National Championships 2004 - Harrogate - First Section


Band by band analysis of all the competitors battling it out for the crown of First Section Champions of Great Britain 2004.

Harrogate Conference CentreThanks to all bands that helped us collate this information. An extensive amount of time has gone into putting this together. Unfortunately there are still a few gaps but if you send an email to stating your band and section we will try to amend your details as soon as possible.

Saturday 11th September 2004
Commences: following fourth section
Test piece: King of Elfland's Daughter, Rodney Newton

Adjuducators: Tony Swainson and Richard Evans

John DurrantBarrow Shipyard

Region: North of England
Conductor: John Durrant

John Durrant started playing in local brass bands and studied under the watchful eyes of Phil Parker Snr. and Edgar Riches. He was spotted as a young talent by the late Philip Jones MBE, with whom John studied for a year, winning an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London.

On leaving he played with the newly formed Leyland Vehicles Band which he joined playing the soprano cornet. He started his band-conducting career with the Coppul Band, moving to Warburtons Bakery Band. In the 1980's he founded the St. Helens Youth Bands and was visiting trumpet teacher at the renowned Chetham's School of Music.

As a soloist he has recorded works by Enesco, Hubeau, Hindemith whilst in the brass band world, John has been professional conductor of Matthews Norfolk Brass and MD of the Woking Band, with whom he won the Area Contest taking them into the Second Section for the first time in their history. Recent contest successes have included wins with the Hanwell Band and the Woking Band and he has guested with a long list of bands including, Ransome, Wingates, East Lancs Paper, Freckleton and others.

John Durrant is a member of the Solo Performer and Composers section of the Incorporated Society of Musicians. John has also written a series of articles in the banding press.

Band history:
Enjoying a long and colourful history linked to the Cumbrian Town of Barrow-in-Furness they were founded as the Barrow Temperance Band in 1892. Shipyard sponsorship followed in 1898 from the shipyard owners Vickers Sons and Maxim Ltd. Since then there were various changes in title to reflect company fortunes. until 2002 when BAE Systems (Marine) terminated the very long sponsorship.

A Derbyshire businessman Mr W.Wilson, whose company, Cedar Finance Limited quickly took up the band and with this new sponsorship in place it was unanimously decided to adopt the title that restored the links to the band’s history – The Barrow Shipyard Band.

January 2004 saw the introduction of a young musicians bursary set up by the sponsor, with free tuition given to budding young brass musicians by John Durrant and recently assisted by Bill Maginn, their past MD.

August rains prompted an early move into new rehearsal premises, this due to a flood, causing a loss of music and many fibre mutes etc. A hectic six weeks they have had.

After this contest the band will say a fond farewell to their bass trombone player Paul Stoneham who is leaving to take up a music scholarship at Trinity College, London. Paul will be sadly missed both as a player of great ability and a friend indeed to the band, The band wish him every success in the future.

Recent Achievements:
Northern West Area Championships – 2002
1st Section Placed 4th
Northern West Area Championships – 2003
1st Section Placed 2nd
National Finals Dundee 2003
1st Section Placed 6th
Northern West Area Championships – 2004
1st Section Placed 2nd
Jan 2005 Promotion to Championship.

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Marion Wilson
Principal Euphonium: David Scholes
Solo Trombone: Tim Lysons
Solo Horn: Narrisa Nicholas
Soprano: Adrian Turner
Flugel Horn : Janet Hopkins

Nigel TakenBournemouth Concert Brass

Region: West of England
Conductor: Nigel Taken

Nigel studied trumpet at the Coventry School of Music, and later at the London College of Music under trumpet professor Dennis Egan. Before moving to London, Nigel’s banding experience began with the City of Coventry Band as their flugel soloist at the age of 15, playing regularly with Harry Mortimer’s ‘Men of Brass’ and his ‘All Star Brass.

He has worked with many bands in a professional capacity, and is currently the Musical Director of the ‘Aveley and Newham Band’. Nigel works as a music teacher and is head of Brass at Goffs School in Hertfordshire. He is in great demand as a band trainer and conductor and has achieved success at the highest level.

Nigel previously held the post of Musical Director to Bournemouth Concert Brass from 1991 to 1998, and has conducted the band at the West of England Regional contests in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Band history:
The precursors of Bournemouth Concert Brass were founded in the late nineteenth century. After various amalgamations and changes of name and management, the band found itself in the old Championship Section in the 1980s. After one-year in the newly-created 1st Section, BCB held their place in the new Championship Section from 1993 to 2002, achieving 3rd place in the West of England twice. As a result of a bad day on “Jazz” from the dreaded #1 draw, the band has spent 2003 and 2004 in the 1st Section, but, after a 3rd and 1st place respectively, will return to the top section in 2005.

