2009 All England Masters International - Runners and Riders


4BR looks at the 18 bands that are trying to leave Cambridge on Sunday night crowned as the Masters of all they survey - Time and Space included...

1st Old Boys Association Silver
Stephen Cairns
4BR Ranking: 98

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Mark Bingham
Principal Euphonium: Alan Haworth
Soprano: William Gillmore
Solo Horn: Brian Connolly
Flugel: John Cooke
Solo Trombone: Joohn Egan
Baritone: Heather Dunleavey
Eb Tuba: Peter Mercer
Bb Tuba: Billy McCann

Appearances: 5th time this year
Debut:  2005
Best Result: 15th in 2006 and 2008
Worst Result: 18th in 2005 and 2007

Overall Record:
2008: 15th
2007: 18th
2006: 15th
2005: 18th

Last Year: 15th off number 3 draw

Stephen Cairns once again takes the band on stage this weekend

Masters Facts:
Fifth appearance in a row at the Masters since their debut in 2005.
Current Form:
Pretty good.

The 2009 Brass Band League Band of theYear recently won the BBL title in Strabane and has been planning for its future too with the start of its new youth band.

The band has enjoyed itself at Cambridge over the last few years, and whilst it has yet to force its way into the top ten it has produced some decent performances – notably last year with a solid rendition of ‘Malcolm Arnold Variations’ that just about held its own. 

More of the same perhaps, although with a solid line up of performaners in the ranks, this test piece may well be more to their liking... 

aVELEYAveley and Newham
Nigel Taken
4BR Ranking: 57

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Bob Osborne
Solo Euphonium: Derrick Kane
Solo Horn: David Howell
Soprano: Robert Domingue
Flugel: Dave Lewis
Baritone: David Maddocks
Solo Trombone: Paul Yarrow
Eb Tuba: David Klien
Bb Tuba: Gwyn Press

Appearances: 17th time this year
Debut: 1989
Best Result: 7th in 2004
Worst Result: 20th in 1997

Overall Record:
2008: 11th
2007: 17th
2006: 19th
2005: 11th
2004: 7th
2003: 10th (8th, 16th, 11th)
2002: 9th (5th, 10th, 16th)
2001: 19th (20th, 16th, 20th)
2000: 9th (11th, 3rd, 13th)
1999: 17th (16th, 16th, 18th)
1998: 10th (4th, 13th, 14th)
1997: 20th
1993 - 1996: Did not compete
1992: 19th
1991: 17th
1990: 13th
1989: 14th

Last Year: 11th off the number 21 draw

The Aveley part of Aveley and Newham didn't join forces until the band competed here in 1997, so as the Asphaltic Newham Band they were directed by Nigel Taken from 1989 to 1991. Stephen Shimwell had the baton in 1992 and Melvin White took them in 1997. Nigel Taken returned in 1998 has been the man in charge ever since.

Masters Facts:
From 1989 to 1992 the band competed under the single name of Newham. The best they have done is 7th in 2004 but they also came 9th in 2000 and 2003. Unfortunately they have also come last in 1991 and 1997 and last but one in 1992.

Current Form:
Variable to say the least.

The band appears to be in the middle of an extensive rebuilding programme at present – something that was shown both at the Areas and most recently at the Grand Shield where they ended up in 19th and last place, relegated to the Senior Cup for next season. 

They have had their moments here over the years though and put in a very decent show last time out to come a solid 11th. If that happens again we think they will be delighted.  

BTMBedwas Trethomas and Machen (BTM)
Conductor: Tom Davoren
4BR Ranking: 22

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ian Roberts
Soprano Cornet: Meirion Davies
Flugel: Jeff Hutcherson
Solo Horn: Trevor Isaac
Solo Euphonium: Mark Hutcherson
Solo Trombone: Jonathan Pippen
Baritone: Tim Jones
Eb Tuba: Kate James
Bb Tuba: Tim Evans

Appearances: 5th time this year
Debut:  2005
Best Result: 10th in 2007
Worst Result: 19th in 2008

Overall Record:
2008: 19th
2007: 10th
2006: 12th
2005: 16th

Last Year: 19th off the number 7 draw

Tom Davoren takes the helm this year after Nigel Boddice lead the band in 2008.
Jason Katsikaris directed in both 2006 and 2007, whilst John Berryman led the band here in 2005. 

