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

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

Section 3

Sunday 16, 16:01:45


Test Piece: 'Episodes for Brass' — Gareth Churcher
Adjudicators: John Doyle, Roger Webster & Sheona Wade

1. Barnsley Brass (William Rushworth)
2. Dronfield Genquip (Damian Wileman)
3. Market Rasen (David Dernley)
4. Newmains & District (Michael Marzella)
5. Barton Community (Garry Oglesby)
6. Allerton Brass (Adam Taylor)
7. Taff Vale Brass (Gareth Ritter)
8. Selkirk Silver (Stuart Black)
9. Usk (James Jones)
10. City of Norwich Brass (Mark Ager)
11. Hatherleigh Silver (Matt Green
12. Bugle Silver (Steve Osborne)
13. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
14. Eccleston Brass (John Wood)
15. Knaresborough Silver (Nicholas Garrett)
16. Weymouth Concert Brass (Adam Glynn)
17. Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass (David Maplestone)
18. Chichester City (Rom Stanko)

Best Instrumentalist: Euphonium, Barnsley Brass

Section 3

Sunday 16, 15:22:27

A break before the results...

We are having a lovely little break before the announcement of the results, with Thomas Nielsen entertaining a large audience with a recital — including a cracking rendition of 'Wonderous Day' to start, followed by 'Someone to watch over me' and 'Miss Blue Bonnet'.

It will give the judges a little more time to sort out their results in what has been a very enjoyable contest.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 15:16:58

Malcolm Wood's round up & prediction:

A contest that was very much split into two halves today: A cracking first half whilst the standard in the latter half never really quite hit the heights.

Gareth Churcher's piece has been within the musical and technical grasp of the players though and has been an astute selection.

Close at the top and if the bands we have gone for come out in a different order, we won't be complaining. It's how the judges have heard it that counts.

4BR Prediction:

1. Taff Vale
2. Allerton
3. Barnsley Brass
4. City of Norwich
5. Eccleston
6. Market Rasen
Dark Horses: Usk, Cleobury Mortimer

Section 3

Sunday 16, 15:09:05

18. Newmains & District (Michael Marzella) Scotland

What a nice opening; majestic in style and very musical. There is plenty to appreciate here. This is a celebration being enjoyed by all. The MD is bringing some excellent stuff out of the band.

Central section is melancholic. The odd musical gremlin creeps in, but the belief from the middle in the ensemble is there.

'Finale' is bold, energetic and convincing. The excitement is allowed to build without things going OTT. Effective close works well.


A lot to appreciate here from last year's Fourth Section National Champion. They rose to the challenge and delivered with plenty of quality.

Star Player:

Soprano — did a fine job.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 14:50:29

17. Dronfield Genquip (Damian Wileman) Yorkshire

There is a real sense of joyfulness to open. Majestic and bright and it leads to lots of smiling faces around the stands as the players are obviously enjoying this.

The homage to Shaun Thomas is sincere and tender. Well done euphonium — along with other solo and ensemble lines.

'Finale' builds with musical momentum and creates the right buzz of anticipation and excitement. Solo cornet shines like a beacon and leads from the front. It's a very confident close.


An account that could provide plenty of debate for the judges. It could be one that sneaks in.

Star Player:

Cornet was such a good lead

Section 3

Sunday 16, 14:34:04

16. Knaresborough Silver (Nicholas Garrett) North of England

There's a nice majestic confidence to the opening. The MD paces the tempos effectively for the music lines to come through.

The middle section is dignified with good control from the ensemble and solo lines. The odd musical gremlin does appear although it does not detract from the overall picture.

'Finale' makes a joyful impression. The excitement levels are controlled though and it's a fine ending.


A balanced approach to the music from the middle and the players responded. Perhaps not an account that could feature come results but one to be proud of today against very strong opposition.

Star Player:

Trombone. Efficient and very effective.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 14:14:06

15. Usk (James Jones) Wales

A confident opening with a lovely celebratory feel — and we hear the Waltonian elements shine through. There is certainly belief within the ranks here and the players are responding to the conductor.

The homage to the great euph player is sentimental and heartfelt. The odd discrepancy is evident but it does not impact at all as the ensemble moves swiftly on.

As the piece heads for the close, the quality playing comes to the fore. Here we get anticipation and excitement, along with a couple of great moments from the bass trombone — bravo!


