for grabs in the Senior Trophy. These are the 19 bands taking part on Saturday.

Conductor: Nigel Seaman
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200

Principal Cornet: Chris Lewis
Soprano Cornet: Richard Hughes
Flugel: Claudia Tomkins
Solo Horn: Clare Smith
Solo Euphonium: Paul Smith
Solo Trombone: Robert Marsh

Form at Blackpool:

2003: 17th Senior Cup (rel) (I. Holmes)
2002: 6th Senior Trophy (prom) (I. Holmes)

2004 Form Guide:

The band come to the contest off the back of coming 4th in the First Section at the West of England Regional Championships in Torquay where they were conducted by Melvin White. They were a bit unlucky that day not to have come higher in our opinion, and they have turned to the experienced Nigel Seaman from the National Orchestra of Wales to lead them in their attempt to get back to the Senior Cup after they wee relegated last year.

Brian GrantBHK (UK) Horden
Conductor: Brian Grant
4BR Ranking: 55

Principal Cornet: Andrew Holmes
Soprano Cornet: Mark Rodgers
Flugel: Tina Mortimer
Solo Horn: Paul Vickers
Solo Euphonium: Andrew Marsh
Solo Trombone: Paul Cutler

Form at Blackpool:
Debut at contest this year

2004 Form Guide:

After a fantastic 2003, 2004 started in much the same vein as filled with renewed confidence the bad made its debut in the Championship Section in the North East and produced a very fine performance under the baton of Major Peter Parkes to come home 4th. That should set them up nicely to do well here and they have taken the step of employing another experienced MD in the shape of Brian Grant.

Broxburn Public
Conductor: Archie Hutchison
4BR Ranking: 80

Principal Cornet: Stuart Macauley
Soprano Cornet: Ian Ross
Flugel: Joe Hughes
Solo Horn: Eileen Jenkins
Solo Euphonium: Willie Downie
Solo Trombone: Mark Bell

Form at Blackpool:
Debut at contest this year.

2004 Form Guide:

Broxburn make their debut at the new Senior Trophy contest this year under the baton of the experienced campaigner Archie Hutchison. They found things a bit tough at the Scottish Regional Championships in March this year when they came 10th and last in the Championship Section, so they will be looking to put that behind them and produce a good result here.

Stephen CooperCity of Coventry
Conductor: Stephen Cooper
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200

Principal Cornet: Ian Rochester
Soprano Cornet: Paul Lay
Flugel: Debbie Bailey
Solo Horn: Val Bell
Solo Euphonium: David Scott
Solo Trombone: Mark Tribble

Form at Blackpool:
2003: 7th (P. Bailey)

2004 Form Guide:

A change of MD for City of Coventry at the contest as the excellent Stephen Cooper takes over the reins from Philip Bailey who led the band into 7th place on their debut a twelve month ago. They come to the contest looking for a decent return under the new baton as well, as they disappointed at the Midland Regional Championships were they came 12th out of a 13 band field.

Denis HadfieldDobcross Silver
Conductor: Denis Hadfield
4BR Ranking: 52

Principal Cornet: Laura Hirst
Soprano Cornet: Rebecca Crawshaw
Flugel: Christina Saunders
Solo Horn: Carly Thorp
Solo Euphonium: John Collins
Solo Trombone: Daniel Brooks

Form at Blackpool:
Debut at the contest this year

2004 Form Guide:

One of the up and coming bands in the North West, Denis Hadfield and his band came 7th at the Blackpool Regional Contest against some very tough opposition indeed. That will have give them the confidence to do well here something the MD himself is not short of, as he knows what it takes to win the Grand Shield itself. Ones to look out for we think.

Kidlington Concert
Conductor: Catherine Underwood
4BR Ranking: 119

Principal Cornet: Nigel Membury
Soprano Cornet: Alex Lakeland
Flugel: Dick Cox
Solo Horn: Jeff Raymont
Solo Euphonium: Grant Charleston
Solo Trombone: Andy Flaxman

Form at Blackpool:
Debut at the contest this year.

