4BR Band under the spotlight - Rothwell Temperance


4BR puts one of the real form bands of 2009 under the spotlight to see what the rest of the 2009 season holds in store

Rothwell TemperanceBand: Rothwell Temperance
Website: www.rtb.org/
Region: Yorkshire

Major Honours:
Grand Shield Winners: 2009
Yorkshire Regional Champions: 2009
All England Masters International Champions: 2006

Yorkshire Regional First Section Champions: 1998
Yorkshire Regional Second Section Champions: 1996
Yorkshire Regional Third Section Champions: 1994 & 1995
Senior Cup Winners: 2003
Pontins Champions: 2000
Swiss Open Winners: 2000

 Rothwell 1883
Rothwell originals - Rothwelll Temperance circa 1883

Band History:

The history of the Rothwell Temperance Band is a slightly complex one.

Originally formed as far back as 1881, the band that currently proudly bears the name is in fact just 25 years old – formed in 1984 as the Rothwell Junior Band, an offshoot arm of the main Rothwell organisation.

Driving force

Glyn Kearsley was the driving force behind the new ‘junior’ outfit and success quickly followed, boosted by an influx of talented young players (a couple of who are still playing with the band 25 years later) and instruments that came from the demise of the old Laporte Industry Band.

The ‘senior’ Rothwell band eventually found sponsorship from the Wallace Arnold transport firm, and the two organisations eventually separated – the ‘B’ Band as it was now called, moving to Wakefield in 1999, where they remain to this day. The ‘Senior’ outfit eventually merged with the Yorkshire Imperial Band, and it’s identity was lost.   

Rothwell Juniors
The original juniors - Rothwell Temperance Junior Band 1984

Quick promotion

Meanwhile, the ‘B’ Band proudly took over the full Rothwell Temperance name, and moved quickly up through the lower sections, winning through to six consecutive National Finals – from Third Section in 1994 to Championship in 1999.

The band tasted success at Wembley in 1991, coming runner up in the Fourth Section National Finals, and came within a quaver beat of taking further National titles in 1994 and 1995 in the Third Section, and posting top ten results in 1996, 1997 and 1998 as they progressed toward championship status.

Family connection

The connection between the band and the Roberts family has been a long a proud one, with the father and brother of current MD, David Roberts conducting Rothwell bands.

David took over the baton in 1993 and has overseen the culmination of the band’s ascent to the top tier of the banding tree – directing the winning performances at the Yorkshire Area from 1994, the Swiss Open and Pontins Championships in 2000, the Masters victory of 2006, and in 2009, the ‘Double’ of Grand Shield and Yorkshire Regional Championship.

Rothwell 2008
The 2008 originals - Rothwell Temperance outside the Albert Hall

Open return

The band made its debut at the British Open in 2004 after coming runner up at the Grand Shield, losing its status in 2008, but regaining it triumphantly in 2009 with victory at Blackpool. 

The band remains a proud public subscription organisation, raising its own funds to compete at major contests. It has a growing list of CD releases, concert promotions and radio broadcasts and later this year will compete at the Brass in Concert Championships for the first time in its short, but highly successful history.  


Current 4BR Ranking: 11

2008 Contesting Record:
Yorkshire Regional Championship: 4th
All England Masters: 7th
English Nationals: 7th
British Open: 17th
National Finals: 6th

2008 Prize Money won: £3,925

2009 Contesting Record:
Yorkshire Regional Championship: Winners
Grand Shield: Winners
All England Masters: 10th
2009 Prize Money won: £2,900 

4BR Eight Year Ranking Progress: (World of Brass/4BR Ranking to June 2009)  

World Rankings

When the 4BR rankings first started in 2001, Rothwell ended the year ranked 29th.

They fell to 36th by the end of the next year, before moving up to 30th, then 23rd, 16th and 15th by the end of the 2006 season.

The band remained ranked 17th at the end of 2007 and 2008, but increasing success has meant that they are now ranked 11th – the highest in their history.  


David RobertsProfessional Conductor: David Roberts

David Roberts started his playing career with the Rothwell Temperance Band progressing through the Junior Band to become the principal cornet player at the age of 14.

In 1984 he left the band to study music at Manger Folkehogskule, Norway. On his return, he joined the Yorkshire Imperial Band and the National Youth Band of Great Britain, and won the best instrumentalist at the North of England Solo Championships.

