2007 Yeovil Entertainment Contest - Runners and Riders


13 bands will line up to do battle at the Octagon Yeovil this weekend to see who will claim the 30th title and the £2000 first prize.

4BR Ranking:
Conductor: David Barringer

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kevin Robbins
Euphonium: Tim Dixon
Soprano: Paul Bilkey
Trombone: Sid Norman
Horn: Clare Smith
Flugel: Claudia Tomkins
Eb Tuba: Gareth Jones

Best Result: 8th in 1995
Last Year: 7th
Record since 1998:
2006: 7th (Steve Sykes)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: 13th (David Williams)
2001: DNC
2000: 13th (David Williams)
1999: DNC
1998: DNC

Aldbourne come to the contest after a little bit of a period of instability with the departure of MD Steve Sykes. They will be keen to make a mark here to try and set themselves up for the Regionals in a few weeks time where they came a well deserved 5th. Last year's 7th place was based on a well balanced programme that played to their strengths although they did tire towards the end, so much more of the same may be a wise move.

Player to listen out for:
The former Sun Life and Flowers top man Kevin Robins has been one of the best principal cornet players around for a long time now and he still retains all his class and lovely cornet sound.

2006 Programme:
Trumpet Blues & Cantabile: Harry James arr. Bill Geldard
Gypsy Festival from Echoes of The East: Rodney Newton
Variations from Home On The Range: Erik Liedzen
The Lord Bless You and Keep You: John Rutter arr Klass van der Woude
Finale From The Little Russian, Symphony No 2: Tchaikovsky arr. William Gordon 

Aveley and NewhamAveley and Newham
4BR Ranking:
Conductor: Nigel Taken

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Robert Osborne
Euphonium: Hannah Morton
Soprano: Andrew Bannister
Trombone: Shawn Kissane
Horn: Trevor Foster
Flugel: Dave Lewis
Eb Tuba: David Klien

Best Result: Winners in 2001 and 2005
Last Year: 6th

Record since 1998:
2006: 6th (Nigel Taken)
2005: Winners (Nigel Taken)
2004: 2nd (Nigel Taken)
2003: Withdrew
2002: 9th  (Nigel Taken)
2001: Winners  (Nigel Taken)
2000: 4th  (Nigel Taken)
1999: 6th  (Nigel Taken)
1998: DNE

On their day a very fine band indeed as they have shown here by winning twice and coming runners up once since 2001. It is a question though of whether or not they feel it is their day or not as they have been infuriatingly inconsistent of late and somewhat lay on their laurels after gaining promotion to the British Open. 
A bit hit and miss last year in coming 6th with a programme that seemed to be put together from existing parts rather than anything really new. Still, if they are serious to show that they are the class band here (they are the only British Open band) they should pick up some more silverware.

Player to listen out for:
Andrew Bannister on soprano is a high class practitioner of the art with the ability to thrill the pants off.

2006 Programme:
Thriller: Michael Jackson arr Phil Lawrence
Share My Yoke: Joy Webb arr. Ivor Bosanko
On The Track: Jack Simpson
Truth Aflame: Kevin Norbury
The Muppet Show: arr. Philip Harper 

BournemouthBournemouth Concert
4BR Ranking:
Conductor: Lt Col Chris Davis OBE

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Roland Wright
Euphonium: Stephen Didcott
Soprano: James Cooper
Trombone: Richard Curren
Horn: Phil Randell
Flugel: Steve Rowland
Eb Tuba: Bill Willis

Best Result: 4th 2002
Last Year: 13th

Record since 1998:
2006: 13th (David Hayward)
2005: 5th (David Hayward)
2004: 8th (David Hayward)
2003: 5th (Lt Col. Chris Davies)
2002: 4th (Major Chris Davies)
2001: 7th (Leonard Adams)
2000: 9th (Howard Evans)
1999: 5th (Howard Evans)
1998: 14th (Nigel Taken)

Bournemouth didn't quite have the season they were hoping for in 2006 after all the promise of 2005, so they will be hoping to make a real mark here once more after coming a disappointing 13th last year with a programme that seemed to lack confidence and sounded a touch under rehearsed in places.

They certainly have the personnel around the stand to make the most of their undoubted strengths and a fine MD at the helm with Chris Davis OBE, but they will have to up their game f they are to return to the top six once more.

Player to listen out for:
The experienced Phil Randell on solo horn played with Grimethorpe in winning the Nationals late last year so that is a clear indication of the lads undoubted class.