2004 Form Guide:

Kidlington started off 2004 a bit disappointingly as they could only manage 12th place at the Yeovil contest, but they certainly out that behind them at the London and Southern Counties Regional Contest when they came 5th in a large field and were just two points off claiming a podium place. Catherine Underwood continues to direct the band with good sense and talent and they could make a mark here if things go to plan.

Gavin LindsayJohnstone Band
Conductor: Gavin Lindsay
4BR Ranking: 113

Principal Cornet: Sarah Findlay
Soprano Cornet: N/K
Flugel: Fiona MacLuskey
Solo Horn: Laura Barker
Solo Euphonium: John Stark
Solo Trombone: Angus MacIntyre

Form at Blackpool:
2003: 13th (R. Tennant)
2002: 13th (R. Tennant)

2004 Form Guide:

Johnstone will certainly be coming to Blackpool determined to put a very disappointing Regional Championship result behind them. In Motherwell they could only manage 8th place in the First Section under the baton of Raymond Tennant. A new man is at the helm now though with ex Scottish Co-op soprano star and Lochgelly MD, Gavin Lindsay taking over. He may have a lot of work to do, and they will be looking to improve on last years 13th place for sure.

Kevin BelcherKnottingley Silver
Conductor: Kevin Belcher
4BR Ranking: 86

Principal Cornet: Andrew Belcher
Flugel: Steven Clayton
Solo Horn: Roger Clayton
Solo Euphonium: Bill Lyon
Solo Trombone: Phil Clarke

Form at Blackpool:
Making debut at contest this year.

2004 Form Guide:

The Yorkshire band had a fine 2003, and made the step up to the daunting Championship Section in Bradford in March where they performed admirably against very strong competition to come 14th. That might seem a por result on paper, but with a very difficult set work and a field that contained some of the best bands in the UK it was a fine enough return. They will be hoping therefore to have gained a lot from that experience and will be hoping to make a mark here on their debut.

Conductor: Stephen Booth
4BR Ranking: 111

Principal Cornet: Chris Blaylock
Soprano Cornet: Mathew Balson
Solo Horn: Kevan Henderson
Solo Euphonium: Martin Bridges
Solo Trombone: Rebecca Stead
Flugel: Carol Blaylock

Form at Blackpool:
2003: 11th (B. Baker)

2004 Form Guide:
Longridge come to Blackpool after struggling a little here at the North West Regional Championships when they could only manage 10th place under the direction of Black Dyke star Brett Baker. Admittedly it was against a very strong field, but they will be looking to show better form here under the baton of Stephen Booth. Last year they came 11th, so a couple more steps up the ladder at least is the least of the expectations.

Martyn EvansMossley
Conductor: Martyn Evans
4BR Ranking: 89

Principal Cornet: Nicky Longden
Soprano Cornet: Trevor Hamilton
Solo Horn: Ian Wilkinson
Solo Euphonium: Neil Riley
Solo Trombone: Gavin Sever
Flugel: Helen Stonehouse

Form at Blackpool:
2003: 18th (M. Evans)
2002: 18th Senior Cup (rel) (J. Davies)

2004 Form Guide:

Mossley will certainly be looking for an improvement on fortunes here this year after being relegated from the Senior Cup in 2002 and then suffering a very disappointing 18th place here twelve months ago. Martyn Evans has a fine track record with all the bands he takes, but he may have his work cut out to make an impression this time around. The band come though on a bit of upturned form as they were place 3rd in the First Section at the North West Regional Championships.

