2004 Spennymoor Brass in Concert - The competing bands


We cast our eyes over the 10 bands competing this year, look at their past records, and the programmes they have used to try and impress the judges.

Sunday 21 November
Spennymoor Leisure Centre, High Street, Spennymoor, DL16 6DB
Commences: 9.30am

Steve BastableKirkintilloch
4BR Ranking: 12
Conductor: Steve Bastable

Spennymoor Record:
Appearances: 4th time
Debut: 2001
Best Result: 5th - 2001
Worst Result: 8th - 2002
Unplaced: 2001 - 5th, 2002 - 7th 2003- 8th

Last 3 years:
2003 -  8th (Craig Anderson) (9)
2002 - 7th (Allan Ramsey) (10)
2001 - 5th (Allan Ramsey) (2)

2003 Programme:
Overture to Tommy- Pete Townsend arr Stephen Rockey
Officer Krupke - Bernstein & Sondeim, arr Stephen Rockey
Quendale Bay - Phil Cunningham arr Stephen Rockey
Euphonium feature:- Andy Mclean & Colin Leggett
Me and My Shadow - D Dryer, A Jolson, arr Stephen Rockey
Tenor Horn feature: - Allan Wardrope & Chris Ball
One Day I'll Fly Away - JL Sample & W Jennings arr Stephen Rockey
Soprano: Stephen Stewart
Independence Day - D Arnold arr Stephen Rockey

2002 Programme:

Sparkling Diamonds
Bridge Over Troubled Water
The Red Shield
Apres un Reve
Cossack Fire Dance
Minnie the Moocher
Dance Fever

2001 Programme:

Hallelujah Parade
Hymn to the Fallen
Backseat Driver
Summon the Heroes

Watch out for Kirkintilloch, for on their day that can be tremendous entertainment both to watch and listen to. They are also full to the brim with confidence as well after their tremendous performance at the British Open, and they have turned to the man who took them there, Steve Bastable to instill even more confidence into them.

Craig Anderson was at the helm last year and they performed well enough without ever sparkling, although they do have a real trump card in the pack in the shape of soprano player Steve Stuart - as mad as a box of frogs and just as entertaining to watch as well. He is also one heck of a player. If they can recapture that form then look out, and the MD will certainly not want a repeat of a twelve month ago when a poorly chosen programme led him to prop up the table with Ransome. 

Garry CuttLeyland
4BR Ranking: 14
Conductor: Garry Cutt

Spennymoor Record:
Appearances: 21st time
Debut: 1982
Best Result: 4 times winners
Worst Result: 6th place 2002.
Winners: 1989, 1991, 1992, 1997
Second place: 1984, 1993, 1998, 2000
Third place: 1982, 1983, 1988, 1994, 1999
Fourth place: 1985, 1987, 1995, 2001
Fifth place: 1986, 2003
Sixth place: 2002

Last 8 years:
2003 - 5th (Steve Sykes) (10)
2002 - 6th (Chris Davies) (6)
2001 - 4th (Richard Evans) (3)
2000 - 2nd (Richard Evans) (11)
1999 - 3rd (Richard Evans) (3)
1998 - 2nd (Richard Evans) (3)
1997 - 1st (Richard Evans) (5)
1996 - DNC

2003 Programme
Marche Lorraine - Louis Ganne
My Ain Folk - Peter Graham, Flugel: Lucy Murphy
Caravan - Juan Tizol & Duke Ellington arr Steve Sykes
Hornpipe Humoresque - Noel Rawsthorne arr Andrew Duncan
Bees-a-Buzzin - Edrich Siebert
Finale Symphony No 2 Little Russian - Tchaikovsky arr William Gordon

2002 Programme:

Deep Space Nine
Royal Welch Fusiliers
Capriccio Brillante
Sing, Sing, Sing
Dark Island
1492 - Conquest of Paradise

2001 Programme:

Under the White Ensign
Bluebells of Scotland
The Catskills
Helter Skelter
Finale - Symphony No1 - Mahler

Not quite the power house entertainers of yesteryear, or are they? With Garry Cutt at the helm then anything is possible, for this is a man who knows exactly what it takes to win here (and he has done it on six occasions).

He picks well-crafted programmes that always highlight the strengths of his band, and although he may not be able to benefit from the amazing array of new arrangements that seem to crop up here with Grimethorpe each year he will surely have a few little gems secreted up his sleeve. Lots of talent around the stands and as slick and professional a band on the entertainment stuff as you are likely to hear.

