2008 Lower Section National Finals: Second Section - Runners & Riders


16 of the best bands from around the UK - and all trying to claim the Second Section National title.

Alder Valley

Region: London & SC
Conductor: Roger Burke

Qualified: Winners (London & SC) – 186pts (R. Burke)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Peter Haigh
Euphonium: Roy Hancock
Soprano: Laura Bryan
Solo Horn: Liz McGrath
Trombone: Chris Newton
Flugel: Mark Atkins
Baritone: Rob Greene
Eb Bass: John Gillespie
Bb Bass: Mike Bolton
Percussion: Tim Lain

Aldershot Brass Ensemble was founded in 1961 and they reached the Fourth Section Finals in both 1969 and 1970, when they were placed 3rd.

In 1978 and 1991 the band reached the Championship National Finals and during their history they have played with the likes of Lennie Bennett and Jerry Stevens, the Two Ronnies and an entire series called 'O Happy Band' with Harry Worth.

The band has since produced several other recordings with plans for their next in May 2009 already underway.

In 1998 the band played at the British Embassy in Brussels in the 'Showcase Britain' Festival and in 2002 they again competed in the First Section Finals in Torquay.

A series of poor results saw a leaner period in the bands history, but with the appointment of Roger Burke in 2007, membership rose and they returned to contesting in 2008.

Roger BurkeConductor:
Roger was appointed MD of Alder Valley Brass in 2007, and has done much to develop the existing talent within the band and to raise the overall standard of performance culminating in success at the 2008 London and Southern Counties Championships.

Born in Leicestershire, his father taught him to play the cornet from the age of seven and subsequent moves to tenor horn and euphonium prompted the decision to enlist into The Staff Band Royal Corps of Transport in 1971.
He currently puts to good effect valuable lessons leant from playing with the Kibworth Band under some of the countries most revered MDs. A busy career as contracts manager restricts his playing opportunities but is always willing to help out wherever and whenever he can. 

Roger is making his sixth appearance in the last eight years at the National Finals.

Test piece opinions:
“’My Strength My Tower’ has been well received by all band members who are currently enjoying the challenges called upon from every band member. In itself it is shorter than previous test pieces but nonetheless provides sufficient enjoyment and is a worthy choice at this level.” 

Barton Barton Town

Region: North of England
Conductor: Richard Evans

Qualified: Winners (North of England) – 189pts (R. Evans)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Graham Walker
Euphonium: Liz Hatton
Soprano: Craig Harsley
Solo Horn: Sally Westwood
Trombone: Simon Percy
Flugel: Rachel Miller
Baritone: Suzanne Evison
Eb Bass: Paul Donahugh
Bb Bass: Jonathan Evison
Percussion: Clive Platts

The first band in Barton was the Ropery Band that was started by Hall's Ropery in 1873 later becoming the Model Band.

In 1904 the Barton Cycle Works Silver Band was formed gaining success at the Crystal Palace contest in the years 1906/7. After the Great War the Barton Town Prize Subscription Band, was created out of the remnants of the two former bands and in 1938 they competed at Belle Vue.

The Barton Town Prize Band gained competition success in the 1950’s, winning the Fourth Section area finals and gaining a runners up place when they competed in the Finals. This band continued to operate with varying degrees of success, in the 80's and early 90's supporting a full youth band, before in 1999, through lack of players, they closed for business.

In 2004 a new committee with a youth band was formed and in 2005 gained the British Bandsman ‘Band of the Year’ award. In 2006 and 2007 they won area titles and gained a runners up place at the National Finals in 2007. 2008 has also seen the formation of both a Junior and Community Band.

Richard Evans is one of the most colourful and flamboyant characters on the British brass band scene. With a unique ability to instil pride and passion into every player, he is ultimately the driving force behind each band he conducts.

Born in Aldershot, it was in Leyland that he was introduced to the cornet with the British Legion Band.  Within three years he was one of the founders of the National Youth Brass Band.  

Leaving his first band, he moved to the Leyland Motors Band and studied under Harold Moss and William Haydock.

