2007 Spring Festival - Senior Trophy runners and riders


20 bands will be trying to take the first steps up the promotion ladder towards the British Open - as long as they can enjoy an fetrnnon work out at the ballet.

Test Piece: Ballet for Band - Joseph Horovitz
Adjudicators: Not known at present

WireBactiguard Wire Brass
Paul Andrews
4BR Ranking: 74

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Mike Jones
Soprano Cornet: Billy Parkinson
Flugel: Andrea Egginton
Solo Horn: Anabel Stapleton
Solo Euphonium: James Emberley
Solo Trombone: Jill Riley
Tuba: N/K
Baritone:Alison Laycock

Blackpool Form:
Debut appearance at contest

Form Guide:
Yet another milestone achievement for Wire Brass as they make their debut at the Spring Festival under conductor Paul Andrews. They are certainly a band that has come an extraordinarily long way in such a short period of time.

They will know though that this is banding at the sharp end and they have struggled a little in 2007, coming 5th at Brass at the Guild Hall and 10th on their debut in the top section at the North West regional. They will now know what they must do here to make a mark then.

BlackburnBlackburn and Darwen
Nick Sheppard
4BR Ranking: 144

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Alan Thomas
Soprano Cornet: Mandy Pickles
Flugel: Rob Speakman
Solo Horn: Tariq Ahmed
Solo Euphonium: John North
Solo Trombone: Robert Conlon
Tuba: Gareth Henderson
Baritone: Sharon Meredith

Blackpool Form:
2006: 17th (N. Shepherd)
Last appeared at the Grand Shield in 1990

Form Guide:
Will certainly be hoping for an improvement in form from last year when they came 17th, Nick Sheppard and his band come to Blackpool on the back of a decent 8th place at the regional contest, although they were bottom of the pile at Brass at the Guild Hall.

20 years ago now they won the Grand shield under Alec Evans, so what would they give to take a step closer to that contest here.  

BonessBo'ness and Carriden
Mike Marzella
4BR Ranking: 120

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Craig Robertson
Soprano Cornet: Richard Tobin
Flugel: Sarah Findlay
Solo Horn: Suzanne Robertson
Solo Euphonium: Scott Cameron
Solo Trombone: Gregor Stewart
Tuba: Toni Pacher
Baritone: Jan Komorowski

Blackpool Form:
2006: 18th Senior Cup (S. Lippeatt) (rel)
2005: 16th (D. Hirst)
2004: 12th (D. James)
2003: 5th in Senior Trophy (prom) (I. Davey)
2002: 10th (I. Davey)

Form Guide:
Bo'ness are another band that will be looking to up their form here this year after falling through the relegation trap door 12 months ago.

Mike Marzella is the fifth new MD to take the band here in as many years and they had an encouraging result at the Scottish regionals where they came 4th in the First Section. It's been a downward slide in the past four years results wise, so perhaps the time has come to stop the rot. We hope so.

Kevin Belcher
4BR Ranking: 151

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Martin Hall
Soprano Cornet: Darren Blake
Flugel: Joanne Wilkinson
Solo Horn: Tracey Colston
Solo Euphonium: Mic Tyler
Solo Trombone: Ian Clough
Tuba: Moira Tyas
Baritone: Andy Hall

Blackpool Form:
2006: 19th Senior Cup (S. Foster) (rel)
2005: 15th (S. Lippeatt)
2004: 16th (P. Shaw)
2003: 6th Senior Trophy (prom) (C. Hardy)
2002: DNC
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: 22nd Grand Shield (rel) (A. Whitakker)

Form Guide:
A band that has had its ups and downs in recent times, Drighlington were certainly off colour here last year and were relegated as a result.

Kevin Belcher is the fifth man in as many years to try and make a mark here with the band and they will know that they will have to up their form from Bradford where they came last in the top section, in what was admittedly a very tough contest. The first step up could start here.

FriaryFriary Guildford
Chris King
4BR Ranking: 163

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Richard Straker
Soprano Cornet: Richard Marley
Flugel: Mark Yarham
Solo Horn: Nigel Stevens
Solo Euphonium: Wayne Fitzpatrick
Solo Trombone: Roland Knight
Tuba: Duncan Ford
Baritone: Alex Stevens

Blackpool Form:
Debut at Spring Festival this year

Form Guide:
Friary Guildford make their debut at the newly reconstituted Spring Festival this year and will be looking to make an immediate impact at the contest.

