2012 National Championships of Great Britain — Third Section Runners & Riders

The list of the competing bands in the Third Section at Cheltenham.

The Centaur, Cheltenham
22-23 September

band logoBream Silver

Conductor: Bryn James

The band was formed at the turn of the 20th century as the Princess Royal Colliery Band before becoming the Bream Silver Band.

In the modern era the band was suffering in numbers until the appointment of Bryn James as MD in 1994 which saw them gain promotion to the Third Section in his three year stay.

In 1998 Nigel Howard was appointed MD and under his leadership won the West of England 3rd Section Area title in 2001 and coming 6th place at the National Finals.

Huw Cole took up the baton in 2003 taking them to a further three National Finals, before Bryn James returned in 2011, leading the band to further success.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Wayne Williams
Soprano: Colin Davis
Flugel: Jane Purvis
Solo Horn: Tracey Walkerdine
Solo Baritone: Duncan Robertson
Solo Euphonium: Mark Baldwin
Solo Trombone: Steve Fidler
Eb Bass: Alen Lane
Bb Bass: Harold Davies
Percussionist: Zena Purvis

Region: West of England
Qualified: Winners (B. James)

Bryn started his conducting career in 1994 with Bream Silver Band leading them to win the Pontins Championship, and to promotion to the Third Section in 1997.

In 1998 he moved to the City of Bristol Band where his five year tenure saw the band promoted to the Championship Section. In 2004 he became MD of Tongwynlais Band where he directed them to win the Welsh League Championship and National Eisteddfod.

In 2005 Bryn encountered health problems back to full health he stepped in as a freelance MD Musical for different bands and conducted Filton Concert Band on numerous occasions helping them gain promotion to the First Section. In 2011 he returned as MD to Bream Silver Band.

Test Piece Views:
The band are enjoying the challenges that have been set in Three Ancient Customs and are pleased to be playing a new composition at the National Finals.

band logoDaventry Brass

Conductor: Bob Stradling

Daventry Brass originates from the 19th Century - known then as Daventry Band.

The Daventry & District Silver Band was formed following the amalgamation of Daventry Town, Long Buckby Town and Long Buckby Temperance Bands and the current name, Daventry Brass was decided upon after an embarrassing mispronunciation of their previous name, Danetre Brass!

In the last few years the band moved into a brand new, purpose built band hall.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Chris North
Solo Euphonium: Sue Herbert
Solo Trombone: Stuart Moss
Soprano: David Moorhouse
Flugel: Angie Lakey
Horn: Claire Fisher
Baritone: Karen Heagren
Eb Bass: Not given
Bb Bass: Not given
Percussion: Not given

Region: Midlands
Qualified: Winners (R. Stradling)

No details given

Test Piece Views:
None given

band logoElland Silver

Conductor: James Shepherd

Elland Silver Band was formed around 1850 and apart from the war years has been a constant part of the local and wider community.

Today they are highly respected for their continued work within the community and for its support of local and national charities. In 2010 they were awarded The Queens Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for Voluntary Groups.

One of its earlier success's was in the mid 50's when led by Roy Newsome they won they the 4th Section National title at Hammersmith Town Hall.

In 1994 and 1995 the won the 4th Section at the Yorkshire area and went on to come runner up in both years at the National Finals.

A further final’s appearances took place in 1995, whilst earlier this year the band won the Area title at Bradford, a number sectional Whit Friday march contests and the Brighouse & Hebden Bridge march contest.

Elland Silver Band is also very proud to have a very strong youth section with several of the young players being a very integral part of the senior band.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Samantha Harrison
Soprano: Helen Robinson
Flugel Horn: Pete Laidler
Solo Horn: David Armitage
Solo Euphonium: Andrew Whitham
Solo Trombone: Richard Knight

Region: Yorkshire
Qualified: Winners (J. Shepherd)

The band is conducted by the legendary James Shepherd, the former principal cornet of the Black Dyke Band and one of the greatest cornet players in banding history.