Graham O'ConnorRansome
4BR Ranking: 19
Conductor: Graham O'Connor

Spennymoor Record:
Appearances: 10th time
Debut: 1977
Best Result: 5th place - 2000.
Worst Result: 11th place 2003.
Fifth place: 2000, 2002
Sixth place: 1998, 1999.
Unplaced: 1977 - 8th, 1978 - 9th, 1979 - 10th, 2001 - 7th, 2003 - 11th 

Last 8 years:

2003 - 11th (Steve Bastable) (7)
2002 - 5th (Peter Parkes) (8)
2001 - 7th (Russell Gray) (4)
2000 - 5th (Russell Gray) (5)
1999 - 6th (Brian Grant) (5)
1998 - 6th (Brian Grant) (2)
1997 - DNC
1996 - DNC

2003 Programme
Marche Lorraine - Louis Ganne
My Ain Folk - Peter Graham, Flugel:Lucy Murphy
Caravan - Juan Tizol & Duke Ellington arr Steve Sykes
Hornpipe Humoresque - Noel Rawsthorne arr Andrew Duncan
Bees-a-Buzzin - Edrich Siebert
Finale Symphony No 2 Little Russian - Tchaikovsky arr William Gordon

2002 Programme:

Pop Goes the Posthorn
Summon the Heroes
Bring Him Home
The Cossack
America and Somewhere

2001 Programme:

Carmina Burana
Mumbo Jumbo
The Elephant
Concert Etude
Symphony No 3 - Khachaturian

Ransome has been pretty good value for money here over the years with more than a handful of top six finishes, but twelve months ago they were pretty ropey to say the least as the combination with Steve Bastable didn't work at all and they sounded ragged and uninterested.

That is very much unlike them and with Graham O'Connor, one of the wiliest old foxes in front of them they should return to better days this time around. Lots of talented players around the stand (especially on horn) they could well spring a surprise or three and make a mark here once more. 

Ray FarrEver Ready
4BR Ranking: 9
Conductor: Ray Farr

Spennymoor Record:
Appearances: 28th time
Debut: 1977
Best Result: 3rd place - 2003
Worst Result: 12th place - 1992.

Third Place: 2003
Fourth Place: 1977
Fifth place: 1978, 1983.
Sixth place: 1984.
Unplaced: 1979 - 9th, 1980 - 8th, 1981 - equal 7th, 1982 - 10th, 1985 - 8th, 1986 - 7th, 1987 - 7th, 1988 - 9th, 1989 - 9th, 1990 - 9th, 1991 - 9th, 1992 - 12th, 1993 - 11th, 1994 - 7th, 1995 - 7th, 1996 - 10th, 1997 - 11th, 1998 - 7th, 1999 - 11th, 2000 - 7th, 2001 -10th, 2002 - 8th

Last 8 years:
2003 - 3rd (Ray Farr) (6)
2002 - 8th (Ray Farr) (4)
2001 - 10th (Stephen Roberts) (5)
2000 - 7th  (Stephen Roberts) (9)
1999 - 11th (Robert Childs) (4)
1998 - 7th (Bryan Hurdley) (1)
1997 - 11th (Brian Grant) (9)
1996 - 10th (John Roberts) (9)

2003 Programme

Saber Dance - Khatchaturian
Over The Rainbow Flugel: - Joanne Winspear
Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Jeg Elske Deg Euphonium: - Paul Robinson
Post Horn Pandemonium - arr Ray Farr
Finale from Enigma Variations - Elgar, arr Ball.

2002 Programme:

Bergenhus March
Best By Farr
On With the Motley
Be My Love
Why Did I Choose You
A Grand, Grand Overture
Scottish Dance No 1
The Ugly Peanut
Cup of Life

2001 Programme:

Olympic Fanfare
Carnival of Venice
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine
My Funny Valentine
On the Track
American Carnival

Reg Vardy Ever Ready will be relishing this one for sure. After a fantastic year at the major contests they will surely be looking to round 2004 in style and go two places better than a twelve month ago and take the top prize here for the first time in their history and at their 28th attempt.

They have been here every year since the event started, but last year they came closest yet to winning and that kick started their recent run of great form. Ray Farr has tasted success here before (five times in fact) and we think he may be planning something special from his box of brilliant arrangements to try and make it a sixth win. If it comes off, then they could well bring the house down.

