2007 West of England Regional Championship - Second Section


A real full line up of bands for the judges to enjoy and ponder over. But which one will be having a ‘carnival’ time in Torquay come the results?

Sunday 11th March
Adjudicator: Lloyd Landry & Stephen Tighe
Test Piece: Carnival – Helen Perkin
Commences: 10.00am

BristolBristol East
Roy Curran

Last 11 Years:
2006: 12th (B. Pope)
2005: 8th (B. Pope)
2004: 5th in Third Section (J. Griffin) (prom)
2003: 4th (J. Griffin)
2002: 6th
2001: 13th
2000: 18th in Second Section (rel)
1999: 14th in Second Section
1998: 13th in Second Section
1997: 4th (prom)
1996: N/K

Bristol East will be hoping that they can produce a better performance than they did here last year when they could only come home in 12th place. That was a performance that was marred by overblowing – something the experienced Roy Curran will certainly keep a lid on this year.  

Filton Concert Brass
Bryn James

Last 11 Years:
2006: 8th (B. James)
2005: 10th (B. James)
2004: 5th (B. James)
2003: 3rd in Third Section (prom) (B. James)
2002: 8th (N. Seaman)
2001: 6th (B. James)
2000: 5th
1999: 6th
1998: 9th
1997: 4th
1996: N/K

Bryn James continues his good work with Filton although they too will be looking to gain a better result for their efforts than they achieved last year. Then they struggled a bit in overcoming the technical challenges on a difficult set work, but this time they will have to hope that the MDs usual musical approach will pay better dividends. 

GillinghamGillingham Imperial Silver
Alan McRae

Last 11 Years:
2006: 2nd in Third Section (E. Haines) (prom)
2005: 4th (E. Haines)
2004: 7th (E. Haines)
2003: DNC (rel)
2002: 3rd in Second Section (G. Lewis)
2001: 15th (F. Tranter)
2000: 10th
1999: 10th
1998: 16th in First Section (rel)
1997: 15th
1996: 13th

Eric Haines took Gillingham into the runners up spot here last year in the Third Section and that led to an appearance at Harrogate where they eventually settled for 14th place. Alan McRea is taking the band this year although they will be keen to make a mark after three years of continual contesting improvement. 

LydmeyLydmet Lydney
Colin Hogg

Last 11 Years:
2006: 10th in First Section (T. Cooper) (rel)
2005: DNC (rel)
2004: 10th
2003: 10th (Wayne Ruston)
2002: 4th in First Section (prom)
2001: 4th in First Section
2000: 8th in First Section
1999: 11th (rel)
1998: 8th
1997: Winners of First Section (prom)
1996: N/K

Lydmey Lydney found life back on the contest stage hard work last year when they came 10th under the baton of Tim Cooper. Unfortunately even though they did take a few scalps it wasn't enough to avoid the drop and so they will be keen to make a move back in the right direction starting here this weekend.  

MichelmershMichelmersh Silver
Lawrence Butchart

Last 11 Years:
2006: 6th (M. White)
2005: 7th (D. Graham)
2004: 12th (S. Large)
2003: Winners of Third Section (prom) (B. Kelloway)
2002: Winners of Third Section (B. Kelloway)
2001: 8th (D. Wilds)
2000: 9th
1999: 8th
1998: 5th
1997: 12th
1996: N/K

Melvin White returns to Michelmersh once more this year and he will be keen to ensure that his band takes yet another step in the right direction. They now have been getting better and better results at the contest for the past six years. 

If the band has put in the hard work the MDs approach will surely be enough to push them higher and a possible podium place may await.  

OceanOcean Brass
Nick Grace

Last 11 Years:
2006: 5th (N. Grace)
2005: 9th in First Section (rel) (N. Grace)
2004: 10th (L. Rich)
2003: 13th (D. Muir)
2002: 2nd (L. Rich)
2001: 13th (L. Rich)
2000: Winners of Second Section (prom)
1999: 7th in Second Section
1998: N/K
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Ocean Brass produced a fine performance last year and could count themselves a touch unlucky that it didn't get the reward it deserved in the box. Lots to admire about the neat approach from the MD and some wonderful ensemble work was a real feature, and if they can do that again then they should get their reward – fingers crossed of course. 

PhoienixPhoenix Brass (Crewkerne)
Paul Slator

Last 11 Years:
2006: 13th (K. Darby)
2005: 11th (M. Knapton)
2004: 6th (M. Knapton)
2003: 8th (M. Knapton)
2002: 7th (G. Greenstock)
2001: 7th (G. Greenstock)
2000: 6th
1999: Winners in Third Section (prom)
1998: Winners in Third Section
1997: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
1996: N/K

Phoenix were not rising from the flames last year for sure as they rather limped home in 13th place under the baton of Kevin Darby.  They will not want a repeat performance this time around as that may mean flirting with possible relegation, so fingers crossed that it all comes good on the day. 

PortisheadPortishead Town
Ian Holmes

Last 11 Years:
2006: 4th (I. Holmes)
2005: Winners of Third Section (prom) (R. Griffiths)
2004: 6th (R. Griffiths)
2003: 7th (D. Beckley)
2002: 17th (D. Hollister)
2001: 11th (D. Hollister)
2000: 2nd in Fourth Section (prom)
1999: 5th in Fourth Section
1998: 8th in Fourth Section
1997: 20th in Fourth Section
1996: N/K

The experienced Ian Holmes did a cracking job with Portishead last year delivering a performance of real merit to claim 4th place. That performance featured some notable euphonium work and some clear ensemble work too, so if the team has put in the hard graft once more they could well be confident of finding their name engraved on a trophy or two.   