His record of achievement is second to none both as a player, conductor and teacher and he enjoys a worldwide reputation as a true great of the banding world.

Test Piece Views:
The band is working very hard on the 3rd section test piece 'Three Ancient Monuments' and looking forward to performing it in Cheltenham.

band logoEmley

Conductor: Garry Hallas

Emley Brass Band was founded in 1870 from the basis of a woodwind and brass ensemble. Emley was sponsored for a time by the mine in the village, but due to the pit closures no longer carries a colliery name.

During the 1960's the band enjoyed a very successful period picking up local and national titles at varying levels, before a second renaissance came under Garry Hallas from 2006 to date.

In 2012 the band won the ‘Best Mining Band’ Trophy at the Butlins Championship followed by coming runner up at the Yorkshire Area contest and claiming three podium finishes at Whit Friday.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Crawford Howe
Principal Euphonium: Keith Lawton
Soprano: Stephen Biggs
Solo Horn: Deborah Howe
Principal Trombone: Felicity Clewes
Flugel: Jennie Taylor
Baritone: Sally Shacklock
Eb Bass: Adam Clewes
Bb Bass: Phil Goodall
Principal Percussionist: Mick Berry

Region: Yorkshire
Qualified: 2nd (G. Hallas)

Garry is a professional musician living in Wakefield who works throughout the north of England.

He took up cornet under the guidance of Ken Silver and soon progressed to become a respected principal cornet and teacher at his brass centre. In 1988 he joined Rothwell Temperance, before enjoying a successful period at Wakefield Metropolitan Band.

Garry developed as a player and musician, and as a multi instrumentalist went on to complete his LGSM Diploma in Jazz. He has gone on to perform with many top ensembles including Yorkshire Imps, Brighouse & Rastrick and the popular function band 15North.

Garry took up the baton in 2001 and gained a respected reputation. He is rapidly gaining prominence as a conductor and band trainer, and is renowned for his informative and relaxed presentation skills.

Garry joined Emley in 2003 and has overseen their success since, leading them back promotion to the Second Section in 2013.

Test Piece Views:

The team were a little unsure of the piece when we first got it out, but it's growing on the band.

We are enjoying playing with the images the composer allows us to portrait and tackling the challenges it presents us technically.

band logoEpping Forest

Conductor: Denis Desmond

There has been a brass band in Epping for over a century, but currently only two players actually live in the town.

However, Epping Forest prides itself on being a band for the town itself as well as an enthusiastic contesting outfit, and divides its time between preparing for the contest stage and supporting local events wanting live music.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Roger Mitchell
Principal Euphonium: Nigel Eggleton
Soprano: Jean Wells
Solo Horn: Collette Kerr
Principal Trombone: Adrian Davoll
Flugel: Brian Rose
Baritone: Sue Connell
Eb Bass: Chris Roberts
Bb Bass: Malcolm Walker
Principal Percussion: Daniel Andrews

Region: London & Southern Counties
Qualified: 2nd (D. Desmond)

Denis has been involved with brass bands in London as both a player and conductor for many years. He took over as MD of Epping Forest in 2010.

Since then he has seen the band grow to full membership, and under his direction Epping are making their first appearance at the National Finals since the 1980s.

Test Piece Views:
The contest piece has grown on the band since they first ran through it, and they have enjoyed trying to get to grips with some of the intricate level of detail, especially in the second movement.

band logoHitchin

Conductor: Craig Patterson

Hitchin Band was formed in the 1860's. Since its founding the band has formed a cornerstone of music in the Hitchin area and has fostered young musicians still learning to play, offering them the opportunity to play alongside our more experienced members, some of whom have been with the band for over 40 years.

The band is very proud of its strong links with charitable organisations including the Royal British Legion, The Round Table and St Mary's Parish Church Hitchin. In particular, our Christmas concerts are always very well supported.

