2012 Brass in Concert Championship — Runners & Riders

4BR looks at the form and personnel of the 11 contenders hoping to be crowned Brass in Concert Champions this weekend.

The Sage, Gateshead
November 18, 2012

band logoBrighouse & Rastrick

Conductor: Allan Ramsay

There is always something interesting going on at West Riding, and last weekend’s Belgian palaver will certainly ensure that Brighouse won’t want this away trip to run into any last minute difficulties.

They return this year with the in-form Allan Ramsay at the helm and with a proud record to maintain thanks to a reputation for providing more crowd pleasing lollipops than Willy Wonka on a factory open day.

Packed to the gunnels with talent – and you suspect, a bit of a desire to show those pesky Belgians just what they missed out on last weekend.

Player to listen out for: Kevin Crockford – Back to his very best at London where he showed that he remains a peerless performer on the biggest stages of all.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Stuart Lingard
Principal Euphonium: David Thornton
Soprano: Kevin Crockford
Solo Trombone: Ryan Watkins
Solo Horn: Leah Williams
Flugel: Lucy Murphy
Baritone: Ciaran Young
Eb Tuba: Ken Bradley
Bb Tuba: Mike Norton

4BR Ranking: 4

2012 Draw: 1

2012 Form:
Regionals: 2nd (Yorkshire)
Whit Friday: 2nd in Saddleworth
British Open: 5th
National Championship: 2nd

Brass in Concert Record:

Last Year:

Appearances: 7th time
Debut: 2005

Best Result: Winners in 2006, 2007
Worst Result: 4th place in 2008, 2009 & 2010

Last 10 Years:
2011: DNC
2010: 4th (Richard Evans (9)
2009: 4th (Richard Evans) (10)
2008: 4th (Alan Morrison) (6)
2007: Winners (Richard Evans) (11)
2006: Winners (Richard Evans) (4)
2005: 2nd (James Gourlay) (8)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC

band logoCarlton Main Frickley Colliery

Conductor: Paul Andrews

Carlton Main returns this year with Paul Andrews at the helm – renewing a partnership that first appeared here back in 2001.

No London appearance this year for the Yorkshire band, so time on their hands to polish up what is usually a programme that tweaks at the synapses, even if they haven’t quite tickled the taste buds of the judges.

Plenty of quality performers around the stands and an MD who isn’t afraid to try something new and inventive with his entertainment approach. This could be a programme to watch out for.

Player to listen out for: Toni Durrant – Has become the fulcrum around which the lower end of a solid band is built – a fine soloist and ensemble leader.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Kirsty Abbotts
Euphonium: Toni Durrant
Soprano: Gary Bates
Trombone: Dean Jones
Horn: Arfon Owen
Flugel: Rebecca Abernathy
Baritone: Matt Ingram
Eb Tuba: Robert Brown
Bb Tuba: Roy Batty

Current Ranking: 11

2012 Draw: 7

2012 Form:
Butlins Mineworkers: 8th
Regionals: 4th (Yorkshire)
All England Masters International: 4th
British Open: 12th

Brass in Concert Record:

Last Year:

Appearances: 16th time
Debut: 1977

Best Result: 4th place in 1979 & 1982
Worst Result: 12th place in 2009

Last 10 Years:
2011: 9th (Phillip McCann) (5)
2010: 7th (Phillip McCann) (6)
2009: 12th (Russell Gray) (1)
2008: DNC
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: 9th (Brian Grant) (2)
2003: 9th (William Rushworth) (11)
2002: 9th (William Rushworth) (7)

Also: 1977: 7th (Denzil Stephens); 1978: 10th (David James); 1979: 4th (David James); 1980: 10th (David James); 1981: =7th (Kevin Bolton); 1982: 4th (Denzil Stephens); 1983: 8th (Kevin Wadsworth); 1984: 8th (Geoffrey Whitham); 2001: 6th (Paul Andrews)

band logoCory

Conductor: Philip Harper

The Welsh champion makes a welcome return to Gateshead after a two year absence, with Philip Harper heading a supremely confident ensemble under his baton after two excellent podium finishes at both the British Open and the National Finals.

