2007 Brass in Concert Championships - Runners and Riders


4BR takes a look at the cast list of entertainers lined up for our enjoyment this weekend at The Sage, Gateshead, and wonders if they have got what it takes to top the bill come the results.

Reg VardyReg Vardy
Stephen Malcolm
4BR Ranking: 21

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Bryan Tait
Principal Euphonium: Jeremy Belton
Soprano Cornet: Tom Glendinning
Solo Trombone: Chris Bentham
Solo horn: Andrew Hall
Flugel horn: Joanne Winspear
Solo Baritone: Laura Boyle
Eb Tuba: Steve Malcolm
Percussion: Julie Parkin 

Brass in Concert Record:
Appearances: 31st time
Debut: 1977
Best Result: 3rd in 2003
Worst Result: 12th in 1992

Last 9 Years:
2006:  6th (Ray Farr) (2)
2005:  4th (Ray Farr) (3)
2004:  4th (Ray Farr) (9)
2003:  3rd (Ray Farr) (6)
2002:  8th (Ray Farr) (4)
2001:  10th (Stephen Roberts) (5)
2000:  7th  (Stephen Roberts) (9)
1999:  11th (Robert Childs) (4)
1998:  7th (Bryan Hurdley) (1)

Also: 1977: 4th (Walter Hargreaves); 1978: 5th (Eric Banks) 1979: 9th (Trevor Walmsley); 1980: 8th (Trevor Walmsley); 1981: =7th (Arthur Kenney); 1982: 10th (Peter Parkes); 1983: 5th (Peter Parkes); 1984: 6th (Peter Parkes); 1985: 8th (Roger Payne); 1986: 7th (Roger Payne); 1987: 7th (Peter Parkes); 1988: 9th (Stuart Stirling); 1989: 9th (Roger Payne); 1990: 9th (Denzil Stephens); 1991: 9th (Stuart Stirling); 1992: 12th (Hugh Megarrell); 1993: 11th (John Roberts); 1994: 7th (Mark Bentham); 1995: 7th (Mark Bentham); 1996: 10th (John Roberts); 1997: 11th (Brian Grant)

2006 Programme: King of Heaven, Kenneth Downie (opening); Alabamy Bound, Trad. arr Ray Farr; On My Own, Claude-Michel Schoberg arr Ray Farr Featuring Natalie Farr as vocalist; What Now My Love, Gilbert Becaud arr Ray Farr (New);  Minuano, Pat Metheney & Lyle Mays arr Ray Farr; King of Heaven, Kenneth Downie (finale)

MalcolmReg Vardy are the only band to have appeared at every Brass in Concert and they'll be looking to finish their 2007 contesting year on a high after a pretty disastrous 2007 year on the contest stage.  

That may be difficult however after the departure just a week before the contest of their MD Ray Farr.

They have performed well here over the last few years though (inspired it must be said by Ray Farr who had a great input into their programmes) and it will be interesting to see what they opt for this time around given the circumstances.

It could be inspired backs to the wall stuff or a bit of a damp squib at 9.30am. It really is on a knife edge for Reg Vardy. 

Player to listen out for: Bryan Tait – the rock on which Reg Vardy depend. 

Allan Ramsey
4BR Ranking: 11

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Chris Bradley
Principal Euphonium: Evelyn Bradley
Soprano Cornet: Scott Forrest
Solo Trombone: Alex Philip
Solo horn: Iain Fleming
Flugel horn: Jim Chamberlain
Solo Baritone: Anne Crookston
Eb Tuba: Graham Fraser
Percussion: Lynsey Paterson 

Brass in Concert Record:
Appearances: 14th time
Debut: 1977
Best Result: 3rd in 2004
Worst Result: 12th in 2000, 1996, 1977

Last 9 Years:
2006: 10th (Andrew Duncan) (11)
2005:  6th (Andrew Duncan) (4)
2004:  3rd (Andrew Duncan) (10)
2003:  DNC
2002:  DNC
2001:  DNC
2000:  12th (Phillip McCann) (6)
1999:  4th (Phillip McCann) (2)
1998:  DNC

Also: 1977: 12th (Allan Street); 1980: 9th (Peter Parkes); 1981: 10th (Peter Parkes); 1982: 9th (Peter Parkes); 1985: 7th (Geoffrey Whitham); 1986: 10th (Denzil Stephens); 1987: 10th (Anthony Swainson); 1996: 12th (Richard Adams)