The band has carried the name of the town far and wide at Regional and National competitions and at venues including Wembley and the Royal Albert Hall. The band has also featured on national television and radio

The Hitchin Band has been playing for almost 150 years. All of the band's members, committee and supporters are dedicated to see that the band moves forward into the 21st century and beyond.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Dinah Birch
Euphonium: Keith Birch
Soprano: Simon Router
Solo Horn: Sarah Gibbons
Trombone: David Sear
Flugel: Alice Bailey
Baritone: Allan Hooker
Eb Bass: Martin France
BBb Bass: Chris Ankers
Percussion: Emily Prince

Region: London & Southern Counties
Qualified: Winners (C. Patterson)

No details given

Test Piece Views:
None given

band logoIbstock Brick Brass

Conductor: Huw Thomas

The band was originally formed in 1971 as the Coalville Band, with two of the founder members still playing in the band today.

In 1977 a local company, Ibstock Building Products Limited came forward with sponsorship and in 2000 the company changed its name to Ibstock Brick Limited.

The band travels all over the UK to play in concerts and have made two trips to France. Over the years the band has featured in several radio broadcasts, television documentaries and has also recorded a CD.

Contest fortunes have varied, although the band has played at the National Finals and taken part in the Grand Shield at Belle Vue.

In 2000 the band won the Second Section Midlands title, going on to claim a podium finish at the Finals. They return this year after coming third at the Midlands Area Contest.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Alan Tyler
Principal Euphonium: Gerald Chamberlain
Soprano: Mark Tarry
Solo Horn: Ian Partner
Principal Trombone: Kevin Davison
Flugel: Simon Coope
Baritone: Val McEntee
Eb Bass: Janet Davison
Bb Bass: Barry Smith
Principal Percussionist: Ian Foster

Region: Midlands
Qualified: 3rd (H. Thomas)

Huw Thomas was born in Cardiff and started playing the cornet at the age of 11 in the Tongwynlais Band. He went on to play in the National Youth Orchestra in Wales and following studies Birmingham Conservatoire enjoyed a two year period in Portugal with the Orquesta de Norte.

After returning to the United Kingdom, he conducted Melton Town Band before becoming resident conductor of the Kibworth Band working with John Berryman.

Since then, he has enjoyed a successful freelance career with the likes of Enderby, Pennine Brass, Towcester, Staffordshire, Ibstock Brick Brass and Fishburn Bands.

In 2004, he was awarded the Dennis & Maud Wright Conducting Award and was also runner up in the North West Brass Band Conductor of the Year competition.

Test Piece Views:
None given

band logoJedforest Instrumental

Conductor: Phil Rosier

Jedforest Instrumental Band is based in the Scottish Borders town of Jedburgh. Instituted in1854, it is one of the UKs oldest continuously running brass bands.

Since the turn of the 21st century the band has enjoyed a great deal of success on the contest platform. In 2002, 2004 and 2012, the band has represented Scotland at the National Finals and on the basis of their contesting performances in 2004 we were declared SBBA ‘Band of the Year’.

In March the band won the Scottish Third Section Championship to gain their place at Cheltenham making it a successful six months, having won the Third Section title at the Borders Entertainment contest in November 2011.

The band continues to fulfil a busy calendar throughout the year performing at concerts, local events/gala days and various other engagements around Scotland along with their two youth bands, Abbey Brass and the Band Buddies.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: David Sutherland
Principal Euphonium: Scott Renwick
Soprano: David Lightbody
Solo Horn: Hamish McRichie
Principal Trombone: Gordon Melrose
Flugel: Stuart Black
Baritone: Stuart Graham
Eb Bass: David Plummer
Bb Bass: Randy Hudson
Principal Percussionist: Fiona Neary

Region: Scotland
Qualified: Winners (P. Rosier)

Phil was appointed as MD in 2011 after a successful four year spell at Fishburn.

A graduate of Huddersfield University with a BMus (Hons) Degree in Music, Phil was tutored by Andrew Duncan on tuba and Phillip McCann in conducting. Phil has played with various bands including Hepworth, Sellers, Grimethorpe and Ever Ready.