BCB has a well-established annual concert schedule and uses it to introduce a wide and continuously varying repertoire, helped especially by the arranging and composing skills of members Bill Willis and Dr Peter Hartley. The band employs a number of conductors on an event-by-event basis, including Lt Col Chris Davis, David Hayward, WO1 Glen Jones and Nigel Taken.

Sept 2003: Wychavon 1st Section 4th
May 2003: Blackpool (Spring Festival) Senior Trophy 2nd
Mar 2003: West of England 1st Section 3rd
Feb 2003: Yeovil Contest
Mar 2004: West of England 1st Section 1st
Feb 2004: Yeovil Contest 5th
May 2004: Blackpool (Spring Festival) Senior Cup 9th

Principal Players:
Soprano: James Cooper
Cornet: Daryl Powell
Flugel: Gerald Whittingham
Horn: Jenny Maddocks
Euphonium: Peter Hartley
Trombone: Richard Curren

Nigel TakenClacton on Sea

Region: London and Southern Counties
Conductor: Melvin White

Melvin white has gained a well-deserved reputation as one of the most successful conductors and band trainers of recent years.

He has conducted over 20 bands to qualification for the Finals of the National Brass Band Championships alone, and has also been a successful conductor with the BTM in Wales whom he won the Pontins Championships as well as the Welsh Regional Championships. He has also conducted at the European Championships and at the National Finals on numerous occasions.

In 1998 he conducted the SWT Woodfalls band to victory at the West of England Regional Championships and has been MD of the Redbridge Band since 1998. He was also the conductor of the GUS band and of the Cory Band and conducted both bands at the British Open Championships. At the All England Masters Championships he has conducted the GUS (Travelsphere Band) into two consecutive 4th places in 1999 and 2000.

Band history:
1948 marked the beginnings of The Clacton Town Silver Band with Conductor Captain Nimmo. Many prizes have been won in competitions including in 1977, the title of 2nd Section Champion Band of Great Britain.

Until 2003 the Band was a firmly established Championship Band - twenty odd years at this level was a great achievement. Currently the band is First Section nationally and maintaining a high standard of playing. In the 70's and 80's the Band were broadcast on numerous occasions by the BBC in many popular broadcasts such as Listen to the Band, Friday Night is Music Night, Bandstand and Among Your Souvenirs and also appeared on BBC TV's Best of Brass series. The Band's members travel from Essex, Suffolk and Bedfordshire to play with the Band. Most concerts are given in and around Clacton-on-Sea and a series of Summer Concerts are given in the town's Princes Theatre. We have travelled extensively in Europe including trips to France, Belgium, Germany and Hungary and more frequently to Winschoten, Holland to perform with the Nieuw Leven Band.

Our Sponsors, the Colchester and East Essex Co-Operative Society, generously support the band in our various activities and have done so since 1978, which is obviously very much appreciated.

Principal Players:
P. Cornet: Philip Skuse
Euph: Trevor Laird
Trom: Andy Gray
Horn: Robert Nunnery
Sop: David Notley
Flugel: Kevin Harrold

Phil ShawDrighlington

Region: Yorkshire
Conductor: Phil Shaw

No details at present

Band History:
In 1976 two brass band enthusiasts living in Drighlington decided that the village should have its very own brass band. A meeting was organised and six young people attended the first rehearsal.

From those humble beginnings, the Drighlington Junior Band was formed by Ken and Wynn Crossland. Both still play a major role in the organisation today with Ken playing 3rd Cornet with the senior band, and also still teaching the Beginners classes, with Wynn taking the role of Social Secretary and Supporter in Chief. Such was the success of the band that in 1983 a Senior, contesting, Band was also formed with many of its members being recruited from the junior band.

Since that time both bands have enjoyed many contest successes including appearances in no less than eight previous National Championship Finals at various levels. Today both the Senior Band and the Youth Band still function, with the Senior Band looking forward and, under the leadership of Phil Shaw, working to regain its place competing alongside the likes of Black Dyke, Brighouse & Rastrick and Yorkshire Building Society in the Championship Section of the Yorkshire Areas.

Malton Entertainments Contest (3rd)
Yorkshire areas 1st Section (2nd place)
Competed in Senior Cup

Principal Players:
P. Cornet: Richard Helliwell
Euph: Mike Tyler
Trom: Ian Clough
Horn: Suzanne Fake
Sop: Robert Battye
Flugel: Martin Tromans

Graham O’ConnorHatfield

Region: Yorkshire
Conductor: Graham O’Connor

Graham O'Connor was born in Dodworth, and started playing the comet in the local village band at the age of seven. When he was 13 years old he joined Grimethorpe Colliery Band and progressed under the guidance of George Thompson to become assistant principal comet.

