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2012 West of England Regional Championship — Torquay preview

West of England banding is on the up — and now its lead is coming from the top down...

TorquayWest of England banding is on the up – and perhaps for the first time in a generation it is being led from the top down.

Famed for the excellence of their lower section bands over the past decade or more, the good times are now starting to roll at Championship and First Section levels too.

Numbers up


Numbers are up (an additional 8 bands make it to the starting line to bring the total to 81), the organisation at the Riviera Centre under Brian Elliot’s command is slick, happy and very professional, and the Region can boast two National Champions after the superb performances from just about all their qualifying bands at Cheltenham.

The only down side is the acoustic at the both the Forum and Arena venues – both splendid for the spoken voice and fun and games, but neither ideal for a brass band contest – although the amenities are excellent and the welcome is always warm and friendly.

Cheltenham excellence


Aldbourne and Brunel Brass were worthy National title winners of the First and Second Sections, but it is also important to add that there were excellent performances in each of the sections – with Bournemouth runner up in the First behind their rivals, Pendennis claiming 5th in the Second Section, Sidmouth 6th in the Third, and New Forest Brass coming runner up in the Fourth.

To top it all though, Flowers has built on its solid 2011 season and has started this year like a F1 car, Woodfalls and Mount Charles are certainly on the up and Aldbourne was on fire last year. No wonder there are envious glances from other regions in the country.

Puffed out

You get the feeling that there will be plenty of puffed out chests at Torquay this weekend.

It should also make for keenly fought contests too – with Woodfalls hoping to finally put the dreaded defending champions curse to bed in the Championship event on Sunday, and with the prospect of some cracking battles in each of the other sections.

No wonder an experienced team of judges has been drafted in.

What the rest of the contesting year brings we wait and see, but unlike other false dawns of recent times, especially in the top section, there is a look of growing sense of permanency about the quality of the bands here now.

4BR will be there on the weekend to enjoy the new found confidence of a regional event that promises to be a cracker.

Iwan Fox



The Fairey Band - ACID BRASS

Saturday 14 July • Harrogate Music Festival


Medway Band - Church Fund Raiser

Saturday 14 July • Christ Church . Broadway. Bexleyheath. . DA6 7BT


Gresley Colliery Band - Overseal Gala

Saturday 14 July • Overseal Derbyshire DE12 6


Newstead Brass - Ripley Music Festival

Saturday 14 July • Crossley Park, Ripley DE5 3GT


Sherborne Town Band - Sherborne Youth Band

Sunday 15 July • Sherborne Town Band presents ‘Music In The Park’ 2018. This year EVERY concert involves the amazing Sherborne Youth Band and there will be ice cr DT9 3NW


East London Brass

July 15 • London based Championship section band are on the look out for a CORNET PLAYER and PERCUSSIONIST to join our team. Lots of exciting concerts and contests coming up in the next 12 months.


Strata Brass

July 15 • TENOR TROMBONE. Yorkshire 1st Section Champions - National finals (September) - Championship Section 2019.. MD Jonathan Bates. Rehearsals SUN/WED,bandroom 5 mins from J35/36 M1 (Hoyland)


Oxted Band

July 14 • Cornet vacancies! Members shortly leaving us for university and college places means we have space in our cornet section for a new player or two. Oxted is an ambitious friendly local band, with a good calendar of events, concerts, occasional contests.


Mark Wilkinson


Cornet Soloist, Teacher, Adjudicator, Conductor