Interesting for sure. A performance that was not short on quality or confidence. It could be pushing for a mention come the results.

Star Player:

Bass Trombone delivered a cracking contribution.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 14:12:33

The Cheltenham National Beard Champion 2018 is...

Hipsters of the world unite....

Section 3

Sunday 16, 13:54:18

14. Selkirk Silver (Stuart Black) Scotland

This Scottish wedding celebrations certainly put a smile on the face. The majestic mood comes through and there is confidence amongst the ensemble on stage.

Middle section is considered and poignant despite the odd uncomfortable moment.

'Finale' builds nicely and now everyone is relaxed, the music really starts to shine and come through.


One of those accounts today that put a real smile on the face — really well planned and played with brio. It just needed a touch more security to make an impression for us. Who knows though'..

Star Player:

Cornet led the band so well.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 13:36:26

13. Barton Community (Garry Oglesby) North of England

The opening is well styled and has an upbeat celebratory feel to it. Some of the lines could have more clarity though.

'Solenne' is not the easiest of sections. It is tentative and cautious and needs more flow to let the musical lines speak.

To close, the 'Finale' starts well and builds musical momentum. They just ran out of steam at the end.


The music certainly was not beyond them. There were just uneven moments that could see it not in the mix come results.

Star Player:

Trombone — a fine focal point throughout

Section 3

Sunday 16, 13:19:54

12. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock) Midlands

The opening section proves to be tricky with bits of untidiness in evidence. Some deep breaths and the players do relax allowing the music lines to come through.

‘Solenne’ is tentative and a precarious homage at times—unlucky folks, but top marks for digging deep here.

‘Finale’ builds with anticipation and excitement along with that stellar determination to get to the end.


An account that just did not come off as it might today. The commitment and desire was top notch though. The bar awaits….

Star Player:

All of them. A real united effort

Section 3

Sunday 16, 13:01:45

11. Weymouth Concert Brass (Adam Glynn) West of England

The celebratory section is a touch reserved to open. It just does not settle as well as it could do (for us).

'Solenne' is respectful and sincere and an excellent tribute to a great euphonium player.

'Finale' is vibrant and purposeful. The excitement builds but there are hints of tiredness creeping in at the close.


The piece certainly was not beyond them, but it was not as secure in its execution as others that have performed so far today.

Star Player:


Section 3

Sunday 16, 12:44:38

10. Chichester City (Rom Stanko) LSC

It's a touch cautious to open. The players settle down and the majestic feel of the music shines through.

The central 'Solenne' is respectful and features some fine contributions from around the stand.

A restrained opening in the 'Finale' sets the scene for the remainder of the section. There is excitement, with the conductor not letting the emotions of the players get the better of them.


An account that was not without caution and unease at times. Whether it gets mentioned in dispatches by David Hayward in the results ceremony, who knows though?

Star Player:

Soprano made a good impression

Section 3

Sunday 16, 12:09:38

Malcolm Wood's halfway thoughts:

What a cracking contest this has been so far. The piece has worked so well at this level (well done Music Panel) as it has allowed the best bands to not just put the type of basics in place that the judges will be looking for, but deliver some quality musical renditions too.

Some bands may rue their luck today that they have been rubbing shoulders with bands on great form.

Picking a winner here could be like finding a needle in a haystack, it is so tight. The winner today will have earned it for sure.

4BR Prediction:

1. Taff Vale
2. Allerton
3. Barnsley Brass

Section 3

Sunday 16, 12:08:41

9. Hatherleigh Silver (Matt Green) West of England

It's a solid opening where the basics are in place with the majestic feel of the music coming through.

The central section is poignant and remembers the great player so well. The odd blemish does not detract though, but there is a hint of unease around the stand at times.

Any sleepy heads will have been woken by the percussion at the opening of the final section. Wow! It makes an impact for sure. There is excitement in the playing but the MD keeps the lid on the dynamics and tempo markings which are firmly under control.


A solid show that just yearned for a touch more musical expression at times.

Star Player:

Flugel player was on good form.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 11:48:54

8. Barnsley Brass (William Rushworth) Yorkshire

The celebrations are vibrant but majestic. It has energy, style and security. Very Waltonian that.

'Solenne' brings a tear to the eye. It's reflective and dignified as a homage to a great player. Nicely done again.