In 1967 he joined Brodsworth Colliery Band as a principal comet and simultaneously started conducting the Brodsworth Junior Band. In 1977 he became musical director with Andrews Heat for Hire Band and in 1980 gained success at Pontins and Grand Shield contests.

In 1988 he was appointed musical director of Dodworth Colliery Band. In 1991 they moved to the first section and in 1992 moved up to the Championship Section. Since then Graham has achieved contest successes with many Championship Section Bands.

Graham's ability as an adjudicator and band trainer is well known and his success rate has put him in demand with bands all over Europe.

Band history:
Hatfield Band was first formed in 19437 by 2 miners at the Colliery. We are based in the town of Stainforth which is approx. 7 miles from Doncaster. During the early years of the band contributions from the Miners helped with the upkeep. We have had many successes throughout the years and have been very lucky to have some great names in conductors one being the late George Thompson.

Since the demise of the Coal Board Hatfield Colliery was bought out by the management and the name changed to Hatfield Coal Power. When Mr. Richard Budge bought the colliery he kindly sponsored the band, unfortunately the Colliery closed again but the band was determined to continue and the members worked hard to raise funds. The Band had many successes with conductor Mr. Ken Johnson and after Mr. Johnson left were fortunate to secure the services of Mr. Graham O'Connor. Since under the baton of Graham we have gone from strength to strength and having many contest successes. Graham has taken the band from the third section to the 1st section. The band have qualified for the third time to go to the National Finals.

Year 2000 - Took part in the national finals in the Royal Albert Hall.
Year 2002 - Third in second section
Year 2003 - 2nd at 2nd section Area Yorkshire qualiftying for National Finals
National Champions (2nd Section) in Dundee
Year 2004 Yorkshire Champions qualifying for National Finals in first section with Principal Cornet player within Best Soloist Prize Trevor Kendall

Principal Players:
Soprano Cornet - Gary Bates
Principal Cornet - Trevor Kendall
Solo Trombone - Rachel Botham
Flugel Horn - Rebecca Nixon
Solo Horn - Lisa O'Connor
Sole Euphonium - Simon Brookes
Solo Baritone - Peter Jones


Region: North of England
Conductor: J. Woodward

Not available

Band history:
The first recorded reference to Kirkbymoorside Band was in the parish records of 1815. It has been a public subscription band from that time and in 1976 became a registered charity. In 1815 22.18s.00p was spent on instruments including a Serpent. This must make Kirkby band one of the oldest bands in the country. The minutes book has been found recently from 1890, so more is known of the last 100 years than the first 80. The bands first contest win was the Kirkbymoorside poultry and industrial show contest of 1886. At that time the band was a 'Temperance Band', and it cost the equivalent of 50.00 per year to join.

In 1965 the band took 3rd place playing in the 4th section at the National Finals, and repeated the area win in 1971 when promotion to the 3rd section followed. In 1980 the band was promoted to the 2nd section and won the Northern Area Contest by a clear 5 points. 1n 1981 the band went to London and were promoted to the Championship Section all in the same year. 1984 and 1986 saw the band win the Inter Counties Radio Brass Band Contest and were proclaimed outright champions. In 1989 the band was back in the 2nd section but following their success they were back in the championship section in 1991.

The band has a very healthy junior band that supplies a constant stream of players for the senior band. Leslie Maw 'BEM' retired after 36 years as bandmaster in 1988. Leslie's contribution to the band cannot be calculated and the band and the village hold him a position of high esteem. He is still involved with the band and his advice and wisdom is greatly appreciated. It was particularly fitting that he was awarded the British Empire Medal on his retirement.

Principal Players:
P. Cornet: John Sails
Euph: Paul Barrett
Trom: John Barrett
Horn: Phil Woodward
Flugel:J ohn Woodward
Sop: Sarah Woodward

Cliff ParkerLangley

Region: Midlands
Conductor: Cliff Parker

Cliff began his musical career playing Cornet in the Salvation Army. As a teenager, he won a Scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London where he studied Trumpet, Theory of Music and Piano for 5 years.

Before moving to the Midlands in 1984, Cliff worked as a freelance trumpet player doing mainly orchestral work, most notably as Principal Trumpet with the South Bank Symphony Orchestra and has played at most of London’s top venues.

Since moving to the Midlands, Cliff has been involved with many local bands and for over 12 years Cliff played with The Staffordshire Band, including 11 years as assistant principal. Cliff now plays for The Jaguar Cars Band where he is currently Solo Cornet.