Masters Facts:
Fifth appearance for the Welsh band, but just the one top 10 finish so far – 10th in 2007. 19th last year was their worse result at a major contest for a number of years.

Current Form:
Deceptively good?

The 2009 season has had its ups and downs for the band so far, with wins at the Welsh Open and Ebbw Vale mixed in with a decent 3rd at Yeovil and a disappointing 4th at the Welsh Area.

They have just taken the honours at Ebbw Vale on this test piece with an encouraging run out, so confidence should be high and with a solid ensemble and a talented MD at the helm, they will be looking for a possible mention off the stage at least.  

bUIZINGENBrass Band Buizingen
Luc Vertommen
4BR Ranking: 31

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Harmen Vanhoorne
Principal Euphonium: Hans Goris
Soprano: Win Stas
Solo Horn: Tim De Maeseneer
Flugel: Sebastien Rosseau
Solo Trombone: Jeroen Mesters
Baritone: Emmanuel Reynaerts
Eb Tuba: Peter Neuejans
Bb Tuba: Jeroen Verleden

Appearances: Debut
Debut:  2008
Best Result: N/A
Worst Result: N/A

Overall Record: N/A

Last Year: DNC

Long term MD Luc Vertommen leads the band on its debut this year.

Masters Facts:
None as yet!
Current Form:
A bit of a mystery.

Those who have heard Buizingen over the past few years will attest to the fact that they are an impressive band led by a very impressive MD.

They have had their ups and downs in contesting terms and didn’t really feature at the 2008 Belgian Nationals. On their day they can mix it in very strong company and have the personnel around the stand that could well deliver the good on this test piece.

A dark horse or potential podium finisher? There may not be much to choose between them come the results.  

WillebroekBrass Band Willebroek
Frans Violet
4BR Ranking: 12

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Raf Van Looveren
Principal Euph: Stef Pillaert
Principal Trombone: Walter Hoecks
Soprano: Steven Devolder
Flugel: Kristien Schuermans
Horn: Stijn Berbe
Baritone: Tom Verschoore
Eb Tuba: Stefan Moeskops
Bb Tuba: Bart van Neyghem 

Appearances: 4th time this year
Debut:  2005
Best Result: 3rd in 2006
Worst Result: 9th in 2005

Overall Record:
2008: DNC
2007: 5th
2006: 3rd
2005: 9th

Last Year: DNC

Frans Violet leads the band again.

Masters Facts:
Fourth appearance at the Masters for the fomer European Champions, with a best result of 3rd in 2006 on ‘Paganini Variations’. 
Current Form:
Wait and see.

Despite the band not qualifying for the 2009 European Championships after tasting defeat at the 2008 Belgian Nationals, and rumours of changes in personnel, there still seems to be a very settled look to the former three time European Champion. 

They also seemed to be in remarkably good form on their guest appearance in Ostend too, and with that little extra bit of preperation time on their side this year, could it be fourth time lucky for one of Europe’s best bands?  

cARLTONCarlton Main Frickley Colliery
Russell Gray
4BR Ranking: 13

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Kirsty Abbotts
Principal Euphonium: Toni Howden
Soprano: Gary Bates
Solo Horn: Leah Williams
Flugel: Sian Carradus
Solo Trombone: Rebecca Lundberg
Baritone: Bob Archer
Eb Tuba: Ben Dixon
Bb Tuba: Ray Sykes

Appearances: 8th time
Debut: 2000
Best Result: 2nd in 2007
Worst Result: 18th in 2008

Overall Record:
2008: 18th
2007: 2nd
2006: 16th
2005: 14th
2004: 13th
2003: 16th (14th, 20th, 13th)
2002: DNC
2001: 3rd (2nd, 4th, 10th)
2000: 5th (8th, 8th, 5th) 
1989 – 1999: DNC

Last Year: 18th off the number 18 draw

John Hinckley took the band in both 2000 and 2001 before handing over the responsibility in 2003 to William Rushworth. Brian Grant took over in 2004 and 2005. Russell Gray took over from 2006.