However, it was in the art of conducting that Richard was to carve a brilliant career.  Not content to rest with past achievements, he remains one of the most charismatic and dynamic conductors within Britain today.

Test piece opinions:
”The Test Piece offers many Challenges and if were honest is a serious test for the Second Section demanding much from both principle cornet and euphonium however it is terrific music and a serious ensemble piece which will make severe demands on all bands, generally the band is looking forward to the challenge and to working with Richard Evans.” 

Bristol EastBristol East and Kingswood

Region: West of England
Conductor: Roy Curran

Qualified: Winners (West of England) – 188pts (R. Curran)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Beth Ewins
Euphonium: Roger Carter
Soprano: Jim Bell
Solo Horn: Mark Gaisford
Trombone: Phil Goodfield
Flugel: Andy Lee
Baritone: Graham Anstis
Eb Bass: Tom Goodfield
Bb Bass: Andy Jowett
Percussion: Ewan Ashburn

Bristol East Band was founded in 1892 and had a continuous presence in local activities and wider afield for many years. The Kingswood Bristol Band meanwhile was formed in 1958 from the Potters Wood Methodist Church.

This band rapidly grew success, reaching the National Finals in 1966 before joining forces with Potters Wood Kingswood Hill, Bristol Silver Band and the Albion Dockyard Silver Band. The band's name changed to the Kingswood (Potters Wood) Silver Band.

The band secured sponsorship from the Bendix Company in 1976, a partnership that lasted over 20 years, only ending with the company's demise. In 2006 the band changed its name to the Kingswood Bristol Band and in 2007 both bands made the decision to merge.  This decision proved to be the right as the band was crowned West of England Champions for the Second Section this year.

The new organisation is a totally self-supporting registered charity and continues to support other local charities in the Bristol area.

Roy CurranConductor:
Hailing from the Midlands, Roy Curran is an admired conductor and trumpet player, who came through the NYBBGB and Birmingham School of Music before being appointed to the brass section of the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra in 1961.

In 1963 Roy returned to Birmingham as co-principal trumpet of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, a position held with distinction for 22 years.  

During this period Roy took up the baton as MD of the Birmingham School of Music Band. He has conducted many high profile brass bands, as well as James Shepherd Versatile Brass.

He became resident MD at the DUT Yorkshire Imperial Band in 2005, before accepting an offer as MD of the Bristol East and Kingswood Band in 2007, culminating in the band being crowned West of England Champions this year.

Test piece opinions:
“The piece has been very challenging for the majority of the band, especially the cornets and euphonium, but overall we have thoroughly enjoyed rehearsing the piece and are really looking forward to the weekend in Harrogate, where we just might surprise a few people.” 

CampbletownCampbletown Brass

Region: Scotland
Conductor: Craig Anderson

Qualified: Winners (Scotland) – 188pts (C. Anderson)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Stephanie Mitchell
Euphonium: George Good
Soprano: Hannah McSporran
Solo Horn: Lynne Campbell
Trombone: David Cosgrove
Flugel: Jennifer McCormick
Baritone: Murray Ralston
Eb Bass: Ewan Bannatyne
Bb Bass: Willie Ralston
Percussion: Jillian Ogilvie

Campbeltown Brass is celebrating its 25th Anniversary year. The band was formed in 1983 by Gordon Evans MBE and during the next 20 years they enjoyed many successes, including reaching the National Finals in 1985 and 1996.

Gordon left Campbeltown in 2003 and after a period directed by Rob Farmer, Craig Anderson began helping out with contests and training in 2004. In 2005 the band were secured Craig’s services as full-time MD. 
The band relies almost entirely on youngsters from the local schools for its membership, since the majority of players leave the town to attend further education or to gain employment.

The average age of its members is 16 years. Being a very young band and having such an onerous journey to make every time it attends contests- just to get to Glasgow is a 150 mile trip- the successes it has enjoyed in its 25 year history are highly commendable.  
Craig Anderson is an award-winning tuba soloist and freelance player with a wealth of experience that has seen him play with numerous leading orchestras and ensembles.