Cliff started his musical directorship with Sandwell Brass, where he was MD for seven years. After a period of guest conducting, he took over the position of MD for Langley in the summer of 2003, encouraged by his wife Helen who plays solo trombone.

Band history:
Langley band was formed in the late 1870's in the small village of Langley. The band is one of the oldest within the Midlands.

It was the influence of businessmen of Langley who provided the money for instruments, music and uniforms and the band still rehearses in the same facilities provided by those early businessmen. Following a hat trick of wins at the Midlands area contest 2nd section in 1957, the band were invited to take part in the National Finals in London, and won it gaining promotion into the Championship section. This status was held for some 32 years.

During these years much of the band's success was due to the influence of Dennis Masters who originally joined the band as a cornet player at the age of 12 years old. Dennis was the Musical Director for over 50 years. Dennis is now patron of the band.

The late 90’s a decline in the fortunes of the band with them dropping to the second section in 2002. After the appointment of Cliff Parker as MD in 2003, the band has had a change in fortunes. In 2004 the band was promoted back into the First Section, winning the area in March. The contest was however one of the bands saddest days as it saw the sudden death of the bands long standing chairman and bass trombone, Steve Freckleton shortly after the performance.

2003 / 2004
Wychavon – 6th (second section)
Pontins – 9th (second section)
Leamington – 1st (second section)
2004 Midlands Area – 1st (first section)

Principal Players:
P. Cornet: David Webb
Euph: Sue Pope
Trom: Helen Parker
Horn: Richard Perry
Flugel: Kelly Wall
Sop: Sarah Caswell

Stuart ChappellLanner

Region: West of England
Conductor: Stuart Chappell

Stuart began his musical career learning the cornet with Lanner aged 6. At the age of 8 he became principal cornet of Lanner Junior Band and then became principal cornet of the senior band (then in the 3rd Section) at the age of 13. He joined the Camborne Band on 2nd cornet at the age of 16 and in 1988, aged 18, became principal cornet at Camborne.

He changed to flugel at Camborne in 1994 and while at Camborne won South West Area twice and qualified for National Finals 8 times. He became MD of Lanner & District Silver Band (then in the 2nd Section) in 2001 and in 2003, won 2nd Section in the South West Region and were 3rd at the National Finals – also the band were promoted to the 1st Section. Came 2nd in the 1st Section at the South West Regional Finals and gained promotion to the Championship Section.

Band history:
Lanner is a small mining village on the outskirts of Redruth in Cornwall. The original Lanner & District Silver band was formed in the mid 1890's. Sadly, due to the considerable emigration of would-be musicians to countries such as South Africa it disbanded in 1902.

The band was reformed in 1965 and from humble beginnings a strong youth band emerged, and as time went by these young players progressed into the senior band, thus helping to sustain its development. Eventually, even the Lanner Hill bandroom became too small, and a concerted effort from the players and committee members resulted in the purchase, in 1983, of the old chapel on Lanner Moor, which is the present bands headquarters.

The band has progressed from it's early days in the Fourth Section of the Cornish and national ratings, and is today one of the finest bands' in Cornwall - no mean achievement in a county which has around 40 brass bands. It has represented the South West area at the National Finals and won many other contests. The bands finest achievement came in April 2003, when they were crowned West of England 2nd Section Champions.

This promoted the band to the 1st Section and gained them qualification to the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. The success continued later that year when, at the finals, the band achieved 3rd place. The band owes its success to a string of Musical Directors, committee members, players and supporters who have made the band a part of their lives.

Principal Players:
P. Cornet: Sharon Hollywood
Euph: Ray Bowden
Trom: Barry Buist
Horn: Liz Chappell
Flugel: Steve Trelease
Sop: Les Kneebone

Nigel TakenNewmilns and Galston

Region: Scotland
Conductor: Craig Anderson

Craig Anderson is an award-winning tuba soloist and freelance player with a wealth of experience that has seen him play with numerous leading orchestras and ensembles. Craig began playing at the age of 11 with the Monklands Youth Concert Brass Band. At 15 he was awarded a scholarship to study at the junior school of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama with Philip Hore.

After being accepted to the RSAMD Craig began to freelance, working with the BBC SSO and Scottish Opera in his first year. Craig was a finalist in the Radio 2 Young Musician of the Year and won the prestigious Governor‘s recital prize for brass and graduated from the RSAMD in 1995.

He freelances regularly with many orchestras and is visiting brass instructor at three of Scotland's top independent schools and is a specialist tutor for the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland and the West of Scotland Independent Schools Orchestra.

A highlight of his career was winning the open tuba competition at the International Tuba/Euphonium Conference at the Royal Northern College of Music in January 2000. Craig Anderson is a clinician for Boosey & Hawkes.