Masters Facts:
Only a short record of achievement at Cambridge so far for the famous old band from Yorkshire. The record though is pretty good with a best of 2nd place in 2007 and two other top six finishes in 2000 and 2001.

No appearance in 2002, they have suffered some poor results too, notably in 2003 and 2006 when they came 13th and last year when they ended up in rather mysteriously in 18th place.

Current Form:

Not really on top form at Butlins, where they ended up in 6th place, and they didn’t set the pulses racing at Bradford either in coming 7th.

Knowing that they had already qualified for London may have made them a little complacent, but they should know that they won’t trouble the judges here if they perform like that once more.

Unlucky to say the least last year, that 18th place should give them the determination to live up to their billing as one of the more fancied runners on the day this time around.    

DesfordDesford Colliery
Jason Katsikaris
4BR Ranking: 15

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Gary Wyatt
Principal Euphonium: Robin Taylor
Soprano: Richard Evans
Solo Horn: Murray Borthwick
Flugel: Brian Winter
Solo Trombone: Richard Brown
Baritone: Kate Williams
Eb Tuba: Andy Chettleburgh
Bb Tuba: Phil Blake-Covey

Appearances: 6th time
Debut: 1989
Best Result: Winners in 2008
Worst Result: 15th in 1992

Overall Record:
2008: Winners
2007: 7th
2006: 13th
1993 – 2005: DNC
1992: 15th
1991: DNC
1990: DNC
1989: 2nd

Last Year: Winners from a number 11 draw

James Watson took the band at the inaugural Masters, whilst Rob Wiffen returned with them in 1992 when they dropped to come 15th.  Major Ian McElligott took over in 2006 and Nigel Seaman in 2007 and 2008. Jason Katsikaris makes his debut with the band this year.

Masters Facts:
Played in the inaugural contest and were pipped by a point by Leyland to miss taking the title on ‘Cloudcatcher Fells'. They then didn't compete, as they were busy winning the Nationals, until 1992 when they suffered a disastrous 15th place on ‘Cambridge Variations'. Then a huge break before returning in 2006, posting some decent returns before that famous win in 2008.
Current Form:

Despite the band taking the Midlands Area title in Bedworth, they didn’t play all that well, and against this field another display like that won’t get the same return for sure.

There were glimpses at Skegness of the calibre that made them such an impressive outfit at times in 2008, but they need to find real form if they are to retain their title here.  The MD could be an inspired choice to do just that and with plenty of talent around the stands they shoud be in the mix.  

Garry Cutt
4BR Ranking: 3

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Mark Wilkinson
Principal Euphonium: Glyn Williams
Soprano: Alan Wycherley
Solo Horn: Lesley Howie
Flugel: Helen Williams
Solo Trombone: John Barber
Baritone: Natsumi Inaba
Eb Tuba: Les Neish
Bb Tuba: Drek Jackson
Appearances: 20th time
Debut: 1990
Best Result: Winners in 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2007
Worst Result: 12th 2000

Overall Record:
2008: 6th
2007: Winners
2006: 7th
2005: 3rd
2004: 8th
2003: 2nd (1st, 8th, 2nd)
2002: Winners (2nd, 1st, 1st)
2001: 4th (5th, 6th, 5th)
2000: 12th (9th, 12th, 14th)
1999: 5th (4th, 7th, 9th)
1998: 6th (9th, 5th, 5th)
1997: 6th
1996: 2nd
1995: Winners
1994: Winners
1993: 3rd
1992: 5th
1991: Winners
1990: Winners
1989: DNC
Last Year: 6th off the number 13 draw

Howard Snell was at the helm from 1990 to 1996 before Philip McCann had a go in 1997. Nicholas Childs oversaw the attempts of 1998 - 2000, before Richard Evans directed in 2001. Russell Gray made a winning debut in 2002 and claimed the runners up spot in 2003. 2004 was a bit of a farce as French Horn player, Steve Bell from the BBC Concert Orchestra was dropped before the big the day, replaced by Simon Stonehouse, before Garry Cutt became the permanent fixture from 2005.