As always with the MD, expect something a little left field and more than a little different in places – and with a stable of top class soloists to call on there could be the added extra of a few tasty fireworks thrown in for good measure too.

Player to listen out for: Steve Stewart – The sop star won the individual award last year and could well be out to claim something bigger this time around.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Tom Hutchinson
Principal Euphonium: Matthew White
Soprano: Steve Stewart
Solo Trombone: Chris Thomas
Solo Horn: Owen Farr
Flugel: Joanne Childs
Baritone: Stephen Kane
Eb Tuba: Simon Howell
Bb Tuba: Fraser Bish

4BR Ranking: 3

2012 Draw: 8

2012 Form:
Regionals: Winners (Wales)
European: 5th
British Open: 3rd
National Championship: 3rd

Brass in Concert Record:

Last Year:

Appearances: 9th time
Debut: 1979

Best Result: Winners: 2008
Worst Result: 10th place in 1997

Last 10 Years:
2011: DNC
2010: DNC
2009: 3rd (Dr Robert Childs) (5)
2008: Winners (Dr Robert Childs) (10)
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: 3rd (Dr Robert Childs) (1)
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC

Also: 1979: 2nd (Denzil Stephens); 1980: 3rd (Denzil Stephens); 1981: 5th (Denzil Stephens); 1997: 10th (Jeremy Wise) 1998: 4th (Jeremy Wise)

band logoGrimethorpe Colliery

Conductor: Garry Cutt

Grimethorpe returns with the man who has led them to more success here than any other MD – Garry Cutt.

He knows just about better than anyone just what makes this band tick like the clock on a Rolls Royce here too.

On their day they are irresistible – but as was shown last year, they can also be prone to the odd miss-fire too. You suspect the musical mechanics have been under the bonnet though to iron out any niggles as they look to be claimed undisputed Kings of Entertainment once more.

Player to listen out for: Andy Holmes – The flugel player has provided Grimey with a wonderful lyrical counterpoint in the middle of the band for many years – and gets better with age.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Roger Webster
Principal Euphonium: Philippe Schwarz
Soprano: Andrew Bannister
Solo Trombone: Chris Gomersall
Solo Horn: Danny Powell
Flugel: Andy Holmes
Baritone: Michael Wells
Eb Tuba: Shaun Crowther
Bb Tuba: Adrian Raven

4BR Ranking: 8

2012 Draw: 5

2012 Form:
Regionals: 5th (Yorkshire)
British Open: 4th

Brass in Concert Record:

Last year:

Appearances: 33rd time
Debut: 1977

Best Result: Winners 15 times
Result: 5th in 2011

Last 10 Years:
2011: 5th (Sandy Smith) (10)
2010: Winners (Allan Withington) (8)
2009: 2nd (James Gourlay) (12)
2008: 3rd (Michael J. Garasi) (7)
2007: 3rd (Phillip McCann) (3)
2006: 2nd (Steven Mead) (10)
2005: Winners (Richard Evans) (6)
2004: Winners (Richard Evans) (7)
2003: Winners (Garry Cutt) (6)
2002: Winners (Garry Cutt) (6)

Also: 1977: Winners (Fred Partlett); 1978: 3rd (Frank Renton); 1979: Winners (Ray Farr); 1980: Winners (Ray Farr); 1981: Winners (Ray Farr); 1982: 2nd (Ray Farr); 1983: Winners (Ray Farr); 1985: 3rd (David James); 1986: Winners (David James); 1987: 3rd (David James); 1998: 2nd (Frank Renton); 1989: 2nd (Frank Renton); 1990: 3rd (Frank Renton); 1991: 2nd (Frank Renton); 1992: 2nd (Frank Renton); 1993: Winners (Garry Cutt); 1994: Winners (Garry Cutt); 1995: 2nd (Garry Cutt); 1996: 4th (Garry Cutt): 1999: Winners (Garry Cutt); 2000: 3rd (Garry Cutt); 2001: Winners (Garry Cutt)

band logoLeyland

Conductor: Richard Evans

The reigning champion returns – and returns with the Emperor of Entertainment at the helm – Richard Evans.

