2009 Spring Festival - Senior Trophy: Runners and Riders


4BR looks at the 20 bands taking their first steps towardsthe British Open. No looking back now...

Gwyn Evans
4BR Ranking:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Nicholas Hughes
Solo Euphonium: Tom Hughes
Solo Horn: Nia Wyn
Soprano: Bari Gwilliam
Flugel: Chris Williams
Solo Trombone: Kate Gwilliam
Baritone: Nicky Williams
Eb Tuba: Gavin Saynor
Bb Tuba: Geraint Jones

Blackpool Form:
2008: 11th (G. Evans)
2007: DNC
2006: Withdrew
2005: 11th in Grand Shield (G. Evans)
2004: 11th (M. Hansen)
2003: 6th (G. Evans)
2002: 12th (G. Evans)
2001: 2nd Senior Cup (G. Evans) (prom)
Did not compete in the contests before 2001

Form Guide:
Beaumaris made a welcome return to Blackpool last year finishing 11th in the Senior Trophy.

The band organisation has been restructured and this Beaumaris is the one that is quickly gaining ground up through the sections and having come up from the First Section last year, came 5th in Swansea. Growing in confidence and maturity they will fancy their chances of more success here we are sure.   

BessesBesses o' th' Barn
Carl Whiteoak
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Laura Dawson
Euphonium: Matt Stenson
Soprano Cornet: N/K
Solo Trombone: Mat Bown
Solo horn: Nick Guzman
Flugel horn: Bryony Evans
Baritone: James Holt
Eb Tuba: Christopher Lydon
Bb Tuba: Matt Bailey

Blackpool Form:
2008: 19th in Senior Trophy (rel)
2007: 16th in Senior Cup (J. Hinckley)
2006: 18th Grand Shield (J. Hinckley) (rel)
2005: 9th (J. Cant)
2004: 14th (S. Sykes)
2003: 12th in British Open (S. Sykes) (rel)
2002: 2nd Grand Shield (prom); 13th British Open (Lynda Nicholson)
2001: 11th (G. Pritchard)
2000: 3rd (G. Pritchard)
1999: 21st in British Open (G. Pritchard) (rel)
1998: 17th (D. Broadbent)
1997: 16th (D. Broadbent)
1996: 13th (D. Broadbent)
1995: 9th (A. Briggs)
1994: 20th (P. Andrews)
1993: 19th (T. Halliwell)

Form Guide:
Besses have been through a torrid time over the past couple of years.  Despite their problems, they’ve dug in and like a lot of bands deserve credit for having a full compliment of players and making it to the stage here once more. 

They did struggle on ‘New World Sketches’ at the Area and ‘Spectrum’ will have been an interesting challenge for them. 

BlackburnBlackburn and Darwen
Nick Sheppard
4BR Ranking:  

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Rob Johnson
Soprano Cornet: Tom Johnson
Flugel: Robert Speakman
Solo Horn: Tariq Ahmed
Solo Euphonium: Rachael King
Solo Trombone: David MacLeod
Baritone: Sharon Meredith
Eb Tuba: Andrew Davies
Bb Tuba: Gareth Henderson

Blackpool Form:
2008: 9th (N. Sheppard)
2007: 12th (N. Sheppard)
2006: 17th (N. Shepherd)
Last appeared at the Grand Shield in 1990

Form Guide:
A form band heading to Blackpool for sure.  Blackburn & Darwen took the spoils in the First Section at Butlins followed by a National Finals berth on ‘Pentacle’. 

Nick Sheppard has done a terrific job leading the Lancastrians in the past couple of years and you’d get short odds on them being in the mix when the results are announced. 

CamborneCamborne Town
Kevin MacKenzie
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kayleigh Rowe
Soprano Cornet: Les Kneebone
Flugel: Andrew Mitchell
Solo Horn: Mark Letcher
Solo Euphonium: Robert Jose
Solo Trombone: Barry Buist
Baritone: Gavin Knowles
Eb Tuba: Graham Barker
Bb Tuba: Kevin Braff

Blackpool Form:
2008: 5th (F Renton)
2007: DNC
2006: 7th (R. Evans)
2005: 7th (C. Curtis)

Form Guide:
Camborne will be making the long journey North extremely confident having tasted victory at Torquay under Garry Cutt. 