The Finale is as tasty as a Barnsley Chop. It leaves a smile on the face and you're tempted to ask for just a bit more more. So well styled and delivered as it reaches its climax.


What a stylish account this was. It wasn't as polished technicslly as others, but the way the MD moulded things could well tickle the taste buds of the judges.

Star Player:

Cornet was so nice and neat — and led with aplomb.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 11:31:26

7. Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass (David Maplestone) Midlands

It's celebratory without the triumphant feel to it, but we hear the Waltonian elements clearly enough.

The 'Solenne' is poignant and reflective. Very composed this, allowing the music to flow freely. It's not as heart on the sleeve as others so far today, but it's delivered with real sincerity.

'Finale' is bright and upbeat and musically tasteful. The excitement builds but the tempos and dynamics are restrained. Nicely done.


An account that was a touch more reserved than others at times in its delivery. Will it find favour in the box though?

Star Player:

Cornet was very confident.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 11:11:47

6. Taff Vale Brass (Gareth Ritter) Wales

The music is joyful, bold and celebratory and there is no shortage of self belief on stage. This is nice and tight.

The central section is melancholic with the composed playing shining through. There are some fine contributions (well done, sop, euph, to name just two).

There's no messing about in the final section either. It's bold, vibrant and confident.


A cracker from the Welsh outfit. At the risk of repeating ourselves, who would want to judge this? Right in the mix ' for us anyway.

Star Player:

Clich' alert. A real team effort that. United as one.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 10:54:51

5. Market Rasen (David Dernley) Midlands

We really hear the sounds of Walton in the opening section. The pace of the music is something that the ensemble is comfortable with and they sound confident and in control.

'Solenne' reflects and cherishes a great player. The euph player delivers a fine homage. This is tender and respectful.

The conductor ensures everyone's musical feet are on the floor in the closing section. Yes — be excited at what is to come, but you can hear the grandfather making sure life is taken in its stride. The playing reflects this and the approach works.


A rendition that had lots to admire and excite, but also had a few cautious elements within it.

Star Player:

Euphonium. Solid playing throughout.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 10:38:21

4. Allerton Brass (Adam Taylor) North West

Steady opening; a bit like the bride making sure she does not trip up as she walks down the aisle and before smiling and relaxing before the big moment. Plenty of happy faces though and lots of celebrating to do as the music is so well delivered.

The central 'Solenne' is sentimental and remembers a fine euphonium player. The odd moment, but nothing to worry over.

The playing is nice and tight in the Finale. The foundations are solid here and the music really comes through. Impressive close.


Who would want to judge this today? Well the trio of Doyle, Webster and White actually, but by heck that was another excellent musical show. So well thought out, tight and efficient.

Very tight at the top.

Star Player:

Sop, had a fine day

Section 3

Sunday 16, 10:20:49

3. City of Norwich Brass (Mark Ager) LSC

Not a bad opening. Celebratory in style, if not a little quick for a wedding march? She's in a bit of rush to get wed here. The ensemble is nice and compact though and they can play this. The dynamics and tempos are effective.

'Solenne' is full of deep reflection and respect. The MD lets the music breath and the players stand up here and be noted in the remarks for sure (well done sop). The heartfelt playing remains to the end. Well done all.

As we go to the end, music built on good foundations that has character, flair and excitement.


What a fine show that was. So rich in character and style, there was so much to admire.

Star Player:

Bass Trom delivers a meaty, tasteful contribution. He savoured every note.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 10:04:57

2. Bugle Silver (Steve Osborne) West of England

Touches of caution at the opening, but once the ensemble settle, the music is vibrant and triumphant. Nice and majestic.

The central section is sentimental and reflective in style, but there are some moments of unease, but they brushed aside and the band moves on.

As it closes, the character of the music is brought out with tempos at a sensible pace. Not a bad close at all.


One that built with confidence as they went along. A few moments here and there took the sheen off.

Star Player:

Euphonium, was in fine voice.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 09:46:20

1. Eccleston Brass (John Wood) North West

Confident opening: This is really celebratory in style, and the music makes you think straight away of William Walton. Hats off though — this is so well laid out from the middle and the players respond.

The early confidence remains. The central section is sentimental and reflective as the mind casts back to memories of a great euph player (Shaun Thomas).

To close, the Finale brings out the character of the music so well. It is tight and energetic and very musical.


What a cracker of a performance to open that was. Nerves, the number one draw? Not a bit of it. So musical and well delivered.