The latest Leyland renaissance started here last year with that memorable victory and they have undoubtedly built on that success since – exciting and occasionally frustrating everyone with their sheer bravura playing and occasional lapses of concentration.

Does anyone really think that even with the tweaks and changes to the scoring system Tricky Dicky won’t simply what he does best – leaving the audience begging for more?

Player to listen out for: John Doyle – Nobody else sums up the exciting, free flowing Leyland approach better.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Iain Culross
Principal Euphonium: Lewis Musson
Soprano: John Doyle
Solo Trombone: Daniel Brooks
Solo Horn: Rebecca Landon
Flugel: Romana Hallstead
Baritone: Hannah Platt
Eb Tuba: Chris Doran
Bb Tuba: Bill Carter

4BR Ranking: 7

2012 Draw: 6

2012 Form:
Regionals: Winners (North West)
Whit Friday: 3rd in Tameside
English Nationals: 2nd
British Open: 6th
National Championship: 10th

Brass in Concert Record:

Last Year:
Appearances: 29th time
Debut: 1982

Best Result: Winners in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1997, 2011
Worst Result: 7th place in 2006, 2007, 2008

Last 10 years:
2011: Winners (Richard Evans) (11)
2010: 5th (Philip Harper)
2009: 6th (Jason Katsikaris)
2008: 7th (Jason Katsikaris) (8)
2007: 7th (Russell Gray) (12)
2006: 7th (Russell Gray) (9)
2005: DNC
2004: 5th (Garry Cutt) (1)
2003: 5th (Steve Sykes) (10)
2002: 6th (Chris Davies) (6)

Also: 1982: 3rd (Richard Evans); 1983: 3rd (Richard Evans); 1984: 2nd (Richard Evans); 1985: 4th (Richard Evans); 1986: 5th (Richard Evans); 1987: 4th (Richard Evans); 1988 3rd (Richard Evans);
1989: Winners (Richard Evans); 1991: Winners (Richard Evans); 1992: Winners (Richard Evans);
1993: 2nd (Richard Evans); 1994: 3rd (Richard Evans); 1995: 4th (Richard Evans); 1997: Winners (Richard Evans); 1998: 2nd (Richard Evans); 1999: 3rd (Richard Evans); 2000: 2nd (Richard Evans); 2001; 4th (Richard Evans)

band logoReg Vardy

Conductor: Stephen Roberts

Reg Vardy maintains its proud record of appearing at every Brass in Concert event by rejoining forces with one of its former conductors, Stephen Roberts.

No London appearance this year so the band has had plenty of time to put together their programme, which in the past couple of years has been very solid entertainment fayre.

Mr Roberts has a back catalogue the Beatles would be proud of, whilst the band has a stable of high quality soloists to showcase too, so this could be an intriguing combination on the weekend.

Player to listen out for: Liz Cook – A high quality performer of style and substance who has become a beacon of class for the band.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Michael Lumsden
Principal Euphonium: Liz Cook
Soprano: Tom Glendinning
Solo Horn: Steve Hardy
Flugel: Stephen King
Solo Trombone: Kevin Chisholm
Baritone: Fiona Casewell
Eb Tuba: Jen McCausland
Bb Tuba: Dan Knott

4BR Ranking: 21

2012 Draw: 9

2012 Form:
Regionals: 3rd (North of England)
English Nationals: 6th
British Open: 16th
Wainstones Cup: Winners

Brass in Concert Record:

Last Year:

