2007 London and Southern Counties Regional Championship - Championship Section


The top bands south of the Watford Gap line up to get to grips with Robert Redhead’s impressive piece and try to tickle Nicholas Childs’ fancy.

Sunday 18th March
Adjudicator: Dr Nicholas J Childs
Test Piece: Isaiah 40 - Robert Redhead

Commences: following Third Section Results
Draw: 1.30pm

AveleyAveley and Newham
Nigel Taken
4BR Ranking: 23

Last 11 Years:
2006: Winners (N. Taken)
2005: 2nd (N. Taken)
2004: 3rd (N. Taken)
2003: 3rd (N. Taken)
2002: 2nd (N. Taken)
2001: Winners (N. Taken)
2000: Winners (N. Taken)
1999: 3rd
1998: Winners
1997: 2nd
1996: 6th

Aveley and Newham have shown they've got what it takes to do well here and this was reinforced last year when they took the title in fine style, although they'll have been disappointed to have come 18th at London. 

2007 has started with them coming 6th at Yeovil in February (a bit of a low key start against a pretty avaerage field), but if they play to form, they'll give Nicholas Childs something to think about and a repeat of 2006 should be well within their range. Plenty of quality around the stands and a MD with bags of experience - another Kensington trip should be on the cards.

Clacton on Sea Co-operative
Robert Nunnery
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200

Last 11 Years:
2006: 8th (R. Wiffin)
2005: 2nd in First Section (prom) (M. White)
2004: 3rd (M. White)
2003: 10th in Championship Section (rel) (M. White)
2002: 8th (M. White)
2001: 9th (M. White)
2000: 4th (N/K)
1999: 6th
1998: 4th
1997: 4th
1996: 4th

Getting promoted can be a daunting business.  Will the band do well and will we give a good account of ourselves are two of the questions that get asked?  For Clacton, the answer last year to both questions was a resounding ‘yes' with them finishing 8th – a pretty good effort in anyone's book.

A similar result and maintaining championship status will suit them nicely and they have a real talent in MD Rob Nunnery who could just provide them with an added touch of class. 

FriaryFriary Guildford Brass
: Chris King
4BR Ranking: 167

Last 11 Years:
2006: 7th (K. Maxwell)
2005: 8th (K. Maxwell)
2004: 4th (K. Maxwell)
2003: Winners of First Section (prom) (K. Maxwell)
2002: 5th (K. Maxwell)
2001: 13th (K. Maxwell)
2000: 5th (K. Maxwell)
1999: 10th in Championship Section (rel)
1998: 9th in Championship Section (rel)
1997: 5th in Championship Section
1996: 5th in Championship Section

A great result in 2004 saw Friary Guildford come 4th and beat quite a few more fancied bands in the process, but they've slipped off the pace a bit here in the past two years. 

Chris King has taken over and they'll be looking to for a higher placing here.  They were a touch off the pace at Yeovil earlier in the season, though so they'll be hoping for better at Stevenage. 

Haverhill Silver
Mark Ager
4BR Ranking: 108

Last 11 Years:
2006: Winners of First Section (prom) (M. Ager)
2005: 8th (M. Ager)
2004: 7th (M. Ager)
2003: 10th (M. Ager)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: 8th (C. Shipp)
1999: Winners of First Section
1998: 7th
1997: N/K
1996: 2nd in Second Section (prom)

Debutants in this section, Haverhill will be relishing competing in the top section having taken the honours in the First Section last year. 

That's saw them go on and claim 13th place at Harrogate, so they will know they will have to really up their game if they are to make a serious mark here. Lots of talented players and a fine MD at the helm, it will be interesting to see how they go on Sunday. 

KidlingtonKidlington Concert Brass
Catherine Underwood
4BR Ranking:158

Last 11 Years:
2006: 3rd (C. Underwood)
2005: 9th (C. Underwood)
2004: 5th (C. Underwood)
2003: 6th (C. Underwood)
2002: 7th (C. Underwood)
2001: 2nd (C. Underwood)
2000: 9th (C. Underwood)
1999: 4th (C. Underwood)
1998: 5th (C. Underwood)
1997: 6th (C. Underwood)
1996: 7th (C. Underwood)

One of the most consistent bands here, Kidlington had their best result last year since 2001 when they came 3rd (with the same points as Black Dyke at the Bradford) 

Catherine Underwood continues to do a fine job, but as with Friary Guildford, they were well off the pace at Yeovil but a good show from them on Sunday is more than possible and a return to Kensington for the first time since 2001 could be a realistic possibility, although a repeat of the points total from last year may be a wish and a prayer. 

Redbridge Brass
Melvin White
4BR Ranking: 39

Last 11 Years:
2006: 4th (M. White)
2005: Winners (M.White)
2004: Winners (M. White)
2003: Winners (M. White)
2002: Winners (M. White)
2001: 4th (M. White)
2000: 6th (N/K)
1999: 2nd
1998: 3rd
1997: Winners
1996: Winners

Apart from last year's hiccup you've got to back to 2001 for the last time Redbridge didn't qualify for the National finals when they came 4th. 

They've dominated this contest in recent years winning 2002-05 inclusive, so Melvin White will have been having strong words and the work will have gone in.  They didn't quite hit the ground running at Butlins in January where they came 8th, and sounded a band at odds with itself, but this is a different day altogether and you feel they will want to go into the rest of the year with the local bragging rights safely under their belts. 