2006 Programme:
Jubilee: Paul Drury
Czardas: Delibes
Summer Isles from Hymn of The Highlands: Philip Sparke
Radio City: Jim Parker
Ave Maria: Franz Biebl
EDU, 9th Variation from The Enigma Variations: Edward Elgar 

4BR Ranking:
Conductor: Jason Katsikaris

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Jeff Hutcherson
Euphonium: Mark Hutcherson
Soprano: Meirion Davies
Trombone: Nick Jones
Horn: Bruce Myers
Flugel: Trevor Isaacs
Eb Tuba: Kate James

Best Result: 2nd in 1991
Last Year: 11th

Record since 1998:
2006: 11th (Jeremy Wise)
2005: DNC
2004: 5th (David Stowell)
2003: 8th (David Stowell)
2002: 5th (David Stowell)
2001: 6th (Gareth Pritchard)
2000: 8th  (No conductor)
1999: 4th (Steve Sykes)
1998: DNC

You never quite know what to expect from BTM good or bad though they are always worth listening out for, especially under the baton of the Australian Jason Katsikaris who is a talented and energetic presence to say the least.

On their day they can really delight and have quality soloist in the ranks to feature. It can get a little out of hand at times though so watch out, and they will another band keen to make up for last year when they delivered a pretty average show. Worth a punt at the bookies though and should be better focused on the day as the Six Nations rugby in Wales is on Sunday.

Player to listen out for:
Principal Euphonium and former British Open Solo Champion Mark Hutcherson may now be something of a veteran in playing terms but he lives and breathes BTM and still performs on stage to the very highest level.

2006 Programme:
Liberty Fanfare: John Williams
Song & Dance: Philip Sparke
Sing, Sing, Sing: Louis Prima arr David Twitchins
In Perfect Peace: Kenneth Downie
Shine as The Light: Peter Graham 

4BR Ranking:
Conductor:  Frank Renton

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kayleigh Rowe
Euphonium: Robert Jose
Soprano: Les Kneebone
Trombone: Barry Buist
Horn: Mark Letcher
Flugel: Andrew Mitchell
Eb Tuba: Timmy Joslin

Best Result: Winners 1993
Last Year: 5th

Record since 1998:
2006: 5th (Frank Renton)
2005: 6th  (Chris Davies)
2004: 6th  (Paul Murrell)
2003: DNE
2002: DNE
2001: DNE
2000: 10th (Leonard Adams)
1999: 3rd  (Leonard Adams)
1998: 9th (Leonard Adams)

Camborne haven't had a great deal of luck here over the past few years and have delivered powerful performances that perhaps deserved better than they eventually came. Frank Renton returns once more and he for one will be keen to kick start their season into claiming at least another appearance at the London Finals (they went on to come 2nd at Torquay last year).

Last year it seemed to be going well until a weak finisher rather took the gloss off things and they had to settle for 5th place. Quality around the stands and an unique talent in front, this could be their year and a first win since 1993 may well be on the cards.

Player to listen out for:
Mark Letcher on solo horn may be a slightly lugubrious figure to the untrained eye -  but what a tremendous player.

2006 Programme:
Mission Impossible: Lalo Schifrin
Chelsea Bridge: Billy Strayhorn arr. Adrian Drover
Brilliante: Peter Graham
Norweigian Wood: Lennon & McCartney arr. Adrian Drover 
Duel of The Fates: John Williams 

CwmamanCwmaman Institute
4BR Ranking:
Conductor: Ian Porthouse

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Tim Malpas
Euphonium: Jeremy Rugman
Soprano: Stephen Barnsley
Trombone: Paul Jenkins
Horn: James Bryant
Flugel: Rhian Hills
Eb Tuba: Gethin Rees

Best Result: 3rd in 2005
Last Year:  8th

Record since 1998:
2006: 8th (Simon Dobson)
2005: 3rd (Jonathan Corry) (Debut)
1998 2004: DNE

A bit of a surprise package in 2005 when they went a touch Mexican to come in 3rd, but last year, even though they certainly impressed many in the audience with a well crafted programme, it didn't appeal in the box and they had to be content with 8th place.

That seemed to put a bit of a downer on them for much of the rest of the season and they were disappointing at Swansea where they were way off the pace. If they can recapture a bit of form they may well be a dark horse here ass they have plenty of talent in the ranks and an MD who insists on quality preparation.    

Player to listen out for:
Stephen Barnsley is an outstanding soprano cornet player and not so long ago was winning awards at the National Finals as Best Instrumentalist with BAYV Band. Listen out for a player who knows just when to do the right thing.

2006 Programme:
ORB: Charles Anderson
The Irish Blessing: Joyce Eilers Bacak arr. Stephen Bradnum
Chicago: Fred Fisher arr. Barry Forgie
Flowerdale from Hymn of The Highlands: Philip Sparke
Mars from The Planet Suit: Gustav Holst 

fRIARY gUILDFORDFriary Guildford
4BR Ranking:
Conductor: Chris King

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Richard Straker
Euphonium: Wayne Fitzpatrick
Soprano: Richard Marley
Trombone: Roland Knight
Horn: Nigel Stephens
Flugel: Mark Yarham
Eb Tuba: Phillip German

Best Result: 12th in 1996
Last Year: N/A

Record since 1998:
1998 2006: DNE

A return to Yeovil for the first time since 1996 for Friary Guildford in what we believe will be their third appearance at the contest (they were 15th back in 1992).