Started the year with 9th place at the Yeovil contest and took top honours at the SCABA Spring Contest. The regionals in Stevenage saw them come 9th so its been a little up and down so far this year on the contest platform. Another up here then?

GlossopGlossop Old
John Davies
4BR Ranking: 177

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dave Richardson
Solo Euphonium: Pete Bowd
Solo Horn: Stuart Wilkinson
Soprano: Mandy Crowther
Flugel: Steve Roberts
Solo Trombone: Dave Redfearn
Tuba: Hugh Cant
Baritone: John Perrett

Blackpool Form:
2006: 20th Senior Cup (J. Davies) (rel)
2005: Withdrew Grand Shield (rel)
2004: 17th (J. Cant)
2003: 8th (J. Cant)
2002: 18th British Open (rel) (J. Cant)
2001: 20th British Open (G. Pritchard)
2000: 2nd (prom) 14th British Open (J. Berryman)
1999: 5th (J. Cant)
1998: DNC

The band didn't compete at the contests before 1999

Form Guide:
Just five years ago Glossop Old were at Symphony Hall battling it out against the giants in the brass band world, but five years is a very long time in contesting history and now they have a real fight to make sure they hold onto their place at the Spring Festival itself.

The last two years here have been awful, but the band is now in good hands and things are looking up. 5th place in the First Section at Burton upon Trent signalled another step in the right direction, so can they improve on that again here?

David Lancaster
4BR Ranking: 150

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dave Smith
Soprano Cornet: Nick Garrett
Flugel: Lynne Stockdale
Solo Horn: Liza Dunkley
Solo Euphonium: Craig Ratcliffe
Solo Trombone: Daniel Dickinson
Tuba: Gavin Holman
Baritone: Kate Hawkins

Blackpool Form:
2006: 6th (D. Lancaster)
2005: 10th (D. Lancaster)

Form Guide:
If Harrogate can repeat the form they showed here last year then they should be in and around the top six once again come the results.

David Lancaster continues to make solid progress with his band and they put in a decent showing at the North of England regionals in Darlington where they came 6th. That was perhaps a bit of a disappointment, so can they make up for that here?   

Peter Lockett
4BR Ranking: 158

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David Booth
Soprano Cornet: Gareth Crane
Horn: John Wood
Euphonium: Adam Snape
Trombone: Rebecca Stead
Flugel: Roman Galaska
Tuba: Bill Kerfoot
Baritone: David Sewell

Blackpool Form:
2006: DNC
2005: 20th (S. Booth) (rel)
2004: 6th (S. Booth)
2003: 11th (B. Baker)

Form Guide:
A welcome return to the Spring Festival for Longridge after two years away following their relegation from the contest in 2005.

They have had a few ups and downs since but there was some encouragement in coming 7th in the First Section here just a few months ago at the regionals. They will have to up their form if they are to make a mark at this contest, but a repeat of that result wouldn't be a bad start.

MarsdenMarsden Riverhead Brewery
Glyn Williams
4BR Ranking: 65

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Jason Evans
Soprano Cornet: Allan Hobbins
Flugel: R. Taylor
Solo Horn: Debbie Lea
Solo Euphonium: Aled Williams
Solo Trombone: Andy Eastwood
Tuba: M. Schofield
Baritone: D. Woodward

Blackpool Form:
2006: 9th (G. Williams)

Form Guide:
Another band that has come such a long way in such a short space of time, Marsden now know just what they will have to do to tread water let alone step out of the Senior Trophy pond.

They are no longer a big fish in the lower Sections but a hard working and very solid band that has found life tough in the top section so far in 2007, coming 12th at Bradford in a real baptism of fire. That though should have done them the world of good and as they showed last year they are not too far away from a qualification place. That could well be achieved this year.   

Duncan Byers
4BR Ranking: 193

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet:
Soprano Cornet:
Solo Horn:
Solo Euphonium:
Solo Trombone:

Blackpool Form:
2006: 16th (M. Evans)
2005: 13th (M. Evans)
2004: 12th (M. Evans)
2003: 18th (M. Evans)
2002: 18th Senior Cup (rel) (J. Davies)

Form Guide:
Consistency has been the key here for Mossley in the last few years and they should now feel ready to make the push into the top 10 or beyond this year if past form here is anything to go by. It is about time.

3rd place at the Tameside Open was an encouraging result as was the same end result at the First Section contest at the regionals here a few months back. A repeat of that form and a trip to the Senior Cup next year will certainly be on the cards.