He has worked alongside several respected MDs including Ray Farr, Russell Gray, Alan Morrison and Richard Evans, whilst also benefiting from masterclasses with Bramwell Tovey, Peter Graham, Philip Sparke, Paul Hindemarsh, Philip Wilby, Roy Newsome and Elgar Howarth.

Phil also works as a music co-ordinator and has been a tutor at the JRNCM.

Test Piece Views:
Three Ancient Customs has proved an intriguing choice for this year’s contest. The piece offers a variety of challenges for all sections of the band in as well as some challenging solo lines.

This is a piece that covers all areas of lower section banding and should produce a good contest.

band logoLong Eaton Silver

Conductor: Sharon Stansfield

The band was formed in 1906 from the remnants of the older Temperance Band and soon went on to win the famous Cassel’s Shield at Crystal Palace in 1927.

More recently the band has qualified for the National Finals in 2002, 2003 and 2006, when they won the Third Section National title. They return again this year.

The band also has a thriving training band of around 45 players and beginners group of 15 players.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: James Dennis
Principal Euphonium: Emma Ramplin
Soprano: Matthew Lax
Solo Horn: Catherine Onions
Principal Trombone: Hazel Rogers
Flugel: Melissa Ramplin
Baritone: Lisa Balsom
Eb Bass: Ted Bradley
Bb Bass: Tony Perry
Principal Percussionist: Carl Ramplin

Region: Midlands
Qualified: 2nd (S. Stansfield)

Sharon began playing the cornet at Long Eaton Silver Prize Band along with her brother Carl. Both were taught by the late Sid Bland and Ted Bradley who still plays with the band on Eb bass!

Sharon took over the baton at Long Eaton in 2000 and since then they have gone from strength to strength, qualifying for the National Finals on less than four occasions. The band will be promoted to the Second Section in 2013.

Many of Sharon’s extended family plays in the band – including her husband, sons, brother, his partner and two nieces! Two grandchildren now play in the beginner’s band too!

Test Piece Views:
The band is enjoying the challenge of this new music and what it depicts, and looks forward to the finals!

band logoOgmore Valley

Conductor: Alice Jones

Ogmore Valley Silver Band has been established since 1893, and has been an important part of the local community near Bridgend in South Wales ever since.

The band has qualified for the National Finals on a number of occasions in their history, but after many years of struggle was revitalised by the appointment of Alice Jones as MD and returns to the Finals this year.

The current band consists of a mixture of youth and experience and enjoys a busy social and musical calendar playing for the community which has been paramount to their success and longevity over the past 100 years.

The band can now look forward to the future and are honoured to be under the guidance of Alice Jones.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Lloyd Roderick
Principal Euphonium: Mark Tunster
Soprano: Stephen Roderick
Solo Horn: Tony Saunders
Principal Trombone: Claire Tillott
Flugel: Faye Haywood
Baritone: Philip Young
Eb Bass: Danny Stone
Bb Bass: Kirstie Cambourne
Principal Percussionist: Sally Hinds

Region: Wales
Qualified: 2nd (A. Jones)

Alice Jones hails from Beaumaris in Anglesey, where she played for a local band from the age of 12.

A late starter in music her accomplishments have grown fast.

She moved to South Wales to study music at Cardiff University and was a respected viola player, both playing and leading in chamber and symphony orchestras, as well as taking up trombone and euphonium.

With a desire to conduct, Alice became conductor of Barry Ladies Choir at the age of 20, and in her third year of University she founded and directed Cardiff University Brass Band, which still thrives today.

Alice auditioned for the post as MD of Ogmore Silver Band in 2009 and ever since her enthusiastic outlook, diverse background and sense of humour has revitalised what was a struggling band.

At only 24 years she became the first woman to conduct the band since it was founded over 100 years ago.