These are exciting times at the band and since Chris King has been at the helm there has been a real boost of confidence that should bode well not only for here but at the Regionals at Stevenage where they will be hoping to improve on last year's 7th place. May find it hard to break into the top six this time, but don't discount them completely.

Player to listen out for:
Mark Yarham the flugel player may do a bit of everything on behalf of the band (including Sunday morning kitchen assembly), but he remains a real cornerstone with the quality of his playing.

2006 Programme:
Did not compete here last year.

KidlingtonKidlington Concert
4BR Ranking:
Conductor:  Catherine Underwood

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Nigel Membury
Euphonium: Aaron Barnes
Soprano: Alex Elderfield
Trombone: Rob Marsh
Horn: Jeff Raymont
Flugel: Dick Cox
Eb Tuba: Simon Handley

Best Result: 7th in 2003
Last Year: 15th

Record since 1998:
2006: 15th (Barry Wassell)
2005: 8th (Catherine Underwood)
2004: 12th (Catherine Underwood)
2003: 7th (Catherine Underwood)
2002: DNE
2001: 10th (Catherine Underwood)
2000: 11th (Catherine Underwood)
1999: DNE
1998: DNE

Great to see Catherine Underwood return once more to front the band she has done so much to progress in the right direction over the years. They haven't got the best of records here of late, but they still provide well thought out programmes that try to do something a little bit different.

They have had their ups and downs in the past few years too, but last year they just missed qualification for London by a point at Stevenage, so don't think they are just here to make up the numbers. Last year's programme had its moments, but lacked a bit of depth in stature and sound.   Could be an interesting one this time around.

Player to listen out for:
Dick Cox on flugel may be a real veteran (we won't give away his age) but what a fine player with a sound and technique players half his age would die for.

2006 Programme:
The Stars and The Stripes Forever: J P Sousa
A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square: arr. Howard Snell
Badnlat & Halling: Edvard Grieg 
I've Got You Under My Skin: Cole Porter arr. Mark Freeh
Dundonnell from Hymn of The Highlands: Philip Sparke

ParcParc and Dare
4BR Ranking:
Conductor: Richard Evans

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Carl Saunders
Euphonium: Helen Kinder
Soprano: Paul Eddy
Trombone: James Voros
Horn: Mike Sanders
Flugel: Dewi Griffiths
Eb Tuba: Wayne Davies

Best Result: 3rd in 1983
Last Year: DNC

Record since 1998:
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: 9th (Craig Roberts)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC

A return to Yeovil for the first time since 2003 for a band that made real progress during the past 12 months. Any band that has Richard Evans at the helm will also be one to look out for too and if he can gel with them then they could well be in with a shout or two.

Lots of good players in the ranks, but they haven't really shone in the entertainment stakes of late and were way off the pace at the Miners Eisteddfod around this time last year.  Could be interesting to see if they opt for a programme of their own or a hybrid of some of the MDs favourites with a good old swaggering march an essential ingredient.

Player to listen out for:
Carl Saunder on solo cornet is a class act and has shown that the virtues of quality brass band playing in the Salvation Army do cross over to top section banding.

2006 Programme:
Did not compete here last year. 

4BR Ranking:
Conductor: Philip Harper

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Chris Howley
Principal Euphonium: Andy Hicks
Soprano: Spencer O'Leary
Solo Horn: Vicki Reynolds
Flugel: Danny Winder
Solo Trombone: Nathan Jenkins
Eb Bass: Tom Davoran
Best Result: Winners in 2003, 2004
Last Year: 2nd

Record since 1998:
2006: 2nd (Philip Harper)
2005: 4th (Philip Harper)
2004: Winners (Philip Harper)
2003: Winners (Philip Harper)
2002: 3rd (Philip Harper)
2001: 2nd  (Philip Harper)
2000: DNE
1999: 11th (Michael Fowles)
1998: 2nd (David Williams)

Odd times on the entertainment front for PolySteel. After a poorly chosen programme at Gateshead they opted to perhaps play to the box at Skegness and chose a much more traditional approach that found no favour at all.  That was very unlucky as they deserved so much better. So what will they opt for here?

If they act with their hearts and not their heads they will play to their undoubted strengths and perform the type of exciting programmes that have thrilled the pants of even the most geriatric listener here for the past six years.  That should (fingers crossed) be more than enough to record a third win, but they will have to rid themselves of some chronic tuning issues if they are to do it in style.  