Craig began playing at 11 years old and at 15 was awarded a full scholarship at the junior school of the Royal Academy of Music and Drama. On leaving the junior school he was awarded the Gilbert Innes prize for brass.

After being accepted to the RSAMD, Craig began to freelance, working with the BBC SSO and Scottish Opera. Craig was a finalist in the Radio2 Young Musician of the Year and won the prestigious Governors recital prize for brass. Craig graduated from the RSAMD in 1995 and he continues to freelance regularly.

He is also a visiting brass instructor in schools and a specialist tutor for the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland.

Test piece opinions:
“Although initially apprehensive about tackling a Second Section test piece, the very young band is now eagerly anticipating another performance at the Championships. The members are thoroughly enjoying the differing style of the piece, with its technical challenges and musical nuances.”
Kirsty, aged 14, thinks the piece is ‘fun’. She enjoys playing it, especially sections E - G.  Mark, aged 18, commented that at sectionals the piece was providing plenty ‘to get stuck into’. The piece is emerging as an all-round favourite, appealing to all sections and to the younger and older members alike. 

City of Coventry

Region: Midlands
Conductor: Stephen Cooper

Qualified: Winners (Midlands) – 185pts (S. Cooper)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Robert Baggott
Euphonium: Sam Pope
Soprano: Mattias Andersson
Solo Horn: Val Bell
Trombone: Chris Moore
Flugel: Lesley Howarth
Baritone: Tina Burgess
EEb Bass: Craig Palmer
BBb Bass: Matthew Green
Percussionist: Christopher Evans

City of Coventry Brass was formed in 1965, and Coventry School of Music Band later became Coventry Centre for the Performing Arts Band and more recently City of Coventry Brass.  

The bands last appearance at the Finals was in Torquay where they finished 5th in the First Section.  Relegation in 2007 to the Second Section saw the band focus on regaining promotion and they recorded a new CD to celebrate a visit last October to Portugal.
Recent contest achievements include 2nd place in the Wychavon Contest in 2007 when Chris Moore the bands principal trombonist took the soloist prize, followed by winning the Midlands Area Second Section at Bedworth, which confirmed their promotion back to the First Section. 

Continuing to add to the success, the band’s trombone quartet also won the LBBA Open Quartet Contest in April.

Stephen CooperConductor:
Stephen Cooper studied euphonium, trombone and conducting at the London College of Music.  

He has played with many of the country’s leading orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia.

In 1989, Stephen became principal euphonium of the Wallace Collection, where he played in numerous concerts and recordings.  He also worked as a session musician on films, including ‘G I Jane’, and the incidental music on ‘Brassed Off’.

Stephen’s interest in brass bands has continued throughout his career as a teacher and as musical director of many top Midland bands.

Test piece opinions:
City of Coventry Brass is enjoying the challenges of ‘Rhapsodic Variations’ including knitting together the rhythms and trying to perfect the dynamic contrasts. 

EpsomEpsom & Ewell

Region: London & SC
Conductor: Ted Howard

Qualified: 2nd place (London & SC) – 185pts (E. Howard)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Andy Singleton
Euphonium: Claire Varley
Soprano: David Stoneham
Solo Horn: Darren Hill
Trombone: Lesley Batty
Flugel: Lisa Stevenson
Baritone: Melanie Holtham
Eb Bass: Simon Hill
Bb Bass: John Faulkner
Percussion: Laura Brand 

The Epsom and Ewell Silver Band have been performing in the vicinity of Epsom for nearly 100 years.

The band currently competes in the Second Section both nationally and locally. Over the last decade they have achieved notable success, especially at the Southend Entertainment Contest and more recently coming second in the area qualifying championship.

This sees them, once again, through to the National Finals where they are looking forward to the challenge and shall be moving up to compete in the First Section in 2009.

As well as contesting, the band has a busy engagement schedule, performing at least two major concerts in Epsom every year, and has recently been involved in a production of ‘Brassed Off’. 

