2018 National Championship of Great Britain
Fourth Section - As it happened

All the action from the 2018 National Championship of Great Britain Fourth Section — As it happened

Section 4

Saturday 15, 22:00:57

End of great day...

We have reached the end of a great day here in Cheltenham.

Congratulations to the winners of Section 2, Middleton and Section 4, Stamford Brass.

We are back here for Section Three bright and early tomorrow morning.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 21:45:10

Second place: Tewit Silver

Third place: Cwmtawe Youth

Fourth place: Gosport Solent Brass

Fifth place: Bradwell Silver

Sixth place: Sale Brass

Best Instrumentalist: Stuart Kirk of Stamford Brass

Youngest player: Michael MacDonald of Spennymoor Town


Test Piece: 'Divertimento for Brass' — Darrol Barry

Adjudicators: Sarah Groarke-Booth, Gary Davies, John Maines

1. Stamford Brass (Julian Bright)
2. Tewit Silver (Martin Hall)
3. Cwmtawe Youth (Wayne Pedrick)
4. Gosport Solent Brass (Colin Garner)
5. Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
6. Sale Brass (John Anderson)
7. Lostock Hall Memorial (Joshua Hughes)
8. Gawthorpe Brass '85'(John Edward)
9. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
10. Pendeen Silver (Leonard Adams)
11. Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
12. Spennymoor Town (Fiona Caswell)
13. Upper Rhondda (Jayne Thomas)
14. City of Birmingham (Ben Hewlett-Davies)
15. Garforth Brass (John Thompson)
16. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
17. Highland Brass (Mark Bell)

Withdrawn: Whitburn Heartlands (Andy Shaw)

Best Instrumentalist: Stuart Kirk (euphonium) — Stamford Brass
Youngest Player: Michael MacDonald (Spennymoor Town)

Section 4

Saturday 15, 21:09:32

Thomas Dunne's round up and Prediction:

Darrol Barry's 'Divertimento for Brass' has proved a very well gauged test for the bands of Section 4 with some fine playing throughout the afternoon. The bands capable of grasping the finer points of the music — most notably the intonation and lyricism of the 'Romance' — will have surely risen to the top of the field. A lot of the differences between the best bands will come down to personal opinion of course, but our potential top 6 is as follows :

4BR Prediction:

1. Stamford Brass
2. Cwmtawe Youth
3. Gosport
4. Tewitt
5. Sale Brass
6. Upper Rhondda
Dark Horses: Lostock Hall, Spennymoor Town

Section 4

Saturday 15, 21:02:31

The judges will now weigh up their options...

Section 4

Saturday 15, 20:58:16

17. Gawthorpe Brass '85'(John Edward) Yorkshire

A very different band set up here — the cornet section to the conductor's right, trombones in the centre, and horns, baris, euphs and tubas to the conductor's left — lets see if this works!

A strong start with 'Festival' — vibrant and lively! The tuba sound carries effectively in the balance in this formation. Less convincing is the trombones facing straight out, it does carry a touch strongly at times. 'Romance' flows along nicely, and while it could perhaps be quieter, the atmosphere is captured effectively. 'March' is characterful, though perhaps gets a little overexcited at times.


A strong performance to finish the contest. The unorthadox formation certainly seemed to work for them!

Star Player:

Solo cornet gives a strong performance throughout.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 20:43:52

16. Highland Brass (Mark Bell) Scotland

A great start with 'Festival', full of energy, though noticeably drops in tempo as the dynamic lowers. The 'Romance' is unfortunately a touch shaky to start, and never quite recovers, despite some good individual contributions. The band finds their feet in the 'March', to finish.


The band regained their composure well towards end, though a few too many unforced errors to make an impression today for the band.

Star Player:

Euphonium does well in the performance today

Section 4

Saturday 15, 20:26:18

15. Garforth Brass (John Thompson) Yorkshire

The band create a warm sound as the music moves forward in 'Festival', if perhaps a touch hesitant at times. 'Romance' is occasionally marred by tuning issues, which is a shame, as there are some lovely moments when it all clicks together. More knits together in 'March', which drives towards an enjoyable close.


Lots to appreciate, but perhaps a touch more confidence was in order for the band today, as just those few issues will cost.

Star Player:

The euphonium's rich sound was certainly noted in 'Romance'

Section 4

Saturday 15, 20:07:28

14. Tewit Silver (Martin Hall) North of England

Another strong opening here from Tewit, with much to commend in 'Festival', including fine solo contributions. Well balanced tuning is a feature of 'Romance', which by and large, flows smoothly to a sumptuous final chord. 'March' is well gauged by the MD, never becoming overdone.


A fine performance indeed with fine shaping from the MD. Not without it's blips, but they do little to detract.

Star Player:

Soprano makes a classy contribution throughout.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 19:52:40

13. Upper Rhondda (Jayne Thomas) Wales

Upper Rhondda's 'Festival' is one characterised by control, which results in a notably rounded musical delivery with some fine soloists. The layers of 'Romance' are well balanced, complimented by the warm band sound. An equally measured and tight 'March' to close.