ShrewtonShrewton Silver
Michael Dunford

Last 11 Years:
2006: 7th (M. Dunford)
2005: 2nd in Third Section (prom) (M. Dunford)
2004: 3rd (M. Dunford)
2003: 12th (M. Dunford)
2002: 6th in Fourth Section (prom) (M. Dunford)
2001: 7th in Fourth Section (M. Dunford)
2000: 4th in Fourth Section
1999: 25th in Fourth Section
1998: 18th in Fourth Section
1997: DNC
1996: N/K

Shrewton delivered a very decent account of themselves last year under the astute baton of MD Michael Dunford. They are a band that has come a very long way in a very short space of time and even a dreaded number 1 draw didn't dampen their enthusiasm or confidence.

More of that again and they could well find themselves high in the prize list once more.  

SoundhouseSoundhouse Brass
Mike Faro

Last 11 Years:
2006: 3rd (D. Stephens)
2005: 9th (D. Stephens)
2004: 8th (D. Stephens)
2003: 6th (D. Stephens)
2002: 2nd in Third Section (prom) (D. Stephens)
2001: 7th in Third Section ((L. Hodgkiss)
2000: 6th in Third Section
1999: 11th in Third Section
1998: 8th in Third Section
1997: 13th in Third Section
1996: N/K

The talented Mike Faro takes over the helm from the vastly experienced Denzil Stephens this year and he has a hard act to follow after the band came 3rd last year and just missed out on a trip to the National Finals.

Last year saw the band deliver an understated performance notable for the warmth of its ensemble sound, so if that can be repeated it should see them battle it out for the qualification places once more.  

South Molton Town
Terry Treherne

Last 11 Years:
2006: 4th in Third Section (D. Tilling) (prom)
2005: 7th (D. Tilling)
2004: 8th (D. Tilling)
2003: 15th (D. Tilling)
2002: 11th in Second Section (rel) (C. Ross)
2001: 12th in Second Section (C. Ross)
2000: 16th in Second Section
1999: 14th in First Section (rel)
1998: 15th in First Section
1997: 10th in First Section
1996: N/K

For the past four years South Molton have been making real progress at this contest and it was rewarded 12 months ago with promotion after a performance  of some considerable merit in the Third Section.

Terry Treherne takes over the baton this year and has a hard act to follow, although we think if they have continued to improve they may well make a significant impact on proceedings and provide another step back towards the First Section.   

StythiansSt. Stythians
Derek Johnston

Last 11 Years:
2005: 10th (D. Johnston)
2005: 13th (D. Johnston)
2004: 4th in Third Section (D. Johnston) (prom)
2003: 6th (D. Johnston)
2002: 5th (D. Johnston)
2001: 16th in Second Section (rel) (D. Johnston)
2000: 16th in Second Section
1999: 11th in Second Section
1998: 5th in Second Section
1997: 17th in Second Section
1996: N/K

Another band that is certainly making significant steps in the right direction, St Stythians more than held their own last year with a performance that had its moments as well as it inconsistencies.

Perhaps they may not quite be strong enough to mount a challenge for a podium place just yet, but another sizeable move up the prize table may be on offer if they play to form.  

Torbay Brass
T. Naughton

Last 11 Years:
2006: 14th (H. Evans)
2005: 3rd (D. Johnson)
2004: 14th in First Section (D. Johnson) (rel)
2003: 9th (B. Buckley)
2002: Winners of Second Section (prom)
2001: 12th (rel)
2000: 13th
1999: 8th
1998: 5th
1997: 6th
1996: N/K

Torbay found it hard work last year on a very difficult test piece that was not to their liking. 14th spot means that they will have to produce something much better this time around if they are not to be drawn in to a relegation dog fight, but as they showed in 2005 they are more than capable of rising to the top against this standard of opposition.  Lets hope so. 

Past Qualifiers:

2006: St. Dennis, Lympstone South West Telecom
2005: St. Keverne, Woodfalls Concert Brass
2004: Otterbourne, Forest of Dean
2003: Lanner and District, Lympstone South West Telecom
2002: Torbay Brass, Bendix Kingswood
2001: Bendix Kingswood, City of Bristol Brass
2000: Ocean Brass, Test Valley Brass
1999: Solent Concert, Sherborne Town
1998: Redruth Town, St. Keverne
1997: Yeovil Town, Forest of Dean
1996: Forest of Dean, N/K
1995: Hyde, Lanner and District 

West of England bands at the Finals:

2006: 1st, 14th
2005: 1st, 3rd
2004: 13th, 14th
2003: 3rd, 15th
2002: 9th, 15th
2001: 2nd, 12th
2000: 7th, 11th
1999: 8th, 15th
1998: 8th, 17th  

4BR Prediction:

This is going to be a very closely contested battle we think as here doesn't really seem to be one band that is head and shoulders above the rest of the field here. That said, whoever gets the nod from the judges should travel north to Harrogate confident of doing well – just look at the record of the region in the past couple of years.

If they get a bit of luck and play to the form they showed last year though we think Ocean Brass could well take the honours, although we think they will be pushed all the way by Michlemersh and Portishead if they too hit their bootstraps running. Soundhouse have quality about them too as does Shrewton and Lydmey Lydney if they can put behind them the disappointment of last year's relegation. Our dark horse is Bryn James and his Filton band.

1. Ocean Brass
2. Michlemersh Silver
3. Portishead
4. Soundhouse
5. Shrewton
6. Lydmet Lydney

Dark Horses: Filton Concert Brass


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