The band has also found time to make two recordings. In 2004 they produced ‘Ewelltide Classics’, and in 2006 they recorded a selection of music titled ‘Screenplay’.

Ted HowardConductor:
Ted has had a great deal of experience with all types and styles of music spending twenty years in the army serving with the bands of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Band Corps.

More recently he has conducted the RICS Band, Basingstoke, Cosham Concert Brass, New Forest Brass, Blendworth and the Cobham Band. 

In the period when he was with Cosham he brought them from a non-contesting band to a nationally graded Second Section band, and also took them to the National Finals on three occasions.

Ted was appointed MD of Epsom & Ewell in January 2004. He is a member of the National Association of Brass Band Conductors and also sits on the Executive Council.



Region: Midlands
Conductor: Chris Groom

Qualified: 2nd place (Midlands) – 184pts (C. Groom)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: John Pacey
Euphonium: Jason Smith
Soprano:  Dylan Richards
Solo Horn: Toni-Louise Roberts
Trombone: Max Thornton
Flugel: Anita Smith
Baritone: Jacqui Pacey
Eb Bass: Steve Orton
Bb Bass: John Grimshaw
Percussion: Stuart Grainger

The Harborough Band is based in the East Midlands town of Market Harborough, Leicestershire.  The band was formed in 1897 with 20 members and used to rehearse in the towns’ Liberal Club. 

The bands’ membership has steadily grown over time, and we now have a large and very successful training band section, with more than 30 regular members, several of whom have now joined the senior band ranks. 

The band played at the 2nd Section National Finals in Preston in 2001, gaining 6th place and again in 2007 in the Second Section where they came 15th. 

Chris has been the bands’ Musical Director since 1991 and is the son of Trevor Groom, renowned as one of the country’s best euphonium players.  After leaving school, Chris joined the Scots Guards, where he trained at Kneller Hall and played French horn for 6 years.

After leaving the Guards, he spent 8 years with Championship section bands in Yorkshire.  He then returned to the Midlands and joined the GUS Band, where he played solo horn for five years.  Chris is a peripetetic music teacher at Loughborough Grammer School, Loughborough University and Kimbolton School.

Test piece opinions:
”We are enjoying playing the test piece and find it very interetsing. It has been harder than we may have first thought but we hope to be able to produce a good show on stage.”  

HaslingdenHaslingden and Helmshore

North West
Conductor: David Holland

Qualified: 2nd place (North West) – 182 (D. Holland)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Craig McFarland
Euphonium: Geoff Hayes
Soprano: Andrea Moss
Solo Horn: Melanie McFarland
Trombone: Phil Shatliff
Flugel: Gwenneth McFarland
Baritone: Gillian Mastyla
Eb Bass: Martin Bradshaw
Bb Bass: Chris Faulkner
Percussion: Andrew McFarland

The Haslingden & Helmshore Bands have been in existence since approximately 1870.  Known as the Haslingden Boro Temperance Band and the Helmshore Public Prize Band, the two bands were rivals for 100 years and1972 merged to form the current band.

2008 has been an extremely successful year for the band with them competing in five contests and being placed in the first 3 at each one. They currently hold the titles of Second Section Champions at both the Butlins Mineworkers Championship and Buxton Contest.

In preparation for Harrogate the band organized an 8 mile sponsored walk of Haslingden & Helmshore, stopping at 15 locations around the two villages and performing at each one.  

David HollandConductor:
David Holland started his playing career with the Tintwistle Band.  Aged 16 he joined the Lancashire Constabulary and the Band of the Lancashire Constabulary. 

He subsequently left Tintwistle as the Police Band rose through the sections. By now David had moved onto Eb bass and was a member of the eight man Lancashire Constabulary Fanfare Trumpet Team.  In 1990 he was appointed MD of Haslingden & Helmshore, then a non-contesting band.  

Under David’s direction they have enjoyed many successes, taking them to the National Finals in 1998 where they gained second place in the Fourth Section.