2006 Programme: Work In Progress, Andrew Duncan (new); Dance Zeibekikos, Philip Wilby Soloist: Richard Kidd, Euphonium; Sophisticated Lady, Duke Ellington arr Anne Crookston (new) Soloists: Anne Crookston, Baritone and Iain Fleming, Horn; Requiem, Mozart arr Andrew Duncan; Against all Odds, Phil Collins arr Andrew Duncan (new) Soloists: Chris Bradley, Flugel and Alex Philip, Trombone; Finale from Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky arr Andrew Duncan

RamseyIf there is one band who come here with a sense of renewed vigor about them this year its Whitburn.  Twelve months ago they were awful – right from the word go in fact and although it did recover to stop them from completely drowning in mediocrity they will never want to tread that particular musical quicksand again. 

2007 has been a pretty good year though and in the last few months in particular they have shown excellent form – especially at the Open and Nationals. They have had their own MD problems of late, although the sensible option of Allan Ramsay should ensure they are well drilled and placing the emphasis on the music and not the visual gags. 

That’s their undoubted strength and it could pay dividends.

Player to listen out for: Alex Philip - the talented trombone player is set tomake his mark here this year.

GrimethorpeGrimethorpe Colliery
Phillip McCann
4BR Ranking: 2

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Roger Webster
Euphonium: Michael Dodd
Trombone: Richard Brown
Soprano: Kevin Crockford
Horn: Martin Armstrong
Flugel: Andy Holmes
Baritone: Bob Blackburn
Eb Tuba: Shaun Crowther
Percussion: John Watterson 

Brass in Concert Record:
Appearances: 28th time
Debut: 1977
Best Result: Winners: 13 times
Worst Result: 4th in 1996

Last 9 Years:
2006: 2nd (Steven Mead) (10)
2005: Winners (Richard Evans) (6)
2004: Winners (Richard Evans) (7)
2003: Winners (Garry Cutt) (6)
2002: Winners (Garry Cutt) (6)
2001: Winners (Garry Cutt) (9)
2000: 3rd (Garry Cutt) (4)
1999: Winners (Garry Cutt) (9)
1998:  DNC

Also: 1977: Winners (Fred Partlett); 1978: 3rd (Frank Renton); 1979: Winners (Ray Farr); 1980: Winners (Ray Farr); 1981: Winners (Ray Farr); 1982: 2nd (Ray Farr); 1983: Winners (Ray Farr); 1985: 3rd (David James); 1986: Winners (David James); 1987: 3rd (David James); 1998: 2nd (Frank Renton); 1989: 2nd (Frank Renton); 1990: 3rd (Frank Renton); 1991: 2nd (Frank Renton); 1992: 2nd (Frank Renton); 1993: Winners (Garry Cutt); 1994: Winners (Garry Cutt); 1995: 2nd (Garry Cutt); 1996: 4th (Garry Cutt)  

2006 Programme: A Musical Toast, Leonard Bernstein arr Luc Vertommen; Mephisto's Dance, Franz Liszt arr Howard Snell; Believe Me if all those Endearing Young Charms arr Hunsberger/l. Maldomado Soloist: Michael Dodd, Euphonium; I got Rhythm, George Gershwin arr J Cortner Solo; Secondo, W. Himes Soloist: Stephen Peacock, Tenor Horn; Entry of Gods into Valhalla, Wagner arr Howard Snell

McCANNGrimey came to Brass in Concert last year as National Champions, did nothing wrong, but were still beaten by an inspired Brighouse under the direction of Richard Evans. This year they come as National Champions again – so can musical lightening strike twice?

Not if they play to the type of form they have shown I recent months and can put together the type of slickly professional programme that stands them head and shoulders above their rivals.  Confidence shouldn’t be a problem and with Philip McCann at the helm they are sure to be fully prepared and ready for action. 

Hard to see them coming anywhere other than in the top three and with the opportunity to round of a quite spectacular year with a win here, the odds on them doing just that are short indeed.

Player to listen out for: Michael Dodd – took the solo prize last year here and recently in London. A real quality performer.