Brett BakerNorthop
Conductor: Brett Baker
4BR Ranking: 73

Principal Cornet: Sarah Baker
Soprano Cornet: Karl Stott
Flugel: Carol Hughes
Solo Horn: Rob Fleming
Solo Euphonium: Richard Hird
Solo Trombone: Daniel Sheard

Form at Blackpool:
2003: 17th (K. Bolton)
2002: 17th Senior Cup (rel) (C. Roberts)
2001: 8th (I. Porthouse)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: 20th Grand Shield (rel) (T. Wyss)
1997: 4th (T. Wyss)
1996 5th (T. Wyss)
1995: 3rd (T. Wyss)

2004 Form Guide:

Brett Bater has turned things around at Northop in the last year or so and the North Wales band will make the trip to Blackpool confident of continuing that improvement. They were 17th here last year under Kevin Bolton, but they showed glimpses of real classy playing in the Welsh Regional Championships when they came 9th to show that shouldn't be repeated again. A fine record over the years just a decade ago they were nearly at the British Open itself. The recovery starts here then.

Alan LawtonPemberton Old Wigan
Conductor: Alan Lawton
4BR Ranking: 54

Principal Cornet: Joanne Johnson
Soprano Cornet: Eddie Hill
Flugel: Carina Halliwell
Solo Horn: Peter Lyons
Solo Euphonium: N/K
Solo Trombone: Stephen Breen

Form at Blackpool:
2003: 19th Senior Cup (rel) (G. Cutt)
2002: Winners Senior Trophy (prom) (A. Lawton)

2004 Form Guide:

Such are the vagrancies of the brass band contest that last year Pemberton came last at the Senior Cup contest after wining promotion the year before as champions of the Senior Trophy. All that with Garry Cutt no less at the helm! He is off trying to get Leyland back in the British Open, so the band has returned to that great band trainer Alan Lawton to direct them here. He as at the helm when they won in 2002, so confidence should be high, especially as they won the First Section of the North West Regional Championships just a couple of months ago.

John DavisRiddings
Conductor: John Davis
4BR Ranking: 123

Principal Cornet: Kevin Mantle
Soprano Cornet: Richard Mason
Flugel: Pam Davies
Solo Horn: Barbara Ostle
Solo Euphonium: Brian Hanson
Solo Trombone: Clare Bond

Form at Blackpool:
2003: 8th (J. Davis)
2002: 14th (J. Davis)

2004 Form Guide:

Riddings will be looking to continue the upwardly mobile progress they have shown here at the contest in the last two years. 14th in 2002 was upped to 8th last time out so another performance like that and they could be playing in the Senior Cup next year. John Davis continues to do excellent work with the band, and confidence should be high as they come to the contest after claiming a place at the First Section National Finals after coming runners up at the Midlands Regional Championships.

Paul FilbySoham Comrades
Conductor: Paul Filby
4BR Ranking: 124

Principal Cornet: Sally Bramley
Soprano Cornet: David Notley
Flugel: Richard Franklin
Solo Horn: Chloe Mallett
Solo Euphonium: Duncan Wilson
Solo Trombone: Neil George

Form at Blackpool:
2003: 12th (P. Filby)
2002: 9th (P. Filby)

2004 Form Guide:

The hard working fellow travellers of Soham Comrades have a good decent track record wherever they go and in the past two years at this contest they have more than held their own. 9th in 2002 and 12th last year is pretty good, but as they showed at the recent London and Southern Countries Regional Championships they can produce high quality performances on very difficult works. 6th place there was a fine return and we think they should have enough about them to improve on last years result for sure.

Conductor: N/K
4BR Ranking: 42

Principal Cornet: Paul White
Solo Horn: Tracey White
Solo Euphonium: Mark Glover
Solo Trombone: Chris Hickman
Soprano Cornet: Andy Jennings
Flugel: Jo Todd

Form at Blackpool:
2003: 14th Senior Cup (rel) (D. Maplestone)
2002: 3rd Senior Trophy (prom) (D. Maplestone)
2001: 17th Senior Trophy (A. Culshaw)
2000: DNC
1999: 18th Grand Shield (A. Culshaw)
1998: 11th (A. Culshaw)
1997: 7th (A. Culshaw)

2004 Form Guide:

A few years back Staffordshire were playing in the Grand Shield, but since 2001 they have had a bit of an up and down existence here. Last year they dropped back down after poor return but the year before they were promoted. They have though been playing very well of late and they produced a corker of a show at the Midlands Regional Championships to claim the runners up spot behind Travelsphere Holidays and book a place at the Royal Albert Hall. That performance was directed by Steve Bastable, but there is no news as yet (Thursday) to who will be taking them to this contest. An interesting situation to say the least.