Band history:
Newmilns Burgh Band came into existence in 1833. Until amalgamation with the nearby Galston Band it was the oldest band in Scotland still using the same name.

The band prospered until the 1st World War, winning many area contests, including the Ayrshire Championship, and became permanent holders of the trophy, still owned by the Newmilns & Galston Band, but now on show at Dean Castle, Kilmarnock. The greatest period up until now, was under the guidance and tuition of bandmaster George Hawkins, who was persuaded to come from England as professional conductor.

The Band played in its last Championship Contest in 1960 and by 1965 it had again become defunct. In late 1978, three players and three Community Councillors formed a committee to rebuild the Band from scratch. The Band Hall had been demolished and the instruments and music library given away. Within four years a new Band had been formed, instruments and music bought, and promotion reached from the 4th to the 2nd Section.

Principal Players:
P. Cornet: Douglas Cameron
Euph: Alan Cameron
Trom: Ronnie Kenmuir
Horn: Mhairi Holmer
Flugel: Cara Sullivan
Sop: Tracy Nelson

Keith WilkinsonNewtongrange
Region: Scotland
Conductor: Dr Keith Wilkinson

Keith Wilkinson moved, with his wife and daughters, from Britain to USA in 1996 and is currently the Music Director for The Salvation Army in Columbus, Ohio.

Prior to this Keith had been extremely active in the UK brass band scene, enjoying long and successful periods as MD of the GUS Band and William Davis Construction Group Band. He was also professional conductor of Newtongrange Band in the late 80's and early 90's, the partnership being successful in many contests including the Scottish Championships in 1991. He was delighted to renew acquaintance with the band earlier this year, winning the Scottish First Section title.

Keith is very active in the North American brass band movement, appearing as guest conductor with many of the country's leading bands. He is also musical director of the Brass Band of the Western Reserve, formed in 1997 and now recognised as one of USA's premier bands.

Dr Wilkinson is recognised as a leading arranger for brass band having more than 60 published titles with publishers in UK, USA and Switzerland. He has also gained a great deal of experience as a brass band adjudicator and has served in that capacity at both the British and American National Championships.

Band history:
Founded in 1892 Newtongrange Silver Band was closely linked with the coal mining industry, which was the sole reason for the existence of the village of Newtongrange.

From 1926 the administration of the band was in the hands of the local Miners Welfare Committee. Following the closure of the Lady Victoria Colliery in Newtongrange the miners at the nearby Bilston Glen Colliery continued the mineworkers’ support. This came to an end in 1985, since when the band was supported by commercial sponsorship with Scottish Brewers until 1993 and to date from various local businesses.

In 1980 the band won the Second Section (today’s 1st Section) Champion Band of Great Britain and UK Mineworkers’ Contest. Since then the band has competed in the Championship section until 2003. The bands most successful year to date came in 1991when the band became Scottish Champions for the first time.

On a number of occasions the band has qualified to represent Scotland in the National Championship Finals and European Brass Band Championships. The band is one of the busiest in Scotland and has toured Germany, France, Hungary and most recently the Faroe Islands. They are hosts for Brass in the Park, a unique 3-day festival drawing an attendance of around 5,000 people to Newtongrange each year.

National Champions 1980 (Old 2nd Section)
Scottish 1st Section Champions 2004
Represented Scotland twice in European Championships
Scottish 1st Section Champions 2004
Highest placed Scottish band Senior Cup 2004
West Lothian Challenge Contest Runners Up 2004
Carnegie Invitation Contest Runners Up 2003

Principal Players:
P. Cornet: Angus Edmond
Euph: Neil Philip
Trom: Alec Philip
Horn: Kevin Smith
Sop: Graham Williamson
Flugel: John Philip


Region: London and Southern Counties
Conductor: D. Lewis

We do not have any information on Northfleet at present.

Parc & Dare

Region: Wales
Conductor: Craig Roberts

Formerly a baritone player with Parc & Dare and the National Youth Brass Band of Wales, Craig has been conducting since the age of 19. Since that time he has worked with a number of bands and ensembles including the University of Salford Adelphi Brass and Wind Bands, the Woods Manufacturing Company Brass Band in Canada, Burry Port and Northop Silver.

Craig gained his BA (Hons) and Masters degree at the University of Salford, studying under Dr. Roy Newsome and Prof. David King. Whilst at the university he was awarded the Roy Newsome Conducting Prize in 2000.
Since graduating Craig has returned to Wales where he is currently employed, to co-ordinate the Rhondda Young Brass Scheme which currently offers free brass tuition to over 200 children throughout the Rhondda valleys.