HepworthHepworth (Cookson Homes)
Mark Bentham
4BR Ranking: 14

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Robert Westacott
Principal Euphonium: James Fieldhouse
Soprano Cornet: Mark Smedley
Solo Trombone: Yvonne Embury
Solo horn: Rebecca Landon
Flugel horn: Maria Beazer
Solo Baritone: Nicholas Young
Eb Tuba: Matthew Broadbent
Percussion: Andrew Jones 

Brass in Concert Record:
Appearances: 2nd time
Debut: 2005
Best Result: 10th (2005)
Last 9 Years:
2006:  DNC
2005:  10th (Mark Bentham) (10)
2004:  DNC
2003:  DNC
2002:  DNC
2001:  DNC
2000:  DNC
1999:  DNC
1998:  DNC

2005 Programme:
Ritual Fire Dance (Manuel de Falla arr. Allan Street); Tico Tico (Abreu arr. John Iveson) (cornet solo: Robert Westacott); Begin the Day with God (Eric Ball); Lights Out (Earl McCoy arr. Mark Bentham); Show Me the Way to Go Home (Irving King arr. Mark Bentham) (bass trombone solo: Graham Starr); Finale from Daphnis and Chloe (Ravel arr. Howard Snell).

BenthamHepworth returns to Brass in Concert – and they will surely have learnt from the harsh lesson they received on their debut in 2005. Then they misjudged things badly and despite the odd good moment or two were a country mile away from making any sort of impact with a dated programme.

Since then though the band has continued to improve and they are now in the position to know exactly what they can and cannot do playing wise and what they must and must not do entertainment wise to make a real mark here. The 2007 Hepworth are a much more mature band – and have been on pretty solid form all year too. 

If they can play to their strengths and bring a touch of innovation to their programme then they have the tools to put themselves very much in the frame.  
Player to listen out for: Robert Westacott – the heart beat of the band and one of the best principal cornets around. 

Kevin Steward
4BR Ranking: 10
Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David Smith
Principal Euphonium: Mike Kilroy
Soprano Cornet: Martin Britt
Solo Trombone: Nick Hudson
Solo horn: Murray Borthwick
Flugel horn: James Streyyom
Solo Baritone: Lloyd Shipp
Eb Tuba: Andy Chettleberg
Percussionist: Mark Rennocks
Brass in Concert Record:
Appearances: 12th time
Debut: 1977
Best Result: Winners in 1982, 1984, 1985
Worst Result: 11th in 1978 

Last 9 Years:
Last appeared in 1987.

Also: 1987 (2nd) (Robert Watson) 1986 (2nd) (Howard.Snell) 1985 (Winners) (Howard Snell) 1984 (Winners) (Howard Snell) 1983 (2nd) (Howard Snell) 1982 (Winners) (Howard Snell) 1981 (3rd) (Howard Snell) 1980 (2nd) (Howard Snell) 1979 (3rd) (D.Blakeson) 1978 (11th) (Howard Snell) 1977 (10th) (Albert Chappell)

StewardThe entertainment kings of the 1980s are back.  A quarter of a century is a long time in anyone’s books, but perhaps the wait will be well worthwhile come Sunday.

The Desford of the 21st century are a fine band and have shown in the last few years in particular that they are close to being back to challenging for major honours. 

This year has been no exception with a superb performance at the British Open and a solid enough show at London, whilst they were a class apart at Butlins in taking the Mineworkers title. There their entertainment programme was top notch stuff. 

They have the players and the confidence so they may well be a dark horse come the results – if they play to form and despite a nasty accident forcing Nigel Seaman to miss out conducting the band after he broke his foot in a car accident, Kevin Steward is an excellent replacement for the band even at such short notice. He's waited 20 years to conduct here so you can be sure he will be trying his best to make a real mark too.  

Player to listen out for: Mike Kilroy – one of the best euphonium players in the business.