Cory’s Dr Robert Childs has been working with the band, but it will be Kevin MacKenzie who will head the assault. Lots of quality in the ranks and all the confidence in the world. They could well be celebrating come Saturday night. 

DerwentDerwent Brass
Keith Leonard
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: David Neville
Soprano Cornet: Dai Roberts
Flugel: Pam Davis
Solo Horn: Graham Johnson
Solo Euphonium: Adam Rutter
Solo Trombone: Martyn Johnson
Baritone: Adrian Drewitt
Eb Tuba: Paul Foster
Bb Tuba: Neil Riddle

Blackpool Form:

Form Guide:
Great to see the Midlanders at Blackpool for the first time.  Keith Leonard continues to work the band hard and that good work is starting to pay off.

9th place at the Regionals was a solid return too and if they can just up their form from Bedworth then they could come close to pinching a promotion place. 

EasingtonEasington Colliery
Ray Farr
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dennis Todd
Soprano Cornet: Michael Holiday
Flugel: Jo Brown
Solo Horn: Jonathan Collins
Solo Euphonium: Clive Parker
Solo Trombone: Elizabeth Bateman
Baritone: Peter Lawson
Eb Tuba: Ben Cauldwell
Bb Tuba: Mike Gray

Blackpool Form:

Form Guide:
Another debutant here this weekend as Easington continues its association with Ray Farr. 

They didn’t find top form at Darlington finishing 7th, but ever since their famous television appearance things have been looking up for them. Optimism is never in short supply in their neck of the woods for certain and that could be rewarded on the weekend if they hit top form. 

FriaryFriary Guildford
Chris King
4BR Ranking:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Richard Straker
Soprano Cornet: Jon Hammond
Flugel: Mark Yarham
Solo Horn: Nigel Stevens
Solo Euphonium: Andy Porter
Solo Trombone: Ian Stewart
Baritone: Alex Stevens
Eb Tuba: Philip German
Bb Tuba: Nigel Simmons

Blackpool Form:
2008: 16th (C. King)
2007: 13th (C. King)

Form Guide:
Friary Guildford has other things on their minds at the moment with the recent news that the rent on the rehearsal venue could put the long term future of the band in jeopardy. 

In the competitive environment they’re certainly doing OK although they would have been disappointed they didn’t do better at the Regionals in Stevenage. At times they can really sound top class, but they are prone to inconsistency too. What band will turn up on Saturday then? 

Graeme Tindall
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: N/K
Soprano Cornet: N/K
Flugel: N/K
Solo Horn:  N/K
Solo Euphonium: N/K
Solo Trombone:  N/K
Baritone:  N/K
Eb Tuba:  N/K
Bb Tuba:  N/K

Blackpool Form:

Form Guide:
Not too many outings of late for the North East outfit but 5th place at the Areas in Darlington was a good indicator that the band has now firmly found its feet at Championship level.

Debutants here this year, they should be confident of putting up a solid show, although a promotion place may well be a little too far away on the horizon just yet. 

Phil Pavey
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dave Richardson
Soprano Cornet: Mandy Crowther
Flugel: Marcia Furmage
Solo Horn: Janet Lewis
Solo Euphonium: Jeff Lewis
Solo Trombone: N/K
Baritone: Wendy McMylor
Eb Tuba:Hugh Cant
Bb Tuba: Matt Harrison

Blackpool Form:

Form Guide:
The band from the Derbyshire hills are in a bubbly mood having finished 5th at the Area contest in Bedworth a few months back – a fine result given that a number of those rivals will be competing in higher sections this weekend too.

The band has had its ups and downs over the past couple of years, but its return to the Spring Festival is long overdue.   

JohnstoneJohnstone Silver
Ray Tennant
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Jane Clark
Soprano Cornet: David Black
Flugel: Fiona Mcluskey
Solo Horn: Laura Mullen
Solo Euphonium: John Stark
Solo Trombone: June Deans
Baritone: Laura Baker
Eb Tuba: Sheena Glass
Bb Tuba: Lynsey Kennedy

Blackpool Form:

Form Guide:
Great to see the Scots making the trip down to Blackpool.  In fairness though, they’ve not found their form yet this year having missed out at Butlins in the First Section and coming 7th at Dundee.

