2007 Pontins Championships - The Adjudicators


These are the men in the box who need to be impressed this year at Prestatyn.

Wing Commander Rob Wiffen OBE
Harry and Margaret Mortimer Championship and Fourth Section

Rob Wiffen played the trombone in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, later becoming principal trombone with the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. He has directed the Band of the RAF Regt, the Western Band of he RAF and the Central Band.

His promotion to Principal Director of Music, Royal Air Force in 1998 made him the 12th in the line of distinguished musicians who have held this prestigious appointment. Away from the RAF he has enlarged his reputation by conducting orchestras, wind ensembles and brass bands. He enjoys playing the guitar and trombone, but of necessity now spends more time arranging and composing and visiting Spain. 

WhithamGeoffrey Whitham
Harry and Margaret Mortimer Championship and Fourth Section

Geoffrey Whitham was born in Queensbury, in the heartland of brass banding, and started playing with the Black Dyke Junior Band at the age of 11 on the euphonium. After a year with the band he moved to the Canal Ironworks Band and returned to Black Dyke Mills Band on baritone at the age of 15. He later took over the solo euphonium position at the age of 18 and held this position for 13 years.

As a player he was regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation, whilst his performance as solo euphonium during Black Dyke's win on "Le Roi D'Ys" at the Royal Albert Hall in 1959 has become the stuff of legend. Besides his work in the brass band world he also gained considerable experience playing tenor and bass tuba with some of the country's leading orchestras including the Liverpool Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham and the Halle, where he played under the famous Sir John Barbirolli.

Following this period he took over as bandmaster at Black Dyke and in 1966 he was appointed as Musical Director of the Hammonds Sauce Works Band (the now Yorkshire Building Society) and this was the start of another period of high profile success in the banding world. He was the Musical Director there for 18 years during which the band won prizes at the British Open and many other leading contests in the UK.

After leaving the band he conducted the James Shepherd Versatile Brass for a short period before returning to Hammonds Sauce to direct them for another 5-year period in 1988. During this time the band won the Grand Shield contest, came second at the British Open and became the first band to complete a tour to Lithuania.

Although now semi retired he is still busy passing on his expertise and advice to numerous bands and players. He was for some time the co – conductor of the "Kings of Brass". In 1979 he was awarded the Iles Medal by the Worshipful Company of Musicians for his outstanding contribution to the brass band movement, and in 1999 he received the All England Masters Dedicated Service Award. 

StanStan Lippeatt
First and Second Sections

Born in Hemsworth, South Yorkshire, Stan was for many years the popular and virtuoso flugel soloist with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band – a band he joined as a youngster in the early 1960's. Stan became one of the most popular players and soloists, featured in many of the famous comic routines of the band at events such as Granada Band of the Year, although he had already built himself an enviable reputation as both a serious ensemble performer and soloist.

His playing career brought many successes as well as a great number of specially commissioned works – one such being the John Golland Flugel Horn Concerto which Stan gave the world premiere of in front of the composer himself.

His wealth of experience has seen him conduct numerous top section bands throughout the country, including a long association with the Thoresby Colliery Band, and he has adjudicated at Pontins, Regional and innumerable brass band contests. Over the last few years he has been an active member of the Association of Brass  Band Adjudicators.

His love for the movement was shown in 2003 when he was asked by the Butlins Organisation to help revive the Mineworkers Brass Band Championships, and such has been his involvement that the famous CISWO Mineworkers Contest has become a huge brass band festival held in Skegness and featuring the largest single cash prize to the winners in the history of the banding movement.

He remains one of the most popular brass band personalities in the movement and brings a wealth of experience to his task as an adjudicator today.

Simone graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with Distinction and a collection of awards including a major scholarship and The Phillip Jones Prize. She began a solo career which has taken her around the world with concerto appearances, solo recitals, master classes and appearances on national and international TV and radio. She has recorded several CDs and is in high demand as a soloist with brass bands, wind ensembles and symphony orchestras. She continues to win awards such as the 1998 Cosmopolitan/House of Fraser Woman of the Year in the Arts.

WadsworthKevin Wadsworth
First and Second Sections

Kevin started his playing career on cornet at the age of six. He is probably best known for his time as the solo horn player with the Black Dyke Mills Band, joining them at the age of 14 - the youngest player ever to play for them.

Kevin was accepted into the National Youth Brass Band and was the first recipient of the Pye Records Award as outstanding soloist. He attended King Alfred's College, Winchester during which time he was a founder member of the City of London Band. His concert work has included Royal Command Performances, the first appearance at the Proms of a brass band and appearing as guest soloist at the Bergen International Music Festival. He has conducted Nigel Kennedy and Julian Lloyd Webber and has worked with many people from the world of light entertainment including Antony Newly and Petula Clark.
Kevin's brass band conducting experience includes directing Meltham and Meltham Mills, Lockwood, Carlton Main Frickley, Dobcross, Holme Silver and Innovate Skelmanthorpe.

Kevin is also a busy brass band adjudicator and is an Executive Member of ABBA, the U.K. panel of adjudicators.

DaviesJim Davies
Third Section

Jim Davies was born in a small village called Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales in 1952.  He joined the local band at the age of 9, hoping to play trombone but was given a cornet with only two valves working.  Within a year he had already won his first competition playing I hear you calling me and over the next few years many successes came his way including the title of Champion of Wales at the age of 15.  

Jim was also asked to play for Sir Arthur Davidson in Cardiff and greatly impressed the orchestral conductor with a flawless performance of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, without music!  The great conductor’s advice was to change from cornet to trumpet and concentrate on orchestral career after music college.  Jim decided to stay within the brass band world and was first promoted to the principal’s chair at the age of 15 with his local band playing in the Championship Section.

At 17 he moved to the Mid-Rhondda Band as principal cornet and in 1972 at the age of 20, he was appointed principal cornet of the Cory Band.  Over the next 16 years contest successes included National Championships (1974, 1982, 1983 and 1984), European Championships (1980) Mineworkers’ Championships (1972, 1973, 1974) and numerous solo prizes won by Jim including Yeovil, Telford and The Granada Band of the Year.

Jim was in great demand as a soloist playing at many overseas venues and in 1988 he was appointed principal cornet of the Brighouse and Rastrick Band where to commemorate 36 years of performance with 30 on the ‘end chair’, he recorded his solo CD, Evergreen.

Jim’s experience and knowledge is continually in demand to this day as an adjudicator and conductor and he recently led EYMS Band to the National Finals in London.

Lloyd Landry
Third Section

Lloyd Landry started his musical career as a cornet player in South Wales, taught amongst others by Walter Hargreaves. He studied at the Welsh School of Music and Drama and became Welsh Brass Champion at the National Eisteddfod of Wales at the age of 12 – a title he won on four other occasions.

In 1959 he joined the Munn & Feltons Band winning many honours with them as well as becoming the 1960 Champion Cornet Player of Great Britain. He played with both the National Youth Brass Band and National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain as well as being a member of Harry Mortimer’s All Star Brass.

He has adjudicated numerous brass band contests throughout the UK and Europe and is on the BFBB list of approved judges as well as being a member of the National Association of Brass Band Conductors.  


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