Control, control, control. A thoroughly considered musical portrait from the MD, that certainly pays off. Will the judges appreciate this restraint?

Star Player:

Both the soprano and euphonium excelled today with some lyrical, controlled playing

Section 4

Saturday 15, 19:40:09

Forever young

90 year old John Walters of Upper Rhondda — enjoying playing at the National Finals. He started playing in 1934 and his first Area contest was in 1946!

Section 4

Saturday 15, 19:35:56

12. Spennymoor Town (Fiona Caswell) North of England

Enthusiasm is the name of the game with Spennymoor — and it pays off! The few minor blips that pop up do not marr the lively, yet controlled 'Festival'. 'Romance' lilts along nicely, though some tuning discrepencies do begin to crop up. The former enthusiasm is evident once more in 'March' as it pushes towards the finale.


A very enjoyable performance from Spennymoor, full of spirit! Once again though, it depends on how much the small slips matter to those in the box.

Star Player:

Lovely rich sounds from both solo cornet and euphonium today.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 19:20:03

11. Sale Brass (John Anderson) North West

A generally secure opening is disturbed slightly by a shaky moment when the dynamic drops. The recovery is instant however, and we're back on track. 'Romance' is reasonably effective in terms of tuning, allowing some expressive melodic work to come across. 'March' is delivered with confidence to finish.


The sensible musical approach from the MD drew the best from his band to form a largely secure performance.

Star Player:

The Solo Cornet delivers a lyrical solo contribution in 'Romance'.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 19:06:19

10. Stamford Brass (Julian Bright) Midlands

A very strong opening from Stamford — bold, musical, and largely accurate in execution. A faster 'Romance' than some today, but it flows so smoothly — and the intonation is great! Lovely playing around the band. 'March' is very well done indeed, rousing stuff to close! Definitely in contention today...


One of those performances you just sit back and enjoy. Not 100% perfect — but an excellent performance by anyone's standards!

Star Player:

Solo cornet did his job admirably throughout.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 18:34:58

Waiting their turn....

Thomas Dunne's half way thoughts:

It has certainly been an enjoyable contest so far, with some fine committed playing. Intonation is certainly proving crucial however, especially in the 'Romance', and those in the box will certainly be making note. With this in mind, our opinion so far is thus:

1. Gosport Solent
2. Cwmtawe Youth
3. Bradwell Silver
4. Croft Silver
5. Lostock Hall Memorial

Section 4

Saturday 15, 18:30:17

9. Pendeen Silver (Leonard Adams) West of England

It's a big, solid start for Pendeen. The balance is effective and intonation generally secure. 'Romance' progresses well, despite a couple of tuning slips along the way detracting slightly. 'March' sees the band improve to create a lively close.


Once again, it is the intonation of the 'Romance' that proves key — do the slips detract from the spirited, generally well executed reading?

Star Player:

Both euphonium and solo cornet captured the 'Romance' of the second movement.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 18:16:49

Pendeen Silver look forward to their appearance at the Finals

Members of Pendeen Silver Band talk to 4BR about their appearance at the National Finals — and how a band from the southernmost point of the mainland UK prospers in the banding world...

Section 4

Saturday 15, 18:11:48

8. Lostock Hall Memorial (Joshua Hughes) North West

Big sounds to start from Lostock, making an imediate impression with the level of detail the MD encourages from his players. 'Romance' is excellently shaped, though the intonation and accuracy does suffer. 'March' again reveals a wealth of detail, and some exaggurated dynamics. Will this high-octane approach find favour in the box? Only three people in hall know as of yet..


The level of commitment and detail on show is impressive, as is the huge band sound. This does come at the expense of tuning at times however, sometimes signficantly.

Star Player:

Soprano does well throughout.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 17:54:49

7. City of Birmingham (Ben Hewlett-Davies) Midlands

The band get off to a fine start in 'Festival', plenty of detail, and excellent dynamic contrasts. The intonation generally sits well. A touch of nerves show at the start of 'Romance' and doesn't settle as well as it might as a result. There is some lovely solo playing to enjoy though! 'March' sees the band find it's feet once more with the stylistic contrasts of the movement being brought out effectively.


Some commendable playing overall, it was just the few slips in 'Romance' which may not find favour.

Star Player:

Euphonium performs with a rich tone.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 17:39:29

6. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep) LSC

Another enthusiastic start, which while engaging does lead to a moment or two of unbalance. We appreciate the effort to contrast the dynamics however. 'Romance' is nicely relaxed, with some pleasant solo contributions. The 'March' to home works effectively, with much more control on show.


Much to enjoy as an ensemble, though the age old problem of intonation may prove costly.

Star Player:

Solo cornet gives a fine account. Honourable mention to the bass section — a solid foundation!