FodensFodens Richardson
Garry Cutt
4BR Ranking: 4
Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Mark Wilkinson
Principal Euphonium: Glyn Williams
Soprano Cornet: Alan Wycherley
Solo Trombone: John Barber
Solo horn: Sheona White
Flugel horn: Helen Fox
Solo Baritone: Natsumi Inaba
Eb Tuba: Les Neish
Percussion: Mark Landon
Brass in Concert Record:
Appearances: 16th time
Debut: 1983
Best Result: Winners in 1987, 1988, 1990, 1998, 2000
Worst Result: 8th  in 2006 

Last 9 Years:
2006: 8th (Garry Cutt) (3)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: 2nd (Russell Gray) (1)
2001: 2nd (Ray Farr) (6)
2000: Winners (Ray Farr) (12)
1999: 2nd (Nicholas Childs) (8)
1998: Winners (Nicholas Childs) (4)

Also: 1983 (4th) (James Scott); 1984 (4th) (Howard Snell); 1986 (8th) (Howard Snell)1987 (Winners) (Howard Snell); 1988 (Winners) (Howard Snell); 1990 (Winners) (Howard Snell); 1991 (3rd) (Howard Snell); 1996 (2nd) (Phillip McCann); 1997 (2nd) (Nicholas Childs)

2006 Programme: Valero, Swearington arr Smith; Can You Read My Mind, Williams arr Rydland
Soloist: John Barber, Trombone; Bobby Shaftoe, Trad arr North (new); March: Old Panama, K J Alford; Mask of Zorro, Horner arr Smith (new); The Typewriter, arr Duncan; A Manchester Tale, Duncan

Gary CuttFodens have had a great year taking the North West Area and All-England International Masters titles as well as gaining podium finishes at the Open and Nationals. They have pumped a fair bit of dosh into the bank account too and they will want to finish the year off in style here with another big payday.

The only blip came at the English Nationals, although they also had a bit of a misfire here last year too when they were quite a way off the pace, especially with a badly misjudged and poorly executed comedy feature. 

They do have a brilliant stable of performers though – all playing very well too at present, and in Garry Cutt they have someone who can pick gems out from unexpected musical sources. Too good a band not to suffer another poor day, they should be up there come the results if they play to form and make sure the comedy is at least worthy of a laugh. 

Player to listen out for: John Barber – one of the best principal trombone’s in the business and a natural at playing in the jazz idiom.  

Reid Gilje
4BR Ranking: 37
Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Jayne Westervik
Principal Euphonium: Patrick Randefalk
Principal Trombone: Grethe Tonheim
Soprano: Frode Rydland
Flugel: Henning Anundsen
Horn: Monica V. Reigstad
Eb tuba: Magnus Brandseth
Percussion: Øyvind Øksnes
Brass in Concert Record:
Appearances: Debut 

GiljeA long, long overdue debut appearance for the most famous and most successful brass band in Norwegian history. Eikanger are the real deal – full of brilliant performers they can produce quite stunning performances both on the contest and concert stage. 

They are no novices at this form of entertainment either having just won the SIDDIS Entertainment Contest in Stavanger for a third consecutive year. At their best they are something of a force of musical nature, although they do have the odd moment when things don’t go quite as they might wish (the Norwegian Nationals this year for instance).

Sit back and enjoy them though as their innovative approach to all things brass is a breath of fresh air. The Norwegians have invaded this part of the country successfully in the past, so who can stop the 21st century Vikings this time?

Player to listen out for: Frode Rydland – the gifted soprano player is some player as well as a talented composer and arrangement.

Brass Band Oberosterreich
Hans Buchegger
4BR Ranking:  35
Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Hans Gansch
Principal Euphonium: Harald Buchner
Principal Trombone: Helmut Windischbauer
Soprano: Florian Klingler
Flugel: Thomas Beiganz
Horn: Günther Reisegger
Baritone: Franz Wachlmayr
Eb Tuba: Walter Baldinger
Bb Tuba: Walter Krempl
Percussion: Gerhard Baier
Brass in Concert Record:
Appearances: Debut

BucheggarThis could be the most interesting Austrian intervention into a country’s very own backyard since Arnold Schwarzenegger became Governor of California. Some band, some players, some conductor. 

Its hard to describe the impact this band has had on those lucky enough to have heard them perform at the European Championships in recent years – the precision, balance and sheer musicianship of their playing is something to behold. 

Not a brass band in the traditional way in which we would recognize one, but a quite brilliant brass ensemble who happen to play in a way which thrills the lederhosen off.

They will surely bring something different to the entertainment table and we may have to work out  the Austrian sense of humour (much like Arnie’s command of the English language) but it should all add up to a pretty memorable experience.
Player to listen out for: Hans Gansch – a sheer to delight to listen to a master craftsman at work. 