Ray Tennant is a well respected and experienced MD though and he will know this test piece inside out. That may well come in handy on the weekend.  

Ernest Ruddock
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dessie Neill
Soprano Cornet: Mark Ruddock
Flugel: Stephen Brittain
Solo Horn: Alan Reavie
Solo Euphonium: Willie Shaw
Solo Trombone: Clive McBride
Baritone: N/K
Eb Tuba: Nigel Downey
Bb Tuba: Gareth Downey

Blackpool Form:
2008: 6th (E. Ruddock)
2007: DNC
2006: 8th
2005: 20th in Senior Cup (E. Ruddock) (rel)
2004: 6th (E. Ruddock)
2003: 15th (E. Ruddock)
2002: 12th (S. Cairns)
2001: 9th (S. Cairns)
Didn't compete at the contest before

Form Guide:
Laganvale made the return last year having not competed in 2007 as they were involved at the European Championships in Birmingham. 

The Irish outfit certainly showed their form though in coming 6th last year and so confidence should be high as they make the short trip across the Irish Sea. 

Duncan Byers
4BR Ranking:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Scot Woolfenden
Soprano Cornet: Philip Heywood
Solo Horn: Ian Wilkinson
Solo Euphonium: Neil Riley
Solo Trombone: Gavin Sever
Flugel: David Coy
Baritone: Daniel Catlow
Eb Tuba: Ian Riley
Bb Tuba: Syd Wood

Blackpool Form:
2008: 14th (D. Byers)
2007: 10th (D. Byers)
2006: 16th (M. Evans)
2005: 13th (M. Evans)
2004: 12th (M. Evans)
2003: 18th (M. Evans)
2002: 18th in Senior Cup (J. Davies) (rel)

Form Guide:
A coach fire which damaged instruments, uniforms and the loss of music en-route to a concert at the back end of 2008 has meant that Mossley have received amazing help from the wider banding family. 

Whilst it has proved to be a major setback they’ve stuck together and 10th place at the Areas was a fine achievement given the circumstances. More of that fighting spirit is required this weekend if they are to make the move into the top 10 or better. 

ChesterNASUWT Chester Le Street Riverside
Ian Robinson
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: N/K
Soprano Cornet: N/K
Flugel: N/K
Solo Horn: N/K
Solo Euphonium: N/K
Solo Trombone: N/K
Baritone:  NK
Eb Tuba: N/K
Bb Tuba: N/K

Blackpool Form:
2008: 12th (I. Robinson)
2007: 15th (I. Robinson)
2006: 14th (I. Robinson)

Form Guide:
The multi talented Ian Robinson brings his band back down from the North East once again determined to try and break into the top ten places.

12th place last year was a slight improvement, but they should be confident of making more of an impression this time around after their encouraging performance at Darlington where they just failed to make the trip to London . 

NewbridgeNewbridge Celynen
: Rhodri Griffith
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Andrew Jones
Soprano Cornet: Ellie Holland
Flugel: N/K
Solo Horn: Angie Thomas
Solo Euphonium: Nigel Thomas
Solo Trombone: Iwan Wiliams
Baritone: Dave Osbourne
Eb Tuba: N/K
Bb Tuba: Tony Yelland

Blackpool Form:
2008: 13th (P. Holland)

Form Guide:
There has been a bit of a change at Newbridge in recent months, what with the departure of long time MD Paul Holland.

He was the inspiration behind their climb up the sections, and it will be interesting to see how they cope without him. Rhodri Griffiths is a talented replacement, but can they still keep up their remarkable progress? 