Masters Facts:
The six wins have come on ‘Blitz', ‘Harmony Music', ‘Montage', ‘Paganini Variations', ‘Atlantic' and ‘In Memoriam RK’. It is a superb record and the ‘Paganini' win was gained with an unprecedented 199 points – the highest ever at the contest.  Only twice has the band has come out of the top six when they came 12th in 2000 and 8th in 2004.

Current Form:

Only the one contest outing so far this year, but they did want they needed to do in winning the North West Area title once again.

There is a sense that they have been waiting for a chance to show their true contesting colours in 2009, and if they can produce the type of scintillating performance shown in playing this work at the RNCM Festival of Brass, then they could be clear winners.

That said, they haven’t always enjoyed the best of luck here in the past few years, so nothing will be taken for granted we are sure.    

JaguarJaguar (Coventry)
David Lea
4BR Ranking: 95

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Darren Lea
Solo Euphonium: Rob Hunt
Solo Horn: James Lewis
Soprano: Clive Purnell
Flugel: Andrew Bates
Solo Trombone: Kevin Lea
Baritone: Dvid Johnson
Eb Tuba: Mick Wild
Bb Tuba: Simon Archer

Appearances: 5th time
Debut: 2002
Best Result: 19th in 2002 and 2003
Worst Result: 21st in 2001

Overall Record:
2008: 20th
2004 – 2007: DNC
2003: 19th (19th, 9th, 21st)
2002: 19th (20th, 17th, 17th)
2001: 21st (21st, 20th, 21st)

Last Year: DNC

Dave Lea has been at the helm for the three appearances between 2001 and 2003 and returned once more with the band in 2008.

Masters Facts:
A band by the name of Jaguar was in fact the second band ever to play at the Masters contest – drawn 2 behind William Davis at the first event on ‘Cloudcatcher Fells’. That band was in fact the old City of Coventry Band though and it wasn't until 2001 that this band came to the contest.

Current Form:
Solid if unspectacular.

OK at the Midlands Area where they came a fair 6th, they then produced a decent enough show off the number 1 draw at the Grand Shield to come home in 15th place.

They will of course be hoping that they won’t draw another Kelly’s Eye from the velvet bag this year then, as last year they seemed rather resigned to their fate in coming 20th.

The potential is there for a strong midfield finish if they can just get a bit of luck at the draw, but anything higher would be a real bonus.    

MetropoleMetropole Brass Band
Guy Audenaert
4BR Ranking: 86

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Lieven Dobbelaere
Principal Euphonium: Hendrik Dobbelaere
Soprano: Michael Dils
Solo Horn: Francis Impens
Flugel: Johannes Dewilde
Solo Trombone: Robbert Jacobs
Baritone: Leen Vandenhende
Eb Tuba: Jan De Maeseneer
Bb Tuba: Wim Dierick

Appearances: Debut
Debut: 2008
Best Result: N/A
Worst Result: N/A

Overall Record:

Last Year: DNC

Long term conductor Guy Audenaert takes the band on its debut this year.

Masters Facts:
None so far!
Current Form:
The band was formed in 2000 and within four years had reached Championship status, culminating in coming ruuner up at the 2006 Belgian Nationals.

The band has competed at Euro Brass coming 3rd in 2007 and the Swiss Open too, coming 6th, and were placed 5th at the Belgian Nationals in November 2008. 

PembertonPemberton Old Wigan JJB
Mark Bentham
4BR Ranking: 38

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Joanne Johnson
Principal Euphonium: Andy Tyson
Soprano: John Atkinson
Solo Horn: Chris Sander
Flugel: Carina Halliwell
Solo Trombone: David Chapman
Baritone: David Marsh
Eb Tuba: Steven Parfitt
Bb Tuba: David McGlynn

Appearances: Debut
Debut: 2008
Best Result: N/A
Worst Result: N/A

Overall Record:

Last Year: DNC

Mark Bentham takes Pemberton on their debut after he also conducted Ever Ready in 1994 and 1995 and Hepworth in 2002, 2005 – 2008.

Masters Facts:
None at present!
Current Form:

Since the experienced Mark Bentham came to the band Pemberton has enjoyed a real rennaisance. That was shown in the picking up a well deserved 3rd place at the North West Area to claim a place at London for the first time in a century and then show that it wasn’t a ‘one off’ as they posted a solid 12th place at the Grand Shield.

