2006 Welsh Regional Championshps - Fourth Section


A good turn out of bands here show that there is still plenty of life in Section Four banding in Wales. But can they get to grips with a bit of Scottish trickery from the pen of Alan Fernie though?

Sunday 19th March
Adjudicator: Malcolm Brownbill
Test Piece: Anglian Dances Alan Fernie
Commences: 11.00am
Draw: 10.00am

No photo? Please send a JPEG to: 
general@4barsrest.com stating the conductors name, your band, your region and section. 

A. Williams

Last Ten Years:
2005: 11th (A. Williams)
2004: 10th (A. Williams)
Nice to see Abergynolwyn return once more to Swansea to compete for a third consecutive year. They made their debut in 2004 when they came 10th. And they just couldn't match that last time out when they came 11th. We hope they come back even stronger this time and that they can mount a challenge to the top six places at least.  

Crosskeys Silver
Keri Bowden

Last Ten Years:
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: 7th (K. Bowden) (rel)
2002: DNC
2001: 5th
2000: 2nd 4th Section (prom)
1999: 6th 4th Section
1998: 2nd 4th Section
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

The same goes for Crosskeys, who have been strong contenders in many sections, including the Championship over the years. They last won a title here back in 1981 under the baton of Nigel Weeks who is taking Abergavenny in the Championship Section. Keri Bowden is a good band trainer and that showed when they came on top at recent Gloucester contest. The band to beat then?   

A. Jones

Last Ten Years:
2005: 10th (A. Jones)
2004: 13th (A. Jones)
2003: 13th (J. Jones)
2002: 12th (J. Jones)
2001: 11th (J. Jones)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

The band from Crwbin come back once more to Swansea hoping to improve on a series of results that haven't been the greatest over the past few years. That said, they made it into the top ten last year and that showed a great deal of promise. Lets hope they can push even higher this time around. 

Dyffryn Nantlle
Sue Massey

Last Ten Years:
2005: 13th (S. Massey)

A fantastic reappearance for the band from North Wales last year and Sue Massey is doing a wonderful job. Their return last year after nearly 40 years away was a real boost for Welsh banding and we hope it heralds the first of many appearances here. 13th last year was just the start.

Ebbw Vale
Julie Rooke

Last Ten Years:
2005: DNC
2004: 7th (B. Davies)
2003: 8th (A. Browning)
2002: 7th
2001: 6th
2000: 7th 2nd Section (rel)
1999: 10th 2nd Section
1998: Winners
1997: 11th 2nd Section (rel)
1996: 6th 2nd Section

Ebbw Vale were National Fourth Section Champions way back in 1971, and have spent most of their contesting life in the lower sections. They did win the Fourth Section here again in 1987, and then won here at this level in 1998. Since then they have dropped away a bit but through the excellent work of Julie Rooke they are coming back once more chock full of really well taught youngsters. Welcome back then and we think they might do well. 

Jane Thomas

Last Ten Years:
2005: DNC
2004: 8th (W. Cross)
2003: DNC
2002: 3rd
2001: 5th
2000: 11th
1999: 13th in Third Section (rel)
1998: 9th
1997: Winners Fourth Section (prom)
1996: 3rd

Glyneath didn't compete here last year, but return hoping to start up again and make a mark. They are very well led by a talented MD and she has been bringing on some very talented young players. Another band with a very bright future ahead.  

Goodwick Brass
Gareth Ritter

Last Ten Years:
2005: 8th (G. Lane)
2004: 2nd (D. Wheeler)
2003: 9th (D. Wheeler)
2002: 8th (D. Wheeler)
2001: 7th (D. Wheeler)
2000: DNC
1999: 15th
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Goodwick just fell away last year after showing so much promise in 2004. That was a pity, but in Gareth Ritter they have a talented and very hard working MD who will make sure his band is well prepared. They will be aiming high once more we are sure.  

Gwaun Cae Gurwen
G. Rhys Davies

Last Ten Years:
2005: 5th (R. Williams)
2004: 6th (R. Williams)
2003: 10th (R. Williams)
2002: 10th (R. Williams)
2001: 10th 3rd Section (rel) (T. Charlton)
2000: 7th 3rd Section (T. Charlton)
1999: 12th 3rd Section
1998: 10th 2nd Section (rel)
1997: 8th 2nd Section
1996: 11th 2nd Section

One of the real famous old names in Welsh banding, Gwaun have been making a bit of a comeback in recent years and came 5th here last year. Wouldn't it be nice if they can show a further boost and gain a qualification place this time around? Rhys Davis is doing a fine job and this could be their year. 

M. Robinson

Last Ten Year:

Debut this year for the band from Rhos near Wrexham and showing that there is a real vibrant youth banding in North Wales. We don't know much more than this about them but we hope they come and show their skills and talents to the full and enjoy the experience. If they do it will hopefully mean the start of a long association at the contest.