Section 4

Saturday 15, 17:22:10

5. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman) LSC

Bags of confidence to open from Regent in 'Festival', which certainly makes for an exciting start — if a little prone to unforced errors as a result. It settles however, and we move into a flowing 'Romance' — which creates some lovely lyrical moments. Intonation gremlins creep in occasionally though. The degree of control shown in 'March' pays off to form an enjoyable close.


Another performance that improved as it progressed. When it worked, it worked well indeed, yet the uncomfortable moments may cost.

Star Player:

Solo Cornet lead the band effectively throughout alongside a fine solo spot.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 17:09:50

Behind the scenes...

4BR catches up with compere Dave Hayward just before the announcement of the results...

Section 4

Saturday 15, 17:06:10

4. Cwmtawe Youth (Wayne Pedrick) Wales

The young players of Cwmtawe deliver a refined 'Festival'. Everything slots into place nicely, with a wide dynamic spectrum. 'Romance' is equally controlled with most things working well — nothing overwrought — just simple, effective melodic work. 'March' brings the performance to a brisk, bright conclusion.


You simply wouldn't believe this was a youth band — if you were sat in the box for example! Not everything was 100% perfect, but these young players will likely hold their own against the best here today.

Star Player:

Soprano — very classy solo and band contributions.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 16:50:39

3. Croft Silver (Ian Needham) Midlands

Croft deliver an enthusiastic 'Festival', not quite everything comes off, but there is plenty of vibrancy to enjoy. The soloists step up to the mark in 'Romance' and the band accompanies well, recovering from the occasional uncomfortable moment effectively. The band comes into its own in 'March', bringing the performance to an enjoyable finish.


A performance that grew in stature from Croft. A committed showing, just a few unforced errors which may cost.

Star Player:

Euphonium — an expressive contribution to 'Romance'

Section 4

Saturday 15, 16:39:41

4BR meets Tom Nielsen

4BR catches up with young cornet star Thomas Nielsen after he wowed the audience at Cheltenham with his short recital performance before the announcement of the results.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 16:36:14

2. Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech) LSC

'Festival' immediately reveals a wide band sound, with strong dynamic control. 'Romance' flows along nicely, though could perhaps be more subtle in approach. There are enjoyable solo contributions from euphonium and solo cornet. 'March' contrasts well, with plenty of detail to be heard as we drive to the close.


Another solid performance, with some intonation issues just taking the edge off at times. Very enjoyable though!

Star Player:

Star Player: Solo cornet gives a fine solo contribution

Section 4

Saturday 15, 16:20:25

1. Gosport Solent Brass (Colin Garner) West of England

Gosport open the contest with a wonderfully committed 'Festival'. A rich band sound is on show and the atmosphere is full of life! 'Romance' is warm and tender. Fine musical shapes reveal themselves — the control is impressive.


A fantastic start to the contest, with some disciplined, musical playing. A few intonation moments, but very impressive indeed.

Star Player:

Euphonium — a gorgeous, rich tone.

Section 4

Saturday 15, 15:52:33


Saturday 15th September
Draw: 1pm
Commence: at the conclusion of Section 2
Test Piece: 'Divertimento for Brass' — Darrol Barry

Adjudicators: Sarah Groarke-Booth, Gary Davies, John Maines

1. Gosport Solent Brass (Colin Garner)
2. Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
3. Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
4. Cwmtawe Youth (Wayne Pedrick)
5. Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
6. Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
7. City of Birmingham (Ben Hewlett-Davies)
8. Lostock Hall Memorial (Joshua Hughes)
9. Pendeen Silver (Leonard Adams)
10. Stamford Brass (Julian Bright)
11. Sale Brass (John Anderson)
12. Spennymoor Town (Fiona Caswell)
13. Upper Rhondda (Jayne Thomas)
14. Tewit Silver (Martin Hall)
15. Garforth Brass (John Thompson)
16. Highland Brass (Mark Bell)
17. Gawthorpe Brass '85'(John Edward)

Section 4

Saturday 15, 02:12:40

Runners & Riders: Section 4

Saturday 15th September
Test Piece: 'Divertimento for Brass' — Darrol Barry
Draw: 1pm
Commence: at the conclusion of Section 2
Adjudicators: Sarah Groarke-Booth, Gary Davies, John Maines

Bradwell Silver (Brian Keech)
City of Birmingham (Ben Hewlett-Davies)
Croft Silver (Ian Needham)
Cwmtawe Youth (Wayne Pedrick)
Garforth Brass (John Thompson)
Gawthorpe Brass '85'(John Edward)
Gosport Solent Brass (Colin Garner)
Great Yarmouth Brass (Colin Swaep)
Highland Brass (Mark Bell)
Lostock Hall Memorial (Joshua Hughes)
Pendeen Silver (Leonard Adams)
Regent Community Brass (Chris Bearman)
Sale Brass (John Anderson)
Spennymoor Town (Fiona Caswell)
Stamford Brass (Julian Bright)
Tewit Silver (Martin Hall)
Upper Rhondda (Jayne Thomas)
Whitburn Heartlands (Andy Shaw)

Section 4

Saturday 15, 02:10:47

Preview: Section 4

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