A potential dark horse if they can really hit the very top of their current form. 

Jeremy Wise
4BR Ranking: 29

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Ralph Brill
Soprano Cornet: Martin Britt
Flugel: Alan Roberts
Solo Horn: Megan Morgan
Solo Euphonium: Lisa Brill
Trombone: Jayne Murrill
Baritone: Becky Smith
Eb Tuba: Chris Bearman
Bb Tuba: Graham Patterson

Appearances: 16th time
Debut: 1990
Best Result: 4th in 2008
Worst Result: 21st in 2006

Overall Record:
2008: 4th
2007: 15th
2006: 21st
2005: 10th
2004: 10th
2003: 13th (15th, 10th, 14th)
1999 – 2002: DNC
1998: 18th  (10th, 15th, 19th)
1997: 19th
1996: 11th
1995: 14th
1994: 8th
1993: 8th
1992: 12th
1991: 15th
1990: 15th
1989: DNC
Last Year: 4th from a number 10 draw

John Clark took the band here from 1990 to 1995 before Graham Wilson took over the baton from 1996 to 1998. Melvin White became their third conductor in 2003 and directed until 2007. Jeremy Wise took the baton in 2008.

Masters Facts:
Redbridge returned to the Masters in 2003 after a four year break. They made their debut in 1990 and came 8th in 1993 and 1994. They dropped away a little after that and made their last outing in 1998.   Since then they have been fairly consistent, before posting their best ever result last year in coming 4th.

Current Form:
Reality check?
After two top class performances to win the Mineworkers Championship and the London & Southern Counties Area title, the Grand Shield at Blackpool brought the band back to earth with a bit of a bump – coming 10th.

Perhaps a question mark does remain over their real status as a top line contender at major championships, but they could count themselves a little unlucky at the Winter Gardens. A return to the form of last year should see them back in the mix, but they need to be on the top of their contesting game.  

Reg VardyReg Vardy
Nicholas Childs
4BR Ranking: 26

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Jim Heyes
Principal Euphonium: Paul Robinson
Soprano Cornet: Tom Glendinning
Solo Trombone: Chris Bentham
Solo horn: Andrew Hall
Flugel horn: Joanne Winspear
Solo Baritone: Laura Boyle
Eb Tuba: Steve Malcolm
Bb Tuba: Alistair Storey

Appearances: 19th time
Debut: 1989
Best Result: 3rd in 2004
Worst Result: 20th 1995

Overall Record:
2008: 16th
2007: 19th
2006: 9th
2005: 6th
2004: 3rd
2003: 15th  (20th, 15th, 9th)
2002: 13th (10th, 14th, 14th)
2001: 7th (8th, 9th, 6th)
2000: 16th (15th, 10th, 20th)
1999: 18th (17th, 20th, 17th)
1998: 8th  (15th, 6th, 8th)
1996 & 1997: DNC
1995: 20th
1994: 13th
1993: 17th
1992: 18th
1991: 9th
1990: 12th
1989: 9th

Last Year: 16th from the number 20 draw

Ray Payne directed in 1989, with Denzil Stephens taking over in 1990 and Stephen Tighe in 1991. Hugh Megarrell had a go in 1992, Stan Lippeat was used in 1993 and Mark Bentham tried in 1994 and 1995. On their return in 1998 Stephen Roberts took the helm for two years before Bryan Hurdley directed in 2000. Brian Grant was used in 2001 and then Ray Farr took over in 2002 to 2007. Richard Evans became conductor number 11 in 2007 andd Nicholas Childs makes it a dozen this year.
Masters Facts:
Not the greatest record here, although they came 3rd in 2004. Apart from that, and 6th in 2005, they have a best of 7th in 2001. They have also had their fair share of poor return though with last place in 1995 and last but one in 2007.

Current Form:
In need of a boost.

The rebuilding process continues for Reg Vardy after they were unable to hold onto their North of England title in Darlington and failed to return to the British Open at Blackpool.

The signs are there though that they are not too far away from posting a cracker, although they will have to up their form from Blackpool if they are to repeat the type of result they earned here in 2004 and 2005. They have the personnel and the MD, but it will need more than just that if they are to get a mention off the stage.    