Philip McCannSellers International
4BR Ranking: 11
Conductor: Philip McCann

Spennymoor Record:
Appearances: 12th time
Debut: 1991
Best Result: Second Place: 2003
Worst Result: 9th place - 1996.
Second Place: 2003
Third place: 1992, 2001
Fourth place: 2002
Fifth place: 1993, 1999
Sixth place: 2000
Unplaced: 1991 - 8th, 1996 - 9th, 1997 - 7th, 1998 - 8th

Last 8 years:
2003 - 2nd (Philip McCann) (8)
2002 - 4th (Philip McCann) (3)
2001 - 3rd (Philip McCann) (8)
2000 - 6th (Alan Exley) (7)
1999 - 5th (Alan Exley) (7)
1998 - 8th (David Hirst) (10)
1997 - 7th (Alan Morrison) (10)
1996 - 9th (Alan Morrison) (12)

2003 Programme:
Marching to Glory - Stephen Bulla
Scarlet Ribbons - Evelyn Danzog & Jack Segal, arr Andrew Duncan
Flugel: Natalie Beer
The Waltonian - JJ Richards
American Trilogy - arr Goff Richards
Ole South (a pantation patrol)- JS Zamecnik & George Hamilton arr Stephen Bradman
Images for Brass (mvts 3 & 4) - Stephen Bulla

2002 Programme:
Overture to Tarus Bulba
You Raise Me Up
Grand Walkaround
Duet for Two Cats
Shield of Liberty
Ole South

2001 Programme:
Overture to Lawrence Of Arabia
In Trutina
I Love a Parade
In the Wee Small Hours
Hornpipe Humoresque
Reunion and Finale from Gettysburg

Last years runners up were excellent value with a expertly chosen programme from Philip McCann that was just the right mix of cracking playing and top notch visual entertainment. 

Sellers can master any number of playing styles and have been a busy band of late what with yet another well chosen CD release of popular film music that could well feature here. Some top notch solo players should also enhance their performance and confidence should be high after the British Open, although that may be tempered buy the loss of a couple of key payers in recent weeks.

Richard EvansGrimethorpe Colliery UK Coal
4BR Ranking: 13
Conductor: Richard Evans

Spennymoor Record:
Appearances: 25th time
Debut: 1977
Best Result: Winners: 12 times
Worst Result: 4th place 1996.
Winners: 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003
Second place: 1978, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1995
Third place: 1985, 1987, 1990, 2000
Fourth place: 1996.

Last 8 years:
2003 - 1st  (Garry Cutt) (6)
2002 - 1st  (Garry Cutt) (6)
2001 - 1st  (Garry Cutt) (9)
2000 - 3rd (Garry Cutt) (4)
1999 - 1st  (Garry Cutt) (9)
1998 - DNC
1997 - DNC
1996 - 4th (Garry Cutt) (13)

2003 Programme
Comedy Tonight - arr S Smith
Body & Soul - arr Joe Cook, Flugel:Ian Shires
Dance of the Pirates - Khachaturian - arr S Smith
The Humming Chorus - Puccini arr S Smith
The Lady is a Tramp Rodgers arr S Smith
If I Were a Rich Man - Bass Trombone, Mark Frost
Bock arr S Smith
An Expedition for Band:Galaxies - Carl Davis transcribed by Ray Farr

2002 Programme:
Freikgeun Polka
I'll Walk With God
The New Colonial
The Cuckoo
Danza Orgiastica

2001 Programme:
The Agincourt Song
Mambo Calienet
Eleanor Rigby
Another Fine Mess
Barbarian Horde from The Gladiator

Grimethorpe without Garry Cutt at Spennymoor is a bit like Grimey without any coal - hang on, they have been without any coal now for a good few years and it hasn't done them any harm, so losing him shouldn't prove to be terminal, especially as they have in front of them perhaps the greatest showman MD of them all - Richard Evans.

This could be a brilliant combination that could very well set the sparks flying in all directions - Grimey need a good front man for this type of contest, and there are not many better than Tricky Dicky are there? He has won here three times before so he knows the business and there should be some fun and games to look forward to too.

Brian GrantCarlton Main Frickley
4BR Ranking: 23
Conductor: Brian Grant

Spennymoor Record:
Appearances: 11th time
Debut: 1977
Best Result: 4th place - 1979, 1982
Worst Result: 10th place - 1978, 1980
Unplaced: 1977 - 7th, 1978 - 10th, 1980 - 10th, 1981 - equal 7th, 1983 - 8th, 1984 - 8th, 2001 - 6th, 2002 - 9th, 2003 - 9th

Last 3 years:
2003 - 9th (William Rushworth) (11)
2002 - 9th (William Rushworth) (7)
2001 - 6th (Paul Andrews) (11)

2003 Programme
Pokarekare Ana - Traditional, Tomoana arr P Maunder
Mephistopheles - Shipley Douglas
Pantomine - Philip Sparke, Euphonium:Ian Wright
It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow - Irving Berlin, arr Howard Snell
Great Gate of Kiev - Mussorgsky

2002 Programme:
Circus Bee
Carnival of Venice
Entertainments (2nd Mov)
Lassus Trombone

2001 Programme:
Peter Gunn
A Shot in the Dark
Girl Talk

Another welcome appearance for Carlton Main, who continue to battle hard and with such character against the odds at times. Brian Grant leads them this year after the partnership with William Rushworth came to an end, and they have shown signs of late that a return to better form is on the cards.