Star Player:

Sop — but could be any number of them around the stand this morning — they all delivered.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 09:42:32

Episodes in Brass..

There are a lot of lovely little moments to savour in Gareth Churcher's youthful test piece.

The opening movement if full of joyfulness and wedding day expectation (hopefully played not too quickly — as we are sure the future Mars Churcher didn't run down the aisle) — with a nod and a wink to a famous Walton — William not John Boy (above) from the lachrymose 70s American television series...

The middle section is a lyrical remembrance of a very fine euphonium player in Shaun Thomas who died at a tragically young age. He was a super player — and sorely missed to this day.

The finale has a touch of drama and awakening of spirit; bold and resonant (none more so than the 'grandpa' bass trom in places — the deep and fruity rock of the Churcher family)

It's all rounded of with a splendid finale — one that could herald title winning success for the best bands today.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 09:09:56


Sunday 16th September
Test Piece: 'Episodes for Brass' — Gareth Churcher
Draw: 8.15am
Commence: 9.30am

Adjudicators: John Doyle, Roger Webster & Sheona Wade

1. Eccleston Brass (John Wood)
2. Bugle Silver (Steve Osborne)
3. City of Norwich Brass (Mark Ager)
4. Allerton Brass (Adam Taylor)
5. Market Rasen (David Dernley)
6. Taff Vale Brass (Gareth Ritter)
7. Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass (David Maplestone)
8. Barnsley Brass (William Rushworth)
9. Hatherleigh Silver (Matt Green)
10. Chichester City (Rom Stanko)
11. Weymouth Concert Brass (Adam Glynn)
12. Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
13. Barton Community (Garry Oglesby)
14. Selkirk Silver (Stuart Black)
15. Usk (James Jones)
16. Knaresborough Silver (Nicholas Garrett)
17. Dronfield Genquip (Damian Wileman)
18. Newmains & District (Michael Marzella)

Section 3

Sunday 16, 08:52:47

Favourites and outsiders....

Like trying to pick a winner in the newspaper in the morning, trying to work out from current form who will end up in the winner's enclosure is next to impossible.

Plenty of well led, ambitious bands on show this morning as well as this afternoon, so don't be surprised if a few long shots at the bookies come through on the rails...

We will be under starter's orders for a 9.30am 'off'...

Section 3

Sunday 16, 08:04:27

Make sure you pick up an Area test piece bargain...

4BR Editor Iwan Fox finds out more about the 2019 Regional test pieces and the initiative Brass Bands England has linked up with Band Supplies Ltd to offer new and existing BBE members bands a whopping £20.00 off the Area test piece they have to play next year.

Section 3

Sunday 16, 07:55:27

Good morning from Cheltenham day 2...

We are back as bright and early as the stable lads giving the nags a run out on the training tracks — with plenty of great action to look forward to today as the Third and First Section titles are decided.

There are 18 runners and riders in the first race over the 'Episodes for Brass' hurdles by Gareth Churcher, followed by 17 in the Gold Cup First Section where they will be faced with 'King Arthur' in his radio days glory...

Great wins for Middleton and Stamford Brass yesterday — and it was good to see so many young players enjoying their National Finals experience.

More to come today then...

Section 3

Saturday 15, 01:47:32

Runners & Riders: Section 3

Sunday 16th September
Test Piece: 'Episodes for Brass' — Gareth Churcher
Draw: 8.15am
Commence: 9.30am
Adjudicators: John Doyle, Roger Webster & Sheona Wade

Allerton Brass (Adam Taylor)
Audley Brass (Tom Hancock)
Barnsley Brass (William Rushworth)
Barton Community (Garry Oglesby)
Bugle Silver (Steve Osborne)
Chichester City (Rom Stanko)
City of Norwich Brass (Andy Craze)
Cleobury Mortimer Concert Brass (David Maplestone)
Dronfield Genquip (Damian Wileman)
Eccleston Brass (John Wood)
Hatherleigh Silver (Matt Green)
Knaresborough Silver (Nicholas Garrett)
Market Rasen (David Dernley)
Newmains & District (Michael Marzella)
Selkirk Silver (Stuart Black)
Taff Vale Brass (Gareth Ritter)
Usk (James Jones)
Weymouth Concert Brass (Adam Glynn)

Section 3

Saturday 15, 01:47:28

Preview: Section 3

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