2007 Scottish Regional Championship - First Section


The First Section in Scotland promises to be the closest at this year’s Scottish regional. But who will make that step up into Scotland’s premier banding league?

Sunday March 11th
Adjudicators: Roger Webster & Chris Wormald
Test Piece: Sinfonietta - The Wayfarer (Eric Ball)
Commences: 10.30am
Draw: 9.00am

Arbroath Instrumental
Michael Robertson

Last 11 Years:
2006: 7th (M. Robertson)
2005: 6th (M. Robertson)
2004: 4th (M. Robertson)
2003: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (M. Robertson)
2002: 2nd in Third Section (prom) (M. Robertson)
2001: Winners of Fourth Section (prom) (M. Robertson)
2000: 9th in Fourth Section (M. Robertson)
1999: 10th in Third Section (rel)
1998: 11th in Third Section
1997: 11th in Second Section (rel)
1996: 8th in Second Section

It was only a few years ago when Arbroath's crop of youngsters went right from the fourth section to fourth place in the first, a fantastic achievement in any region.

The band should hold its own here with some exciting players, including 14-year-old Ross Knight, who recently finished fourth at the Scottish Solo Championships, beating many seasoned players on the way. However, a win here may be just ahead of the band's ability. 

Barrhead Burgh
Chris Bradley

Last 11 Years:
2006: 2nd in Second Section (C. Bradley) (prom)
2005: 9th in First Section (rel) (B. Keachie)
2004: Winners Second Section (B. Keachie) (prom)
2003: 3rd  (B. Keachie)
2002: 5th in First Section (rel) (B. Keachie)
2001: 7th in First Section (E. Drysdale)
2000: 8th in First Section (C. McKenzie)
1999: 2nd (prom)
1998: 8th 1st Section (rel)
1997: 8th 1st Section
1996: 2nd (prom)

Barrhead Burgh have been yo-yoing from the first to second section and back again for several years now and it will be keen to establish a good result which will ensure its continuance in this section.

In Chris Bradley, they have one of Scotland's finest conductors preparing them, and he will have them ready for this challenge. 

P. Drury

Last 11 Years:
2006: 3rd (C. Keenan)
2005: 10th in Championship Section (rel) (T. Swainson)
2004: 9th (A. Duguid)
2003: Winners of First Section (prom) (A. Duguid)
2002: 7th in First Section (A. Duguid)
2001: 4th in First Section (B. Allen)
2000: 5th in First Section (A. Ramsey)
1999: 5th in First Section
1998: 5th in First Section
1997: 2nd in Second Section (prom)
1996: 3rd in Second Section

Bathgate, after struggling in the championship section a few years ago, were unlucky not to return there last year a fine performance left them third. Another band that has been rebuilding recently, demonstrated by its lack of attendance in contests over the past two years, Bathgate is hoping to consolidate its position as a leading band in this section.

Paul Drury is a fine musician, with his arrangements for Sellers International at Brass in Concert helping the band to finish in third place last year. As for conducting, he led Unison Kinneil for many years, and has been rehearsing Whitburn for the past few months. He will have Bathgate ready for sure. 

BonessBo'ness & Carriden
Michael Marzella
Last 11 Years:
2006: 7th in Championship Section (I. McElligott) (rel)
2005: 8th (J. Hinckley)
2004: 8th (I. McElligott)
2003: 4th  (I. Davey)
2002: 8th (A. Swainson)
2001: 2nd in First Section (prom) (A. Swainson)
2000: 8th (rel) (S. Sykes)
1999: 8th
1998: 4th
1997: 7th
1996: 7th

Bo'ness will be the undoubted favorites of the first section this year, as its players will rely on their experience from many years in the championship section. The last time it slipped down to the first, it was promoted straight away, and we think this will happen again in Dundee.

The first section regional championships has been a happy hunting ground for Michael Marzella, having won the contest before with Broxburn Public (now Broxburn and Livingston), so he knows what it takes to win here. 

City of DiscoiveryCity of Discovery Brass
Bruce Fraser

Last 11 Years:
2006: Winners of Second Section (B. Fraser) (prom)
2005: 3rd (B. Fraser)
2004: 8th (B. Fraser)
2003: 9th in First Section  (B. Fraser) (rel)
2002: 8th in First Section (B. Fraser)
2001: 5th in First Section (B. Fraser)
2000: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (B. Fraser)
1999: 2nd in Third Section (prom)
1998: 8th in Third Section
1997: Winners of Fourth Section (prom)
1996: DNC

City of Discovery has had a bit of a resurgence over the past year, winning the second section regional, finishing fourth at the Lower Section Nationals and finishing second at the Scottish Shield contest, part of the Scottish Open championships.

While City is one of the few bands in this section on an upward trend, it will be interesting to see if it will compete successfully at this level. 

clackClackmannan District Brass
Raymond Tennant

Last 11 Years:
2006: 5th (J. Scott)
2005: 4th (J. Scott)
2004: 6th (J. Davies)
2003: 10th in Championship (rel) (J. Smith)
2002: 2nd in First Section (prom) (N. Law)
2001: 3rd in First Section (N. Law)
2000: 10th in Championship (rel) (J. Davies)
1999: 2nd in First Section (prom)
1998: 4th in First Section
1997: 9th in Championship (rel)
1996: 8th in Championship

Clackmannan have done well in this section for the past three years, but it will be hoping now to make a return to the championship section, where it last competed with Jim Smith conducting it in 2003.