Craig was appointed MD of Parc & Dare in 1999 since which time the band has seen something of a rebirth of the band. As Artistic Director of Parc & Dare’s annual Welsh Brass Arts Festival, Craig has commissioned and premiered works by numerous noted composers such as Edward Gregson, Andrew Powell, Peter Graham, Philip Wilby, Paul Mealor and Michael Ball.

Band history:
The Cwmparc Drum and Fife Band, was formed in April, 1893. The band was originally a temperance band which drew its members from the Parc and Dare collieries. Fines were imposed for drinking, which helped to increase the funds. However the band soon severed any connections with the temperance movement, they also went ‘all brass’, the following year changing their title to the Cwmparc Silver Band

Although the band received some financial support from the Ocean Coal Company, most of the money to buy instruments came from the bandsmen themselves and from friends and supporters working in the collieries, who each contributed a penny a week from their wages.

Ever since this time, the Parc and Dare Band has been one of the foremost brass bands in Wales, winning countless prizes and awards at the very highest level. Although they have suffered some decline in the immediate past they are now firmly back on the road to success.

Champion Band of Wales on fourteen occasions
Represented the country at the European Championships four times
Dozens of Welsh Championship first prizes
“BBC Radio Wales Band of the Year” – Winners twice. Runners Up on six occasions
BBC Television “Best of Brass” finalists on numerous occasions
Parc & Dare have been invited to return to both Hamburg and Halifax in 2005 with future invitations also having been received to appear at shows in Belgium, Holland, Russia and the USA.

Principal Players:
P. Cornet: Robert Samuel
P. Euph: Rob Burnett
Trom: John Hendy
Solo Horn: Lynsey Kempley
Soprano: Paul Eddy
Flugel: Rachel Watkins

Pemberton Old Wigan JJB Band

Region: North West
Conductor: Mark Peacock

Mark is a member of the infamous Peacock/Taylor clan from Tyldesley, Manchester a family steeped in the tradition of brass banding. At a young age Mark received lessons from his granddad Charlie Taylor before he started playing in the Salvation Army band before moving onto Flugel Horn and joining Tyldesley Band.

Mark studied music at Salford University and joined Kennedy's Swinton Band on Flugel in 1990. Mark became the first “brass bander” to graduate in 1992 and joined the newly formed Yorkshire Building Society. Mark left YBS in 1996 and one week later jumped at the opportunity to join his dream band Williams Fairey on second cornet, finally realising his banding ambition to play with Dad, Brother and uncle Brian in the famous blue uniform.

Mark was approached in 2004 by the Pemberton Band and the band came away with first prize against a good field in the Championship Section. Shortly after the results were given Mark was heard to say that he was going to retire from conducting as undefeated - fortunately for the band Mark agreed to take us to the North West Area Finals at Blackpool and prior to the performance agreed to take the band on a full time basis.

Band history:
Over the past ten years the senior band has returned from the brink of extinction working its way through the sections of the Preston area Championships at Fleetwood being awarded the first place in four consecutive years in each section, and now holds a respectable position in the Championship section of the North West Counties Brass Band Association.

The band is also well placed in the First Section at National level. Success breeds success as they say and now they have a B Band who have also started to make a name for themselves on the concert and contest stage and were placed first in the North West Area finals at Blackpool in 2001.

The Junior band now boasts some 30 youngsters who are trained by John Don-Duncan. In August 2003 all the bands attended at the newly organised Hymn and march contest sponsored by JJB (Sports). After the contest Mr. David Whelan the Chairman of JJB said that he would like to sponsor the bands at Pemberton. It was said that the reason for this decision was due mainly to the quality of the playing and the youth policy the band have in force. The name changes once again, and is now Pemberton Old Wigan JJB Band

Principal Players:
P. Cornet: Joanne Johnson
Euph: N/K
Trom: Stephen Breen
Horn: Peter Lyons
Sop: Eddie Hill
Flugel: Carina Halliwell

Alan LawtonVernon Building Society Poynton

Region: North West
Conductor: Alan Lawton

Alan Lawton began his brass band career playing with local bands in the Saddleworth area. He became a member of the Fairey Aviation Works Band in 1956 and for the next 20 years Alan was part of Faireys’ famous front row cornet section that enjoyed many contest successes such as the British Open Championship “hat trick” in 1961/62/63. He was also a member of the Kings of Brass and Harry Mortimer’s All-Star and Men O’ Brass combinations.

Alan was the band manager at Faireys for 10 years and was also the band’s resident conductor, a position that he relinquished in 1991. Since then, he has been guest conductor with many of the country’s top bands and coached Faireys, Leyland and Ransomes to success at the British Open, English Masters and National Championships and holds the record as the most successful conductor at the Whit Friday March contests. He has also conducted the BT Band and enjoyed many contest successes with them.