Appearances: 36th time
Debut: 1977

Best Result: 3rd place in 2003
Worst Result: 12th place in 1992

Last 10 Years:
2011: 7th (Ray Farr) (8)
2010: 10th (Ray Farr) (1)
2009: 5th (Ray Farr (8)
2008: 11th (Allan Ramsay) (11)
2007: 10th (Stephen Malcolm) (1)
2006: 6th (Ray Farr) (2)
2005: 4th (Ray Farr) (3)
2004: 4th (Ray Farr) (9)
2003: 3rd (Ray Farr) (6)
2002: 8th (Ray Farr) (4)

Also: 1977: 4th (Walter Hargreaves); 1978: 5th (Eric Banks) 1979: 9th (Trevor Walmsley); 1980: 8th (Trevor Walmsley); 1981: =7th (Arthur Kenney); 1982: 10th (Peter Parkes); 1983: 5th (Peter Parkes); 1984: 6th (Peter Parkes); 1985: 8th (Roger Payne); 1986: 7th (Roger Payne); 1987: 7th (Peter Parkes); 1988: 9th (Stuart Stirling); 1989: 9th (Roger Payne); 1990: 9th (Denzil Stephens); 1991: 9th (Stuart Stirling); 1992: 12th (Hugh Megarrell); 1993: 11th (John Roberts); 1994: 7th (Mark Bentham); 1995: 7th (Mark Bentham); 1996: 10th (John Roberts); 1997: 11th (Brian Grant); 1998: 7th (Bryan Hurdley); 1999: 11th (Robert Childs); 2000: 7th (Stephen Roberts); 2001: 10th (Stephen Roberts)

band logoCo-operative Funeralcare Band

Conductor: Paul Lovatt-Cooper

One of the real form bands of the year, Co-operative Funeralcare makes a welcome return to Brass in Concert for the first time since 2006.

Two classy performances at the British Open and the National Finals sees them travel south full to the brim with confidence, led by a man with a special brand of entertainment all of his own – Paul Lovatt-Cooper.

Expect plenty of PLC razzmatazz then.

Player to listen out for: Jimmy Hayes – One of the best top men in the business – a class act with a real sense of style.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Jim Hayes
Principal Euphonium: Allison Bonner
Soprano: Caroline Tennant
Solo Trombone: Paul Kiernan
Solo Horn: Alison Halls
Flugel: Andrea Casey
Baritone: John Stirling
Eb Tuba: Steve Walsh
Bb Tuba: Andy Smith

4BR Ranking: 9

2012 Draw: 2

2012 Form:
Regionals: Winners (Scotland)
European Championships: 6th
West Lothian Festival: Winners
Land O' Burns: Winners
British Open: 7th
National Championship: 6th

Brass in Concert Record:

Last Year:

Appearances: 18th time
Debut: 1979

Best Result: 3rd place in 1993, 1989
Worst Result: 12th place in 1979

Last 10 Years:
2011: DNC
2010: DNC
2009: DNC
2008: DNC
2007: DNC
2006: 9th (Allan Ramsay) (7)
2005: 7th (Allan Ramsay) (5)
2004: DNC
2003: 7th (Nicholas Childs) (4)
2002: DNC

Also: 1979: 12th (Nigel Boddice); 1986: 10th (Bryan Allen); 1988: 6th (Geoffrey Whitham); 1989: 3rd (Howard Snell); 1990: 6th (John Hudson); 1991: 10th (Stephen Roberts); 1992: 6th (Stephen Sykes); 1993: 3rd (Archie Hutchinson); 1994: 5th (Archie Hutchinson); 1995: 5th (Anthony Swainson); 1996: 7th (Bryan Allen); 1997: 8th (Bryan Allen); 1998: 5th (Bryan Allen); 1999: 10th (Bryan Allen)

band logoFairey Band

Conductor: Reid Gilje

One of the most consistent entertainers around in recent times, Fairey opt for the talents of the great Norwegian Reid Gilje to try and claim their second Brass in Concert title.

His blend of the exotic and exciting has wowed audiences all over the world – and led Eikanger Bjorsvik amongst others to a hatful of Siddis ‘Brass in Concert’ titles in the process.