Raymond Tennant is a seasoned campaigner with a variety of bands, and with third places at the Fife Charities and the Scottish Shield contest, the band should hold its own again here. 

DunaskinDunaskin Doon
John Boax

Last 11 Years:
2006: 8th (J. Boax)
2005: 5th (J. Boax)
2004: 5th (J. Boax)
2003: 3rd (J.Boax)
2002: 4th (D. Hirst)
2001: 10th in Championship (rel) (B. Keachie)
2000: 7th in Championship (A. McCutcheon)
1999: 8th in Championship
1998: 2nd (prom)
1997: 3rd
1996: 9th in Championship (rel)

A former regular at the top table in Scotland, Dunaskin has dwindled a bit in recent years and will need a good result to ensure its survival in this section for years to come.

Fifth place at Land O' Burns was a fine result, winning the first section award. But the Scottish is a different beast, one that Dunaskin will be hoping to tame, and should. 

JohnstoneJohnstone Silver
Charles Keenan

Last 11 Years:
2006: 10th in Championship Section (R. Tennant) (rel)
2005: Winners of First Section (prom) (G. Lindsay)
2004: 8th (R. Tennant)
2003: 5th (R.Tennant)
2002: 9th in Championship (rel) (R.Tennant)
2001: Winners of First Section (prom) (R.Tennant)
2000: Winners of Second Section (prom) (R.Tennant)
1999: 10th (rel)
1998: 6th
1997: 6th

The perennial ping-pongers of Scottish banding, Johnstone once again find themselves in first section. The band is too good for this section, but not good enough for the championship (with, of course, a fine fifth place in 2003 the exception).

Charles Keenan will have worked the band hard for sure, and Johnstone should find itself on the podium come results time.     

Anthony Swainson

Last 11 Years:
2006: 6th (A. Fernie)
2005: 2nd in Second Section (prom) (J. Chamberlain)
2004: 6th (R. Tennant)
2003: Winners of Third Section (prom) (G. Lindsay)
2002: Winners of Fourth Section (prom) (G. Lindsay)
2001: 12th in Third Section (rel) (B. Fraser)
2000: 7th in Third Section (B. Fraser)
1999: 5th in Third Section
1998: 3rd in Third Section
1997: 6th in Third Section
1996: 4th in Third Section

After years of languishing in the third section, Lochgelly pulled its socks up and now find itself in the first. Last year, with Alan Fernie, it finished a credible sixth, pretty good for a band that was in the fourth section five years previously.

Tony Swainson is a very experienced conductor and will knock the Fifers into shape for this one. 

newmiNewmilns and Galston
J. Smith

Last 11 Years:
2006: 4th (C. Anderson)
2005: 9th in Championship Section (rel) (C. Anderson)
2004: 2nd in First Section (prom) (C. Anderson)
2003: Winners in Second Section (prom) (C. Anderson)
2002: 9th (C. Anderson)
2001: 10th in First Section (rel) (N. Eggo)
2000: 7th in First Section (J. Smith)
1999: 10th in Championship (rel)
1998: 7th in Championship
1997: 2nd in First Section (prom)
1996: 6th in First Section

Newmilns and Galston have had a great few years under the leadership of Craig Anderson, culminating in two promotions in two years to the championship section.

That era is over for now, and Jim Smith will conduct the band, which finished second at last year's Brass in the Park competition. 

Past Qualifiers:

2006: Dalmellington, Broxburn and Livingston
2005: Johnstone Silver, Kirkintilloch Kelvin
2004: Newtongrange Silver, Newmilns and Galston
2003: Bathgate, Bon Accord
2002: Broxburn Public, Clackmannan District Brass.
2001: Johnstone Silver, Bo'ness and Carriden
2000: Bon Accord, Kingdom Brass
1999: Unison Kinneil, Clackmannan and District
1998: Longannet Colliery, Dunaskin Doon
1997: Broxburn Public, Newmilns and Galston
1996: Dalkeith and Monktonhall, Unison Kinneil
1995: Bon Accord, Clackmannan and District 

Scottish Bands at the Finals:

2006: 4th, 16th
2005: 7th, 8th
2004: 4th, 11th
2003: 10th, 17th
2002: 12th, 17th
2001: 6th, 9th
2000: 8th, 9th
1999: 2nd, 5th
1998: 2nd, 4th  

4BR Prediction:

This will be the hardest of the weekend for adjudicators Roger Webster & Chris Wormald to judge. Behind the top two of Bo'ness and Johnstone, there are a host of bands that, on their day, could win it, but could also come at the bottom of the pile. This will make it a very interesting day, as the results could go anywhere.

1. Bo'ness and Carriden
2. Johnstone
3. Newmilns and Galston
4. Dunaskin Doon
5. City of Discovery
6. Barrhead

Dark Horse: Bathgate


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