Last year they came 9th with a pretty decent programme that featured some quite outstanding playing from Kirsty Abbotts on solo cornet, and we think we could be hearing more from this fine player this year as well. In addition, the band have possibly unearthed the brightest young bass player for the future in the shape of 13 year old Ben Dixon who will be making his debut here with the band, but who has been described by Ray Sykes no less as perhaps "the next Steve Sykes" - and he should know. 

Morten E HansenMount Charles
4BR Ranking: 17
Conductor: Morten E Hansen

Spennymoor Record:
Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 2002
Best Result: 3rd place in 2002
Worst Result: 4th place in 2003
Last 2 Years:
2003 - 4th (Russell Gray) (1)
2002 - 3rd (Bryan Hurdley) (9)
2003 Programme
Alev Zornjaea (Red Morning Star) - Frode Rydland
Bucimis (Bulgarian Folk Dance) - Frode Rydland
Domen - Jan Mange Forde, Flugel:Tim Whitehead
Ejala - Jan Mange Forde
Scherzo Without Instruments
Unisons - Mikhail Alperin
Bucimis Ending - Frode Rydland

2002 Programme
Brillante: Euph Solo Shaun Thomas
Ave Verum
Boris Gudunov

There must be something in the water down Cornwall way because when it comes to entertainment, Mount Charles really do bring something a bit different to the contesting stage. 

Last year Russell Gray chose a brave and wickedly different concert set that included four of them dropping their trousers and doing a bit of knee slapping - and it brought the house down (although more conservative types thought it the end of the world). What this time then? Morten E Hansen is a clever and innovative MD and has the ability to really inspire his troops, so it could well be a bit spectacular to say the least. Watch out.

Philip HarperFlowers
4BR Ranking: 22
Conductor: Philip Harper

Spennymoor Record:
Appearances: 3rd time
Debut: 1998
Best Result: 6th place in 2003
Worst Result: 11th place in 1998

Last 6 Years:
2003 - 6th (Philip Harper) (3)
2002 - DNC
2001 - DNC
2000 - DNC
1999 - DNC
1998 - 11th

2003 Programme
The Contester - T J Powell
Hungarian Melodies - V Bach arr Philip Harper, Cornet:Kevin Robbins
Queen Isabel's Prayer - Philip Harper
Salsa No.2 - David Shire arr Philip Harper
Gladiator - Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerard arr Philip Harper
The Muppet Show - arr Philip Harper

Philip Harper and his band are also consummate entertainers, although last year his concert set didn't quite capture the ears of the judges both musically and visually and they had to be content with sixth place.

That would have been a disappointment as they are usually slickly rehearsed and tremendous fun to watch and if Mr Harper has once more unearthed a few gems in his arrangements (last year he produced a wonderful new composition to win that particular prize) they could well feature highly. On their day, they are every bit as good as anyone and they are due a slice of luck for what has been a pretty poor 2004 so far for a band of such talent. 

Andy DuncanWhitburn
4BR Ranking: 10
Conductor: Andy Duncan

Spennymoor Record:
Appearances: 11th time
Debut: 1977
Best Result: 4th in 1999
Worst Result: 12th in 2000, 1996 and 1977

Last 6 Years:
2003 - DNC
2002 - DNC
2001 - DNC
2000 - 12th (P. McCann) (6)
1999 - 4th (P. McCann) (2)
1998 - DNC

Whitburn return to Spennymoor for the first time since 2000 and over the years it hasn't been the best of hunting grounds for the Scots, what with three 12th places, three 10th places and couple of 9th places in the ten attempts they have made since making their debut at the inaugural contest in 1977.

They will return this year with high hopes of doing much better this time, and with a realistic chance of beating that best ever placing of 4th in 1999. Andy Duncan has a magic bag full of cracking arrangements to his name already and you can expect at least one or two new ones to appear this time as well, whilst they are a band with some very talented players around the stand. If they click, then they could be a band in with a very big shout. 


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