Test Piece Views:
An interesting piece that is contemporary, complex and a challenge!

band logoPerthshire Brass

Conductor: George Annan

he band was formed in 1978 by George Annan (Senior), as Perthshire Youth Brass, offering young people in the Perth and Kinross region the opportunity to continue banding out of school.

In 1989, they became Perthshire Brass, and over the years has enjoyed trips to the National Finals in 1988, 1993 and 2007, as well as tours as far as New Zealand, Norway and most regularly Germany. The band enjoys a special relationship with the people of Perth’s twin city in Aschaffenburg, Bavaria.

The band is supported by a strong local authority brass instruction team in Perth, with most of the players who will take to the stage at Cheltenham will have been taught in the area before progressing through Perthshire’s own youth band.

Perthshire Brass has been at the forefront of ‘Perth 800’, celebrating the octocentenary of the granting of the city’s Royal Charter, and participating in Scotland’s largest Golden Jubilee celebrations in June. The band’s commitment and contribution to their local area was recognised earlier this year when a civic reception was granted and a prestigious award was presented.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Rachel Hotchkiss
Soprano: Euan Foley
Flugel: Frances Lole
Horn: Gillian Brailsford
Euphonium: Jason Blyth
Baritone: Alison Croft
Trombone: Alan Thom
Eb Bass: Euan Ramsay
BBb Bass: Henry Philip
Percussion: Grant Roper

Region: Scotland
Qualified: 2nd (G.D. Annan)

George has been a member of Perthshire Brass since 1987, starting out on back row cornet before occupying the solo euphonium seat for more than 10 years.

In 2007 he began conducting Perthshire Youth Brass. Following three very successful years which included successes at the Scottish Youth Championships and Brass in the Park, he took the step up to the senior band by accepting the baton from his father, and founder conductor George Annan Senior, who will be keeping a close eye on ‘junior’ from the second horn seat in Cheltenham!

By profession, George is a Youth Development Worker, specialising in supporting young people.

His approach to leading the band is very much focused on encouraging the players to take responsibility for their organisation and feel a sense of shared ownership for the direction the band takes.

He has recently taken up a part time development post with the Scottish Brass Band Association, encouraging bands to secure their futures by nurturing talent through their youth bands. Perthshire Brass does just that, with four of the party travelling to Cheltenham experiencing a senior contest for the first time.

Test Piece Views:
The band have relished the opportunity to prepare this varied and interesting work, both in regular rehearsal and at an intensive residential weekend, and are looking forward to representing Scotland in Cheltenham.

band logoPontypool Brass

Conductor: Mike Davies

There is a long history of bands in Pontypool, from the original Pontypool Military Band, which existed up to the 1950's, to the prize winning Pontypool Silver Band which won, at its first attempt, the Daily Mirror Challenge Cup at Crystal Palace in the 1920's.

That band unfortunately disbanded when many players left for jobs and positions in other parts of the country following the 1926 General Strike, so it was not until 1967 that Pontypool Brass‘, in its current form, was formed originally a Youth Band.

The band is making its second appearance at the National Finals in recent years after qualifying in 2009 when they came 8th in the Fourth Section. They have enjoyed a further renaissance since the appointment of Owen Farr, with prizes at local contests leading to their Welsh Area victory earlier this year.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Rob Spencer
Soprano: June Humphries
Flugel: Greg Evans
Horn: Helen Farr
Euphonium: Nathan Davies
Baritone: Kate Blakemore
Trombone: Bethan Cooke
Eb Bass: Cerys Head
BBb Bass: Paul Maplestone
Percussion: Adrian Evans

Region: Wales
Qualified: Winners (O. Farr)

Mike Davies began playing in Pontypool Salvation Army with tuition from his father.

He later joined Pontypool Band as principal cornet and in 2006 received the prestigious Con Buckley Conducting Award.

He played euphonium with the Cwmbran Band but later left banding only to return to join a small group of brass players in Newport, South Wales, staying for the next 19 years.

In 1999 he began a six year playing association with the BTM Band and considers himself fortunate to have received conducting tuition from the late James Watson.