Iain Fleming
4BR Ranking: 53

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Angus Edmond
Soprano Cornet: Gordon Jenkins
Flugel: Harold Wells
Solo Horn: Charlotte Davey
Solo Euphonium: Iain Davey
Solo Trombone: Alan Fernie
Tuba: Paul McGrath
Baritone: Jimmy Murray

Blackpool Form:
2006: DNC
2005: 18th Senior Cup (A. Ramsay)
2004: 7th Senior Cup (A. Morrison)
2003: 9th Senior Cup (A. Swainson)
2002: 14th Grand Shield (R. Farr)
2001: 5th Senior Cup (S. Kerwin)
2000: DNC
1999: 19th Grand Shield (D. Hirst) (rel)

Form Guide:
Unknown but never mind. It's a welcome back for Newtongrange to the contesting scene after being forced to miss the Scottish Championships because of a lack of players.

There has been plenty of hard work going on behind the scenes we are told and the former Scottish Champions and European representatives of just a few years ago are back here to try and gain a foothold back towards the Grand shield. We wish them well.

Old SilkstoneOld Silkstone
Alan Exley
4BR Ranking: 133

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Alan Garbutt
Soprano Cornet: Kevin Moxon
Flugel: Becky Nixon
Solo Horn: Ian Askey
Solo Euphonium: John Powell
Solo Trombone: Chris Hirst
Tuba: Andy Craig
Baritone: Heather Powell

Blackpool Form:
Debut this year

Form Guide:
Old Silkstone make their debut back at the reconstituted Spring Festival this year after knocking on the door for some time for entry.

The experienced Alan Exley takes over the reins and he will be looking to build on the encouraging form they showed at the Yorkshire Regionals where they came 10th against a very strong field.

ParcParc and Dare
Craig Roberts
4BR Ranking: 51

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Carl Saunders
Soprano Cornet: Paul Eddy
Flugel: Andrea Lewis
Solo Horn: Mike Saunders
Solo Euphonium: Helen Kinder
Solo Trombone: James Voros
Tuba: Hugh Williams
Baritone: Shoko Morimoto

Blackpool Form:
2006: 10th Senior Trophy (C. Roberts)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC
2001: 20th (Senior Cup) (C. Roberts)
2000: 20th (Grand Shield) (rel) (C. Roberts)
1999: 12th (N. Seaman)
1998: 12th (D. Braodbent)
1997: 14th (R. Adams)
1996: 4th (J. Wise)
1995: 12th (J. Hinckley)
1994: 5th (I. Holmes)
1993: 8th (B. Hurdley)

Form Guide:
The Welsh band had a fine 2006 and started 2007 well by coming runners up at the Porthcawl contest although they did withdraw from Yeovil.

The Welsh regional championship in Swansea saw them produce a solid performance but miss out on a return trip to London by coming 8th so they will be looking for a decent return here and at least another top 10 finish.   

HatfieldPowerfuel Hatfield Colliery
Graham O'Connor
4BR Ranking: 49

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Trevor Kendal
Soprano Cornet: Donna Ramsden
Flugel: Martin Grimes
Solo Horn: Miles Davison
Solo Euphonium: John Smith
Solo Trombone: Neil Twist
Tuba: Rob Browne
Baritone: Pete Jones

Blackpool Form:
2006: 12th (G. O'Connor)

Form Guide:
If they show the form that was so impressively on display at Bradford a few months ago then Hatfield will surely be one of the favourites to take a qualification place and possibly the title itself. There they were excellent and in coming 5th against a very strong field of rivals they showed a huge amount of quality, although they could only manage 6th place at Brass at the Guild Hall.

Can they do that here though? 12th place last year was a decent enough start but they seem to be a band full of confidence and have a man at the helm who knows a ting or two about winning here as well.  

David Nesbitt
4BR Ranking: 76

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: N/K
Solo Horn: Trevor Goodison
Solo Euphonium: N/K
Solo Trombone: N/K
Soprano Cornet: N/K
Flugel: Jennifer Fawcett
Tuba: Isobel Radford
Baritone: Don Jones

Blackpool Form:
2006: DNC
2005: 10th Senior Cup
2004: 19th Grand Shield (D. Renshaw) (rel)
2003: 12th (D. Renshaw)
2002: 5th Senior Cup (prom) (D. Renshaw)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: 10th British Open (R. Newsome)
1995: 15th British Open (G. O'Connor)
1994: 8th British Open (G. O'Connor)
1993: 7th British Open (K. Bolton)

Form Guide:
The good times are back it seems at Stocksbridge after their performance at Bradford in the First Section under David Nesbitt. There they won in fine style and if they can repeat that kind of form here then they can look forward to an appearance in the Senior Cup from which they dropped out in 2005.

