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2011 West of England Regional Championship — Torquay preview

As always there is always a warm and friendly atmosphere down in Torquay despite a slight chill of late at the Nationals.

TorquayThere is always a warm welcome to be found at the West of England Regional Championships.

Perhaps it’s the early spring breeze that gently blows though the palm trees surrounding the Riviera Centre, or the smiles you get from the organisers and helpers as you make your way to the hall.

Red hot blast

However, there may be a red hot blast about to erupt here – although not from the place you might suspect. Things at Championship level are bubbling up nicely this weekend, thanks to the early season form of a few of the rival competitors.
 
The travails of the Championship Section bands once they get to the Royal Albert Hall are well documented: A last podium finish in 1993 and a top six finish in 1994, whilst the 2010 qualifiers came 13th and 18th.  

However that could be about to change – and there is a feeling that Sunday afternoon’s contest is one not to miss.

Colder further down

Its further down the sections that a once rich seam, of what appeared to be a never ending supply of highly competitive bands has dried up a bit , although there were two podium finishers in Harrogate.  

That’s still a fine return in most regions books (Yorkshire included), but the heady days of winners galore around the turn of the Millennium is starting to fade in the memory banks.

Polyphemus

That said, even the most patriotic musical Polyphemus found in Bradford still casts a green eye of envy this way: Five of the nine qualifiers came home with top ten finishes from Harrogate.

Plenty to look forward too then – from Flowers attempts to become the first top section band to retain its title since 1996, to the delights of the Fourth Section where 22 bands are sure to impress Derek Broadbent and David Lancaster.

The region still produces high quality lower section outfits, even if it’s not quite the gold top double cream variety of recent vintage.

Ticking over nicely

Brian Elliott and his excellent team of volunteers keep a field of 74 bands ticking over nicely.

There is even good news on that front as numbers are up one this year, with the loss of Heyl, Solent, South Molton and St Breward, offset by the return of Bodmin, Soundhouse, Bideford, Gosport, Midsomer Norton and Tiverton, and debutants Andover Town.

The West of England may not be able to boast as many National Champions as Yorkshire just yet, but it is making every effort to ensure they will have plenty of bands trying.

Iwan Fox



The Marple Band - The Marple Band presents Music from Musicals

Saturday 23 June • Stockport Grammar School. Buxton Road. Stockport SK2 7AF


Elland Silver Band - Elland Silver Band

Saturday 23 June • Blackley Blackley Church Prospect View Elland HX5 0TD


Blidworth Welfare Band - Organist Keith Hearnshaw

Saturday 23 June • St Andrews Church, The Green, Swanwick, Derbys DE55 1AN


Besses o' th' Barn Band - Charity Celebration Concert

Saturday 23 June • St Thomas Church, Warrington Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield WN4 9PL


York Railway Institute Band - Dan Thomas - Euphonium

Saturday 23 June • Central Methodist Church. St Saviourgate. York. YO1 8NQ YO1 8NQ


Cheshire Constabulary Band

June 20 • Cheshire police band based in Winsford & rehearsing Mondays are looking for a tutti & 3rd cornet. Great rh facilities and a smart friendly band.


Blidworth Welfare Band

June 20 • Midlands area Championship section (5th place 2018) Blidworth Welfare band require a percussionist to join us (Thursday rehearsals only apart from contest run up). Our only vacancy is now for a percussionist who can join our great team.


Stannington Brass Band

June 20 • Stannington Brass Band are looking for a soprano cornet player to join our progressive 1st section band. We have a good band room atmosphere and a calendar of interesting concerts and contests.. . Rehearsals - Thursdays 8pm-10pm and Sunday 7.30pm-9.30pm


John Ward


Conductor, Adjudicator