In 2004 he was asked help out the struggling Newport Band as a temporary conductor - completely revitalising the band in just four years. Mike has enjoyed passing on his experience and enthusiasm to younger players, many of whom now play in top bands.

Due to existing professional commitments, Owen Farr, who led the band to success in Swansea, is unable to conduct the band on the weekend and Mike Davies has stepped in to conduct. The band came 2nd at the 2011 Blaenavon contest with Mike at the helm, and hope to achieve a similar feat in Cheltenham!

Test Piece Views:
The band have found the piece challenging to rehearse, particularly the sections where some players have 3/4 rhythms against 6/8 in the rest of the band, and the band have really needed to focus on their ensemble skills.

There are many contrasting ideas requiring frequent changes of style .The players are pleased to be performing a piece by a Welsh composer.

band logoRipon City

Conductor: Malcolm Dibb

Records can be traced back to 1860 showing that the band under a variety of titles, has been a presence in the famous city for over 150 years.

Under the baton of MD Malcolm Dibb, Ripon City has enjoyed steady improvement in recent years, claiming podium finishes at the North of England Area contest in 2010 and 2011 before claiming victory in 2012.

The band has earned promotion to Second Section in 2013. This is the second consecutive visit to Cheltenham, after being placed eighth in 2011.

Further contest success has been enjoyed in winning Ripon’s Festival of Brass contest in the past two years and coming second at the Holme Valley contest this year. The band has taken prizes for best Percussion, Hymn, March and Most Entertaining band along the way.

Principal players:
Principal cornet: Owen James
Principal Euphonium: David Lonsdale
Soprano: Sally Drinkwater
Solo Horn: Eleanor Stokes
Principal Trombone: Steve Fieldhouse
Flugel: Rachael Andrews
Baritone: Ross Baldwin
Eb Bass: Steve Noble
Bb Bass: Tim Yarborough
Principal Percussionist: Andy Whitaker

Region: North of England
Qualified: Winners (M. Dibb)

Malcolm played for many years with Hammond's Hawley Band from its early days in youth banding right through to Championship level.

After moving to Harrogate, Malcolm started conducting the Knaresborough Silver Band and Tewit Youth Band, where he was Musical Director for 14 years.

The band enjoyed numerous successes in the youth section and played in many prestigious venues, touring Europe on a number of occasions under his guidance.

Since retiring from Tewit, Malcolm has worked with various Yorkshire bands including Elland Silver, Grange Moor and Wetherby. In 2007 Malcolm took over as MD of Ripon City.

Test Piece Views:
Three Ancient Customs draws a mixed response from band members. The discordant nature of the piece is enjoyed by some whilst the weaving nature of the parts as they pass themes from one section to another, the rhythmic intricacies and the musical contrasts are enjoyed by others.

It is felt that it does what it’s meant to and tests the band in many different areas and ways.

band logoTrinity Girls

Conductor: Stuart Barton

Trinity Girls Brass Band, based in Garswood has the unique distinction of being the only all-female amateur brass band in the country.

Its roots lead back to the late 1950’s when a local midwife and leader of the Girls Guildry, Margaret Stokes, on hearing the musical efforts of the local Boys Brigade, decided “anything boys can do, girls can do better” and with no conducting experience set up an all-girls brass band.

The band evolved from The Girls Guildry Band to become totally independent Trinity Girls Silver Band, named after Holy Trinity Church to which it had originally belonged. They began competing in 1970 in a predominantly male arena gaining many successes. It was true girl power!

Trinity Girls are very proud to have sustained the all-female status of their band.

2011 and 2012 saw Trinity Girls win the Kiveton Community Woodland Festival entertainment contest and gain podium finishes at Fleetwood, the Northern Open Championships, Brass at the Guild, North West Regionals and Tameside Open.

