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2017 Wales and London & Southern Counties Regional Championships
Second Section previews

4BR looks forward to a friendly renewal of banding hostilities of Dean Goffin's timeless 'Rhapsody in Brass'.

Middle East campaign
Dean Goffin's music was written at the height of the Middle East Campaign

Over the last few weeks ‘Rhapsody in Brass’ has been a wonderful, but ever so slightly over- ambitious choice for the Second Section: Enjoyable and educational as it has been for all concerned, its age has not wearied its challenges for players and conductors alike.

Much like ‘Pageantry’ in the top section, its timeless qualities remain a mystery to just about anyone under the age of 35 brought up on a diet of PLC blockbuster smart bombs and Thomas Doss ‘fly by wire’ musical drone technology.  This is music of an age when you almost had to see the whites of your opponent’s eyes.

Refined and elegant

The transparent immediacy of the writing - simple, refined and elegant, holds so many pitfalls and man-traps; from the anxious optimism of the opening and reflective melancholy of the central interlude, to the free spirited joyfulness of the finale.  It is music that explores emotion without recourse to misplaced sentimentality.

It was written by a man who had seen his fair share of loss and who knew just how precious life was. Not someone with a penchant for an X-Box ‘Medal of Honour’ approach.


Mid Rhondda
2016 Champion: Thomas Coaches Mid Rhondda

Wales:

Just the seven bands compete in the Second Section on Saturday lunchtime, with Mike Kilroy and Derek Broadbent hoping that the quality will more than make up for the lack of quantity.

Given the record at the National Finals in the last decade, hopes should be high, as since 2007 the nation’s representatives have notched up no less than six victories and at least half a dozen top-six finishes. However last year’s qualifiers found themselves in the midfield also-rans, so perhaps a little bit of work to do this time around.    

Abergavenny Borough has been making solid progress and could be looking at a finals place for the first time since 2003, whilst Seindorf Arian Crwbin and Royal Buckley Town could also pose qualification threats. 

The vastly experienced Tony Small leads a Penclawdd Band on the up again with the emerging Melingriffith 2 and Ammanford worth an each-way bet alongside our dark horse of 4BR hometown favorites Blaenavon.

4BR Prediction:

1. Abergavenny Borough
2. Royal Buckley Town
3. Seindorf Arian Crwbin
4. Penclawdd
5. Melingriffith 2
6. Ammanford

Dark Horse: Blaenavon Town


Cawston
2016 Champion: Cawston went on to claim a top-six place at Cheltenham

London & Southern Counties:

It’s a field double the size of that found in Wales for Steve Sykes and Roger Webster to compare and contrast on Saturday afternoon - with 16 well matched outfits taking to the Gordon Craig Theatre stage.

It could be a hard one to call - with a number of bands showing decent, if not spectacular, form of late.

Five contenders were at Butlins where Waterbeach claimed a top-ten finish as the best of them, whilst last year’s runner-up St Sebastian Wokingham returns after posting a solid ninth place finish at Cheltenham.

Milton Keynes Brass didn’t really shine in Skegness but will be hoping that was down to early season rustiness, whilst Grimsdyke and Littleport Brass could be two to watch out for come the results alongside our dark horse of newly promoted Chinnor Silver.

4BR Prediction:

1. Waterbeach Brass
2. St Sebastian Wokingham
3. Grimsdyke
4. Milton Keynes Brass
5. Littleport Brass
6. BAE Systems 

Dark Horse: Chinnor Silver



Regent Hall Concerts - International Staff Band of the Salvation Army

Saturday 25 March • Regent Hall (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. opp. BHS. London. W1C 2DJR W1C 2DJ


Vernon Building Society Poynton - Chapel en le Frith Male Voice Choir

Saturday 25 March • St. Thomas' Church. Holt Street. Stockport . SK1 3PY SK1 3PY


Enderby Band - LOROS and McMillan Cancer Support

Saturday 25 March • St James the Greater Church. St James Terrace. Leicester. LE2 1NA


Concert - Grimethorpe Colliery: Palace Theatre

Saturday 25 March • Leeming St, Mansfield NG18 1NG


Kettering Citadel S A Band -

Tuesday 28 March • The Salvation Army Citadel. 66, Rockingham Road,. Kettering,. Northamptonshire NN16 8JU


Harrogate Band

March 24 • Cornet & 2nd Baritone - Want to join a great bunch of sociable and friendly people who are passionate about great brass music? We currently have vacancies for Cornets & 2nd Baritone however players from all sections are welcome to join!


The Cobham Band

March 24 • Due to moves and retirements the Cobham Band has vacancies for euphonium, baritone horn, flugel and back-row cornet. The band rehearses in Cobham on Monday evenings and has a full programme of bandstand and concert engagements.


Haydock Band

March 23 • Haydock Band. North West Second Section are looking to recruit a B flat Bass due to work commitments. We have a very sensible diary of concerts and some exciting projects through the rest of the year. This is the only empty seat we have left


Howard J Evans

MA (Dist), Mus.B (hons), ARCM (hons), LRAM, LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, composer, arranger, tutor and pianist