This year has been busy and eventful.  Not only has the band won a trophy in each of the five contests that they have competed in, David celebrated his 60th birthday and directed the band in a contest performance for the 50th time!

Test piece opinions:
“A great choice by the selectors and a fabulous piece of music that has been a pleasure to work on.  

All sections of the band are required to concentrate and work hard for the full duration of the piece especially when other sections of the band are playing the melodic lines and solos. A great Second Section test.” 


Region: Scotland
Conductor: Ray Tennant

Qualified: 2nd place (Scotland) – 186pts (R. Tennant)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Jane Clark
Euphonium: John Stark
Soprano: David Black
Solo Horn: Laura Mullen
Trombone: June Deans
Flugel: Fiona MacLuskey
Baritone: Laura Barker
Eb Bass: Sheena Glass
Bb Bass: Ann McGuinness
Percussion: Douglas Young

The Johnstone Band was founded in 1834 by workers of a town drowned in the hardships of the industrial revolution.

In the beginning the band was one of about nine bands that existed within a six mile radius. Many of those died away at the turn of the century and some as a result of the ravages of two world wars. Johnstone are the only band to have survived.

Since 1834 the band has had several name changes before finally becoming the Johnstone Band. Although the band’s name was changed five years ago, local people and other bands still affectionately refer to the band as the Johnstone Silver Band.

Since the band’s 150th anniversary in 1984, the band has risen from being a Fourth Section band to achieving Championship status for the first time in 2000.

Previously the band has qualified for the Nationals in 1984, 1989, 2000, 2001, 2005 in different sections.

Ray TennantConductor:
Raymond Tennant began his musical career as a cornet player. In 1976 he took up the tuba, and gained entry to the RSAM. 

After graduating in 1980 he continued with post-graduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Centre for Orchestral Studies (University of London).

He began his conducting career in 1983. From 1987 until 1991 he was Eb bass player and Associate Conductor with the CWS (Glasgow) Band, and enjoyed many successes with them.

He has continued his successes with various bands within Scotland and England, and conducted Kirkintilloch Kelvin Brass to first prize in the 2000 National Championship Third Section. 

Raymond is also the founder and Musical Director of Girls Allowed – Scotland’s All-Star Female Brass Band.

Test piece opinions:
“Overall the band is warming to the piece. Most are enjoying the melodic content of the piece. Definitely a piece that will separate the men from the boys!” 

MurtonMurton Colliery

Region: North of England
Conductor: Dennis Noble

Qualified: 2nd place (Scotland) – 187pts (D. Noble)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Lynn Maxwell
Euphonium: Stuart Shields
Soprano: Peter Welsh
Solo Horn: Karis Stephenson
Trombone: Harry Place
Flugel: Jacqui Jenkin
Baritone: Dionne Knight
Eb Bass: Andrew Martin
Bb Bass: Stan Garbutt
Percussion: Jonny Mohun

Murton Colliery Band was formed in 1884 as the Blue Ribbon Temperance Band. Not much is known about this period other than the members wore a blue ribbon on their sleeve.

During the years Murton Colliery was in existence, the band had a great deal of support from the pit, every miner paying for the bands upkeep, and practice facilities were provided in the form of the Miners Welfare Hall. When the colliery closed, the band became self supporting, a situation which continues to the present day.

The band are very proud of their roots and is one of the few remaining bands to keep the title 'Colliery Band'. They also still march proudly through the village on occasions such as Durham Miners Gala and Armistice Day, a situation they hope will continue for many years to come.

Denis NobleConductor:
Dennis Noble has been associated with brass bands in the North East since 1972, where he began contesting with the Durham Constabulary Band.

In 1975 he transferred to the Northumbria Police Band. Here, under the guidance of the late Stan McDonald he became deputy bandmaster and eventually bandmaster.

In 1978, whilst still at Northumbria Police, he became Musical Director of Lynemouth Colliery Band (now known as Greggs Bakery). Dennis took Lynemouth to the NCB finals, winning in the Fourth Section. 