This will be the band’s third appearance at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain over the last decade.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Gillian Hinckley
Principal Euphonium: Jessica Royle
Soprano: Janet Kilmurray
Solo Horn: Val Ineson
Principal Trombone: Amy Freel
Flugel: Denise Littler
Baritone: Barbara Gratton
Eb Bass: Denise Grundy
Bb Bass: June McCormick
Principal Percussionist: Liz Ince

Region: North West
Qualified: 3rd (S. Barton)

As an emerging conductor, Stuart led the meteoric rise of Pemberton Old (Wigan) Band from the Fourth to Championship section in successive years, before taking up residency with the Stockport based BT Band, which at its height ranked amongst the top 20 bands nationally.

Since accepting the offer to join Trinity Girls in 2001, Stuart has taken the band to new heights both musically and professionally, with a relentless drive to establish a reputation for quality music making and secure Trinity’s continued success and unique status as the only all-female amateur brass band in the country.

Stuart’s appearance at the National Finals marks his tenth year as MD, having achieved a level of success across the contesting arena unparalleled in the band’s history, including his third finals appearance with the band at Cheltenham this year.

Test Piece Views:
None given

band logoWhitworth Vale & Healey

Conductor: John Binns

Whitworth Band was formed in 1853 and some 30 years later merged with the Healey Hall Band to become the Whitworth Vale & Healey Band.

The band enjoyed victories at Belle Vue in 1934 and 1966 and more recent success has come in local competitions as well as gaining second place at the Fourth Section National Finals in 1992 and fourth in 1998.

This is the second year in a row the band will compete at Cheltenham and hopes to build on the 4th place at last year’s event. 2012 has already seen the band claim fourth place at Butlin’s and win at the Buxton Contest.

Built on traditional values, the majority of the band still come from the within 10 miles of the band club and many have come up through the ranks of the thriving Whitworth Youth Band.

The band tragically lost at an early age one of their cornet players Graeme Salt, who passed away suddenly earlier this year.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: David Tattersall
Principal Euphonium: Bryan Warrington
Soprano: Carl Needham
Solo Horn: Ian Dyson
Principal Trombone: Stuart Russell
Flugel: Rachel Dyson
Baritone: Johnny Willetts
Eb Bass: Aaron Wolfe
Bb Bass: George Salt
Principal Percussionist: Nathan Hall

Region: North West
Qualified: 2nd (J. Binns)

John Binns has been the MD of Whitworth Vale & Healey Band on and off for the last 20 years.

He started back in 1990 and led the band to the National Finals in London in 1992 where they came runner-up, and after several ‘sabbaticals’ away from the band (and conducting all together) John’s latest spell began in 2010.

For the second time in two years he has led the band to the National Finals.

A talented all round musician, John was a trombone player of repute with bands such as Besses o’ th’ Barn and Fairey Engineering as well as the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain.

Test Piece Views:
We have enjoyed the challenge of Three Ancient Customs. As a band built on customs who are not adverse to a small beer or two, we are hoping the first movement in particular will suit us. Our flugel player is particularly looking forward to the contest!

band logoAW Parker (Drybrook)

Conductor: Steve Ruck

The AW Parker (Drybrook) Band was formed around 1880 as Drybrook & District Prize Silver Band and has been in existence ever since.

The band’s finest successes came in the early 1960’s when they were a top section band, taking part in the 1963 National Finals.

The low point came in 2001 when with only 6 players, they took the decision to re-group and after considerable work re-entered the contest arena in 2002.

The hard work paid off in 2004 & 2005 with successive qualifications to the 4th Section National Finals and promotion to the Third Section under MD Kevin White. Their 2nd place saw qualification for this year’s Finals and a second successive promotion to the Second Section for 2013.

The band first took the AW Parker name in 2004 following the announcement of sponsorship from local Diploma Coal Merchants.