RothwellRothwell Temperance
David Roberts
4BR Ranking: 14

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: James McCabe
Principal Euphonium: Andrew Marsh
Soprano: Paul Argyle
Solo Horn: Catherine Roberts
Flugel: Richard Golding
Solo Trombone: Nick Walker
Baritone: Andy Padgett
Eb Tuba: Edward Hodkin
Bb Tuba: Ben Ridgeon

Appearances: 9th time
Debut: 2001
Best Result: Winners in 2006
Worst Result: 15th in 2004

Overall Record:
2008: 7th
2007: 3rd
2006: Winners
2005: 7th
2004: 15th
2003: 12th    (12th, 5th, 20th)
2002: 12th   (17th, 12th, 7th)
2001: 11th    (12th, 5th, 16th)
1989 – 2000: DNC

Last Year: 7th from a number 2 draw

David Roberts has directed every performance of the band since 2001.

Masters Facts:
It seems that the judges didn't really know what to make of Rothwell in their first few appearances at this contest.  The separate judges from 2001 to 2003 had them as high as 5th or as low as 20th, but once the traditional system was restored their fortunes have improved immeasurably.

15th in 2004 and then top class performances culminating in that victory on ‘Paganini Variations’ in 2006.

Current Form:

If they play like they did at both Bradford and Blackpool then the Masters title could well find itself back in the Rothwell trophy cabinet for a second time in four years. 

Confidence cannot be higher, although reserves of stamina could be in the red zone, and it will take a Herculean effort for them to make it three in a row in 2009.

Nothing seems beyond them at present though and now they have opted out of the English Nationals they can give this their all and bank some well deserved dosh in the process.   

SovereignSovereign Brass
Jason Glyn
4BR Ranking: 71

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Claire Hutchinson
Soprano: Bob Stadling
Euphonium: Mark Hadlington
Flugal: Sarah Matthews
Solo Horn: Robert Allen
Trombone: Mike Wallbridge
Baritone: Steve Parsons
Eb Tuba: Phil Green
Bb Tuba: Craig Williams

Appearances: 5th time
Debut: 1992
Best Result: 9th in 1998
Worst Result: 19th in 1999

Overall Record:
2000 - 2008: DNC
1999: 19th (18th, 21st, 16th)
1998: 9th (12th, 8th, 9th)
1997: 18th
1992: 16th

Last Year: DNC

Hugh MacNeil took the band on its debut in 1992. On their return in 1997, David Maplestone took the helm, followed by Philip Bailey. Frank Renton tried his luck in 1999 only to lead the band to 19th place. Jason Glyn takes the helm this year.

Masters Facts:
Their debut appearance on ‘Cambridge Variations’ saw the band come 16th and they didn’t return until 1997. A decent showing in 1998 on ‘Dances & Arias’ saw them come 9th, but their last apeparance in 1999 saw them beat just two bands in ending up in 19th place.
Current Form:

The Pontins champions haven’t really kicked on in 2009 as they would have hoped and they have posted fairly non descript results on their travels so far, with most recently, 7th at the Area followed by 8th at the Grand Shield.

Jason Glyn takes over the helm from Terry Jones for this one, and with plenty of quality around the stands and a pinch of luck they could well force their way into the top 10 if they hit top form. 

GUSVirtuosi GUS
John Berryman
4BR Ranking: 35

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: James Fountain
Principal Euphonium: Mark Giles
Soprano Cornet: Gary Fountain
Solo Trombone: Chris Jeans
Solo horn: Simon Smith
Flugel horn: Cliff Pask
Baritone: Jo Stephenson
Eb Tuba: Linda Hobbs
Bb Tuba: Mike Smith

Appearances: 17th time
Debut: 1992
Best Result: 3rd in 2002
Worst Result: 20th in 2006

Overall Record:
2008: 8th
2007: DNC
2006: 20th
2005: 17th
2004: 9th
2003: 7th    (3rd, 14th, 8th)
2002: 3rd    (3rd, 4th, 4th)
2001: 18th  (18th, 17th, 19th)
2000: 4th    (10th, 4th, 3rd)
1999: 4th    (5th, 4th, 5th)
1998: 7th    (5th, 9th, 13th)
1997: 14th
1996: 8th
1995: 4th
1994: 17th
1993: 7th
1992: 14th
1989 – 1991: DNC

Last Year: 8th off a number 5 draw

John Berryman took the band on their first six attempts here from 1992 to 1997 before Melvin White took over from 1998 to 2000. Frank Renton conducted in 2001 and Brian Grant was in charge in 2002. Major Peter Parkes was at the helm in 2003 and David Stowell directed from 2004 to 2006. John Berryman returned in 2007.