Fairey can always be relied on to give us something different (remember the Michael Jackson tribute) and with a band packed with talented performers this promises to be no different.

Player to watch out for: Ben Richeton – A player who has grown and grown on the biggest contest platforms of all in recent times – and at London was on sensational form.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: James McCabe
Principal Euphonium: James Fieldhouse
Soprano: Ben Richeton
Solo Trombone: Becky Lundberg
Solo Horn: Julie Meechan
Flugel: Mike Eccles
Baritone: Sarah Lenton
Eb Tuba: Jon Davies
Bb Tuba: Mark Evans

4BR Ranking: 5

2012 Draw: 10

2012 Form:
Regionals: 2nd (North West)
Whit Friday: 2nd in Tameside
English Nationals: 4th
British Open: 10th
National Championship: 5th

Brass in Concert Record:

Last Year:

Appearances: 12th time
Debut: 1977

Best Result: Winners in 1996
Worst Result: 8th place in 2009

Last 10 Years:
2011: 6th (Steve Sykes (2)
2010: 2nd (Steve Sykes) (4)
2009: 8th (Philip Chalk) (11)
2008: 5th (Philip Chalk) (4)
2007: 4th (Philip Chalk) (9)
2006: 5th (Simon Stonehouse) (6)
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC

Also: 1977: 5th (Richard Evans); 1980: 5th (Walter Hargreaves); 1983: 6th (Denzil Stephens); 1996: Winners (James Gourlay); 1997: 3rd (James Gourlay)

band logoTredegar

Conductor: Ian Porthouse

Tredegar wowed the music judges last year with their razor sharp programme and could count themselves a little unlucky they didn’t head home to Wales as 2011 champions.

However, that type of form has been missing a bit of late with two disappointing results at the British Open and National Finals, so they come to Gateshead with something to prove.

Solid, inventive and sure to bring something out of the musical locker of prize winning specialist composer Matt Hall, they may feel they are due a little bit of overdue luck here at last.

Player to listen out for: Dewi Griffiths – Won the best principal cornet prize last year and has continued to show just why he is rated so highly as an outstanding all round talent.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Dewi Griffiths
Principal Euphonium: Grant Jameson
Soprano: Ian Roberts
Solo Trombone: Steve Sykes
Solo Horn: Hannah Drage
Flugel: Danny Winder
Baritone: Geraint Chamberlain
Eb Tuba: Jacob Pritchard
Bb Tuba: Andy Russell

Current Ranking: 6

2012 Draw: 4

2012 Form:
Welsh Open: Winners
Regionals: 3rd (Wales)
All England Masters: Winners
British Open: 15th
Wychavon Festival: Winners
National Championship: 13th

Brass in Concert Record:

Last Year:

Appearances: 8th time
Debut: 1977

Best Result: 3rd place in 2011
Worst Result: 12th place in 1978

Last 10 Years:
2011: 3rd (Ian Porthouse) (4)
2010: 6th (Ian Porthouse) (5)
2009: DNC
2008: DNC
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC

Also: 1977: 9th (John Childs); 1978: 12th (David Thomas); 1994: 9th (Jeremy Wise); 1995: 8th (Nicholas Childs); 1996: 5th (Nicholas Childs)

band logoVirtuosi GUS

Conductor: John Berryman

A long awaited return to Brass in Concert for GUS – and deserved too following some impressive performances under the baton of the experienced John Berryman who made his first appearance at this contest back in 1978.

Their entertainment format has been successfully displayed at Butlins in recent years, with a canny mixture of the tried and tested balanced against inventive presentation and programming.

John Berryman has an experienced selection of high quality soloists to call on too, so they should round the contest off in fine style and should be confident of making a mark on their return.