John MainesStalybridge Old
Conductor: John Maines
4BR Ranking: 150

Principal Cornet:
Solo Horn:
Solo Euphonium:
Solo Trombone:
Soprano Cornet:

Form at Blackpool:
2003: Withdrew (rel)
2002: 11th (A. White)
2001: 19th Grand Shield (rel) (D. Hirst)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: N/K Grand Shield (A. Exeley)
1997: 9th Grand Shield (J. Cant)
1996: 6th Grand Shield (J. Maines)
1995: 8th Grand Shield (T. Halliwell)
1994: 16th Grand Shield (T. Halliwell)
1993: 21st British Open (rel) (D. Broadbent)

2004 Form Guide:

Stalybridge Old will certainly be looking to make amends for last year when they were forced to withdraw a couple of days before the contest. For such a famous old band as this, that was a real disappointment and that was added to as they were relegated to the Senior Trophy for this year as well. John Maines is a fine and experienced MD though and even though they could only manage 8th place at the recent North West Regional Championships, it is an upturn in form and we think they can go on from there this time around.

Alan GibbsThomas Coaches Mid Rhondda
Conductor: Alan Gibbs
4BR Ranking: 51

Principal Cornet: Darren Williams
Soprano Cornet: Carol Flannary-Davies
Flugel: Elaine Williams
Solo Horn: Karen Fletcher
Solo Euphonium: Kevin Gibbs
Solo Trombone: Iwan Rhys Williams

Form at Blackpool:
2003: 16th (A. Gibbs)
2002: 16th Senior Cup (rel) (A. Gibbs)
2001: 7th (A. Gibbs)
2000: DNC
1999: 15th Grand Shield (rel) (A. Gibbs)

2004 Form Guide:

The Welsh band have had a few changes in personnel of late, but they will still be keen to show that they have the qualities to do well here. Alan Gibbs is a fine band trainer and there is enough talent around the stands to make a mark. 7th at the Welsh Regional Championships was OK but nothing more, as they tried too hard to impress with volume rather than the fine balanced sound they usually produce. If they play to form though they could well fancy their chances.

Tongwynlais Temperance
Conductor: Bryn James
4BR Ranking: 43

Principal Cornet: Duncan Broadley
Flugel: Eve Nixon
Solo Horn: Byron Tucker
Solo Euphonium: Martyn Patterson
Solo Trombone: Robin Hacket

Form at Blackpool:
Making their debut at the contest this year.

2004 Form Guide:

Tongwynlais come to the Senior Trophy after showing late last year and early this year that they are a band very much on the up. Second place behind Tredegar at the Porthcawl contest should have been the springboard to have gained one of the two extra qualification places available at the Welsh Regional Championships, but even under the direction of Melvin White they just failed to reproduce the form they knew they were capable of and they came 6th. Bryn James is a talent though and we think they could be up and around there come results time if the enthusiasm doesn't overcome them.

Allan RamseyUnison Kinneil
Conductor: Allan Ramsey
4BR Ranking: 31

Principal Cornet: Hugh Foster
Soprano: Owen Downs
Flugel: Andrea Casey
Solo Horn: Rebecca Ritchie
Solo Euphonium: Ian Campbell
Solo Trombone: Colin Buchanan

Form at Blackpool:
2003: 10th (A. Ramsay)
2002: 20th Senior Cup (rel) (A. Ramsay)
2001: 15th (John Hinckley)

2004 Form Guide:

Unison Kinneil will certainly be confident of picking up at least one of the four promotion places on offer here this year, after they showed a lot of quality in coming 4th at the Scottish Regional Championships in Motherwell in March. Allan Ramsay is a fine MD who knows exactly what it takes to win here (he directed Kirkintilloch to the Grand Shield a couple of years back) and so, if they play to that kind of form a return to the Senior Cup should be in order.


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