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2017 Wales and London & Southern Counties Regional Championships
Contest previews

4BR looks forward to the last weekend of Regional Championship action in Swansea and Stevenage

Head to London
Just two to go before we know the full finals line-ups

Wales and London & Southern Counties host the last two stops of what has been a highly enjoyable series of 2017 Regional Championship events.

After the tasty entrees of Blackpool and Huddersfield came the meaty main courses at Perth, Bedworth, Torquay and Durham last weekend - leaving just enough digestion time before indulging in a couple of piquant sorbets in Swansea and Stevenage to cleanse the palette of a five course test-piece menu that has tickled the epicure taste buds of just about every brass band gastronome.

Brangwyn Hall
The wonderful Brangwyn Hall should be filled up a bit more this weekend.

The Brangwyn Hall offers an enticing deserts trolley, as Welsh banding looks to send yet another phalanx of title hungry qualifiers to Kensington Gore and Cheltenham, although the increasingly impressive representatives from the Arts and Leisure Centre in Stevenage will also look to improve on their growing competitiveness at all levels.

Cory lead the way

43 bands line-up in Swansea boasting an enviable record of National title winning success to their name: Cory of course leads the way - and Philip Harper’s band will look to create history if they reclaim the Welsh title to hold every piece of contest silverware available to them.

However, it is in the other sections that the record for the second smallest region in the UK defies belief - with Phoenix (Goodwick) adding a tenth National title to the Welsh portfolio last year in Cheltenham when they secured a fifth Fourth Section National title for the nation since 2011.  No other region has half that amount.

Whatever the secret, the Welsh are rather adept at keeping it close to their collective chests - although the suspicion is that the influx of students to the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, a new generation of talented, charismatic young conductors and plenty of great community banding work in all corners of the country has something to do with it.

Stevenage
There will be plenty to play for in Stevenage this weekend

Increasingly confident

Meanwhile, 77 competitors take to the Gordon Craig Theatre and Main Concert Hall stages in Stevenage, with an increasing number confident of making a National mark if they can claim a qualification place in big fields of well-matched rivals. 

What was once seen as a region that was there only to ‘make up the numbers’ come the Albert Hall and Cheltenham, has gained long overdue respect - boasting more National titles since 2011 than the North of England, Midlands and Scotland combined.

Last year’s bands didn’t add to a recent list that includes Hitchin, LGB Brass and Norfolk Wherry Brass, but Aveley & Newham (First Section) and Tendring Brass (Third Section) claimed podium spots and Cawston and Crystal Palace came in the top-six (Second and Fourth Section respectively).  Expectations are that there may well be more to come.

Live coverage

4BR will be at both venues to cover the action, and to also bring you our views and opinions through our live page coverage, Twitter and Facebook, and those all important results.

Six down - two more to go: There are sure to be more tales of triumph and despair to come before the last spoonful of contesting sorbet finally passes the lips.



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.


Chris Wormald

B.Mus (Hons), LTCL, PGCE
Conductor, adjudicator, arranger