Player to listen out for: Thomas Fountain – One of the brightest young stars in British banding, he has become one of the best flugel horn players too.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Peter Collins
Euphonium: Mark Giles
Soprano: Martin Britt
Trombone: Chris Jeans
Horn: Nathan Waterman
Flugel: Thomas Fountain
Baritone: Jo Stephenson
Eb Tuba: Linda Hobbs
Bb Tuba: Mike Smith

Current Ranking: 23

2012 Draw: 11

2012 Form:
Butlins Mineworkers: 2nd
Regionals: 3rd (Midlands)
All England Masters International: 10th
English National: 7th
British Open: 8th

Brass in Concert Record:

Last Year:

Appearances: 12th time
Debut: 1982

Best Result: 2nd place in 1990
Worst Result: 10th place in 1988

Last 10 Years:
2011: DNC
2010: DNC
2009: DNC
2008: DNC
2007: DNC
2006: DNC
2005: DNC
2004: DNC
2003: DNC
2002: DNC

Also: 1982: 7th (Keith Wilkinson); 1986: 4th (John Berryman); 1987: 6th (Bramwell Tovey); 1988: 10th (David Stowell); 1989: 8th (Robert Watson); 1990: 2nd (Robert Watson); 1991: 5th (John Berryman); 1992: 7th (John Berryman); 1993: 8th (John Berryman); 1999: 7th (Melvin White); 2000: 8th (Melvin White)

band logoWhitburn

Conductor: Simon Dobson

After a bit of a difficult spell on the contesting front Whitburn displayed a real return to form at the National Finals in London, where they produced a fine account of themselves to come 7th.

Boosted by some new signings and with the free-thinking Simon Dobson at the helm you can be sure of something a bit different from the Scots.

As was shown last year with a programme that certainly opened up a Pandora’s Box of possibilities, Whitburn has the potential to keep everyone on the edge of their seats.

Player to listen out for: Iain Fleming – One of the best horn players around, as he showed at London. A key performer for the Scots this weekend.

Principal players:
Principal Cornet: Angus Edmond
Euphonium: Evelyn Bradley
Soprano: Scott Forest
Trombone: Alex Phillip
Horn: Iain Fleming
Flugel: Caroline Farren
Baritone: Anne Crookston
Eb Bass: Graham Fraser
Bb Bass: Alan Gourlay

4BR Ranking: 19

2012 Draw: 2

2012 Form:
Regionals: 2nd (Scotland)
West Lothian: 3rd
Land O' Burns: 3rd
Grand Shield: 4th
National Championship: 7th

Brass in Concert Record:

Last Year:

Appearances: 17th time
Debut: 1977

Best Result: 3rd place in 2004
Worst Result: 12th place in 1977, 1996, 2000

Last 10 Years:
2011: 8th (Simon Dobson) (8)
2010: DNC
2009: DNC
2008: 9th (Steven Mead) (5)
2007: 11th (Allan Ramsey) (2)
2006: 10th (Andrew Duncan) (11)
2005: 6th (Andrew Duncan) (4)
2004: 3rd (Andrew Duncan) (10)
2003: DNC
2002: DNC

Also: 1977: 12th (Allan Street); 1980: 9th (Peter Parkes); 1981: 10th (Peter Parkes); 1982: 9th (Peter Parkes); 1985: 7th (Geoffrey Whitham); 1986: 10th (Denzil Stephens); 1987: 10th (Anthony Swainson); 1996: 12th (Richard Adams): 1999: 4th (Phillip McCann); 2000: 12th (Phillip McCann)


Sunday 14 July • Pemberton Old Wigan Brass Bands. Enfield Street,. Pemberton,. Wigan WN5 8DZ


Friday 19 July • Pemberton Old Wigan Band . Enfield Street,. Pemberton,. Wigan. WN5 8DZ

Barnsley Brass - Stephen Sykes, Principal Trombone of The Cory Band

Saturday 20 July • St Mary's Church, Kippax, Leeds LS25 7HF

Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Skelmanthorpe Band

Sunday 21 July • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW

Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Phoenix Brass

Sunday 28 July • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW

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.

Sandy Smith

Conductor, teacher, adjudicator and arranger


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