Alan Davies

Last Ten Years:
2005: 2nd (A. Davies)
2004: 12th (A. Davies)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: 14th
1998: N/K
1997: N/K
1996: N/K

The band from near Merthyr Tydfil came to the contest last year and came runners up. Former Parc and Dare cornet player Alan Davies is working hard here to re-establish Llwydcoed back on the banding map in Wales, and his band are showing a great deal of promise. They went to Harrogate last year and came 10th so that should have been a great experience and a boost to their confidence.

H. Evans

Last Ten Years:
Another band making their debut here this year and it is great news for Welsh banding that a new band from West Wales will be making their debut. We wish them well and hope they too will start to become regular visitors.

Newport Borough
M. Davies

Last Ten Years:
2005: 12th (M. Davies)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 6th in Second Section (rel) (A. Williams)
2000: 7th in Second Section (L. Baglin)
1999: 6th in Second Section
1998: 4th in Second Section
1997: 4th in Second Section
1996: 10th in Second Section

Another band who made a welcome return to the contest last year after a period of three years away.  Newport came 12th, but they are crammed full of excellent youngsters and are very ably led. Again, a band with a great future ahead.  

Oakdale Silver
Ron Probyn

Last Ten Years:
2005: 9th (R. Probyn)
2004: DNC
2003: 8th (R. Probyn)
2002: 4th (R. Probyn)
2001: 11th 3rd Section (rel) (R. Probyn)
2000: 11th 3rd Section (R. Probyn)
1999: 11th 3rd Section
1998: 3rd 3rd Section
1997: 13th 3rd Section
1996: 4th 3rd Section

The great stalwart of Welsh banding, Ron Probyn continues to do sterling work with Oakdale and they made a welcome return to the contest last year after missing out for the first time in many a year in 2004.  9th place was a decent and solid return and we are sure Ron has been working his band hard to improve on that this year.   

John PippenPontypool Brass
Jonathan Pippen

Last Ten Years:
2005: 4th (J. Pippen)
2004: 9th (M. Jones)
2003: 9th in Third Section (rel) (M. Jones)
2002: 6th (M. Jones)
2001: DNC
2000: 3rd Third Section (A. Williams)
1999: 8th 2nd Section (rel)
1998: 9th 2nd Section
1997: 6th 2nd Section
1996: 7th 2nd Section

The talented trombone virtuoso Jonathan Pippen is now making a mark with Pontypool, and he will be looking to push the band up into the qualification places at least. 4th last year was a good result and they were just a tad unlucky, but we think they may go a couple of places better this time around at least.  

Upper Rhondda
Jin Tanaka

Last Ten Years:
2005: 14th (W. Williams)

Those of us with slightly longer memories will remember this band as a brilliant youth ensemble in the late 1970's and early 1980's, when they were Butlins Youth Champions on many an occasion. They come from a real hotbed of brass banding in the Rhondda Valley and are a product of an intensive programme of brass teaching that is going on in the area.  Last year they found their feet at the contest and came 14th, but under the baton of the very talented and prize winning conductor Jin Tanaka they should be a stronger outfit this time around.  

Past Qualifiers:

2005: Royal Oakley, Llwydcoed
2004: Radyr and Morganstown, Goodwick Brass
2003: Harlech, Ogmore Valley
2002: Conway Town, Porthaethwy Menai Bridge
2001: Llanelli and District, Briton Ferry
2000: Beaumaris B, Crosskeys
1999: Harlech, Blaenavon Town
1998: Llanrug, Cross Keys
1997: Glyneath, Royal Oakeley
1996: Royal Oakeley, Newbridge Celynen
1995: Royal Oakeley, Llanelli Town

Welsh bands at the Finals:

2005: 10th, 11th
2004: 4th, 18th
2003: 6th, 8th
2002: 5th, 7th
2001: 4th, 18th
2000: 1st, 18th
1999: 3rd, 10th
1998: 14th, 16th

4BR Prediction:

This Fourth Section this year is a real boost in the arm for Welsh banding if all the competitors make it to the staring line up. Credit must go the Welsh Regional Committee for encouraging new bands whilst it is great to see some older bands returning back to the fold.

Who will win then? With a make up of a field like this, it could be anyone's guess, but a couple of bands on past form (and that is all we can go on here) will fancy their chances of making it to Harrogate.

We stick our necks out and go for Pontypool Brass to take the honours this year and we think Crosskeys could join them at Harrogate. Glyneath and District, Gwaun Cae Gurwen, Llwydcoed and Goodwick Brass should battle it out in the top six whilst our dark horses are Dyffryn Nantlle.

1. Pontypool Brass
2. Cross Keys
3. Glyneath and District
4. Gwaun Cae Gurwen
5. Goodwick Brass
6. Llywdcoed

Dark Horse: Dyffryn Nantlle


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