Thomas Wyss
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Geraint Jones
Soprano Cornet: N/K
Flugel: Carol Hughes
Solo Horn: Louise Skillander
Solo Euphonium: Aled Williams
Solo Trombone: Daniel Sheard
Baritone: Gwyrfai Williams
Eb Tuba: John Williams
Bb Tuba: Andy Pritchard

Blackpool Form:
2008: 8th (T. Wyss)
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 18th (B. Baker)
2003: 17th (K. Bolton)
2002: 17th Senior Cup (rel) (C. Roberts)
2001: 8th (I. Porthouse)
2000: DNC
1999: DNC
1998: 20th Grand Shield (rel) (T. Wyss)
1997: 4th (T. Wyss)
1996 5th (T. Wyss)
1995: 3rd (T. Wyss)

Form Guide:
Northop has posted an impressive start to the 2009 season – especially after they qualified for the National Finals in London after coming 3rd at the Welsh Area contest.

Thomas Wyss has bags of experience and a host of talented players at his disposal. The return to better days has started, and more could well be in store on the weekend.    

Point of Ayr
Roy Newsome
4BR Ranking:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet:
Soprano Cornet:
Solo Horn:
Solo Euphonium:
Solo Trombone:
Eb Tuba:
Bb Tuba:

Blackpool Form:

Form Guide:
If ever you need an experienced hand to guide you back to the Spring Festival at short notice then none come better than Dr Roy Newsome.

Point will be grateful for his input we are sure, but they will also travel with plenty of confidence under their belts given their recent run of results. The First Section Welsh Champions won the title with some classy paying in Swansea, and more of that form should see them feature here for sure.  

MilnrowUnited Norwest Co-op Milnrow
John Ward
4BR Ranking:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Donna Towse
Solo Horn: Frances Thewliss
Solo Euphonium: Adam Snape
Solo Trombone: Chris Binns
Soprano Cornet: Tom Sutcliffe
Flugel: Joanne Ward
Baritone: Michael Thewliss
Eb Tuba: Matt Mills
Bb Tuba: Andy Fitton

Blackpool Form:

2008: 10th (J. Ward)
2007: 6th (A. White)
Form Guide:
An interesting combination this, and one that has certainly began to produce solid musical performances and results. 

Butlins saw them struggle a little but they showed a remarkable maturity at Blackpool to come home in 6th place against a strong field of rivals. More of that form and they should make it into the promotion places without too many problems.   

WantageWantage Silver A
Philip Bailey
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Steve Chapman
Solo Horn: Judith Chapman
Solo Euphonium: Lyndon Baglin
Solo Trombone: Mark Tribble
Soprano Cornet: Brian Thomas
Flugel: Nicola Morrell
Baritone: Eddie Yarker
Eb Tuba: Robert Dodd
Bb Tuba: Steve Shirley

Blackpool Form:
Form Guide:
Debutants who’ll be making the long journey up from the South, but Philip Bailey and Wantage are a very capable outfit. 

They delivered a very solid showing at Stevenage to come 7th and if they have built on that they could well be in the mix in and around the promotion places here too. 

WrexhamWrexham Brass
Wayne Ruston
4BR Ranking: 

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Graham Taylor
Soprano Cornet: Rachael King
Flugel: Steve Curtis
Solo Horn: Alison Ruston
Solo Euphonium: Chris Aubrey
Solo Trombone: Aled Davies
Baritone: Michael Lamplett
Eb Tuba: Pete Smith
Bb Tuba: Nigel Spence
Blackpool Form:
2008: 7th (W Ruston)

Form Guide:
The hard working Wayne Ruston continues to do an excellent job with the North Wales outfit.  Granted they’ve not found life too easy in the Championship Section of late but there were certainly signs at Swansea that a solid foundation has been put in place.

7th last year is a tough act to follow, but they may well feature if they can really hit top form again. 

Yorkshire CoopYorkshire Co-operative
Simon Kerwin
4BR Ranking:

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Tabby Clegg
Solo Horn: Jamie Clegg
Solo Euphonium: David Shawcross
Solo Trombone: Rebecca Venus
Soprano Cornet: Steve Houghton
Flugel: Adam Keech
Eb Tuba: Keith Marsden
Baritone: Kathryn Rennard

Blackpool Form:
2008: 15th (K. Gibbs)
2007: 11th (W. Rushworth)
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:
The knowledgeable Simon Kerwin is now at the helm at Yorkshire Co-op but they currently appear to be in the rebuilding process. 

They’ve found it tough going on the contesting stage so far this year and have not really shone as expected so far on their contesting outings. Time to put that straight then.


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