Soham Comrades
P. Filby
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200

Last 11 Years:
2006: 6th (C. King)
2005: 7th (C. King)
2004: 6th (P. Filby)
2003: 4th (P. Filby)
2002: 4th (P. Filby)
2001: 7th (P. Filby)
2000: 5th (P. Filby)
1999: 7th (P. Filby)
1998: 3rd in First Section (prom) (P. Filby)
1997: 6th in First Section (P. Filby)
1996: 5th in First Section (P. Filby)

Soham Comrades continue to make a good impression in the Championship Section and consistently push for a top six place year after year. 

Consistency is one of the key markers on ‘Isaiah 40' and if they can just get that little bit extra mileage out of the tank this year they could well claim a podium finish at least.  

WantageWantage Silver
Philip Bailey
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200

Last 11 Years:
2006: 3rd (First Section) (prom) (P. Bailey)
2005: 3rd (M. Pegram)
2004: 8th (M. Pegram)
2003: Winners of Second Section (prom) (M. Pegram)
2002: 8th (M. Pegram)
2001: 3rd (M. Pegram)
2000: 8th (R. White)
1999: 8th
1998: 11th
1997: N/K
1996: 12th in First Section (rel)

Wantage continue to make good progress and two third places in the First Section in the past two years has seen them get promoted.

They've seen Staines make an impact, so can they do the same and take a few scalps at least. Philip Bailey is at the helm and the former Young Conductor of the Year has plenty of experience directing at this level, which could well be needed on the weekend. 

WelwynWelwyn Garden City
Steven Tighe
4BR Ranking: Outside top 200

Last 11 Years:
2006: 10th (D. Jones)
2005: 5th (D. Jones)
2004: 7th (D. Jones)
2003: 7th (D. Stokes)
2002: 2nd in First Section (D. Stokes) (prom)
2001: 4th in First Section (D. Stokes)
2000: 10th in First Section (D. Stokes)
1999: 3rd in First Section
1998: Winners of Second Section
1997: 5th in Second Section
1996: 10th in First Section (rel)

Welwyn Garden City have done well here in recent years but they struggled on Journey to the Centre of the Earth last year. They will need to put in a top class performance them to retain their championship status but thankfully Stephen Tighe has plenty of top level experience and will know just what is needed.   

Zone OneZone One Brass
Paul Archibald
4BR Ranking: 173

Last 11 Years:
2006: 5th (S. Dobson)
2005: 4th (S. Dobson)
2004: 5th in First Section (S. Dobson) (prom)
2003: 2nd (S. Dobson)
2002: DNC

Zone One Brass and Simon Dobson have worked very well together and have put on some cracking performances here over the past couple of years.  This year they have a change of direction with the baton with trumpeter Paul Archibald taking over, another clever move from the band that seems to be full of very clever musicians.

They're a good musical outfit and it'll be interesting to see if they can ruffle a few feathers and sneak a top three berth this year – the promise has certainly been on show for the last few years. 

Past Qualifiers:
2006: Aveley and Newham, Staines Brass
2005: Redbridge Brass, Aveley and Newham
2004: Redbridge Brass, Alliance Brass
2003: Redbridge Brass, Alliance Brass
2002: Redbridge Brass, Aveley and Newham
2001: Aveley and Newham, Kidlington Concert
2000: Aveley and Newham, First City Brass
1999: First City Brass, Redbridge Brass
1998: Aveley and Newham, City of Oxford
1997: Redbridge Brass, Aveley and Newham
1996: Redbridge Brass, Staines Brass
1995: John Laing Hendon, Aveley and Newham
1994: Regent Brass, John Laing Hendon
1993: John Laing Hendon, Aveley
1992: London Electricity Redbridge, Asphaltic Newham
1991: London Electricity Redbridge, Alder Valley Aldershot
1990: John Laing Hendon, London Electricity Redbridge, Aveley
1989: Asphaltic Newham, John Laing Hendon

*Pre Qualified 

How London & SC bands did at the Finals:
2006: 11th, 18th
2005: 7th, 18th
2004: 12th, 15th
2003: 15th, 19th
2002: 11th, 12th
2001: 12th, 20th
2000: 7th, 9th
1999: 12th, 13th
1998: 18th, 20th
1997: 17th, 18th
1996: 13th, 18th
1995: 12th, 17th
1994: 15th, 19th
1993: 14th, 19th
1992: 13th, 19th
1991: 18th, 21st
1990: 15th, 18th, 21st
1989: 5th, 7th   

4BR Prediction:

With the equilibrium of Redbridge winning here for the past few years being disturbed in 2006, its going to be interesting to see how 2007 pans out, although we think there will only be the two real contenders for the title.

The failure of both Staines and Alliance to make it to the starting line up opens the field up somewhat, but punters who fancy a few quid on the two ‘big guns' of Redbridge and Aveley & Newham will be happy that their odds of making it to Kensington must have shortened accordingly.

Can't really see anyone really spoiling their party, although we think Redbridge may just get the nod this time around. After them it becomes a bit of a fight for the podium and we opt for Zone One to pip Soham with Clacton and Kidlington making up the numbers. Wantage are the dark horse.

1. Redbridge
2. Aveley and Newham
3. Zone One Brass
4. Soham Comrades
5. Clacton on Sea
6. Kidlington

Dark Horse: Wantage


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