Just a decade ago though they were in the British Open itself, so this is a band that has tasted the good times and bad times in equal measure. It is hoped the latter is now a thing of the past. 

ChesterTavistock Chester Le Street Riverside
Ian Robinson
4BR Ranking: 88

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet:
Soprano Cornet:
Solo Horn:
Solo Euphonium:
Solo Trombone:

Blackpool Form:
2006: 14th (I. Robinson)

Form Guide:
A band that will be looking to get further up the results table this year for sure after coming a solid 14th last time out. The experienced Ian Robinson continues to work his brand of no nonsense musical progress here and that was shown when they came 3rd at the North of England regionals in Darlington to just miss out on a trip to London.

More of that and they could well be looking at a place at the Senior Cup next year.  

CreweUnited Co-op Crewe
Jef Sparkes
4BR Ranking: 99

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Sarah Brown
Soprano Cornet: Jon Worths
Flugel: Emma Reay
Solo Horn: Annette Sparkes
Solo Euphonium: Dave Pointon
Solo Trombone: Clare Bennett
Tuba: Alan Birch
Baritone: Phil Edworthy

Blackpool Form:
2006: 11th (J. Sparkes)
2005: 17th Senior Cup (rel) (J. Sparkes)
2004: 10th (J. Sparkes)
2003: 12th (J. Sparkes)
2002: 4th Senior Trophy (prom) (J. Sparkes)
2001: DNC
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: N/K (J. Sparkes)

Didn't compete at the contests before 1998.

Form Guide:
A pretty decent start to 2007 with a win at the NEMBBA contest in February and they then went on to come a hard earned 5th at Blackpool in the First Section.

Jef Sparkes and United C-op Crewe are quietly going about their contesting business in a very proficient fashion it seems and put in a decent showing here last year to come just outside the top 10. A little bit more of a push in the right direction may just see them sneak a qualification place. Who knows?

MilnrowUnited Norwest Co-op Milnrow
Andrew White
4BR Ranking: 96

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet:
Solo Horn:
Solo Euphonium:
Solo Trombone:
Soprano Cornet:

Blackpool Form:

Form Guide:
The band makes it debut back at the reconstituted Spring Festival and they could well be looking at a decent result if they can show the form of Skegness where although they came 9th was promising to say the least.

They built on that to come 6th at Blackpool so it seems that 2007 is heading in an upward direction. More of the same here then?

CoopUnited Co-op Yorkshire Brass
William Rushworth
4BR Ranking: 102

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Tabby Clegg
Solo Horn: Jamie Clegg
Solo Euphonium: Michelle Catlow
Solo Trombone: Becky Venus
Soprano Cornet: Setve Houghton
Flugel: Leisa Mallalieu
Tuba: Colin Burnett
Baritone: Kathryn Rennard

Blackpool Form:
2006: 18th (K. Wadsworth)
2005: 19th Senior Cup (rel) (K. Wadsworth)
2004: 22nd Grand Shield (J. Roberts) (rel)
2003: 5th (John Roberts)
2002: 6th Senior Cup (prom)
2001: 11th Senior Cup

The band didn't compete at the contest before 2001.

Form Guide:
A band that promises much but isn't having the best of luck so far in 2007 it seems. William Rushworth puts body and soul into his conducting but so far it isn't just clicking for the band on the contest stage.

3rd place at Skegness in the First Section promised much, but they were a little off the pace somewhat in Bradford where they came 5th and recently came 3rd at Buxton. Perhaps the big win is just around the corner they have the talent both in front and around the stands so fingers crossed.

VBSVernon Building Society Poynton
Alan Lawton MBE
4BR Ranking: 166

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Tony Wyatt
Solo Horn: Helen Moore
Solo Euphonium: Sarah Dawson
Solo Trombone: John Anderson
Soprano Cornet: Gareth Edwards
Flugel: Sarah Johnson
Tuba: Roy Mattocks
Baritone: Andy Lawton

Blackpool Form:
Form Guide:
A debut back at the reconstituted Spring Festival for Poynton under the direction of the vastly experienced Alan Lawton.

2007 has been only OK so far with 11th place at Blackpool at the regional championship, so they will have to improve on that if they are to make a mark here for sure. The man in the middle though has forgotten more than most other MDs have ever learnt; so don't bet against them showing a clean pair of heels to any number of rivals.


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