2007 North American Brass Band Championships - Challenge Section


4BR looks at the challengers in the Challenge Section itself as they strive to claim their own version of the Second Section National title.

NABBAChallenge Section:
Saturday, April 13, 2007
Robinson Theatre
8:00am - 12:40pm

Set Piece:
Crusade (Van Der Velde)

Unlike in past years where there are usually a couple of bands that should have dropped down to the Explorer Section, all the bands in the section really have a chance to win.  

It will be very interesting to see how Chesapeake do in their first attempt and how Sunshine do after a brief hiatus.

ChesapeakeChesapeake Cornet Silver Brass Band
Ed Hockersmith

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC

Principal Players:
Front Row - Sue Peo and Michael Jones (co-principal cornets)
Back Row - Richard Fischer (2nd Cornet)
Horns - Bill Waugaman (flugel)
Trombones - Philip Hessler (bass)
Euphoniums - Rocky Snyder - Euphonium
Basses - Al Start (EEb)
Percussion - Harry West

Chesapeake Silver Cornet Band will be making their debut at the North American Brass Band Championships this year.  For a first time band they seemed to have scouted out contesting quite well before jumping into things.  They will be a true wildcard.

Commonwealth Brass Band
J. Jerome Amend, Director

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: 6th/8 (Challenge)
2005: 4th/4 (Challenge)
2004: WD
2003: DNC
2002: 3rd/5 (Challenge)

Principal Players:
Front Row - Shawn Roark (principal cornet)
Back Row - Jacqueline Amend (soprano)
Horns - Susan Reigler (solo horn)
Trombones - Robert Spieglehalter (solo trombone)
Euphonium - Tony Wise
Basses - Steve Lasher (EEb bass) & Josh Tharp (BBb)
Percussion - Matt McClimon

Having finished behind the other local band (Derby City) must have been a bit of a disappointment (especially since the championships are held in their home venue). 

Look for them to rebound and finish a bit stronger this year.  However, they may not have quite enough to finish in the prizes for what has become a very competitive section.

Derby CityDerby City Brass Band
John Jones

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: 5th/8 (Challenge)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC

Principal Players:
Front Row - Dr. Michael Tunnell & Don Johnson (co-principal cornets)
Back Row - Reece Land (soprano)
Horns - Rich Levinson (solo horn)
Trombones - Derek Peters (solo)
Euphoniums - Daniel Stull (Euphonium) & Sarah Danyi (Baritone)
Basses - Quentin Sharpenstein (EEb) & Norman Epley (BBb)

In the local derby vs. Commonwealth, Derby City won last year's bragging rights by less than 1 point per adjudicator. It was their first contest (having been established in 2002), and was quite a positive experience for the band to build off of. 

MassanuttenMassanutten Brass Band
Kevin Stees

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: 3rd/8 (Challenge)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC

Principal Players:
Front Row: Tim Rumsey (principal cornet)
Back Row: Dave Mayo (soprano)
Horns: Candace Kluesner
Trombones: Andy Lankford
Euphoniums: David Heinsen
Basses: Mike Allen (EEb bass)
Percussion: Andrew Richardson

The band made their debut in the Challenge Section last year and showed they were a quality outfit.  Another year to gel (in spite of a few personnel changes) should do the band well. 

Kevin Stees has quickly become a seasoned MD and they should compete for the top prize.

Natural SateNatural State Brass Band
Russell Morris

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: 4th/8 (Challenge)
2005: 2nd/4 (Challenge)
2004: 3rd/7 (Challenge)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC

Principal Players:
Front Row:  Courtney Swindler (principal cornet)
Back Row:Steven Cross (soprano), Rick Wilson (repiano)
Horns: Larry Crenshaw (flugel), Robert Herring (solo horn)
Trombones: Larry Vaught (solo trombone)
Euphoniums: Tina Hall (euphonium), Rico Belotti (baritone)
Basses: Matt Jamison (EEb), Kevin Sanders (BBb)
Percussion:  J.B. Cross

The Natural State Brass Band has always finished in the top half of the section (just). It will be interesting to see if they can have that break through performance they are capable of.

Spires Brass Band
John Slezak

Recent Form at NABBA Championships:
2006: 2nd/8 (Challenge)
2005: 1st/4 (Challenge)
2004: 2nd/7 (Challenge)
2003: 1st/4 (Challenge)
2002: 4th/5 (Challenge)

Having won this section 3 of the past 6 years, Spires has to be a favourite.  They'll get some competition from some newer bands wanting to show their stuff, but should make a good run at another title.

SunshineSunshine Brass Band
James Cheyne

Recent Form at NABBA:
2006: DNC
2005: 7th/7 (Honors)
2004: 2nd/6 (Honors)
2003: DNC
2002: 1st/5 (Challenge)

Principal Players:
Front Row:  Larry Harvey  (principal cornet)
Back Row - George DeGuzman (soprano)
Horns: Dave Peto (flugel), Jan McMahon (solo horn)
Trombones: Terry Adams (solo trombone)
Euphoniums:  Andy Glow (euphonium), Julie Boon (baritone)
Basses:  Tod Markin (EEb), Dr. Peter Gorski (BBb)

The Sunshine Brass Band had a bad result in the section above their last time out and has had a good deal of shuffling of players.

However, they've always been a solid group so we look for them to rebound with a top-two result this time around.

4BR Predictions:

This is a very difficult section to call, so we are going to base our (once again) dodgy predictions on past experience of the bands and their MDs.  Spires has one every odd year for a while and 2007 is another odd year.

Sunshine and Massanutten should show good form based on their tradition and MD respectively.  The real wildcard is the Chesapeake band who will be making their contest debut.

1.  Spires Brass Band
2.  Sunshine Brass Band
3.  Massanutten Brass Band

Dark Horse: Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band


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