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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



Black Dyke Band - Scarborough Spa

Saturday 26 August • Scarborough Spa South Bay Scarborough Y011 2HD


Concert - Grimethorpe Colliery: Snape Maltings

Saturday 26 August • Snape Maltings, Snape IP17 1SR


Cory Band - Isle of Wight

Saturday 26 August • 159 Fairlee Rd, Newport P030 2EW


The Hepworth Band -

Sunday 27 August • The Butchers Arms, Hepworth HD9 1TE


Friary Guildford Brass Band -

Sunday 27 August • Godalming Bandstand, The Burys, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1DY GU7 1DY


Lostock Hall Brass Band

August 23 • Musical Director Vacancy LostockHall band welcomes applications from enthusiatstic and hardworking musicians to continue the development of the band 2-3 contests/year with a number of local engagements Rehersals Mon/Fri 8-10 own bandroom near Preston


Dodworth Colliery M.W Training Band

August 23 • We are looking forward to competing at Butlins Championships in 2018. Due to a few members leaving to further their professional and playing careers we have vacancies for Solo Horn, Trombone and Euphonium. We also wish them well with their moves.


Derwent Brass

August 22 • DERWENT BRASS | CHAMPIONSHIP MIDLANDS seek applications for percussion. At Derwent Brass percussion is an integral part of the band & we are looking for a talented percussionist, preferably with tuned ability, to join the section.


Dr. Stephen Arthur Allen

D. Phil. (Oxon) [Ph.D Oxford University], GBSM, LTCL, ABSM, ALCM, Cert. Ed.