Alan is a member of the National Association of Brass Band Adjudicators and has adjudicated at many solo and band competitions throughout Great Britain as well as presiding at the Dutch National Championships.

Alan has been connected with VBS Poynton Band since 1974 and returned as their conductor in 2003. Alan is hoping to recreate the success he gained when he conducted Diggle to their win in the 3rd section at the Finals last year.

Band History:
The Poynton Brass Band, first started within the Poynton coal mining community and was supported by the mine owners, The Vernon Family. It is not known for certain when the band began, but records from 1832 suggest that it has existed for well over 160 years.

In 1990, the Vernon Building Society became the Band’s sponsors. The Stockport based society provides uniforms and sponsorship, and so safeguards the continued existence of the band. The Band is well known in the world of brass band music, performs regularly around the UK and has won many prizes in contest results.

In May 1999, it was announced that a lottery grant application had been successful for the purchase of new instruments. The existing instruments were donated to two local schools, Vernon Junior School and Poynton County High School, with the aim of benefiting children and encouraging the playing of brass instruments. Currently the band rehearse in their own band room, Park Lane, Poynton.

In 1995 the band purchased their own band centre.
Lottery Grant obtained for 49,000.
Two recent tours to Germany and Holland.
Recorded successful CD in January 2004.
Buxton Entertainment Contest (September 2003) – First prize
Preston Contest (February 2004) – Seventh overall in Championship Section
North West Area Contest (March 2004) – Runners-up
Whit Friday Marches (2004) – Seventh overall in the Saddleworth and Oldham District

Principal Players:
P. Cornet: Tony Wyatt
Euph: Sarah Dawson
Trom: John Anderson
Horn: Nicola Rathborn
Sop: Gareth Edwards
Flugel: Sarah Johnson

John DavisRiddings

Region: Midlands
Conductor: John Davis

It was in 1990 that John accepted the position of MD with The Riddings Band, who were then in the 3rd section. He is constantly in demand as a conductor, and has arranged many pieces for the bands with which he has been involved. He also plays the organ in Pinxton Church.

John is a partner in JTK sound, a recording company set up to record brass bands, and other amateur musical groups for an economical cost, in order to make CD’s affordable to all groups, and so that the group can see some profit from their CD, and not just struggle to get their money back.

In the 14 years that John has been at the helm of the Riddings Band, they have risen from the bottom of the 3rd section, to the Championship Section, winning the 2nd section Midland Area Contest, and attending the National Finals three times.

John is married to Pam, who is the flugel player of the Riddings Band. It was Pam who first introduced John to the Band. They have 2 children, Emma and Elliot. Emma is a member of the Riddings Band playing 3rd cornet. In his spare time John enjoys TaeKwon-Do, and is ranked as a 1st Dan Black Belt. He is an executive council member of the National Association of Brass Band Conductors, holding the position of National Membership Secretary.

Band history:
The current Riddings Band was formed in the 1970’s and from humble beginnings in the 4th section they have, over the last 14 years, moved up all the way to the Championship section. Currently competing successfully in the 1st section and re-promoted to the Championship section in 2005, the un-sponsored band prides itself on quality of performance and the entertainment and education of its audience.

The Riddings Band takes an active part in regional and national contests and competes in both set test piece and entertainment contests. The band is always in great demand on the concert stage and has a full program of events. The band and the MD work together to produce music of a top class standard for the enjoyment of both the audience and the players.

The Riddings Band is strictly an amateur organisation where players contribute purely for their love of music. Many members have been with the band for decades and it will be the same musicians that appear on stage at the National Finals that will be performing in a small local charity concert soon after.

2003 – 1st section Midland Area Runners up
1st section finals – 7th
NE Derbyshire entertainment contest champions
2004 – 1st section Midland Area Runners up

Recent contest and concert successes over the past year.
1st section national finals in Dundee – 7th place
Dronfield entertainment contest – 1st place (Pam Davis - NE Derbyshire solo champion)
Nottingham Concert Hall – Charity Concert for the Malcolm Sergeant Cancer Care for Children
The Riddings Band Christmas Concert – Charity Concert raising money for local hospital
Midland 1st section area contest – 2nd place
Senior Trophy – 8th place

Principal Players:
Principal cornet – Neil Escott
Soprano cornet – Richard Mason
Solo Horn – Rose-Marie Hughes
Solo Euphonium – Brian Hanson
Flugelhorn – Pam Davis
Solo Trombone – Clare Bond

Major Ian McElligottStaines

Region: London and Southern Counties
Conductor: Major Ian McElligott

Ian McElligott was born in Yorkshire into a musical family. At the age of seven, Ian commenced studying the trumpet before undertaking professional tuition. In 1974, Ian joined the Army as a professional trumpet player. Later, he successfully completed a three-year course in advanced music studies at the Royal Military School of Music. Upon graduation, he won many awards and additionally, he became an Associate of the Royal College of Music, London and Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music, London.