The band are proud to have half the band under the age of 21, most of whom have come through the bands own youth ranks.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Martin Musto
Principal Euphonium: Robin Hamer
Soprano: Jim Mason
Solo Horn: Andrew Jones
Principal Trombone: Kim Sumner
Flugel: Carol Kear
Baritone: David Bourne
Eb Bass: David Harding
Bb Bass: Tom James
Principal Percussionist: Kathryn Harding

Region: West of England
Qualified: 2nd (S. Ruck)

Steve Ruck took over as MD of the AW Parker (Drybrook) Band in June 2011 having previously enjoyed success at local rivals Pillowell Silver.

It marked his return to the band that he had played solo cornet at when still at school. His playing career includes spells at Sunlife Stanshawe, Tredegar and Flowers Bands.

Steve will also be taking to the Nationals stage playing principal cornet with 2012 Welsh 4th Section champions, Severn Tunnel Band, conducted by his son Josh.

Test Piece Views:
The band is very excited to be playing a new composition by local composer R. Huw Cole

band logoBesses Boys

Conductor: James Holt

Besses Boys Band was formed in 1943 as a training band for Besses O’ Th’ Barn.

From 1945 to 1950 they won the National Junior Championship of Great Britain. They were North West Youth Champions for 12 years before clinching another National title in 1987. The following year the band won the Fourth Section North West Area title before going on to win the National title.

Since James Holt took over, the band has enjoyed success at both local and national contests - last season winning the North West Area 4th Section title followed by being crowned 3rd Section NW champions in 2012.

This piece has grown on the band whilst rehearsing it and now as the finals approach we are starting to hear the real quality of the music coming through.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Claire Holt
Principal Euphonium: Rebecca Hurst
Soprano: Tom Leech
Solo Horn: Alana Evans
Principal Trombone: Sam Olsson
Flugel: Paul Mitchell
Baritone: Phil Goodwin
Eb Bass: Lee Forde
Bb Bass: Paul Garrett
Principal Percussionist: Jon Taylor

Region: North West
Qualified: Winners (J. Holt)

James Holt has held the position of Musical Director with Besses Boys Band since 2005.

His musical career began on the baritone, going on to study at the University of Salford. Before picking up the baton James played with Besses Boys as well as Middleton, Milnrow, and Besses O' Th' Barn Band, where he held the seat of solo baritone.

James has led Besses Boys to many successes both on the concert and contest stage, but his greatest achievements to date have undoubtedly been leading crowned North West 4th Section Champions in 2011 followed by the 3rd Section Championship in 2012, resulting in three successive trips to the National Finals.

Away from banding James teaches Music at a local school in Bury.

Test Piece Views:
The piece itself has many new challenges for the band both technically and musically and is something that we feel will provide a good test for all the bands at Cheltenham.

band logoKirkby Lonsdale

Conductor: Allan Greenwood

One of the oldest brass bands in the United Kingdom, earliest accounts of the band record performances for the Coronation of both King George 1V in 1821, and for Queen Victoria in 1838.

Kirkby Lonsdale lies in the Lune Valley, on the edge of the Cumbria, Lancashire border and just a little way from Yorkshire.

The river Lune flows past the market town of Kirkby Lonsdale (In the famous Doomsday Book it's title was Cherchebi).

Principal players:
Principal Cornet:
Solo Horn:
Eb Bass:
BBb Bass:

Region: North of England
Qualified: 2nd (A. Greenwood)

No details given

Test Piece Views:
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East London Brass

July 21 • SOLO HORN: Due to relocation, East London Brass, LSC Championship Section, are on the look out for a solo cornet player to join our friendly and ambitious band. Rehearsals are on Thursday nights in Walthamstow, London - 7.45pm-10pm.


July 18 • Middleton Band (NW Area) have vacancies for Baritone, Eb or Bb Bass and Percussion. . Rehearsals are held on Monday & Thursday at 8pm under Musical Director Jamie Cooper.

Camborne Youth Band

July 16 • Camborne Brass (2nd Section). We are aiming to bolster urgently our cornet section with both front and back row cornets (all positions negotiable). We are also expanding our training section. All ages and abilities are welcome from beginners upwards.

James McLeod

BMus (hons)
Euphonium Soloist, Teacher and Conductor


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