Player to listen out for:
One of the most talented young performers around, horn player Vicky Reynolds has been a real find for PolySteel and has really made a name for herself already on the contest stage.

2006 Programme:
Superman: John Williams
Basso Continuo: J S Bach arr. Bernard Reader
Indian Daybreak: Philip Harper
The Incredibles: Michael Giacchino
Wonderwoman: Charles Fox

WoodfallsSWT Woodfalls
4BR Ranking:
Conductor: Melvin White

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Barbara Camps
Euphonium: Graham Lawrence
Soprano: Mark Pye
Trombone: Scott Stewart
Horn: Trish Chislett
Flugel: Chantel Pye
Eb Tuba: Terry Cawte

Best Result: 2nd in 2005
Last Year: 4th 
Record since 1998:
2006: 4th (David Barringer)
2005: 2nd (David Barringer)
2004: 4th (Jonathan Camps)
2003: 3rd (Jonathan Camps)
2002: 6th (Jonathan Camps)
2001: DNE
2000: DNE
1999: DNE
1998: 12th (Melvin White)

A band on the up it seems and one to look out for not only here but also at the forthcoming Regionals where they have booked Nicholas Childs to lead their assault. They have also made a crafty choice here too with Melvin White taking over the reins an indication of serious intent, although amazingly he hasn't won at Yeovil in his long career.

The MD always brings something interesting to the entertainment table though (past form at Butlins has shown this) and they could well provide the listener with the most thought provoking programme of the day. Strong contenders for sure, although last year they put in a bit of a curates egg to come 4th.

Player to listen out for:
Mark Pye on soprano cornet is a classy performer and great visual entertainment too a true member of the soprano players union.

2006 Programme:
Gavorkna Fanfare: Jack Stamp
My Funny Valentine:
Sing Sing Sing: Louis Prima
Schindler's List: John Williams
Be A Clown:
Finale from Music of The Spheres: Philip Sparke 

sT aUSTELLSt. Austell
4BR Ranking: 
Conductor: David Loukes 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Hannah Hawkins
Euphonium: Paul Smith
Soprano: Rachael Whittaker
Trombone: Graham Hooper
Horn: Susan McKnight
Flugel: Leanne Osborne
Eb Tuba: Dave Coad

Best Result: Winners in 1981 and 1983
Last Year: DNC

Record since 1998:
2006: DNC
2005: 12th (David Loukes)
2004: 7th  (David Loukes)
2003: DNE
2002: DNE
2001: DNE 
2000: DNE
1999: 13th  (Chris North)
1998: DNE

St Austell return to Yeovil after missing out last year. David Loukes and his band of talented youngsters (although there are a few older heads it must be said) are progressing brightly and will be keen to show that they have moved on again from last year where they somewhat hit a momentary musical plateau.

Plenty of super players around the stand and a wise old head in front, they will be looking to add to their total of two wins here in the past, although they will have to make a huge improvement on their 2005 showing if they are to do just that. A top six place could be a more realistic achievement though.

Player to listen out for:
Rachael Whittaker could well be the new Tracey Redfearn or Michelle Ibbotson of the soprano cornet a great little player with one of the sweetest sounds around.

2006 Programme:
Did not compete here last year. 

SovereignSovereign Brass
4BR Ranking:
Conductor: Stephen Roberts

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Claire Hutchinson
Euphonium: Mark Hadlington
Soprano: Martin Britt
Trombone: Carl Fletcher
Horn: Bob Allen
Flugel: Sarah Matthew
Eb Tuba: Phil Green

Best Result: 2nd in 1999
Last Year: 3rd

Record since 1998:
2006: 3rd (Stephen Roberts)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: 12th (Stephen Roberts)
2001: DNC
2000: 6th (Steve Cooper)
1999: 2nd (Stephen Roberts)
1998: 12th (Stephen Roberts)

Sovereign made a great return to the contest last year when they came 3rd after producing a well crafted account that was full of classy musical input from both MD and his players. More of the same could well provide dividends once more if they maintain that form.

That early season high was not repeated at the Regionals though where they were out of the prizes, but with the likes of the experienced Phil Green, Desford's soprano Martin Britt and ex William Davis horn Bob Allen in the ranks they have all the right ingredients to allow Stephen Roberts to make the most of his considerable resources. A good bet at the bookies to do well.  

Player to listen out for:
Mark Hadlington is a cracking euphonium player who seems to be playing better than ever now that he back in a band that's full of fellow Brummies.

2006 Programme:
In A New York Minute: Simon Wallace arr. Stephen Roberts
Bring Him Home: Claude Schonberg
Libertango: Astor Piazzolla arr. Stephen Roberts
Tiptoe Through The Tulips: Dubin & Burke arr. Stephen Roberts
Dance of The Comedians: Smetana arr. Roy Newsome
Finale of Mahler's 3rd Symphony: arr. Stephen Roberts


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