Today Dennis conducts Murton Colliery Band where, again, he has achieved success. Dennis says: "I am very proud to be associated with the band and look forward to progressing the band to higher aims."

Test piece opinions:
“The band enjoys playing all Salvation Army style pieces. Although there are many challenges in this piece of music we are thoroughly enjoying rehearsing it and hope to do well.” 

Point of Ayr

Conductor: Michael Fowles

Qualified: Winners (Wales) - 187pts (P. Christian)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Keith Jones
Soprano: Ian Davies
Flugel: Dewi Davies
Solo Horn : Alex Helleur
Baritone: Peter Sibeon
Euphonium: Ian Roberts
Trombone: Fred Hughes
Eb Bass - David Owen
Bb Bass: John Thelwell
Percussion: Suzanne Hughes

The Point of Ayr Band was founded in 1966 and reached Championship status 1981.  They quickly became a premier force in the Principality and won the Radio Wales contest in 1983, 84 & 1985, the year in which they made their British Open debut.
They became Welsh Area Champion in 1997 and 1999 and gained a highly commendable 3rd place in the European Championship of 1998 despite serious funding difficulties.
2001 saw the funding crisis escalate and the band was forced to cancel and withdraw from further engagements for a period of seven years. 2008 has seen the revival of the band and after being re-graded in the Second Section it has successfully won the Area, Tameside and St. Helen's competitions.

At the forefront of its agenda is the pathway back to the Championship section.  After that, who knows what path the fairytale that was interrupted in 2001 will take.

Mike FowlesConductor:
Michael’s early musical education in North Staffordshire, culminating in him holding the position of principal trombone of both the County Youth Brass Band and Orchestra.

He studied at the RNCM and played with the Britannia Building Society (Fodens) Band.  Michael graduated with an Honours Degree and was presented with the Harry Mortimer Outstanding Brass Student Award and continued his studies to gain a postgraduate Diploma in Band Direction. 

He also became a Junior Fellow, and was appointed to the post of Resident Conductor of the Brass Band.

Described as “One of the leading young interpreters of modern brass styles” Michael is much in demand, having already worked with many of the Country’s leading bands. 

Currently he is Musical Director of the Stockport Band and The Ratby Co-operative band in Leicester. 

ShrewtonShrewton Silver

Region: West of England
Conductor: Michael Dunford

Qualified: 2nd place (West of England) – 186 pts (M. Dunford)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dian Bartlett
Euphonium: Chris Friend
Soprano: Pete Bede
Solo Horn: Adrian Henson
Trombone: Martin Mortimore
Flugel: Michelle Martin
Baritone: Dave Coombes and Lisa Armstrong
Eb Bass: Steve Lucas and Nigel Miller
Bb Bass: Brad Sturgess and Tim Dunford
Percussion: Helen Lucas, Katy Walker, Andy Michenall

The band in Shrewton can be traced back to the 1830's and is one of the oldest bands in the country. Over the last 10 years since MD, Mike Dunford, took up the baton, the band has steadily risen from the very bottom of the Fourth Section to challenge the top of the Second Section.

Tragically the band lost their respected principal cornet, Alan Dunford, in March, shortly after qualifying for Harrogate. Al is sadly missed by both players and supporters at Shrewton and many other bands across the region.
Recent major contest achievements include coming runner up SWT Woodfalls in the Championship Section of the Wessex Region in December 2007, beating several Championship and First Section bands, and scooping the cup for best percussion on the day! This year the band qualified for Harrogate for the third time in five years.

Mike DunfordConductor:
Michael started his playing career on soprano with Amesbury Town Band, later joining Shrewton. In 1978 he started a career in military music, where he trained at Kneller Hall and performed all around the world.

1994 saw Michael’s return at Tidworth, where, playing the euphonium, he was soon able to renew his acquaintance with Shrewton. Here he remained until he retired in 2002 after 24 years’ service.