FaireyFairey Band
Conductor: Philip Chalk
4BR Ranking: 12

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Mike Eccles
Principal Euphonium: Steve Walsh
Soprano Cornet: Mark Harrison
Solo Trombone: Lisa Sarasini
Solo horn: Chris Pannell
Flugel horn: Lucy Murphy
Solo Baritone: Mike Wells
Eb Bass: Richard Evans
Percussion: Ian Bowd

Brass in Concert Record:
Appearances: 7th time
Debut: 1977
Best Result: Winners in 1996
Worst Result: 6th in 1983

Last 9 Years:
2006: 5th (Simon Stonehouse) (6)
2005:  DNC
2004:  DNC
2003:  DNC
2002:  DNC
2001:  DNC
2000:  DNC
1999:  DNC
1998:  DNC
Also: 1977 (5th) (Richard Evans); 1980 (5th)  (Walter Hargreaves); 1983 (6th) Denzil Stephens; 1996 (Winners) (James Gourlay); 1997 (3rd) (James Gourlay).

2006 Programme: Fanfare for the Common Man, arr Jeremey Leith (new); Pequena Czardas, Pedro Iturralde arr Klass Van der. Woode Soloist: Katrina Marzella, Baritone; There is Nothing Like a Dame, Rogers & Hammerstien arr Rodney Newton; You are the Sunshine of My Life, Stevie Wonder arr Goff RichardsFlugels: Lucy Murphy, Brian Taylor and David Morton Trombones: Lisa Saransini, Paul Coop and Paul Warder; Trolley Song, Ralph Blane/Hugh Martin arr Jeremy Sleith (new); Impossible Dream, Joe Darion & Mitch Leigh arr Sandy Smith (new); Neapolitan Scenes, Massenet arr Roy Newsome; Sirba Florcica, Peruvian trad arr Kerwin; Bartered Bride, Smetena arr Broadbent

ChalkFairey has endured a couple of pretty tough years of late but has shown a great deal of character in still performing at a very high level at just about every contest they play at.

Not the force they once were for sure, but still a very competent band with a nice mix of youthful talent and experienced older heads. In Phil Chalk they have a talented MD at the helm and there was much to admire about their performance at the British Open. 

Theirs was an enjoyable programme here last year that made the most of limited resources and they will need to build on that against a strong field if they are to make that impact once more.   

Player to watch out for: Steve Walsh – a euphonium player with plenty about him and one of the finals in Birmingham in May at The European Soloist Competition. 

Morgan Griffiths
4BR Ranking: 6

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Alex Kerwin
Principal Euphonium: Rikki McDonnell
Soprano Cornet: Claire Taylor
Solo Trombone: Danny Brookes
Solo horn: Kate Eggleshaw
Flugel horn: Sian Linney
Solo Baritone: Rob Richardson
Eb Tuba: Simon Gresswell
Percussion: Matthew Mills 

Brass in Concert Record:
Appearances: 18th time (as YBS since 1993)
Debut: 1977
Best Result: Winners in 1978 as Hammonds Sauce
Worst Result: 9th in 1993

Last 9 Years:
2005:  DNC
2004:  DNC
2003:  DNC
2002:  DNC
2001:  DNC
2000:  DNC
1999:  DNC
1998:  DNC

Also: 1998 (5th) (David King); 1997 (4th)  (David King); 1996 (3rd) (David King); 1995 (3rd) (David King); 1994 (2nd) (Nicholas Childs); 1993 (9th) (D. Broadbent); 1992 (5th) (G. Whitham); 1991 (7th) (G. Whitham); 1990 (4th) (G. Whitham); 1989 (7th) (G. Whitham); 1983 (7th) (G. Whitham); 1982 (5th) (G. Whitham); 1981 (4th) (G. Whitham);  1980 (4th) (G. Whitham); 1979 (6th) (G. Whitham); 1978 (Winners) (G. Whitham); 1977 (2nd) (G. Whitham)   

GriffithsYBS return to Brass in Concert for the first time in a decade and it’s good to see them back.  They won the title here back in 1978 under Geoffrey Whitham, but even though they have come close on a couple of occasions since, not even Nicholas Childs or David King could pick up the title for a second time.

It may be asking a lot of them this year to do it under the command of Morgan Griffiths, but they have been on pretty decent form this year, especially in the last few months at the British Open and London. 

There is a real confidence in the ranks now and the young band has grown in experience too. If they can continue in that vein here then a top six place may well be in their grasp. YBS are heading in the right direction.