By 2000, Ian had risen to the rank of Major, and upon completion of a particularly successful and rewarding career as a Service musician, he relinquished his final appointment as the Director of Music to the Band of Her Majesty's Coldstream Guards.

In July 2002, Ian was delighted to accept the appointment of Professional Conductor to the Brighouse & Rastrick Band. He immediately enjoyed success - leading them to 4th at the 2002 British Open and 5th place in the National Championships a month later.

Band history:
Staines Brass Band was formed in 1930. For many years the band had no permanent rehearsal room before it eventually it settled in the 1970's at Staines Football Club as its 'temporary' residence.

Even in this homeless state the band was making a name for itself on local Bandstands, Parks and Concert Halls, and especially, through the '70's and '80's, as it began to contest with good success in Area and Regional Band Competitions. However, it has been the '80's and '90's that has seen the band develop into a major force in the brass band world both in concert and on the contest platform.

Concerts have been performed with such stars as Don Lusher and, Kenny Ball as well as in and around Staines and such venues as Hyde Park, Hampton Court Palace, Dover Castle, Twickenham Rugby Ground for the 1999 World Cup, Polesden Lacey and St James' Park.

Contesting at local and/or national levels, has seen the Band achieve successes qualified for the Royal Albert Hall for the National Championships of 1996 and again in 2000.

Finally, the band achieved its own purpose built bandroom in the Staines Lammas Park on the banks of the Thames, where it rehearses at least twice a week depending on the playing schedule. It also runs a second band - the Staines Lammas Band for players who enjoy a more relaxed once a week rehearsal, and a more local engagement schedule.

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Gavin Hall
Euph: Jon Storey
Trom: Lewis Henaghan
Horn: Simon Angel
Flugel: Lianne East
Sop: Richard Evans

Wayne RushtonWrexham

Region: Wales
Conductor: Wayne Rushton

Wayne was born in Telford and stared playing trombone in 1971 at the Abraham Darby School. In 1977 he joined the City of Coventry (Jaguar) Band who he played with until 1985.

During his time here the band won the British Open in 1981 and he was also a member of Harry Mortimer's Men 'O Brass. After this he turned his attention to conducting with Jackfield Band who he brought from a non-contesting band up into the First Section, achieving four National Final appearances in six years. After this he conducted several championship section bands such as Woolly Pritchard Sovereign Brass, Flowers, Lydmet Lydney, and the Desford Colliery Band. Wayne is also a peripatetic brass teacher, and the conductor of the very successful Abraham Darby School Brass Band.

Band History:
Wrexham Brass formerly Rhos Silver Band was formed in 1884. The band was formed under its original name of the Rhos Prize Silver Band, became known as the Hafod Colliery Band and grew to be an integral part of the local community. After the closure of Hafod in 1968 the band was renamed Rhos and District Silver, reflecting the change in playing personnel and the extension of outreach of the band to the surrounding Wrexham area.

In 1986 under the direction of Merfyn Hughes, the band gained promotion to the Third Section. In 1991, the arrival of Lindsay Lawrie, signalled the beginning of further success and the band enjoyed contest success competing in the both the North West of England and North Wales.

In 1997, Rhos band qualified for the National Finals where they won the National Championships for the first time in the bands history. In 1998, Ms Sarah Groake joined the band as MD. Under her leadership the band once again qualified as runners-up in Wales in the First Section.

After Sarah came Iain Davey who led up to several victories whilst with the band until, sadly for us, he returned to his homeland. The band is currently led by Wayne Ruston. Wayne came to the band early in 2001 and took over the position of MD. Wayne has led us to several credible results in his short time at Rhos including 3rd place in the open section at Buxton. Throughout its history Wrexham Brass have enjoyed the benefits of a number of conductors who are famous in the brass band world including John Hudson, James Scott and Malcolm Brownbill.

3rd Section Welsh Area Champions in 1995
2nd Section Welsh Area Runners-up 1996
2nd Section Welsh Area Champions 1997
2nd Section National Champions in 1997 and Runners-up in 1996
1st Section Welsh Area Runners-up 1998
1st Section Welsh Area Runners-up 1999
1st Section Welsh Area Champions 2000
1st Section Pontins Champions 2003
1st Section Welsh Area Runners-up 2004

Principal Players:
P. Cornet:Graham Taylor
Euph:Chris Aubrey
Trom: Aled Davies
Horn:Alison Edwards
Flugel: Chris Brown
Sop: Rachel Morris


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