Since taking the baton for Shrewton in 1998, Michael has guided them from the Fourth Section to the Championship Section locally and Second Section nationally, including reaching the National Finals three times in the last five years.

He holds a Diploma of Associate of the London College of Music & Media (ALCM) and is a member of the National Association of Brass Band Conductors (NABBC).

Test piece opinions:
“The band is enjoying rehearsals for the test piece, which challenges all sections of the band and offers variety to the players especially the Eb basses early in the piece and the obvious solos and duet from principal cornet and Euphonium in the 3rd variation. 

The piece offers an opportunity for musical interpretation across the varied movements to Mike Dunford with its contrasting styles.” 


Conductor: Barry Hudson

Qualified: Winners (Yorkshire) – 187pts (B. Hudson)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Helen Gledhill
Euphonium: Peter Brier
Soprano: John Mitchell
Solo Horn: Neil Hardy
Trombone: Andrew Booth
Flugel: Stuart Cowgill
Baritone: Gary Woodward
Eb Bass: Graham Chadwick
Bb Bass: John Jackson
Percussion: Matthew Bamforth

Slaithwaite has had a band since 1892.  Throughout it’s long history it has had successes, winning the Grand Shield in 1938. During the 1960’s the band was conducted by up and coming stars Roy Newsome and Derek Broadbent.
In 2003 the band appointed Barry Hudson as MD. Under his direction the band has achieved great goals winning through to the National Finals in two consecutive years, and as a result were promoted to the Second Section in 2006.

The band boasts many female members and is transforming itself into a new and exciting musical experience. During 2008, the band became the Yorkshire Second Section Champion and is supported by virtualhuddersfield.com who have designed their new web site.

Barry Hudson’s involvement with banding began at the age of seven and has continued with a passion ever since.

A former trombone soloist with a track record of freelancing with an eclectic mix of ensembles, Barry’s playing and conducting experience began in the Salvation Army.

Since his appointment as MD of Slaithwaite, his imaginative concert programming, motivational skills and methodical rehearsal techniques have made a major contribution to delivering the band's most successful periods in over thirty years.

Test piece opinions:
“On the whole, the band appears to be enjoying the challenge of this test piece.  The percussion section is getting used to playing instruments that they don’t often get the chance to play.  

Both the principal parts are putting a great deal of effort into the middle section, as we presume will most bands.” 


Conductor: Gary Davies

Qualified: 2nd place (Wales) – 186pts (G. Davies)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kevin Jones
Euphonium: Angela Westacott
Soprano: Ceri Twohey
Solo Horn: Eirwen Jones
Trombone: Steve Jennings
Flugel: Terry Hill
Baritone: Andrea Brooks
Eb Bass: Lyndon Baker
Bb Bass: Alun Richards
Percussion: Sarah Burgess

The band was first formed in 1920 as the Tylorstown & District Silver Band but was forced to disband from 1942-1945.

From 1945 till the late 1950's fortunes varied and in the early 1960's various circumstances had forced the band to stop competing. This was turned around however and by 1969 the band was once again in the Championship Section.

1978 brought sponsorship from a local colliery, and its name changed to the Tylorstown & Mardy Colliery Band. This led to the band's active involvement in the miner's strikes of the 1980's, during which time the band was seen on television news reports all over the world.

During more recent years Tylorstown Band were part sponsored by Valley Lines then Arriva Trains Wales, although the sponsorship came to an end in 2008.  The band is now self funded with help and support from the local community.
Gary DaviesConductor:
Gary first became involved in banding at the age of 8 when he joined the Cwmaman Institute Junior Band on cornet, later moving to soprano.

During Gary's playing career with Cwmaman he was chosen as a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales and played when Cwmaman won the Grand Shield, gained 5th place at the British Open and qualified to play at the National Finals. He also won numerous solo awards.

In 1996 Gary became the MD of Llwydcoed Silver, achieving success by leading them to second place in the local Welsh League.  

In 2005 he was appointed MD of Tylorstown Band.  Since his appointment, the band gained promotion to the Welsh League Championship Section, and has since gained runners up status in both 2006 and 2007. 