In 1990 he moved to the Black Dyke Mills Band and won the European, British Open and National Championships. In 1995 he was part of the band's wonderful grand slam year.

David is a brass teacher at Leeds Grammar School and also Bradford Grammar School, and is also a tutor with the National Youth Brass Band.

He began conducting in 1993 and a has guided the band to no less than eighteen victories including five Yorkshire Championships, the 2006 "International Masters" and the 2009 Grand Shield.

Current Players:

Principal Cornet: James McCabe
Solo Cornets: Craig Gaskell, Andrew Riley, Tim Hammond, David Hale
Soprano: Paul Argyle
Repiano: Emily Dodsworth
2nd Cornets: Vicky Kennedy, Neil Cole
3rd Cornets: Jayne Thompson, Lewys Rowles, Richard Glascodine
Flugel: Richard Golding
Solo Horn: Catherine Roberts
1st Horn: Mark Lowe
2nd Horn: Tracey Colston
Solo Baritone: Andy Padgett
2nd Baritone: Jack Telfer
Solo Euphonium: Andy Marsh
2nd Euphonium: Matthew Allsop
Solo Trombone: Nick Walker
2nd Trombone: Andy White
Bass Trombone: Glyn Thompson
Eb Tubas: Ed Hodkin, Richard Wilton
BBb Tubas: Ben Ridgeon, Graham Williams
Percussion: Tim Sawyer, Rhianon Harding, Tim Whaley, Kenny Argyle  

2009 Aims and objectives:    

Winners - Rothwell celebrate their 2009 Yorkshire Area success

Contesting front: 

David Roberts told 4BR: "So far 2009 has been amazing for the band. Winning the Yorkshire championships was a fantastic achievement and a real milestone. I've now won the Yorkshire  Area in 4 sections with the band and it’s a great feeling as the band wasn’t in great shape when I took over in 1993 - then they  were at the wrong end of the 3rd Section. 

Our main aim this year was to get straight back into the British Open. It was a great relief when the band were announced as Grand Shield winners. Our challenge now is to get a result at the Open so that we are not put in that position again. We bounced back at the Nationals last year and made the frame, so it would be a great feeling going to next years Area having already qualified - ,so that’s the aim.

We have just been invited to Brass In Concert.  and I'm delighted. It's the one contest we haven’t been invited to before and we are looking forward to the challenge."

Non contesting front:
David added: " We have  some really enjoyable concerts later in the year, including one with Frank Renton that has become an annual event at Yeadon Town Hall. We also have a large concert near Harrogate in which we hope to feature guest vocalist Lucy Rhodes. Lucy sang on our Christmas cd and was Radio 2 'Young Choir Girl of the Year.'

We will also be at Morley Town Hall as part of their 'Best of Brass series, and that will takes us to the Christmas concerts. We now have to do two locally as they sell out and have become very popular." 

Rothwell girls
The Rothwell girls - the ladies celebrate the Grand Shield victory

4BR Predictions: 

Hard to find anything wrong with what Rothwell are doing at present – the results of 2009 show that.

The major priority of the year has already been secured – the return to the British Open. That was achieved with a real flourish at Blackpool where they stamped their class on the contest and made sure their stay at the Grand Shield was kept to the  minimum duration.

The bonus was the Yorkshire Area – although after 2008 they were surely confident of another return to the Albert Hall. With only three places up for grabs though and such a strong field of competitors, that win was hugely significant – showing even the most sceptical critics that this was now a band to admire and respect.

The Masters – usually such a happy hunting ground of late - saw a fairly exhausted band show only glimpses of their potential, and the decision to pull out of the English Nationals was understandable.

Lacking sponsorship, and with the high profile wins bringing in less than £1,000 in prize money, further expense had to be weighed up against the trips to Birmingham, London and Gateshead later in the season. The money won at Whit Friday has to go a long way.

The rest of the year does look promising though: The band could be a dark horse at the British Open and a top ten place should be well within their grasp, whilst the same applies at London, where their big sound (and weaker field of rivals) should see them looking for a top six finish or better.

Not so sure about Brass in Concert, as the band hasn’t really struck gold on the entertainment front, but given their form during 2009, by then they could be capable of achieving anything.


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