Masters Facts:
A fine record for the band that has competed under a variety of names since their debut in 1992. Rigid Containers, GUS, Travelsphere Holidays and now Virtuosi GUS. They came 4th in 1995 under John Berryman and 4th again in both 1999 and 2000. They had a blip in 2001 but returned in 2002 to come 3rd. fell away somewhat on their last two appearances and were last but one in 2006.

Current Form:
Back on track.

After a few up and down years, it seems GUS are back on the right road – although they will be very wary that it takes only the slightest loss of concentration here and things could go wrong at the drop of a misplaced beat. 

The disappointment of the Area was put well and truly behind them at Blackpool where they produced a high class show to claim their place back at the British Open.

Confidence won’t be in short supply or the desire to post another impressive performance either – especially if they can keep their minds on the job right to the very last note. 

John Hinckley
4BR Ranking: 34

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Andy MacDonald
Flugel: David Moore
Solo Euphonium: Gary Curtin
Solo Trombone: Beth Calderbank
Solo Horn: Lucy Pankhurst
Baritone: Katie Raisebeck
Eb Tuba: Jon Davies
Bb Tuba: Mark Hart

Appearances: 12th time
Debut: 1990
Best Result: 2nd in 1997
Worst Result: 17th in 1992

Overall Record:
2008: 10th
2000 – 2007: DNC
1999: 11th (7th, 17th, 11th)
1998: 14th (17th, 12th, 11th)
1997: 2nd
1996: 14th
1995: 8th
1994: 7th
1993: 9th
1992: 17th
1991: =14th
1990: 5th

Last Year: 10th off a number 9 draw

The band was first directed at the contest by Deek Broadbent in 1990 and 1991, whilst John Hudosn was at the helm between 1992 and 1995. James Scott directed them in 1996, before Howard Snell took them to second place in 1997 and 14th in 1998. Chris Wormald had one outing with the band here in 1999.  Andrew Berryman conducted in 2008 and John Hinckley takes over the baton in 2009.

Masters Facts:
Howard Snell took the band to second place in 1997 on ‘Jazz’. Drawn number 10 they set the marker that was only beaten by Williams Fairey. It was the last year before the change in the adjudication process to three separate placings.

Current Form:
A bit of a conumdrum?

On their day they have all the right ingredients to push themselves right into the mix – fine players all around the stands and a very good MD at the helm.

Something is missing at present though – confidence perhaps in their own abilities.  Decent at the Area but very average at the Grand Shield where they came 14th - something needs to click if they are to make a mark here this time around.   

Zone OneZone One
Conductor: Richard Ward
4BR Ranking: 113

Principal Players:
Principal Cornet: Dave Geoghegan
Principal Euphonium: Matt Lewis
Soprano: Craig Burnett
Solo Horn: Gavin Higgins
Flugel: David Hopkin
Solo Trombone: Jon Stokes
Baritone: Doug Murdoch
Eb Tuba: Mark Grainger
Bb Tuba: Daniel Trodden

Appearances: Debut
Debut: 2009
Best Result: N/A
Worst Result: N/A

Overall Record:

Last Year: DNC

Richard Ward takes the band on its debut this year.

Masters Facts:
The first band ever to compete at the Masters with a letter Z in their name! 

Current Form:

On paper, any band that has qualified for the National finals must be one that has to be both respected and perhaps feared, but apart from that runners up result at Stevenage, Zone One has not been heard of since.

Whether that means they have used the spare time to hammer this test piece into prize winning shape we don’t know, but with their mix of talented players and MD they shouldn’t be taken for granted. A surprise package perhaps?


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2002   2001