Test piece opinions:
”It is a very demanding piece for soloists, ensemble and conductor.  The piece blends many different musical styles and poses both technical and musical challenges to all sections within the band, challenges that will appeal to both bands and supporters alike.   

The piece is an inspired choice for the Second Section, and will certainly prove a more than satisfactory test.” 

WardleWardle and Anderson District Brass

Region: North West
Conductor: Sean Conway

Qualified: Winners (North West) – 184pts (S. Conway)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Susan Butterworth
Euphonium: Amy Smith
Soprano: Lindsay Marson
Solo Horn: Abi Marson
Trombone: Sarah Owen
Flugel: Laura Quigley
Baritone: Cheryl Richards
Eb Bass: Callum Boardman
Bb Bass: Nigel Smith
Percussion: George Webster

Anderson Brass (then called Wardle Section Band) was formed in 1990. At the time, it consisted of players from the Wardle Youth Band who, at 19, had become too old to play in youth competitions.

The Anderson name comes from the ex-headmaster of Wardle High School, William, who is seen as being responsible for hundreds, maybe even thousands of children learning a brass instrument.

In 2003 the band won the Fourth Section National title. Several good results at the area contests were then followed by a further success in 2006 when the band were promoted to the Second Section in 2007. 

This is the band’s fourth appearance at the National Finals and not only will they take to the stage here again this year but will compete in the First Section next year.

Sean ConwayConductor:
Sean Conway began playing the cornet at the age of 9. His first brass band was Chapletown Silver Prize Band being taught by the bands conductor Ken Aitken-Jones and euphonium player David Flathers.

In 1988 Sean joined Grimethorpe Colliery and had the great pleasure in winning many contests and performing at concerts throughout Europe. In 1995 Sean moved across the Pennines and joined the Williams Fairey Band. 

He then took over as MD for Anderson Brass in 2004. Since joining the band Sean has taken the band from the Third Section to the First within a four year period.

Test piece opinions:
“The band is enjoying rehearsing the test piece as there is something in it for everyone.” 

YBSYBS Concert Brass

Region: Yorkshire
Conductor: Ian Craddock

Qualified: 2nd place (Yorkshire) – 186pts (I.. Craddock)

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Tim Pool
Euphonium: Ian Gill
Soprano: Steve Biggs
Solo Horn: Nicola Storey
Trombone: Matthew Renshaw
Flugel: Alice Pool
Baritone: James Binns
Eb Bass: Jonathon Fennell
Bb Bass: Dr Richard Walshaw
Percussion: John Mallinson
Band History:
At the turn of the 20th century in Saltaire a brass band was formed and operated for many years representing Salts Mill.

In 1947 Hammonds Sauce Company sponsored the band and in June 1993 the long association with Hammonds came to an end and the Yorkshire Building Society took over the sponsorship of the family of three brass bands.

The middle band was known as Hammonds Hawley Band and became Yorkshire Building Society Concert Brass, climbing from Fourth to First Section and reaching the National Finals several times. 2006 signalled the end of the sponsorship and the band changed its name to YBS Concert Brass.
The band last qualified for the Second Section Finals in 2004 finishing in second place. The band was extremely pleased to qualify after being placed second at this years Yorkshire regional contest - Ian Gill winning the soloist prize was the icing on the cake!

Ian CraddockConductor:
As a renowned euphonium player Ian Craddock achieved much success with Cresswell Colliery and Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band before being part of the golden era at Yorkshire Imperial Band in the 1970's.

His conducting experience includes Crofton Silver, Queensbury, Brodsworth Colliery before being invited to conduct Williams Fairey.

Ian brings 50 years of brass band invaluable experience with him when preparing for the regional contest and again for the National Finals.

Test piece opinions:
“This piece will undoubtedly be a test for all bands. The slow movement is beautiful, although it requires nerves of steel from the euphonium and cornet. 

Overall, this choice of test piece has been very well received by the whole band and rehearsals have been very enjoyable.”


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