Player to listen out for:
Alex Kerwin – back on home soil in Yorkshire and one of the best around who won the Solo Prize here in 2004.

BrighouseBrighouse & Rastrick
Richard Evans
4BR Ranking: 5

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Stephen Wilkinson
Euphonium: Michael Howley
Trombone: David Robbins
Soprano: Nigel Fielding
Horn: Melvyn Bathgate
Flugel: David Moore
Baritone: Leigh Baker
Eb Tuba: David Hebb
Percussion: Jason Poulston 

Brass in Concert Record:
Appearances: 2
Best Result: Winners in 2006
Debut: 2005

Last 9 Years:
2006: Winners (Richard Evans)
2005: 2nd (James Gourlay) (8)

2005 Programme: Where Eagles Sing, Paul Lovatt-Cooper (new); Elegy, Leigh Baker
Green Hornet, arr Alan Morrison (new) Soloist: Alan Morrison, Trumpet; March: New Colonial, R B Hall; Bare Necessities, arr Leigh Baker (new) Soloist: Dave Hebb Eb Bass and Sousaphone; Russian Christmas, Alfred Reed;

Richard EvansNow then? Just two appearances here and the lads from West Riding have found The Sage a venue very much to their liking. Last year they benefited from an inspired bit of showmanship from Richard Evans and an excellent programme that made the most of their ability to thrill with big, bold bravura playing.

2007 has been a good year so far for the band under the command of Allan Morrison with encouraging performances at the majors, but you sense they have been looking forward to this one for some time now.

It could well be something a bit special once more (Dicky in a Japanese Admiral’s uniform perhaps?) as Brighouse will surely pull out all the stops to retain their title.

Player to listen out for: Michael Howley – amazing to think that he is still a very young man. On top form he is as good as any. 

Russell Gray
4BR Ranking:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Andy Lord
Principal Euphonium: Brenden Wheeler
Soprano Cornet: N/K
Solo Trombone: Thomas Swatland
Solo horn: Aidan Smith
Flugel horn: Nicky Longden
Solo Baritone: Katrina Marzella
Tuba: Chris Doran
Percussion: Pete Strawson

Brass in Concert Record:
Appearances: 23rd time
Debut: 1982
Best Result: Winners in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1997
Worst Result: 7th place 2006.

Also:  1982: 3rd (Richard Evans); 1983: 3rd (Richard Evans); 1984: 2nd (Richard Evans); 1985: 4th (Richard Evans); 1986: 5th (Richard Evans); 1987: 4th (Richard Evans); 1988 3rd (Richard Evans); 1993: 2nd (Richard Evans); 1994: 3rd (Richard Evans); 1995: 4th (Richard Evans)

Last 9 years:
2006: 7th (Russell Gray) (9)
2005:  DNC
2004:  5th (Garry Cutt) (1)
2003:  5th (Steve Sykes) (10)
2002:  6th (Chris Davies) (6)
2001:  4th (Richard Evans) (3)
2000:  2nd (Richard Evans) (11)
1999:  3rd (Richard Evans) (3)
1998:  2nd (Richard Evans) (3)

Programme for 2006: Tour De Band, E.D. Orf/S.Igsck/D. EllingtonM. Camilo; Autum Leaves, arr A Catherall; Suavito, M. Gomez arr Reid Gilje Featuring Runar Vasenes, Trombone; Brian Hayes Cornet; ChrisDorran, Tuba; David Thornton, Euphonium; Andrew Lord, Cornet and Janet Lewis, Flugel; La Napolitaine, Oskar Bohme arr Gary Westwood (new) Soloist: Lesley Howie, Tenor Horn; Viva Kenton, F. Flarieox arr P Stobar;

Russell GaryLeyland misjudged things here last year with a programme and performance that never quite added up to anything memorable. Too many items all of the same genre meant it became monotonous – something very unlike the usual fare from Russell Gray and his band.

2007 hasn’t really seen the band on the very top of its form so far and you feel they will be looking to round off things with a bit of a splash – if they can get the ingredients right. 

On their day they have lots of talented players in the ranks and a MD who certainly brings something a little different to proceedings.   If they get it right then a push for the podium places might well result.

Player to listen out for:
Brenden Wheeler – a class act who has really matured as a performer this year.


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